From childhood I was bullied, resented, even hated, not only by my mother but by several classmates, some teachers, and a few so-called friends. Who knows why Bullies single-out certain people as their targets? Why would my very presence cause such envy, jealousy and hostility? It was probably a variety of things like....being tall, having good posture, being well-groomed, playing the piano, singing, and my ability to look and act confident. It took time but, eventually... I accepted there would always be critical and spiteful women in my life. Sadly, the world will always have too-many women who are sickly- jealous of other women.
Growing up, I had the opposite effect on boys. I had all the male attention I could wish for. I loved the boys and the boys loved me. In fact, my best friends were always boys. I never dated my best friends; they were more like brothers. In my high school yearbook, next to my picture, is the expression: “If I can’t be with the one I love, I’ll love the one I’m with.”
No, I really wasn’t fickle. I simply loved being in love--with love. And, I loved to flirt. Flirting was fun and innocent. During pretend/playtime, I practiced flirting like I’d seen movie stars do in the movies (my Grandma Heist took me to Saturday Afternoon Matinees almost every Saturday.)
Movies were great teachers. For only twenty cents (the ticket cost ten cents and another ten cents bought a box of popcorn), I learned to walk, talk, kiss, act, and flirt--- by simply imitating Hollywood’s best, like Barbara Stanwyck, Rita Hayworth, and my very favorite, Vivian Leigh. My mirror was the recipient of my playtime, my make-believe, and endless talk. If only my mirror could have talked back.
The summer before my senior year in high school, the ABC affiliate (Channel 7, KATV) invited me to host a weekly television show. Soon, my female critics reacted with blatant hostility. Jealousy is an ugly trait. Many of my female critics considered my life too perfect so--- they felt justified in hating me, criticizing me, and talking mean about me.
I can honesty say: I've never been jealous of another woman. Pretty, classic, elegantly-dressed women were my role models. I used any and all opportunities to learn from women. At home, my mother was my enemy. Unfortunately, she had nothing to teach me but negatives and ugliness.
Certainly my critics, my enemies, never knew my secret; no one would have believed how my mother shamed me--controlled and manipulated me. Determined to hide my secret from everyone, I created the person I wanted others to see and know: A person with poise, confidence, a kind heart, and a pleasant disposition. I worked hard to develop my talents and rise above the ordinary. My tormentors would have been surprised to know…..I was merely a creation of my own hard work.
And, I stayed humble. I was never a snob or an arrogant bitch. I was friendly, always pleasant, and never acted like an intolerable "priss". I was never a "Tomboy" yet..my actions often conflicted with my appearance. For instance:
Growing up, my brother and I shared an army jeep….from the forties…with removable canvas top, sides, and doors. I enjoyed driving the stripped-down jeep with a stick-shift...which seemed to “impress” my guy-friends. I liked being smart. I enjoyed the challenge of learning something new.
For several summers, I worked along-side my father and his construction company crew. I took pride in learning how to set tile, lay brick, paint, and even hang wallpaper. I also considered myself "handy" because I could drive my father's large, stick-shift trucks.
Most Sundays, I proudly drove the faithful but faded jeep to church. I still remember being all-dressed-up in high- heels, a hat, and matching gloves… and feeling as happy as a Queen.
I've never needed a fancy vehicle to define who-I-am.
Who can put a price on love? Love can’t be measured or weighed yet…. it can be large enough to consume an entire city…or country…or all the world.
Recently, I opened a small envelope, sent with only a single stamp, and found enough love to last me a lifetime.
Regardless of age, there is a child inside each of us. As I mature (the word "old"is not in my vocabulary), the little girl in me--forever young--comes out to play more often, to question the meaning of life and love...over and over....and to remember the tender/sweet/loving moments from the past.
Two days ago, I was experiencing a particularly stressful, troublesome day. Some days are just like that….troublesome days that require you to climb over obstacle after obstacle of “to-do” trash; to answer endless calls from California or Maine or Tennessee so a recording can threaten you about some bogus student loan debt; or force you to answer the phone at 2 am so some male with a thick accent can beg you to send fresh breast milk to starving orphans in Guatemala.
Today, my daily trip to the mailbox wasn’t anticipating anything exciting. Like most days, I expect to find the usual bills, cable advertisements, coupons for hearing-aids or grown-up diapers... and unknown insurance companies promoting limited-time-only discounts for funeral arrangements---just more unwanted junk for the garbage can.
But today was different. Hiding among the expected I found the unexpected...in the form of a handwritten envelope with a return address marked Cheney, Washington.
The little girl in me, overwhelmed with curiosity and excitement, quickly tore-open the envelope, and, inside, found an adorable card featuring a photo of a little girl sharing these words:
“If not for you, someone who needed love would have gone without it…there would be one less smile, one less laugh, one less hug, and…the song of life might have skipped a beat. If not for you, something special would be missing.”
With Love, Cyndee."
Not only were these meaningful words printed on the card but a piece of yellow paper and a check were also inside. And, that’s when both the little-girl-in-me and the big-girl-in-me…. cried.
“Sally, I am enclosing a check for the purchase of one book. The remaining $28.00 is to cover the person who didn’t pay for the book you sent them. Thank you for being an inspiration to me and to others. "Your Facebook Friend, Cyndee."
Yes, The little girl in me looks forward to every day, believing something good is just minutes from happening. The little girl in me...keeps me hopeful and helps me remember there are still good people--with good hearts--who love and care for others---like me.
"Thank you, Cyndee" ....From, Sally and the little girl in me.
THE WORLD HAS BECOME A "FREE FOR ALL" SOCIETY THAT IS COMPLETELY OUT-OF-CONTROL! NO ONE IS PUNISHED ANYMORE SO....THE SAVAGES KEEP MULTIPLYING. IT'S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE ALL TOYS, FARM ANIMALS, AND ROBOTS WILL QUALIFY FOR ABORTIONS!
I saved this article from one year ago. If such insanity had occurred in the fifties…This Florida guy would still be in prison. Yes, today’s society is growing more reckless and lawless. These days, beyond-bizarre behavior is mostly ignored...and therefore...accepted. I couldn’t believe the offender in this article…basically received… a “slap on the wrist”.
OCTOBER 23, 2019. A Florida Man yesterday sexually assaulted a pair of “large stuffed animal toys” inside a Target store, according to police who arrested the fiend on a criminal mischief charge.
As detailed in a criminal complaint, Cody Christopher Meader, 20, entered the retailer around 2 PM Tuesday and approached a display of merchandise featuring characters from the Disney film “Frozen.”
Meader selected a “large Olaf stuffed animal” and proceeded to place it on the floor of the Target in Pinellas Park. He then began to “dry hump” the cinematic snowman “until he ejaculated on the merchandise”-- a cop reported.
Meader returned the soiled Olaf back to the display before entering the toy department, where he “selected a large unicorn stuffed animal and began to ‘dry hump’ this item.”
After consorting with the stuffed animals, Meader, who lives in St. Petersburg, was detained while still inside the store. After being read his rights, Meader reportedly “admitted to doing ‘stupid stuff’ and admitted that he had ‘nutted’ on the Olaf stuffed animal.”
The stuffed items, cops say, were “removed from the store floor” and destroyed.
According to the complaint, Meader’s father told police his son “ has a long history of this type of behavior.” Court records, however, list no prior criminal cases against Meader. Charged with criminal mischief, Meader was booked into the county jail on the misdemeanor count. He was released from custody last night after posting $150 bond.
In the photo on the left, Anita Bryant is the second one on the left and I'm the second one on the right. Anita and I competed against each other for the title of Miss America but, it was a friendly competition. The next year, when the two of us returned to the Pageant as featured entertainers, we were roommates.
I never questioned why we seemed to “fit” as friends….there was just something about us that “meshed”. When the Pageant ended, we hugged and promised to keep-in-touch. By this time, Anita was on the fast-track to stardom. She had won the Arthur Godfrey talent show, signed a recording contract and was enjoying a hit record…”Paper Roses”.
I, on the other hand, went back to Pine Bluff, AR, married, and became a voice teacher. I couldn’t help but think Anita was headed in the direction I’d always wanted to go. But, I was happy for her and wished her well.
She sent me short notes as she traveled the country and…I found time to keep her current on my less-than-exciting life. She stayed in-touch during my first pregnancy and promised to visit when the baby arrived and…she did. In fact, while she was at my house, she learned that the baby she and her husband, Bob Green, hoped to adopt, was now theirs. Even more exciting, two months later, she learned she’d become pregnant in Arkansas and in seven months, would have a child of her own.
On several occasions, I attended Anita’s performances. She was a natural on the stage….regardless of what she sang. My only concern was how her husband managed her…controlled her…dominated her every moment. I sensed Anita was afraid of him but…he was her manager and she trusted him, hoping he had her best interest at heart.
Looking back at the multiple times we were together, I realize that Bob and I hardly talked; we were never close. Frankly, I don’t believe Bob was close to anyone, even Anita.
Anita was making great money. She had lucrative contracts with Coca Cola and with the Florida Orange Juice Growers. She was making hit recordings, award-winning commercials, and appearing on TV Shows, regularly. Most impressive were her yearly trips, entertaining the troops, with Bob Hope. But, Anita always found time to sing at Baptist Conventions, to speak and sing at many churches--religious gatherings, and, most of all, share her love for God.
Without warning, Anita began speaking out about gays....at first....about the gay teachers teaching children, like hers. She spoke publically against gay teachers and soon became viewed as an activist. In a matter of months, Anita lost her contracts with Coca Cola and Florida Orange Growers. Her records stopped selling, and too quickly….she was being denounced and boycotted by gays and lesbians--- worldwide.
I’ll always believe Anita’s husband, Bob, encouraged her sudden venture into activism. As a former DJ, perhaps Bob thought Anita's involvement with controversy could lead her into politics, maybe catapult her into much-more-lucrative-places. I'm sure he was thinking of the money.
I’ll always believe Bob arranged the pie-in-the-face---shockingly-delivered to Anita when she was speaking before an audience on live TV. Rather than making Anita look like the victim of a mob mentality-- a fragile figure that needed sympathy, Anita’s crusade against gays actually made her look foolish and more like a Bully.
Nothing got better for Anita or her career. After losing most everything then divorcing, she moved to Selma, Alabama, and opened a dress shop. Too soon she lost what she thought was a promising romance and then lost the dress shop. Like so many single women with children, Anita needed money and a job.
I was living in Atlanta when Anita called to say she'd finally found a job. She had signed a contract with WSB---Atlanta’s ABC Affiliate--as a talk-show host. She was so excited. The very morning she was to officially start her job…she couldn’t get within three blocks of the TV station. Try as she might, she couldn’t break-through the human chain of gays and lesbians who’d bonded together, shoulder to shoulder, to form a solid wall of bodies.
From that day until today, the homosexual community has made it their lifelong mission to STOP ANITA. Wherever she lived… wherever she tried to work or perform…. gays were always there to STOP her.
Homosexuals...worldwide....stayed united to stop Anita at every turn. GAYS WERE RELENTLESS IN THEIR GOAL TO STOP ANITA. The crusade against Anita continues--- even today.
The last time we spoke was 2001, after I returned from China. She spoke of performing in Tennessee and promised to send me a timetable of her schedule so we can meet. That was the last time we talked. When I checked with a very-knowing friend about Anita’s performances in Tennessee, I learned that Anita’s audiences had dwindled to nothing so Anita had been forced to close her performance theatre in Tennessee. Anita had finally given up and gone home… back to Oklahoma.
Not long ago, Bob Green, Anita’s ex-husband, died in Florida. He died alone, on the streets, penniless, and without friends. I don’t know if Bob had a relationship with his four children. I only know that Anita had nothing left to say-- once their divorce was final.
I have no sympathy for the Gay Community. They carried their “vendetta” against Anita too-far and for too-long. Regardless of whether Anita was right or wrong to speak-out against homosexuality…she had the right to do so.
Did she carry her opinion too far? Did Anita under-estimate the power of her enemy?Should Anita have spoken less and sung more? Maybe.
Such a waste of time, talent, and love.
The Date was August 1, 2011. That was the day everything changed for some but--most of all--for me. Yes, my Mother officially died that day and because of her death....I lost two daughters and two grandsons.
It is useless to resurrect the details of that day's devastating loss. It serves no purpose for me to describe the moment by moment hurt, shock, and disbelief I endured for hours, days, then years but--today--I have championed my loss. I have, at last, accepted what I could not and cannot change.
If you've read my book then you know about my childhood. You know that my Mother despised me from birth and abused me in a thousand endless-ways. In order to live beyond childhood, I had no choice but to---emotionally---"bury" my mother.
After my daughters were born, my mother used them, "played" them against me, poisoned them with hate, and promised them, over and over, that someday they would have everything----her money, her house, her jewelry---it would all be theirs and, I would have nothing.
August 1, 2011, my mother died and her promises came true. I was prepared for her Evil and spiteful hate but, I wasn't prepared for my ultimate loss. My daughters locked arms with their Stepmother, their father's Preacher, the local funeral owner and--together--they arranged a graveside service for family and close friends only; I wasn't invited.
I was only allowed to "visit" my mother at the funeral home at a specific time of "their" choosing and for only fifteen minutes. When I arrived at the appointed time, the funeral director "escorted" me to my mother’s casket. Looking at his watch, he reminded me I had only fifteen minutes. He also said the family requested that I not be left alone with my mother... for even a minute.
It’s been more than nine years since I've seen or heard from my daughters. I can't imagine what lies they’ve told my grandsons to explain my long absence from their lives. Looking back, I never believed I could survive the hurt I experienced when my daughters turned their backs on me and walked away---without even saying goodbye.
Devastated… I prayed to die and-- in fact-- planned to take my life but… God had other plans. He forced me to open my eyes and see that he wasn’t finished with me; I had more to do.
My mother and my daughters never loved me but God loves me and every day... he shows me how to love myself. Over-time, I've accepted the most important of-all-facts: When you experience God’s Love ...it means you “hold the key” to ALL THE LOVE in the Whole-Wide-World.