All my life, I have always loved to talk. With Aphasia, I struggle to speak to others, and I rarely talk with new friends. But my six degrees of Ed Nunez make my brain go into overtime, and I want to explain the story to someone.
With all of the recent football about Kansas City Chiefs games and Taylor Shift’s going out with Travis Kelce, I can connect two degrees with Taylor Swift.
So, to tell this story, I need to return to the summer of 1976. It was between my junior year and senior year at Penn State. My older brother, Bernie, worked as an accountant in New York, and the company Norton Simon wanted to hire a paid summer intern for the summer. I got the job, and my brother and his wife, Terry, said they could stay at her apartment in Riverdale, NY, during the week.
Terry went to Cabrini for college, and her friend, Norma Garbo, lived in an apartment above them with her husband, Jimmy Young. They were both musicians. Norma was a singer, and Jimmy was a session drummer session, so I went to their apartment to play music on their great speakers and smoke pot since my brother and wife did not.
Jimmy had gold records from Frank Sinatra for New York, New York, Phoebe Snow, Gloria Estefan’s Conga Beat, Barry Manilow’s Mandy, and about 30 others!! These songs were about my time: Afternoon Delight (gold record) by Starland Vocal Band and Turn the Beat Around by Vicki Robinson.
A year later, Norma sang back up vocalist for Billy Joel’s concert at the Carnegie Hall in 1977.
We became friends during that summer. In 1982, Bernie and Terry invited me to New Year’s Eve at Norma and Jimmy’s loft in New York City. I talked with Norma and saw the TV playing the song, Goodbye to You with Patty Smyth and Scandal. I said, “Patty Smyth is gorgeous.” Norma laughed and said why don’t you tell her that and pointed to her across the room. I choked, and I did not say hello. Patty Smyth is now married to John McEnroe, the retired tennis player.
In 2009, Bernie and Terry had a party, and I saw Norma again after many years. I asked her what she was doing, and she said she had started teaching voice coaching, specializing in contemporary music. One of her first featured clients was Taylor Swift.
So there you are. Two degrees of Ed. Me – Norma Garbo – Taylor Swift. Along with some other celebrities.