• Jerry L. Burrell

The Supremes

Day 16 of my 21 day writing challenge


My mom could’a been a Supreme.


Maybe not Diana Ross but definitely one of the back ups.


Not that she doesn't have Diana Ross talent, she does, just not the temperament.


When we were little, we would have family gatherings where we would all convene at various relative’s houses and sometime’s at Denver’s City Park.


On some occasions, as the day or night wore on, pennies from heaven would start falling from the sky.

Not real pennies from heaven but the song.

My Mom, Aunt Leona and Aunt Shirley were members of the singing trio The Del Tones. Don't rush to Soundcloud or iTunes looking for them, this was in the late 1950's and early 60's. They later had a fourth member but it was the three of them that would put on impromptu “concerts” at these gatherings.


They sang other songs too but Pennies From Heaven was their “go to” song, their arrangement being more like Billie Holiday than Bing Crosby. (https://youtu.be/JxVXNWdHDq8?t=1m14s )


I was no music aficionado but I listened to the radio and they could’ve definitely been on it. I remember being fascinated and still am because they sang without music but every time I visit these memories, there seems to be music accompanying them.


We’d hear their stories about chasing their musical dreams and it inspired me and made me proud. Stories like being on stage with audiences cheering them on, stories about the challenges they faced creating the outfits they wore when performing, stories about the people who believed in them and the time they recorded their very own record.


It’s one of those things that over time everybody in the family just knew. Kind of like my great-grandmothers ability to throw a shoe that could turn corners and find it’s target when you got “smart” with her.


I’m glad my mom and her sister’s quest for stardom didn’t sour them on singing just for the fun of it. Even though they're not famous like Berry Gordy’s Supremes, they are famous to me and my family and they are SUPREME in so many ways. Supremely compassionate, Supremely generous, supremely forgiving and supremely loving.


Just as families have their folklore, companies and even industries do too. The legendary arrive at their exalted status by virtue of many attributes including authenticity, competence and just plain old talent.


There’s a lot of dunk teams in the US and each of them are steeped in dunk team folklore. Stories are told to the new guys about the veterans and those stories morph into team legend. Part of the USFDF’s mission is to turn dunk team folklore into sports folklore - the kind of stories that are told by non-dunkers to their non-dunker friends.

Fortunately, America is packed with legendary dunkers whose exploits have become mainstream and it’s going to take a concerted effort to get more and more of our dunk royalty to move from the talk of the team to the talk of the town. It usually doesn’t happen by accident.

If you jump off a trampoline and dunk basketballs, enlist in the USFDF and get help charting your course from freesTYle dunkduke to freesTYle dunkking.

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