Hello everyone, how are you? Are you staying safe and wearing your mask? I sure hope so. This week was a very sad column for me to write because I am starting off by telling you about the passing of a dear friend and supporter of the jazz community, as well as someone you may have also known for years. I called him the mayor of Coppin State University— James “Winky” Camphor has passed away. Condolences to his Queen and the Princess of Coppin State University, Florine “Peaches” Camphor and to his friends and staff at Coppin’s who love him so much.
Let me tell you a little bit about this man that his friends and family called “Winky.” First of all, he played four seasons of basketball at Coppin State from 1948-51, an original Eagle, he held the unofficial school record of 50 points in a game against Cheyney in 1950. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Coppin State in 1951 and his master’s degree from Coppin State in 1957. He had a distinguished career following his graduation from Coppin State. He earned the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education Distinguished Alumni Award; State of Maryland Faithful Citizen Award; National Association for Sickle Cell Outstanding Member Award; State Department of Mental Health and Hygiene Service Award; City of Baltimore Citizen’s Award; National Federation of the Blind Service Award; Children’s Cancer Center Volunteer Award; Heart of Love Award; Emmanuel C.C. Church Living Legends Award; and the Harlow Fullwood Award.
“Winky” met his wife “Peaches” in 1965 when they were both members of Coppin’s Alumni Association. He earned a master’s degree in education from Coppin and was given an honorary doctorate in humane letters from the University. Mrs. Camphor earned a bachelor’s degree from Coppin and a masters in education from Loyola University Maryland. I call them the “Power Couple of Coppin State University.” You know that that is not all, I just had to stop because I was running out of ink and I don’t want to do that before I let you know the funeral arrangements. James “Winky” Camphor will be on view on February 4 at Wayland Baptist Church on Garrison Blvd. The Services will be held at Coppin State University on February 5. Howell Funeral Services on Liberty Heights has his body. GOD SPEED MY FRIEND, GOD SPEED!
Before I leave you, I want to share something with you that I think is appropriate to do at this time:
“You Don’t Just Lose Someone Once”
You lose them over and over, sometimes many times a day
When the loss, momentarily forgotten,
Creeps up, and attacks you from behind,
Fresh waves of grief as the realization hits home, they are gone again.
You don’t just lose someone once,
You lose them every time you open your eyes to a new dawn,
And as you awaken, so does your memory,
So does the jolting bolt of lightning that rips into your heart,
They are gone again.
Losing someone is a journey, not a one-off.
There is no end to the loss,
There is only a learned skill on how to stay afloat, when it washes over.
Be kind to those who are sailing this stormy sea,
They have a journey ahead of them, and a daily shock to
The system each time they realize, they are gone, again
You don’t just lose someone once, you lose them every day, for a lifetime.
Remember if you need me, call me anytime at 410-833-9474 or email me at [email protected]. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.