Joyanna Adams

Nobody's Opinion

The Surest Things CAN Change

Nobody Flashes…

Gino Vannelli’s original rendition of The Surest Things Can Change.

I was always fascinated by that title, but watch…and recognize the girl in the video…

Is that…Wonder Woman?

Yep.

Before she became famous.

Whoa.

By the way, he’s modernize this song, with more of a Latin feel, but it doesn’t even compare to the sound that he had before. I saw him perform this very song, in a little nightclub that only had about 20 people at the most that night in St. Louis at the Chase Park Plaza.

And I also remember him coming over to me and putting his arms around me after his last set, in that oh so Italian way…hey, I was probably the only girl there that night.

LOL! That’s all that happened, sorry, were you expecting a “Hey, did you?”

No, I made up some lame excuse, shy person that I am, and went home…but boy, do I remember the song of that beautiful voice and the Moog base synthesizer. (Listen…you can hear it here.)

The sound of his voice and his band that night was nothing sort of heavenly..as was he….

(WAIT! Woman you did NOT refuse that did you? Slap yourself.)

(Ha ha)

I still find this song…amazing. And sadly, the title can be applied to almost anything.

Enjoy.

 

 

September 8, 2017 Posted by | music | | 1 Comment

Before Hurricane Irma, There Was Donna, and My Dad

Nobody Knows

I called my best friend from childhood yesterday because of the news of Hurricane Irma.

Janet lives in Naples, Florida… the town I grew up in. We were best buds all through grade school. Funny how your grade school friends never seen to leave your heart— Right? I adored Janet because she would laugh at me whenever a horse stepped on my foot. We’d go horseback riding a lot.

“Move your big foot!” she would yell, and then laugh at my pain.

Janet lives alone now in Naples, and laughed about my concern with Irma seeming to hit. The reason being, that Naples has NOT been hit with a really powerful Hurricane since Donna.  Somehow, while Miami got Charlie, Andrew, and so many others, Naples was always spared.

Janet just laughed. “Hey, we are all used to Hurricanes down here.” She said. “And my house has all the latest Hurricane building codes.”

Janet worked all her life in real estate, so she knows a lot about the building codes.

“But hey, remember Hurricane Donna?” I said. “Naples is due.” She just laughed.

Yes, we both remembered Hurricane Donna. It was 1960, and we were both kids. I remember my father had told me that at certain points during Hurricane Donna, the winds hit up to 200 mph. At least that’s was the report, back then. The records now say that wasn’t true, but then again, my father was a X Sea-Bee and he wouldn’t make that up. He must have heard it on the radio at the time. 

I also remember my dad laughing and telling stupid jokes, as we huddled in our little tiny one-story house, to ride out the storm. He told us that he had designed the house to withstand hurricanes. And we had a big front glass window in the living room, which of course, was boarded up. He wasn’t worried one little bit. He went around smiling, all through the storm. Closing windows at certain times, opening others at certain time.

All through the rain hitting the house, and the howling wind, I secretly wondered if he was crazy.

My father spent the time putting golf balls into plastic drinking cups on the living room floor during the first part of the storm. My mother on the other hand, was minute by minute, close to hysterical.

The contrast couldn’t have been more noticeable to a kid. Which parent had it right?

You see, we watched, from my bedroom window, our next-door neighbor’s house’s roof VERY slowly, being peeled away from its foundation…and it took quite a while. It wasn’t like a tornado, no, Donna’s wind peeled that roof like it was a sweet delicious apple to enjoy. It took a good half an hour for that roof to finally fall on the front lawn.

June, the lady who lived there, was a Seminole Indian, and one of my mother’s best friends, so that’s probably why mom was unhinged…and June was 9 months pregnant.

After the roof was destroyed, we watched through our bedroom window as June, and her husband Arnie (Full blooded Italian) and their two small children, were holding on to each other, bending against the hurricane, step by step, trying to get to our house. Sometimes they got knocked down by the wind. Each step took them a good minute…. but they NEVER let go of each other. Just two people walking to our house in the middle of a Hurricane that powerful is probably one of the most amazing feats of strength I’ve have ever witnessed.

Arnie was a good 200 pounds, and he held on to his young 5 years old son’s hand, Ricky, pulling him through the air, as the kid’s feet didn’t even touch the ground, with his right hand.

With his left hand, he held tight to his wife, June, who had their little girl Lindie in her left hand, and in her right hand, she had a huge trash bag full of…food. The huge bag of canned food probably helped them all from getting blown away.

It took them a good 30 minutes to walk across the pavement to our front door, in 150 MPH winds.

I remember my mother screaming at her to put down the food! Of course, June couldn’t hear her. She did NOT let go of that bag. She wasn’t going to ask for food from my mother.

They weren’t the only people seeking refuse in our house. We had many families come from all over. I remember It took about five men just to close the front door, after they arrived. People were everywhere.

As soon as June got through the front door, she collapsed. My mother kept telling me that she was afraid that she might have her baby. She was running from room to room… unhinged.

Like I said, my mother was hysterical.

But not my dad. When the eye came he turned to my brother and I and said, “Hey, want to go outside and walk around?”

“YEAH…yes!” we said with delight. (Probably trying to get us away from June and my mother.)

Of course, when we went out our back door we saw that ALL The trees surrounding our property had been completely leveled right down to the ground. It shocked me terribly. Today I recognized that same scene from Russia being hit by a comet in Siberia. They were…really…flattened. Hundreds of pine trees, palm trees, every tree…. flattened.

But then, I saw my brother scramble up a log and start balancing and climbing, and it was FUN! We played for about 45 minutes, hopping from tree to tree, and my father kept telling us that we were in the middle of the eye, as we asked him about the quiet, and he just walked around and calmly looked at the damage.

We were having so much fun, and didn’t want to go back in, but we also knew that the storm was coming back.

Dad wouldn’t lie.

The good news is, the last hour went by quickly, and after the storm had passed, all the men in the town went out to help survivors, just like they do now. Naples had been demolished. Ft. Myers, just 30 miles north, had lost 75 percent of its buildings.

And June did not have her baby that day, but delivered another daughter two weeks later. My mother recovered.

All of Naples was rebuilt, and our house remained untouched. The trees grew back. Years later, after we had moved to Missouri, I went back to the house that I grew up in Naples, and couldn’t believe how really small it was. The house that my father designed to withstand a hurricane and that had protected a neighborhood, had a small kitchen, a living room, a carport, (which did not blow off) three small bedrooms, and one tiny bathroom, which scorpions loved to hang out in.

(Good thing my feet didn’t touch the ground sitting on the John.)

Now I’m more frightened of tornadoes than hurricanes. In fact, all through my 20’s I had nightmares about them. The lesson from Donna: Hurricanes you can plan, and survive—tornadoes, can take you by surprise.

Many times in my life, I often wondered how my dad had the fortitude to be so calm, and brave, and confident in Donna, while everyone else was in panic.

It wasn’t because of ignorance…no. He knew we would all be safe, and that’s because he prepared, and because, he had served as a Sea-Bee at Iwo Jima, and other battles in the War.

A Hurricane compared to picking up dead buddies on the beach? To World War II battles? To my dad, Donna was just a bad day in paradise.

I never saw my father sacred in his life, except one time: When his grandson came home from the hospital.

A man can be brave in war, in hurricanes, but powerless when someone he loves is ill. Look at his face here…that’s my dad, scared for the future of his grandson. 

But that’s okay, that sick baby grew up big and strong, and idolizing his grandfather.

And one more thing: I realized that my father that day gave me a great lesson in how to deal with life: stay strong, stay upbeat, and fight the storm with courage. Help your neighbors.

It’s the American way.

And I’ve always did that, in my own worst scary disasters of life.

And THAT’s why fathers are so important. They teach us more HOW to face life.

With unspoken daily courage, and a good sense of humor.

So—- good people in Texas and Florida…just stay alive. Be prepared. Be smart. And hunker down till the storm passes.

In fact, I suggest, putting a few golf balls.

September 8, 2017 Posted by | weather | , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: