Hey, buddy, as you graduate from middle school, I’m writing to tell you about this beautiful girl I fell in love with many years ago. In fact, this creature so smote me that I actually left my band when we had the #1 Canadian record in Canada so I could spend more time with her. How crazy was that?
We met at the St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg where I was patiently waiting for the birth of your Uncle Curtis so I’m sure you can imagine how shocked and surprised I was when your Mom showed up instead. I had no plan for a daughter but knowing her as I do now, she probably had an idea or two of her own.
Over the years, your Mom has provided me with so many cherished memories that I would be remiss if I didn’t share a few of them with you.
grabbed a hold of my heart.
Time to grow up and be a man
But I still kind of miss
just being a kid in a
Your Mom’s story began in a town called Transcona where I fondly remember her first Christmas. The presents almost covered the entire living room floor and looked very similar to how it looks at your place at Christmas. I can still picture her sitting there surrounded by all the gifts, licking the Smartie I was feeding her whenever your Ra Ra wasn’t watching.
It almost took all day to open up all her presents, but the one I remember the most was the green race car her “little” Grandpa gave her. I have no idea what my Dad was thinking, because, at three months of age, it was going to be a little difficult for her to peddle it.
The thing about your mother that was so unusual was she could sing before she could talk. I’m pretty sure that she loved the Christmas tree more than the presents under it because the ornaments looked like little microphones just waiting for her to begin singing into them.
As I said, when your Mom was born, I left the Jury and started a whole new career in radio. Unfortunately, the only way you make decent money in the communications business is ya gotta move around a lot. Eventually, after living in Saskatoon, Sudbury, Ottawa, and Toronto, we ended up moving to America and our first stop was Indianapolis where your Mom started Kindergarten.
We lived in a suburb just outside of Indianapolis called Carmel which had a great school system. Your Mom just an average student until she hit the 5th grade and met Mr. Koke who not only turned her on to learning but also turned her into an “A” student.
As smart as your award-winning Mom was and is, she like you, wasn’t a nerd, and in fact, she ended up finishing 3rd in State in the Gymnastics competition when she was your age.
Even though we moved to California in late November, not only did your Mom win “Freshman Of The Year” but also “Junior Of The Year” the following year. (pictured above in Coronado Candis, Curtis, and Nathaniel’s Great Grand-Parents.)
Coronado just wasn’t ready for a smart cheerleader who could make unbelievable gymnastic moves and also sing. Of course, she was the lead in the school’s big production of “South Pacific.” (see newspaper picture below)
During her Junior year, she was on the speech and debate team and managed to win the state tournament with a composition she composed as she walked towards the stage. (see picture above)
Even though we weren’t very excited about it, she finished her senior year 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 surprised her with a “Welcome Home” billboard at the entrance to the Coronado bridge. Unfortunately, it stayed up for several months which was somewhat of an embarrassment to her because whenever she met someone new, and they heard her name, they’d immediately ask, “Are you the chick on the billboard?”
Your Mom began her college career at NYU in New York where she started in drama. (your Grandparents were also not very excited about her living in New York either) Realizing that she could learn acting anywhere, she decided to switch back to academics and made the Deans List. Then transferred to UCLA where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. (I’m thinkin’ Suma for you)
However, before graduating, she went back to New York for a visit and popped in to see her old drama professor at NYU, and he made her read for him to see if she still had her chops. After doing so, he told her that she was wasting her time going to college because she was as ready as anyone to audition for Broadway and even offered to call me to explain the situation. Your Mom told him that there was no need for him to do so because I was already her biggest fan. Whew!
While attending UCLA, she began writing songs and singing them at places like the Whiskey the Roxy in Hollywood. (pictured at the Roxy above) and even though singing was her whole life, she also loved to run.
Buppa loved running too, so we decided to run the LA Marathon together. (see a picture of us running a 10k in San Diego below)We didn’t get to train together much, but we did get to do an excellent training run along the Mediterranean in the South of France when I took her back there for her 21st birthday. Running that Marathon Nathaniel was absolutely the hardest but the best thing that I’ve ever done with my daughter.
After graduating she began working as the assistant to Charlie Minor who was the president of Giant Records which eventually led to her becoming the Licensing Director for WEA. (Warner, Electra, and Asylum Records)She also recorded an album with her band The Tortured Poets, but by now, unfortunately, she was too smart to sign the onesided contract. The album was never released, but Buppa still has it, so I get to enjoy it over and over again. You can hear my favorite cut by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page,
I’ll never forget enjoying a carbo-loading dinner with your Mom at Camp Pendleton the night before the competition, (your Dad couldn’t be there because he had just been bitten by a rattlesnake while running trails back in LA) when the Company Commander got up on stage. He leaned into the mic and said, “We Marines are supposed to be the toughest people on earth, but, I don’t have a single Marine on this base who can do what you’re going to do tomorrow.” I think maybe your Mom may have missed the part about the event being called the Ironman, not the Ironwoman.
Geo’s Media Blog is an inside look at Radio, Music, Movies, and Life. For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs, or some that you may have missed, go to GeorgeJohns.com. On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.