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Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Which Cinderella Do You Prefer? Hair Metal or Disney Princess?

 Many of you know that I am currently working on my third manuscript, my first work of fiction.  A few months ago, I sent several chapters to my writing coach for revisions. My main protagonist, Shawn, has a memory of rocking out at a Cinderella concert in the late nineteen eighties. 

Getting the script back I see a red line through Cinderella with a question mark and the comment, maybe use someone more well known like Bon Jovi.  I wrote back, laughing as I typed, I realize that you may have been a little more refined, but in order to play drums with the fifteen year old boys I had to play what they liked: Dokken, Iron Maiden, Cinderella. I went on to explain that Cinderella was a huge band in the eighties and how I wore out the Heartbreak Station cassingle in my old, beat up  Chevy Cavalier. Shawn was going to stay true to character.

Fast forward several months. I am in what I call the end of summer panic, spending the last few moments of summer with my daughter, trying to cram in a couple more precious moments, special times that you only seem to experience during those two summer months when life moves at a slower pace. We were taking our bikes up to the Hardman to Helen Trail, which meant driving the curvy, North Georgia roads in the squeaky, old truck. The truck is our only remaining vehicle that still has a cassette deck. 

On this particular curve, the only radio station that would come in clearly was a classic rock station. I hear the throaty groan Don't Know What Ch Got, Til It's Gone and turn up the volume, flipping my curly hair back and forth in the wind.

"Mama," Senia Mae says, "You like this?" She turns to face me and has now begun to laugh because my entire body is swaying to the hum of Tom Keifer, the lead singer of Cinderella, feeling the pulse of an eighties true power ballad.

"What?" I snap out of my the memory of me forty pounds lighter and thirty years younger, remembering I'm in the truck with my witty, twelve year old. "I love Cinderella. Back in the day, this was my jam."

"They named their band after a Disney princess?" Senia Mae asked. "This guy sings like a dying pig!" She cracked up and tried to flip the channel. Listening to it now, his voice was a little unique, maybe not as smooth as other artists but look at Joe Cocker or Bob Dylan. They both had huge careers with uniquely different voices.

"I did love this band, but you can flip the station to something more modern." I said. She happily changed it to some pop station playing The Kid Laroi singing Without You. She leaves it on his crackly , unique voice and I joke, "you think this is any better?" 

"You might have a point," she laughs.

Little does Senia Mae know that before our next bike ride, I'm heading down to the basement to dig through my shoebox of old cassettes. I'm going to find the Cinderella Heartbreak Station cassingle. She'll be trapped in the truck with me as I belt out, Waiting at the station, tears filling up my eyes, sometimes the pain we hide, burns like a fire inside... 

When she asks why we don't get a new truck, I say the old one works fine. And for what its worth, its the only vehicle we own that can replay my high school memories in cassette form and I wanna rock....


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