People continue to pay respects to Aretha Franklin

Store owner talks about Franklin's first album

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

DETROIT - Under bipartisan legislation just introduced by federal lawmakers in both chambers, Aretha Franklin would be posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

On Tuesday at New Bethel Baptist Church, fans and friends continue to stop by. There's a steady stream of people paying their respects to the Queen of Soul. Terry Tarrant has been there every day, making sure things look nice.

"People are bringing fresh flowers every morning, and I take the ones that have withered up and dried up and throw them away and sweep up the area and just continue to allow people to add to this memorial," Tarrant said.

He has added some pictures and balloons, saying it's the least he can do since Franklin did so much for the church and the community.

"Without this, it wouldn't be a memorial for her or for them to come pay homage or respect to with this memorial," Tarrant said.

Since Franklin died, the mourning has turned into a celebration of life, and many people are going to record stores to look for old albums and memorabilia.

"I believe I was 14 years old when she recorded (her first song) in her father's church," Wade Kergan said.

Kergan usually has a lot of Franklin's albums in his store.

"We sold out the day that she passed," Kergan said.

Many fans and collectors are wondering if Franklin's records might be worth much more now that she's gone.

"You can't really put a value on the music," Kergan said. "You can put a value on the record, but the value she has to people won't change."

While everything in Hello Records is for sale, Kergan said he's thinking twice about selling Franklin's first record.

"I don't know if I would sell it or not," Kergan said. "Right now I'm happy to have it around and look at it. It's got good mojo."

The celebration of life for Franklin is set for next week. It will begin with a two-day visitation Aug. 28 and Aug. 29 at the Charles H. Wright Museum. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 31 at Greater Grace Temple.

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