Thursday, August 26, 2010

Memories of Katrina

WARNING: The following material may be hazardous to anyone vulnerable, sensitive or fearful that their good humor may be jeopardized. The producer of this blog does not wish to in way disturb or overly concern you about her mental state. She merely wishes to share her feelings with you knowing what kind, compassionate readers you are.

How's that for making you scared to continue to read?

As you are well aware, this is the fifth year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Good Morning America has been showing clips of the devastation wreaked on Louisiana and Mississippi during that time. The news coverage always affects me, both out of sympathy for those poor people and for my family. My husband Stan worked dilligently in procuring trucks and clean-up supplies to be sent to Mississippi for the restoration company where he was employed as their warehouse manager.

He and I would go to his daily radiation treatments at Emory (to which he insisted on driving) and he would be on his cell phone much of the way home, arranging for equipment to be shipped to the sites where employees from his company were stationed. He was totally committed to this effort and on the morning of August 31st, he struggled downstairs to watch the latest news details on Katrina. I told him I would see him in a little while. I was awakened an hour or so later by his cell phone. He had fallen asleep on the couch before turning on the tv. I told him that he was having some nap and not to scare me like that because he looked as if he were dead. He was.

Hurricane Katrina's ravages are still felt by many people: victims; those involved in rescue operations, and all who witnessed the horror on television and radio. It has a special significance for me. I still bear the scars of my personal destruction but I have to say that I have been blessed with peace and acceptance recently. I wish the same for all.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Beat Goes On

I was be-bopping to the oldies on the radio, which means I looked like I was writhing in pain, on the way to work a few days ago and having a good old time listening to the songs I grew up on. Actually, my kids grew up on them too since all radios in the house and my car were always tuned to Fox 97, the oldies station.

One fateful day a few years ago, after much warning that baby boomers had to spend more money on advertisers' products and services, my ears were assaulted by some jarring hip-hop number. Fox 97 was no longer an oldies station. How would I start my day without Randy and Spiff's "Stupid Criminal" stories and the tunes that made me feel good (and young)? A little of Delilah, "The Queen of Sappy Love Songs," was okay at night but the mornings needed help.

Well, joy to the world ("and all the little fishies in the deep blue sea") -- we now have a new oldies station, 106.7. I guess every generation identifies with the popular songs of their youth and my teenage years have a sound track of Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkle, and all the groups that were part of the British Invasion. My neighbor, Nancy, and I argued about which group, the Beatles or the Dave Clark Five, would last longer. She won.

Just hearing the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Supremes or any of the Motown crowd makes me jump up (not while driving) and move around like someone possessed. My poor cat becomes frozen and just stares at me and I know she's thinking, "uh, oh, here she goes again."

Nostalgia is the core of the oldies and they bring back sweet memories. The fast songs are fun to sing along with and the slow ones epitomize my teenage view of romance: The Righteous Brothers singing "Ebb Tide," and the Duprees crooning "You Belong to Me." My all-time favorite song is still "Words" by the Bee Gees.

Randy and Spiff are back to ushering in the morning program with their goofy wit and conversations with listeners. The DJ of the afternoon is Scott Shannon whose raspy voice and slightly arrogant manner can be annoying but that's okay because he plays great songs.

To quote a golden oldie: "It's the kind of music that soothes the soul; I like that old-time rock and roll."