Friday, August 11, 2017

Kashif Saleem – "Edgartown Groove" (1984)

Come on, come on, come on down
Come on down to Edgartown

Edgartown, which was incorporated in 1671, is the oldest town on Martha’s Vineyard.  It's also the poshest town on that very posh island, so it's no surprise that 2 or 3 lines dropped by for a visit during my recent vacation on Cape Cod.

Unlike the many celebrities who vacation on Martha’s Vineyard -- the Obamas, the Clintons, various Kennedys, David Letterman, Larry David, Spike Lee, Carly Simon, Meg Ryan, and Lady Gaga, among others -- I didn't fly in on a helicopter or private jet.

Cars boarding the Martha's Vineyard ferry
Instead, I drove to Woods Hole one morning and boarded the slow ferry to Oak Bluffs with my bicycle.  I then rode to Edgartown on the bike path that's adjacent to Beach Road, which goes along the island's eastern shore.

From Edgartown I continued on the Katama Road bike path to Katama Beach, where elements of General George Patton’s Third Army practiced amphibious landings as part of their preparations for D-Day.  (David Letterman's summer home isn't far away.)

After riding back to Edgartown, I was ready for lunch.  I hit a convenience store and grabbed a Dr. Pepper and some potato chips to go along with the sandwich I had made that morning, then plopped myself down on a bench in Memorial Park (also known as Cannonball Park) to enjoy my modest repast.

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The most notable feature of Memorial Park was its Civil War monument, a tall and handsome stone obelisk that was unveiled on July 4, 1901.

Edgartown’s Civil War monument
One of the panels at the base of the obelisk featured a keystone with the letters H T W S S T K S carved on it.  Those letters stand for “Hiram, Tynian, Widow’s Son, Sendeth To King Solomon,” which relates to Masonic ritual.  (You can click here to learn more about what those words mean to the Masons.)

The obelisk states that it was erected through the efforts of one Enoch C. Cornell, a Union veteran who saw action as a member of Company H of the 1st Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. 

Cornell, who was born in Edgartown on Valentine’s Day, 1827, sailed to California in 1849 hoping to find gold.  I don’t know if he found any, but I do know that he eventually returned to Edgartown, where he made a living as a photographer in the years leading up to the Civil War.

Cornell was 34 years old when he enlisted in August 1862.  The 1st Massachusetts Infantry had been organized in 1861, just in time to see action at First Bull Run, the first major battle of the war. Cornell was presumably assigned to that regiment (which consisted mostly of Bostonians) as a replacement for one of the regiment's casualties.

1st Massachusetts monument at Gettysburg
The 1st Massachusetts suffered heavy losses at Gettysburg.  Cornell was shot in the right foot at that battle, and was discharged from his regiment in May 1864.  He eventually applied for and was granted a monthly pension of $12, indicating that his wound was relatively serious.

Cornell died less than a year after the Edgartown monument he was responsible for was dedicated.  He was 75.  

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Kashif Saleem (born Michael Jones in 1959) was a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer from New York City.

Kashif released five successful R&B albums in the eighties, but is best known as the producer of hits for R&B stars like Whitney Houston, Evelyn Champagne” King, George Benson, the Stylistics, and Jermaine Jackson.

His 1984 hit, “Edgartown Groove” (which features Al Jarreau), was nominated for the “Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” Grammy.  

Here's “Edgartown Groove”:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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