I’m Still Standing and Then Some

This week I received a much awaited Foreword for my book on the 70s TV sitcom “The Jeffersons.” I was thrilled to receive it. Thrilled that this very well-known actor would put their name on MY book. Little ole me. Yes, this is my second book. I am a published author. But this seemed to give me some extra clout. Something I hadn’t looked for or expected when I started this writing journey. Especially at this time in my life. When a lot of people are “enjoying retirement”. I’m just still living life. And realizing what I have come through to get to today’s achievements. I felt so thankful I just started crying. And then I started thinking about some of the bad stuff I’ve been through.

The depression hit hard. My early life was good. Could not have been better. My father was a successful entertainer and my mother was a beautiful opera singer and violinist. Eddie died when I was 3. My tap dancing lessons stopped and things got real quiet around our house.

A couple of years later Mom sold our house and we moved with her new husband to the “east side” of Los Angeles. Money ran out, I had to leave Catholic School and go to grammar school. I was light-skinned and became the girl that got bullied. Thanks to my mom I loved music. And dancing. I had decided I wanted to be a singer. At age 8 I formed my own front porch group. Singing became my focus. Our new family life was chaotic to say the least. After mom started having my siblings I became the “baby-sitter”. A lot of crazy things happened during those years so I started spending a lot of time away from home. I found boys. Alcohol. At 21 I stopped my singing career and became a working mom. Family issues pursued me. My own issues pursued me. Somehow I came through sorta sane. I stopped drinking and smoking. I went to Therapy. I became a grandma. Oh boy! I retired from my Admin Assistant job at the VA. And just lived life the best I could. Trying not to focus on what could have been, and how life should have been. Then I wrote a book.

The other day while feeling elated and depressed at the same time I got online and for some reason I wound up listening to Elton John – I think he has a concert coming up. The first song I turned to was “I’m Still Standing. He was at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019. Then I listened to his performance at The Royal Opera House in 2002. Some of his stuff reminded me of Isaac Hayes Hot Buttered Soul album. I discovered that during his appearance he mentioned Burt Bacharach/Hal Davis, the 2 men who wrote “Walk On By” which was a track on Isaac’s album. One of the songs Elton played at the Opera House reminded me of Isaac Hayes’ “By the Time I get to Phoenix.” It was the strings and horns on both of those albums.

Elton’s playing also reminded me of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”. Would you believe that I actually found a recording of Elton John singing “Johnny B. Goode” in 1979. I felt a lot better after listening to these guys. I love the connectedness. Hey, thanx for hangin’ in here with me.

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