KEEPING MY EYE ON THE GOAL

 

A SPECIAL NOTE

Fans around the world are already thinking about the anniversary of Robin’s passing, which comes up in a few weeks.  His fans are the most passionate and compassionate people I have ever talked with; and to honor him, in May I will showcase stories about how he has affected peoples’ lives. I hope you will enjoy them. If you have a special story about Robin, I’d love to hear it.

This week’s story is about growing up, working hard, and being the girl who did it with the help of the boys’ music.

Toni

Los Angeles

This story may sound as though I was a kid who was afraid of her own shadow, but it really is about growing up and getting over my fears, while holding on to what makes me happy. My mother and I were very close, and I was an only child. It was hard for me to be away from home or out of town, maybe because I just missed my parents when I was away. I wasn’t the girl who loved to party during spring break with my friends or do overnights in middle school or high school.  I think I was too serious and maybe a bit nerdy and definitely an introvert. I might have been overprotected, but my Mom was unable to have more children after I was born, so she held on extra tight to me. My family was poor; but even though we didn’t have much money, I was happy. What I did have was Bee Gees records. I was babysitting when I was 12 and trying to save money for college from the first day I babysat, but whenever there was a new record, Mom and I would buy it. I would pay for half and she would pay for half. We’d sing the Bee Gees music and chat about all three of them and what we thought they were really like in person. I adored Barry, of course. Mom was mad for Maurice and I think we both thought Robin was from another dimension entirely. They were a big topic of conversation through the growing up years.  I was very lucky to have that kind of closeness, but I know I leaned on Mom and didn’t become as independent as I should have become. All through high school and college, I was a Bee Gees fan, always keeping up with the latest music and playing my records until they were practically transparent. I’d have the music on while I studied, in the background, keeping me company. No matter how tired I was or how much work there was to do, I had that record player going. Their wonderful harmonies were so special to me. I loved every song, whether it was a love song or a rock song. Some of the early music was so different and unique, and I hung on to every single note they wrote; and like loyal fans, loved their changes and new sounds as the years went on. I was able to go to college because I worked two jobs to pay for tuition, and I spent nearly 40 hours a week working while taking classes at UCLA.  I was a business major and wanted to go to law school, but I ran out of money. Still, I was determined to finish my BS degree. When I finally finished school with a degree in Management and Finance, I graduated at the top of my class. I was offered several jobs, and the best one was in Seattle. I didn’t want to leave home, but I knew it was an opportunity I had to take. I wanted to be able to help my parents and give my Mom nice clothes and things she never had. This job would help me to do that. So, I moved away, and it was painful. I didn’t know anyone, I was in a strange city, and I missed my Mother like crazy. When I’d get so lonely I’d start to cry, I played my music, and it helped me to relax and think about my real goals. Barry, Robin and Maurice had real goals; and they never stopped working to reach them. They were such an inspiration to me. When I was finally making a great salary, I was still very young and it was about the time that the Bee Gees were coming to San Francisco. I was determined to get tickets and lucky enough to do just that, and I surprised my Mom and flew her up to the concert. It was the first time we ever had money, and I was 25 at the time. We met in San Francisco and spent four days enjoying the city and then going to the concert. I paid for everything, and I was so proud to be able to take my Mom to this concert. It was a major highlight of our lives, and I’ll never forget the look on her face when they came onto the stage. There aren’t enough words to thank them for that night. I have so many Bee Gee memories, but this one is my favorite. I can still hear them and picture them in my mind like it was yesterday. I think I really became an adult that week, knowing that even though I wasn’t home, I’d always be close to my Mom and we’d always share the music and the love for Barry, Robin and Maurice that tied us together.

About morobinbarrystories

Anne Jakowenko, the blog author, has been loving the Bee Gees for decades while raising her sons and teaching college students Speech Communication and English skills at her alma mater, Syracuse University, where she received her Master’s degree. She has also taught for SUNY Oswego and Barry University. Currently, Anne is teaching for the State College of Florida while she continues to collect stories for her book, My Life with the Boys.
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2 Responses to KEEPING MY EYE ON THE GOAL

  1. Mary Dewell says:

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories about our Angels and Barry your stories help us all heal.

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