“O Romeo, Romeo!
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Remembering Bunny Rugs
Sometimes dreams come true in the most unexpected ways. Once upon a time—30 years ago to be exact—when I was a technical writer at the Boeing Commercial Airplane Company in cold, dreary and rainy Seattle, I dreamed of starting a new life in the sunny Caribbean.
I fueled those dreams by going home every evening and listening to the strong, melodic voice of William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke, lead singer of Third World, crooning Try Jah Love and Sense of Purpose. Bunny Rugs’ voice had a gritty strength that emerged from a warm, strong tone and that, to me, felt like the perfect voice. My life, I felt, strongly needed a sense of purpose—minus the love part of the song.
I had visited T&T on a Christmas vacation, and I had a couple of Sparrow and Swallow albums—real albums, the kind you could drop and break—but it was much easier to relate to Third World’s universal themes of love, faith and hope at that point in my life. The far northwest corner of the US is a far cry from the Caribbean, and I didn’t quite know how I would turn my dream into a reality.