I’ve always been a Motown girl at heart. I like my classic rock too, but my heart is in Motown. That being said, we were watching the Steve Harvey Show one night and Steve was talking about different R&B singers and groups.
Steve pauses and says to the audience, “I’m gonna talk about someone for a minute. You know, all I have to say is his first name and you’ll all know who he is… (after a very pregnant pause), Luther! And the crowd went wild.
My son and husband turned to me and asked, “Who is Luther?”
Shoot me; I’m done!
Donna Summer has always been one of my favorite performers. She was born in Boston on December 31st in 1948. She loved to sing and did so until her death on May 17, 2012; she was 64 years old. The news of her death hurt my heart.
I would listen to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40s waiting for her latest hit to come on the radio. The popular DJ (Casey Kasem) would sometimes give facts about the top artists in his countdowns.
Something he said about Donna Summer that has stuck with me over the years: As a preacher’s daughter, she started out as a gospel singer, singing in her father’s church. Years later, after her the song Bad Girls came out, Donna announced she was going to quit performing. Ms Summer had said in an interview that it bothered her immensely that the only way she could gain fame and recognition was to sing about prostitutes. It went against everything she believe in having grown up in the church.
I can appreciate that, in spite of the fact that she gave it her all when she sang. To this day, Donna Summer remains one of my favorite singers.
I had an office visit at the eye doctor one afternoon. As I was filling out my (new patient) paperwork, the technician, Maria, walked up front to see who was next. Upon seeing my name she started singing Michelle, My Belle.
I looked up from the clipboard and said, “No…, please...don’t.”
“You don’t like that song?” she asked.
I walked to her and handed the clipboard to her and answered, “No, not particularly. Especially being born just as the Beatles became famous. I get that a lot.”
“I understand,” she said as she skimmed my paperwork. “Come on with me, I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”
“Only in a Strawberry Field,” I answered.
“Well, can I bring my Yellow Submarine?”
I went into the room she led me to and sat in the chair. “I don’t know,” I said thoughtfully. “Don’t you think it would cause a little Helter Skelter?”
She looked at me as we both laughed. Humorously, I added, “I can do this all day.”
Maria put some drops in my eyes and did some tests, then the eye doctor, Dr. Bullard, came and she, too, did some test before directing me to another room. My vision was already impaired and now more so with the eye drops that dilated my eyes. I felt almost blind. Slowly, with my hand on another technician’s shoulder, I was led into the other exam room.
“Are you okay?” Dr. Bullard asked,as we entered the room.
“Yes, I’m good,” I replied, “I’m just used to having my seeing-eye husband with me.” He was in the waiting room reading a magazine.
We finished up the exam and Dr. Bullard was able to determine the cause of my faulty vision, offer her professional opinion on treatment and care, and then she sent me on my way. I was led out to the waiting area where my husband was still waiting.
On the way out, the technician said she didn’t know what he looked like. Truly, I could see images and shapes of what I assumed were people, but my husband was completely in my blind spot. As usual, when I cannot find my husband, I just call out, “Husband?” and he answers then I just follow the sound of his voice to find him.
He was sitting there patiently waiting for me to finish up. After which, he took me to lunch at Melvin’s, and then drove back home. That just goes to show, in order to Come Together, All You Need is Love.
There are moments in our lives that we treasure until we’re called home: the day we get married, the birth of our children, or our successes in life. For me, I’ve added meeting some of the greatest boxers of all time. There may be some great ones to come, but these gentlemen come from an era that will never be duplicated.
Applewood House of Pancakes played host to a fundraiser for the Boxing Hall of Fame. I don’t know many sports players, if they’re NBA, NFL, or MLB, but you drop the names of these greats and I know exactly who they are: James “Bonecrusher” Smith, Fred Whitaker, Michael Spinks, and Earnie Shavers.
I even had the esteem pleasure of meeting (the late) Joe Fraizer’s daughter Jacqui Fraizer-Lyde. She’s a beautiful young woman who was present to help endorse this fundraiser on behalf of her father.
My love for boxing began with Muhammad Ali in 1974. You may remember the fight with he and George Foreman called, The Rumble in the Jungle. For me, it was love at first fight. I got to watch Ali and Fraizer, too. It was their last of three fights together in 1975.
Joe Fraizer was the first man to ever beat Muhammad Ali in 1971, but, again, it was the 1975 fight I got to see. After which my father deemed boxing too violent and I wasn’t allowed to watch it anymore.
Earnie Shavers was another fighter who fought Ali. I never got to see him fight, but I do remember his picture. He had the big mustache (look at this man’s biceps in comparison to Muhammad Ali – holy mother of boxing gloves! He was HUGE). He fought Larry Holmes in 1979, after he fought Ali.
There’s a rumor that Earnie Shavers threw the hardest punch in boxing. I even found a quote by Randall Cobb who said, “Earnie Shavers could punch you in the neck and break your ankles.”
Fred Whitaker fought between the mid 80s to the early 90s. He’s not to be confused with Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker who passed away some years ago. Fred was a boxing champion in his own right.
Of all of the men I met, Fred was probably the smaller of them in height and weight (now), but I am more than positive that does not negate his hard hitting punches required to be a world champion boxer.
In spite of the fact that I wasn’t allowed to watch boxing anymore, that didn’t stop me from sneaking in and seeing a little bit of a fight Michael Spinks (Leon Spinks’ younger brother) was in, either 77 or 78. I laughingly told Michael he was a bad influence on me. Michael Spinks defeated Larry Holms in ‘85 and has been the world champion in two classes. My father would know which classes, too, because he was a big “Spinks the Jinx” brothers fan.
James “Bonecrusher” Smith is a big man. I found a picture of he and Mike Tyson from 1987 and Mike looks like a little fella next to him. Bonecrusher started his career in 1981 and retired in 1999. He won the title when he beat Frank Bruno and then later lost to Larry Holmes.
Gosh, Larry Holmes was getting into all these fights. Now I feel bad for him. I’m confident that Holmes was a good fighter, as well, even though I wasn’t allowed to see him fight. I don’t think Ali fought Holmes, though.
I returned to my love of boxing when Mike Tyson appeared on the canvas. Yes, I love Iron Mike. We briefly mentioned the Evander Holyfield vs Mike Tyson fight where Tyson apparently in need of a snack, bit Holyfield’s ear.
“There’s more to that,” Jacqui said to me. “People don’t know what Evander did to Mike. Ask Mike… Spinks, he knows.”
I asked him, but he just flashed a grin at me and shook his head. Alas, a boxing secret that will remain a boxing secret.
I cannot express enough how much this day meant to me. I loved meeting these gentleman and taking pictures with them. I didn’t get one with Bonecrusher as he was busy talking to another fan. Nonetheless, I will treasure this day until the day I die.
I do wish they would come to Georgetown (about 30 miles south of Litchfield). As a personal note to Jacqui, Fred, and the rest… Hit me up if you’re interested. You can reach me through my blog site or GABNews and again, thank you so much for the memories (Be sure to check out my photo albums for the pictures of some of the greatest boxers).
I was watching “Alaskan Monsters” as they searched for the ever-elusive, Bigfoot. At one point in the show, one of the team members tries to tough-talk the huge hairy primate. He looks menacingly into the camera and points a finger and threateningly says, “We’re coming for ya, man! We’re here for YOU!”
Now, I’m picturing Bigfoot sitting in his woody den snacking on a bowl of deer jerky and laughing hysterically at the TV. It’s got to be the best entertainment for Sasquatch because no one, to date, has ever taken a satisfactory picture of him, much less caught one.
Don’t worry Mr. Bigfoot; I’m pretty sure you’re safe.