The person I’d like to take to coffee soon would be … 1960s pop singer Sue Thompson.
On January 13, 1962, her hit “Norman” debuted in Billboard’s Top 40 and reached No. 3.
According to a number of Internet sites, Thompson, now in her 80s, has lived in Las Vegas for years.
For starters, I would like to tell her that I made the mistake of looking up “Norman” on YouTube last week and playing it for the Leggy Blonde, who missed that era.
She now uses (abuses?) the song to get my attention by singing the “oooo, oooo, oooo” lyrics. Apparently little else works.
At the time the song came out, I was dating the daughter of a local farmer. He was not impressed — and not many parents would be — that I was a college dropout with no focus and little future. The night he banned me from the farm, he gave me something to think about with his parting shot, “You aren’t going to amount to nuthin’.”
A year later, opportunity knocked when I was a 20-year-old grocery store delivery boy in a small Montana town. I dropped off an ad at the weekly newspaper and asked the editor if he was covering the upcoming basketball tournament.
He couldn’t get away, he said, but knowing my interest in sports, he asked if I would like to freelance it.
He paid me the princely sum of $5 for covering a three-day tournament 80 miles away. But the money didn’t matter. I had my break. Ten years later, I was covering sports out of the Cincinnati Associated Press bureau, and thankful for a swift kick in the right direction.