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The Good Stuff by Shelley Bennett

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021

By Shelley Bennett

Do you believe in signs? Like a penny on the ground being left by a loved one for you to pick up? Or the sight of a cardinal or butterfly as a message from Heaven?

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t, often I think it’s up to the person and if they are looking or not. It’s also a matter of interpretation. Yesterday’s sign was just too on point to ignore.

My grandma Joann Simpson loved to sing, often inserting lyrics into her sentences. Most of her favorite songs were older, like “Route 66” or “When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along)”. She adored Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck and later added Hall and Oats and Billy Ray Cyrus to her favorites.

My aunt and uncles added the sounds of Led Zeppelin, America, Tom Petty, and Elton John to my grandparents’ house and they played it loud. Like really loud. Where you can feel the bass in your chest loud.

I’ll never forget my grandma telling us about a concert my aunt was going to: Deaf Cheetah (or maybe it was Blind Tiger), which we later found out was actually Def Leppard.

My grandpa loved music too, but he preferred Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass and anything he could play on his trombone, especially “Revelry” to get my brother and I out of bed on Sunday mornings.

And at home, my mom preferred The Beatles and Beach Boys while my dad’s 8-track of Jim Croce was nearly worn out. All of these influences account for my eclectic taste in music. (Did you notice that not one of them like country).

But I digress, back to signs… my grandma heard the song “Maneater” on the radio when it came out in 1982 and thought it was the greatest thing. She even bought the 45 of the song and would play it on her stereo and sing along.

I can hear her now, “oh oh here she comes, watch out boy she’ll chew you up”. She even had a set of moves that she did while singing, step pause, step pause with her hands marking time to the catchy tune.

It was Grandma at her silliest. The juxtaposition of the lyrics of this man-eating woman with her little dance moves and mouth making the “oooo” sound. It makes me laugh just to think about it.

Yesterday my family got in the car to meet my parents for Mother’s Day lunch. The radio came on of course and I just automatically started singing along to, you guessed it, “Maneater.” I didn’t say anything, just smiled a little and thought to myself, well played Grandma Jo.

Remember when news was ‘newsy’? When you read about weddings, family events and engagement announcements in the newspaper? If you have something that might be newsworthy, please submit it to shelleybennett24@gmail.com and I’ll do my best to include it here in “The Good Stuff.”

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