“Dear Nathaniel” (New geo Blog for the week of Aug. 28/17)


Dear Nathaniel,
Hey, buddy, I’m writing you to tell you about the beautiful woman I fell in love with more years ago then she wants me to remember let alone mention. In fact, I cared for her so much that I left my band “The Jury” who had the # 1 record on the charts to begin a radio career so that I could spend more time with her.
We first met at the St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg where I was waiting for my son Curtis to be born. Can you imagine my surprise when your Mom showed up instead? I had no plan for her because as I said, I was expecting a Son, but knowing your Mom as I do, she probably had one. 

Over the years Nathaniel, your Mom provided me with a lot of cherished memories so I thought I would take this opportunity to share a few of them with you.

With our #1 record
still on the charts
My baby girl Candis
grabbed hold of my heart

Time to grow up
and be a man
But I still kinda miss
being a kid in a Rock&Roll band

I fondly remember her first Christmas, the presents around the tree looked similar to how they look at your place at Christmas time. They almost covered the entire living room floor, and I can still see her sitting in the middle of it all just looking around while licking the Smartie I was feeding her whenever your Ra Ra wasn’t looking. 
It almost took all day to open up her gifts and the one I remember the most was the green race car her “little” Grandpa had given her.  What made this car special was that it had peddles so you could drive it around which proved a bit awkward for your Mom seeing as she was only three months old at the time. 
Your mother it turned out could sing before she could talk so she loved the Christmas tree the most at Christmas time. All the ornaments that were hanging on the tree just looked like microphones waiting for her to sing into them.
When she started school in Indiana, she was an average student until she met her 5th-grade teacher Mr. Koke who turned her into an A student which continued all the way through school and into College.
As I may have told you, I spent most of my life trying to be somebody, and it was while attending all the ceremonies where they presented her with a bunch of scholastic awards that I discovered I was finally somebody. I was Candis Johns’ Dad.

As smart as your Mom was and is, like you, she was no nerd. In fact, when she was your age, she was doing gymnastics and ended up finishing 3rd in State, and was a cheerleader for the Carmel Pups also. 
Nathaniel, your Mom, is one of those rare individuals referred to as an “A” type which only 23% of the population is. Your Mom wasn’t shy about anything, and because my career demanded it, we moved quite often. Every time we moved into a new neighborhood, she would immediately go door to door to ask if they had any children living there that she could play with.

Her “showbiz” career I believe began in the second grade at a school function where because she was one of the smallest in the class, she got to wear the Donald Duck costume. I believe that her only job was to pass out pamphlets or something, but once that duck costume went on, she was on. She shocked all the teachers and students by doing cartwheels down the aisles and shaking everybody’s hand as she danced around.

Your Mom Nathaniel was so outgoing that even though we didn’t move from Indianapolis to Coronado where she started Highschool until late November, she still won “freshman of the year.” (pictured above with uncle Curtis and your great-grandparents Sandy and Betty Johns) The following year she was the “junior of the year” and the lead in the school’s big musical production of “South Pacific.” (see newspaper picture below)

During her Junior year, she took speech and debate and managed to qualify for state with a piece that she created as she approached the stage and in fact, won the whole tournament with it. (see picture above)
Even though your grandparents weren’t very excited about, she finished high school in France. (I’d made a deal with her that if she got straight, A’s in her upcoming exams she could go) When she returned home to graduate with her class, (see picture below), Buppa purchased a surprise “welcome home” billboard for a week at the entrance to the Coronado bridge. Unfortunately, it stayed up for several months and turned into somewhat of an embarrassment. because whenever she was introduced to someone, they’d say, “Are you the chick on the billboard?”

Your Mom began her college career at NYU in New York where she studied drama.(your grandparents were not excited about her living in New York) Discovering that she could learn acting anywhere, she switched to academics, made the Deans List, and then transferred to UCLA. Going back to New York for a visit; she popped in to see her old drama professor at NYU, who wanted to see if she still had her chops, so he had her read for him. After doing so, he told her that she was wasting her time going to college because she was as ready as anyone was to audition for Broadway plays. He offered to call me and explain the situation, but your Mom thankfully told him that there was no need for that because I was already her biggest fan. Whew!

While studying at UCLA, she was also writing songs and singing with at places like the Whiskey and the Roxy where Buppa got to see her perform quite often. (singing at the Roxy above) At that time singing was her whole life but she like your grandfather also loved to run, so we decided to run the LA Marathon together. (see picture of us running a 10 k below) Running that Marathon with your Mom was the hardest but greatest thing I’ve ever done. Most of the time we trained apart although we did do an excellent run together along the Mediterranean in the South of France when I took her there for her 21st birthday.

After graduating Magna Cum Laude from UCLA, (I’m thinkin’ Suma for you) she began working as the assistant to a record company president named Charlie Minor which eventually led to her becoming the Licensing Director for WEA. (Warner Bros. Electra and Asylum Records) At the same time, she was also recording an album with her band The Tortured Poets. Unfortunately, by now she was too smart to sign the onesided contract, so the album was never released. However. Buppa still has it, so I get to enjoy it over and over again.

The next thing your Mom decides to do is become an Ironman. (see picture above) Are you sh**ing me! 
I’ll never forget the night before the competition which was being held at Camp Pendleton enjoying a carbo-loading dinner with your Mom. (your Dad couldn’t be there because he had been bitten by a rattlesnake while running trails back in LA) The company Commander at some point got up on stage and said to the thousand or so entrants, “We Marines are supposed to be the toughest people on earth, but I don’t have a single Marine here today who can do what you’re going to do tomorrow.” I think your Mom missed the part about the event being called the Ironman, not the Ironwoman.
At WEA, she was a rising star and well on her way to becoming an executive where all of a sudden out she walked away from it all. She married your Dad and the next thing I know, you show up, and she becomes “Supermom.” 

Love, Buppa.



10 thoughts on ““Dear Nathaniel” (New geo Blog for the week of Aug. 28/17)

  1. Very touching, George.
    You’re a great Dad, Grandfather and all-around guy.
    This is something your Grandson will always cherish.

    • Thank you, Jim. Hopefully, he will still have this a few years from now when it will become much more important. Right now there’s probably not enough in there about him. 🙂

  2. FABULOUS story Geo!

    My greatest success was being a father to two wonderful men.

    My greatest joy is being a grandfather to a “baker’s dozen” of grand kids.

    We are lucky radio dudes.

  3. Great recap George and you have many reasons to be so proud of your family..
    But one thing, where’s the picture of the duck??

  4. George: It is obvious that your parents gave you a great example to follow as to how to be a supportive and caring father. Being a parent is never easy, but you celebrate your daughters and son with respect and love. With Father’s day coming up, these memories are poignant and heartfelt. – Jed Duvall

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