Seasons In Life

As we grow older and hopefully wiser, we realize that over the course of our lives a diverse group of people have come and gone.  Some staying briefly, others for a season and on that rare occasion we’ve met someone who has stuck with us for a large part of our lives.

Ahh, the Memories

Recently while thinking about simple times, memories of my childhood came to mind.  My friends who made junior high fun, crazy and sometimes naughty, like kissing boys under the bleachers (yes, I did that a time or two…who didn’t?)

My youth was spent in the 1970’s and for the most part I cannot recall a dull moment (okay, well maybe when I had to babysit my younger sisters.) mendy-circa-late-70s If I wasn’t cheering for our recreation club’s football team (my mom sewed my cheerleading outfit as most did back then) my friends Sheri, Karla, Kim, and Amber and I were deciding whose house we’d be sleeping at on Friday night. We would spend those nights talking about boys (as they were never far from our minds), listen to the radio and have pillow fights.  We all attended Sligh Junior High in Tampa, Florida which at the time was a 7th grade center designed for cultural integration in the community; it is now called Sligh Middle School (named after the street it faces) and is home to middle school kids in grades 5th – 7th.

In the late 70s, we would play 4-square in the school’s courtyard after lunch and talk about boys (again..we were 7th grade girls) and on rare occasion other topics which ran the gamut. We wore the hairstyles of the day, one side straight down and the other clipped back tight against the head (a bit of a bizarre style if you ask me) or a long and feathered look, such as in my picture. School offered home economics class, shop and typing, I took all three not remembering what I made in either home eco or shop, but I do recall standing at an ironing board (who knew back then we’d have was and wear clothing in the 21st century?) We wore dresses that were at or below our knees, pantyhose and black baby doll (flat) shoes. We had “patrols” (with the orange patrol belt) who patrolled the halls making sure we didn’t run and kept order on buses during the rides to/from school. Oh yeah, an on the rare occasion we would go to the mall…there would always be a line at the photo booth, you know…where you would go in, sit down, draw the curtain and start making goofy faces, then step out and wait a minute or two for your four shots to magically appear!  The picture above is a photo booth sitting.

I remember quite well my time in junior high and physical education class, pfft! (rolling eyes!)  Oh how I hated P.E.!  I still believe the only form of exercise our Phy. Ed. teachers knew were laps; everyday without fail and as soon as we hit the basketball courts (after dressing out) we ran laps.  I ran around that basketball court so many times one year I could tell you the location of every divot, crack and dip. I was determined not to have P.E. the following year so I got a part-time job at McDonald’s on Busch Blvd across the street from Busch Gardens and signed up for the school’s early work release program which allowed student to work in the afternoons on school days, usually reporting to work around noon. When a student was on early release P.E., home economics or shop were the classes of choice to drop from our class schedule; all the kids in this program thought it was the best thing in life, especially if we had the day off from work we still left school early.

GrandbabiesAlthough Karla, Sheri, Kim, and Amber are not part of my life on a daily basis, a few of us still keep in touch via social media and texting. We are spread across the U.S. with Sheri in New Mexico, I am in Northern Kentucky and Karla, Kim and Amber are all in Florida. It’s hard to believe some of us are grannies and these are my four precious ones.

Ahh, the memories are a nice escape from the hectic life most of us lead in adulthood. Just writing this article has conjured up some really great visions of years gone too soon. Wow its so hard to grasp that I turned 50 in February of this year, W-O-W…where has the time gone?

As I grow older by the day I’ve found that its the simple things in life that make L-I-F-E an adventure. As a Nona (grandmother/grandma in Italian), I love that I can love on my grandchildren and when they get cranky… I hand them back to mom and dad. I love that I don’t have to put up with other people’s drama and there’s no law telling me I have to keep them in my life. I love that because of where I’ve been…I know where I’m going and planning my future has never been so much fun. I love that my “lifetime” friends love me for who I am and accept me completely, without question, ridicule or judgement.  They just love me! And lastly, I love walking down MEMORY LANE and bringing all those great memories into the present. Thank you for letting me share a smidge of my past with you.

The Boy & Rhinestone Cowboy

Really y’all, this IS my life!

I’m sitting here working and singing along with the music playing in the background; I’ve got the 70s station streaming and Rhinestone Cowboy was playing. The Boy walks in and repeats the lyrics “Rhinestone Cowboy” that he just heard.

I asked “Do you know this song,” knowing it was waaay before his time. His reply “no.”

So, I continued to sing and The Boy said “carrots and lettuce?” Why is he singing about carrots and lettuce?

WHAT??? I replied. “He’s not singing about carrots and lettuce, the lyrics are “cards and letters!”

Ha ha ha. REALLY!!! You can’t make this stuff up! Bawhahah..still laughing. This IS my life…I am so very blessed with goofy kids who bring laughter to my life every day.

Today’s Observance is…

Apparently I missed that yesterday (April 10th) was National Siblings Day so I looked up what other weird observance day might be next and I learned that TODAY,yes, today. is…

Eight Track Tape Day

When : Always April 11th

Eight Track Tape Day brings back fond memories of the sixties and seventies. During this era, eight track tapes ruled the music world. America’s love of the automobile, was a driving force in creating the demand for musical cassette formats. For those who grew up in this era, an eight track tape player in your home and your car was an essential. It was eventually replaced by cassette and other formats for storing music.

Eight Track Tape Day is a day to bring back fond memories of the sixties and seventies. If you still have tapes and a player, by all means enjoy the day listening to some great music. If not, just spend a few minutes looking back in time to when you loved your eight track tapes!

Did you know? Eight track tapes were created by the jet maker William Lear.

Source: Holiday Insights

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Do you still have an Eight-Track (tapes or player?  My question is…who in the world thought of taking pictures of some of the things we find on the internet?  Especially the Eight-Track Tape. Humm?

Interesting Facts: Television Shows, Movies & Actors

  1. MASH was the #1 most watched series finale in 1983 with its 105.9 million viewers.
  2. Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster’s real name was Sid.
  3. Jim Davis, who played patriarch Jock Ewing on the original Dallas died in his sleep on April 26, 1981 at age 65.
  4. The gold chains that Mr. T wore on the series The A-Team weighed between 30 and 40 pounds.
  5. Psycho was the first movie to have a toilet flushing in a scene.
  6. On Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, Mr. Roger’s sweaters were all hand knitted by his mother
  7. Disney turned down the chance to make Back to the Future claiming the mother/son relationship was too risqué.
  8. A Superman figure is hidden in every episode of Seinfeld.
  9. In summer of 1976, “Theme From Happy Days” was a hit single, peaking at #5 on the national charts.
  10. Gilligan’s Island Producer Sherwood Schwartz picked Gilligan’s name at random out of a phone book.
  11. John Stamos played an uncle on Full House his name was going to be Adam but in the end his character was called Uncle Jesse.
  12. During the last season of The Facts of Life, David Spade was in an episode that was supposed to be turned into a spin-off series called “Big Apple Blues” about college roommates living in New York City, but it never materialized.
  13. On The Brady Bunch, the sliding glass door in the back of the Brady house actually never had a glass screen in it. It was simply put on the sliders with no glass to prevent glares from lighting while filming.
  14. When Fonzie made his first appearance on Happy Days he wore a windbreaker instead of his trademark leather jacket because television executives thought leather made him look like a hoodlum.
  15. The first episode of I Love Lucy aired when Lucille Ball was 41.
  16. Twenty-seven actors got their start from appearing in the 1980s sitcom Miami Vice.
  17. On the show Friends, Monica and Joey were originally going to be an item before writers/creators decided to have Monica and Chandler get together.
  18. Laverne & Shirley, Joanie Loves Chachi, and Mork & Mindy were all spin-off shows from Happy Days.
  19. During the filming of the Dukes of Hazard pilot episode, two directors were eating breakfast in the town square when they heard a car drive by that played the opening bars to “Dixie” as the horn. This, they thought, must be in the show. They chased down the owner, bought the horn out of his car for $300, and installed it in a General Lee.
  20. Carroll O’Connor auditioned for the part of the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island, but Schwartz rejected him. O’Connor went on to become the famous Archie Bunker on All in the Family.
  21. The refrigerator in Monica’s apartment on Friends actually worked and was filled with soda and water for crew and cast.

Music for the Soul, Mind, and Spirit

Growing up in a house where music was always on the radio or playing from the stereo, you could say I was exposed to a vast array of genres and therefore enjoy all types of music; especially those from the 1960s and 1970s.

Burt Bacharach

burt_bacharachThere are a lot (and I mean a lot) of songs that I grew up with that derived from one extremely talented man, Mr. Burt Bacharach.  Although you may not be aware, I am certain you have heard his songs.  Mr. Bacharach worked with many talented singers from The Carpenters and Dionne Warwick to Herb Alpert, B.J. Thomas, and Christopher Cross, all amazing artists in their own right, who brought his words to life through song.

Soul, Mind, and Spirit

One of my most favorite songs from my younger years was “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.”  I had no clue who wrote or even sung the song, just knew I like the catchy tune.  While researching for this post, I read somewhere that Mr. B wrote (or co-wrote) and/or composed more than 300 songs in his lifetime (hopefully he still has more in the works for us.)  What an accomplishment! (Coming from someone who cannot even begin imagining of composing just the lyrics for one song, much less the composition of the instruments.)

I have sweet sweet memories of being a barefoot kid, walking down the street with friends (Gayla and Mia) while we listened to music on our handheld transistor radio.  We heard and sang to songs like Raindrops Keep Falling, Walk on By, I Need Your Love, and I Say a Little Prayer, just to name a few.

It still amazes me at how quickly a song I hear even today transports me back to a specific time in my life. like it just happened yesterday.  I can see the scene; for instance me, Gayla and Mia, walking down a side street in Gibsonton, FL from Gayla’s house back to mine where we would talk about boys, play records and do-up each others hair.  It was summer, we were wearing sleeveless shirts and short-shorts, the pavement was hot so we tried to stay on the grass next to the road.

Even at the age of forty-eight I can hear a song and think of special times in my life, such as my first ever Yanni or Tim McGraw concert.  I distinctly remember who I was with, what we were wearing and other aspects of the day.

Music has a way of feeding our soul, making our mind recall special times, and lifting our spirits. I would just dread living in a world without the Sound of Music” (which by they way is a move that I’ve yet to see) around us and in movies, oh how boring would life be?

The Music

For a complete list of his songs, you can visit the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

According to the Washington Post, Burt’s top 10 songs of all time are:

  • 10. “Walk On By” — This was Dionne Warwick’s third Top 40 hit reaching No. 6 in May 1964. The song was ranked No. 70 on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • 9. “On My Own” — Written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, this song was made a No. 1 hit in 1986 on the Billboard charts by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald. It was the biggest single for both performers.
  • 8. “What the World Needs Now Is Love” — After Dionne Warwick turned it down, Kentucky-born Jackie DeShannon recorded the song and it reached No. 7 on the U.S. charts in 1965. Coldplay has performed the song. Miss DeShannon later had a bigger hit with her 1969 song “Put a Little Love in Your Heart”.
  • 7. “That’s What Friends Are For” — Carole Bayer Sager wrote the lyrics for this song, which Rod Stewart sang for the “Night Shift” soundtrack. The song is best known for the version Dionne Warwick and Friends (Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder) recorded and reached No. 1 in the U.S. in 1985 to raise funds for AIDS research.
  • 6. “This Guy’s in Love With You” — Primarily known for his trumpet playing, Herb Alpert sang the lead vocals on this excellent 1968 song and scored his first top hit. It was also the first No. 1 hit for the record label A&M that Mr. Alpert founded with Jerry Moss in 1962.
  • 5. “Anyone Who Had a Heart” —Dionne Warwick had a No. 8 hit and her first Top 10 single with this song in the U.S. in 1964. Cilla Black, a friend of the Beatles in Liverpool, scored a No. 1 hit in the U.K. with her version of the tune. Her cover became the biggest female hit of the 1960s in the U.K. Petula Clark had a No. 1 hit with the song in Spain.
  • 4. “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” — The song became one of Dionne Warwick’s biggest international hits peaking at No. 8 in the U.K., Ireland, and Canada in 1968. It reached No. 10 on the Billboard charts and Miss Warwick won her first Grammy with the song. Hal David, who wrote the lyrics, had a special interest in San Jose, Calif., having been stationed there while in the Navy.
  • 3. “I Say A Little Prayer” —Dionne Warwick had a No. 4 hit with the song in 1967. Aretha Franklin also recorded the song, reaching No. 10 in August 1968.
  • 2. “Arthur’s Theme” (The Best That You Can Do) — Performed by Christopher Cross, the song was the theme song for the Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli film “Arthur,” for which it won an Academy Award. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The song was a collaboration between Mr. Bacharach, Mr. Cross, Carole Bayer Sager and Peter Allen.
  • 1. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” — Ray Stevens was first offered the opportunity to record this song for the film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, but turned it down. B.J. Thomas recorded the song for the film and it became a No. 1 hit in 1969. The song won an Academy Award for best original song and became a No 1 hit on the Billboard charts.

His Life, His Wife, His Child

Burt-AngieI may have heard before, but it did not really register with me until I was researching for this post that Burt was married to Angie Dickinson and together they had a daughter whom they named Nikki. Nikki was born three months premature in 1966, lived to the age of 41 when she took her own life.  She battle a long life of mental challenges, only for those around her to realize all too late that she was fighting Asperger’s (which is a form of autism.)

For more about Burt’s life, his career, and his music, you can read Burt’s story in his words.

American pianist and composer Burt Bacharach was to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from President Obama on Wednesday night along with his longtime lyricist, Hal David. It is named for George and Ira Gershwin. (Associated Press)

American pianist and composer Burt Bacharach was to receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from President Obama on Wednesday night along with his longtime lyricist, Hal David. It is named for George and Ira Gershwin. (Associated Press)

Thanks Burt for the great music and memories.