Yup, that’s me. Some things never change like that sweet tooth, chubby cheeks, comfy clothes, and love of shade in the sunshine.
Based on the cow trash can, this picture was taken in the fall of 1999 at the Puyallup (Pew-al-up) Fair. The year music became my world. In this very shot, it would seem that that caramel apple was my world! Growing up on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, I pretty much twiddled my thumbs and daydreamed how to find my pig-tailed way in the world. Starting young, I lead more with my heart than my head creating my own worlds and hiding away. Especially when my parents’ divorce started around this time. First came singing and then came writing. Man, how I loved to write! However, my solid memories of that wouldn’t come until probably middle school.
Can’t say I remember much of my younger years, except for Mrs. Kruckeberg’s kindergarten class. Mrs. Kruckeberg had a chromaharp that she pulled out daily. She had us kiddos criss-crossed apple sauced in a semi-circle around her, she’d put her thumb pick on and start strumming. My favorite tune she did was “Down by the Bay”. Know it? Lyrically, it went like this and we would echo her:
Down by the bay (down by the bay)
Where the watermelons grow (where the watermelons grow)
Back to my home (Back to my home)
I dare not go (I dare not go)
For if I do (For if I do)
My mother would say (My mother would say)
(All together) Down by the bay!
The line about what mother would say would be left for each creative kindergarten student to fill in! Would you believe I remembered mine?
“Have you ever seen a whale standing on its tale?”
And thus I believe my songwriting success began!
Later on in elementary schooling, I would take music class from Mrs. Zimmerman, and I believe it was the start of hands on music appreciation, but it wasn’t what set me on my impassioned career path.
The start of this whole life-focused journey was when my family allowed me to watch Titanic (well, parts of the movie anyways) in my childhood living room. I’m sure my heart was swept away by the tragic love story, but what ignited my heart lived in the credits - The piano and penny whistle of “My Heart Will Go On” which led into the soulful and pure voice of Celine Dion. At that moment was when I felt to my soul the power of music through another woman’s vocals.
It was then that music became the only world I understood. And I continued to grow…