The eldest niece is 35 (tomorrow)

The best part of Rebecca Jade’s early growing up was that she lived not that far away. I was in New Paltz or Albany (NY), and she and her parents (my sister Leslie and her now ex-husband) were living in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY, a couple-hour bus ride away. So I saw her a month after she was born, and then several times the next couple years, including on her first and second birthdays.

Then they moved away, first to North Carolina, then to Puerto Rico for over six years, and I never made it it down there, much to my regret, since the photos made their place seem beautiful. I’ve noticed, though, that when I did get a chance to see her – at my grandmother’s funeral, visiting New York City – there is photographic evidence that I was the one who was coloring with her or upon whose shoulders she sat. I’ve also mentioned that when RJ was three and four, she looks a lot like my daughter at three or four (or vice versa.)

She and her folks went to the San Diego, CA area, where I would visit as often as possible, but most often I’d see her at my parents’ house in Charlotte, NC. She is a dozen years older than Marcia’s daughter Alexandria, and she was a GREAT big cousin, just as Alex is a great big cousin to Lydia.

Even early on, Rebecca was interested in music, following in her mother’s footsteps. She was in some trio when she was about 16, and they even recorded some tracks. The problem was, and I say this not out of pride but of fact, she was the only one who could really sing.

Another thing was into was basketball. She was a star on her high school team, and a starter on her college team at U Cal Berkeley; I actually got to see her play live once when her team played in the NYC area. Of course, I made it to graduation from both HS and college.

She got married on 3/7/05, 37 being the uniform number of her husband Rico Curtis when he played football in college and subsequently. 5 was RJ’s uniform number in college.

Rebecca’s been busy with lots of jobs to make a living, but it is the music that really matters. She’s singing with so many different groups I have lost track; she’s quite eclectic. There’s Siren’s Crush, and the Soul Tones and some jazz quartet.

She’s put out one album, thanks to Kickstarter, and is now working on a second one. Here’s her website. You can listen to a couple cuts from her new project with Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact.

She recently wrote her mantra on Facebook: “When we aren’t constantly trying to achieve and even surpass our creative potential, or we choose to give in to mediocrity, a part of our soul is neglected.”

Happy birthday, Rebecca. I love you.

Rebecca Jade with the Soultones

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