“Dear Grandson Nathaniel” (Aug. 28/17)

Dear Grandson Nathaniel,
Hey, buddy, I’m writing you to tell you about a beautiful woman I fell in love with years ago.  In fact, I cared for her so much that I even left my band “The Jury” to begin a radio career so I could spend more time with her.
We met for the first time 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 Candis showed up instead? I had no plan for her because as I said, I wasn’t expecting a daughter, but knowing your Mom, she probably did. Over the years Nathaniel your Mom has 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 a hold of my heart

Time to grow up
and be a man
But I still kinda miss
being a kid in a band
I fondly remember her first Christmas, the presents similar to Christmas at your place almost covered the entire living room floor. I can still see her sitting in the middle of it all just looking around and licking the Smartie (Canadian M&Ms) I was sneaking to 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 in it so that you could drive it around. However, this proved a bit awkward for your Mom as she was only three months old at the time. Your mother who could sing before she could talk loved the Christmas tree the best. The ornaments all looked like microphones to her and were just hanging there waiting for her to sing into them.
At school in Indiana, she was an average student until she met her 5th-grade teacher Mr. Coke who turned her onto learning. From that moment on she became an “A” student which continued all the way through school and into college. My favorite part of this part of her life was getting to go to all the ceremonies and watch as they presented her with a whole bunch of scholastic awards. Then I would proudly claim to anyone who would listen that I was her father just as I now claim that I’m your grandfather.
Like you though your Mom was no nerd. In fact, when she was your age, she was doing gymnastics and ended up finishing 3rd in State.(see picture above)I don’t know how she did it back then, but she found time to be a cheerleader for the Carmel Pups also. 
Nathaniel, your Mom, is one of those rare individuals referred to as a type “A.” (only 23% of the population are assertive) What this meant was that she wasn’t shy about anything. Because my career demanded that we move quite often, she would amaze me whenever we moved into a new neighborhood by going door to door to ask if they had any children that could play with her.
I believe that her “showbiz” career 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 her job was to pass out pamphlets or something, but once that duck suit went on, she went crazy. She shocked all her teachers by doing cart wheels down the aisles and shook all the student’s hands as she danced around.
Your Mom was so out going that even though we didn’t move to Coronado until late November, she was the “freshman of the year.” (pictured above with her brother Curtis and her grandparents in Coronado) The following year she became the “junior of the year” and also was the lead in the school’s musical productions. (see newspaper picture below)
During her Junior year, she took speech and debate and managed to qualify for state with a speech that she created while approaching the stage which won the whole tournament.(see picture above)
Even though your grandparents weren’t pleased about it, she finished high school in France. (I’d made a deal with her that if she got straight, A’s she could go) When she returned home to graduate with her class,(see picture below), Buppa had purchased a surprise “welcome home” billboard at the entrance to the Coronado bridge. I’d only rented it for a week, but it stayed up for several months, it turned into an embarrassment. Any time your Mom was introduced to someone new, and they heard her name, they’d say, “Are you the chick on the billboard?”
Your Mom began her college career as a freshman at NYU in New York where she studied drama. (your grandparents were also not happy about her living in New York) When she discovered that she could learn acting anywhere, she switched to academics, made the Deans List, then transferred to UCLA. While going to college in LA, she went back to New York for a visit; she popped in to see her old drama professor at NYU, who had her read for him. After doing so, he told her that she was wasting her time going to college. She instead should be auditioning for Broadway plays and offered to call and explain the situation to me. Your Mom told him that there was no need to because I was already her biggest fan. Whew!
The whole time she was studying at UCLA, she was writing songs and singing with her bands at places like the Whiskey and Roxy which Buppa got to see her perform quite often.(at the Roxy above) Even though singing was her whole life, she loved to run (that’s how she met your Dad), so because Buppa loved running too, (see picture below of your Mom running on my right shoulder in a 10 k race) we decided to enter the LA Marathon and run it together. Running that Marathon with your Mom was the hardest but also the greatest thing I’ve ever done. Most of the time we trained alone, but we did do an excellent run together along the Mediterranean in the South of France when I took your Mom there for her 21st birthday.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude from UCLA, (see picture above) she began working as the assistant to a record company president which led to her becoming the Licensing Director for WEA. (Warner Bros. Electra and Asylum Records) She was also recording an album of her songs with her band The Tortured Poets but was too smart to sign the dumb contract. Unfortunately, the album was never released, but Buppa has it, so I get to enjoy over and over again.
Next, your Mom decides to become an Ironman. (see picture above) Are you sh**ing me! I’ll never forget the night before the competition we were having a carbo loading dinner at Camp Pendleton when the Camp Commander addressed all the participants.(your Dad couldn’t be there because while running trails the day before, he was bitten by a rattlesnake) The Commander over looking the thousand or so entrants said, “We Marines are supposed to be the toughest people on earth, but I don’t have a single Marine here who can do what you’re going to do tomorrow.” I guess 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 a record executive when all of a sudden out of the blue, she walked away from it all. She married your Dad and the next thing I knew, you show up, and she turns into “Supermom.” Huh!
Love,
Buppa.
 
 

6 thoughts on ““Dear Grandson Nathaniel” (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.
    -Jim

    • 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.

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