A lot of strange, often disturbing events seemingly unrelated to politics have occurred since the calamitous end of election season. A bald eagle clogged a Florida storm drain; an octopus was seen swimming through a parking lot (also in Florida); California experienced a foam avalanche; and so many dead fish appeared overnight in a Long Island canal, you could practically walk on water.
The death of 60-year-old soul singer Sharon Jones on Friday felt ominous, connected somehow to a national sickness, though I knew that she had been battling pancreatic cancer (perhaps I made this association because processing this election, like all grieving, has a tendency to make one ill). The recent deaths of Leonard Cohen and Gwen Ifill struck me similarly, though both had been ill or infirm.
An article published in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday has me feeling a tiny bit emotionally vindicated, at least in regards to Jones.
Gabriel Roth, Jones’s longtime bandmate, told the LA Times in an interview on Saturday that Jones suffered a stroke as she watched the election results come in on November 8. “She told the people that were there that Trump gave her the stroke,” Roth said, laughing.
But neither Roth nor Jones seem to have made this allegation in jest. Roth went on to say:
“Well, she’d been fighting cancer for a few years now, and there’s been all kinds of stuff coming at her. But the thing that actually got her in the last couple of weeks was, she had a stroke watching the election results. After that first stroke she couldn’t move her leg, but she could still talk.
I flew out and met her up in the hospital in Cooperstown, and I saw her and she told the people that were there that Trump gave her the stroke. She was blaming Trump for the whole thing.”
One day after he met up with her in Cooperstown, on Wednesday, Jones suffered another stroke that left her unable to speak.