Snake charmer

As seen in Houston:


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memories of the ’80s – Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

Tiger Eyes book cover.jpgBestselling author Judy Blume continued to publish popular books with the release of Tiger Eyes.

The young adult novel focuses on Davey Wexler, which as the book opens, has attended her Father’s funeral.

Adam Wexler has died after being shot in a robbery in the convenience store he managed in Atlantic City.

Her Mum Gwen and brother Jason are both in mourning, trying to understand what has happened to their family, with Davey spending days in her room.

But she has to start 10th grade, and when she goes to school, Davey passes out. She is diagnosed by the family doctor with panic attacks.

Gwen is suffering from depression since her husband’s death, but she knows that she must do something for the family and decides to take them to Los Alamos, New Mexico to spend time with her sister and brother in law, Bitsy and Walter.

Davey and Jason are treated like Bitsy and Walter’s kids, and Davey resents it, while her Mum tries to get better, getting a job and seeking therapy and convinces Davey to seek therapy too.

Davey escapes the daily trappings of their new home by exploring Los Alamos on bike. During her cycling, she decides to hike into a canyon and meets Wolf, an older teen, and she introduces herself as Tiger.

Davey befriends Wolf, who helps her not feel alone anymore. She also makes a new friend in Jane as both work at the local hospital, where she meets Wolf’s Father, who is dying of cancer. Davey also seeks out therapy and begins to heal and mourn her Father.

Published in 1981 by Bradbury, this novel focused on death and mourning, and how mother and daughter slowly figure out how to deal with the death of Adam Wexler and forge new friendships.

The book was given the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award for a new American children’s books. And it also is on the American Library Association list as one of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books.


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Inner strength

As seen in Houston:

inner strength

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memories of the ’70s – Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing book cover.jpgIn the early 1970s, author Judy Blume kicked off a series that would become a favourite for decades with the novel Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.

The book introduces two characters: brothers Peter and Farley Hatcher, the latter who is known by his preferred nickname, Fudge.

Peter and Fudge have a combative relationship – Peter is nine years old and can’t believe how everyone tolerates the behaviour of Fudge who is two and a half years old. He throws temper tantrums, often plasters the walls with mashed potato and acts out constantly.

Fudge continues to draw all the attention of the family, from trying to fly and knocking out his front teeth, to taking off after going to the movies and making his family frantic with worry while they search for him.

Peter also tries to protect Fudge from Dribble, his pet turtle, won at his friend Jimmy’s birthday party, while tolerating his neighbour and fellow student Sheila, who often helps in babysitting Fudge.

And then one day, Peter comes home to discover Dribble missing, and Fudge claiming he ate the turtle. Is it true?

Published in 1972 by Dutton, Blume’s publication included illustrations by Roy Doty. Her book challenged the relationships of siblings in print and showed the reality of what its like – as well as the precocious intermediate age of elementary school.

The book was a success and was the first of the Fudge series, resulting in four more books that continued the stories of the Hatcher brothers and their friends. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing just celebrated 45 years in print.

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Astronaut & friend

Spotted in Houston:


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Smile its Friday

A smiling face of Santiago, Chile:

smiling man

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memories of the ’80s – Seasons Change by Expose

Expose - Seasons Change cover.jpgThe late 1980s brought another girl group to the charts with the song Seasons Change by Expose.

Formed originally in 1984 by Miami DJ Lewis Martinee, the girl group was Sandra Casanas, Alejandra Lorenzo and Laurie Miller.

The trio recorded two successful singles, Point of No Return and Exposed to Love, both successes on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.

But when it came time to go further, conflicting reports claimed the singers quit, were fired, were not wanted by big label Arista Records or were replaced by Martinee.

In came three new singers in 1986 – Jeanette Jurado, Gioia Bruno and Ann Curless, who recorded the band’s debut album Exposure.

The first single was Come Dance With Me, which went to number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Point of No Return was released again, this time with the new trio, and hit number five on the Billboard Hot 100, while the next single, Let Me Be The One went to number seven.

But it was the song Seasons Change that propelled Expose into heavy rotation on radio, MTV, dance clubs and to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in February 1988.

Written by Martinee, the song was a blend of pop and R&B, with a Latin flavour and also went to number one on the Adult Contemporary charts.

Their popularity soared, with appearances on Solid Gold and Showtime at the Apollo TV shows, receiving a nomination as the Soul Train Best New Artist Award and tapped to be the opening act for Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam’s national tour in 1988.

The album did well on the Billboard Hot 200 and was certified double platinum by May 1990, as well as achieved four singles in the Billboard Hot 100.

But behind the scenes, there were many issues, with band members claiming to be paid only $200 per appearance and suing the producers for a better contract. After the lawsuit was settled, Expose continued its success with more pop hits as the decade came to an end.



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