Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Blast from the Past

Recently a great-nephew, Brian, messaged me on Facebook to tell me he had sent me something in the mail.  Honestly, I couldn't imagine what on earth Brian would be sending me.  With any luck, I thought, maybe he was sending me some of his art work!  

Well, I hadn't received whatever it was (we had been in Iowa for three days), but I went to the post office and there it was, along with a letter of explanation.

"Donna,
Sometime around 1986, you, Rachel, your parents, and Russell & Maxine visited us in Edmond.  You'd had some car trouble on the way and had to leave a car somewhere along the way.  
I know all this because while Rachel, my dad, and Russell went to retrieve the car, you played and sang for us and I recorded it.
I wanted to send you a copy of the recording --- you'll hear your singing and playing, comments from the peanut gallery, more comments from the grown-ups, and a diagnosis on the cause of your car trouble.  The recording quality isn't great, but the content is priceless.  
I've always been drawn to musicians, and I attribute that to your influence.
And, because I'm sure I didn't back in 1986, I'd like to thank you for singing and playing that day.  It has meant so much to me.

And he signed it with his big ole artistic "B".  

This is the cover Brian made for the CD he sent.  That's me, singing to him (at a different time, I think).
Here's a funny thing:  Brian and his brother were just kids then, and there were two songs I always sang for children:  "The Old Sow Who Had Three Little Pigs" and "The Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly", so I sang them on this occasion.  Before I sang the songs, I mentioned a lady named Lois Percell, the person who introduced me to "The Old Lady Who Swallowed the Fly".  She is probably the biggest reason I learned to chord on the guitar years afterward, and I only ever heard her sing that one song.  She was fixing dinner and that was all she had time for, but I never forgot it.  I wish I had thought of sending her a letter, telling her how she inspired me to get a guitar and, later on, write a few songs.  However, her two daughters are Facebook friends, and I think I've told them.  

On the CD Brian sent, I sang a song, "Baby Boy", that I had written for Arick, my first grandchild, who was in Germany at the time because our son was stationed there.  I also sang a home-made song that I had totally forgotten about called "Be a Believer".  

  BE A BELIEVER

You're a very special person.  There's no one quite like you.
No one's thoughts are quite the same, and no one's point of view.
We're all individuals.  That's what makes the world go 'round.
Stand tall and hold your head up, and you'll make it, safe and sound.
               Be a believer.  Keep on believing. 
               Just give the best of what you are, and there is nothing you can't do.
               Hard work and confidence will take you anywhere you please.
               There's nothing that can stop you if you believe in you.

Now friends, I love Missouri.  It's the finest place on earth,
And you know I love America, the country of my birth.
This country's seen some hard times and I know she will again,
But if we all believe in her, we'll make it in the end.
               Be a believer; stand for your country,
               You know the pilgrims paid the price so we could have our liberty.
               Believe in justice and in equality.
               Believe in patriotic pride and help to keep our country free. 

Don't let folks discourage you, don't let them get you down,
There's Someone who will help you plant your feet on higher ground.
Just lift your eyes to heaven:  There's a Father up above,
He hears you when you pray to Him and He sends you all his love.
               Be a believer.  Believe in Jesus,
               Believe in all the things He'll help you do when no one else is there.
               Be a believer, keep on believing,
               For if you believe in Him, you'll always have a friend who cares.


Sometimes I look at poems and songs I wrote back then and ask myself, "What happened to all that enthusiasm and optimism?"

I miss it.
               

6 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Blasts from the past like that one are wonderful. How thoughtful of your nephew to send it to you. That soog Be a Believer is beautiful. You are one talented lady for sure!

Jon said...

What a wonderful letter and a thoughtful and priceless gift. That's fantastic!

Margaret said...

This makes me quite weepy--what a wonderful and special gesture. I used to do a lot of things I don't do now and I can't understand why. Age or energy? I would like to hike like I used to, but the effort to do so seems overwhelming.

Cindi said...

What an amazing nephew. So thoughtful, incredible story. Thx for sharing.

TARYTERRE said...

I think that was a wonderful gesture. What a terrific nephew. He carried this with him all these years because it meant something special to him. I'm glad he shared it with you.

Lori said...

What a wonderful thing to do. I love that he customized a CD cover and listed everything that was on the CD. I still have some old cassettes made at family get-togethers that feature a lot of conversations, some story-telling, and singing and playing.