Friday, March 11, 2011

Top 5 authors, dvds, musicians, songs and tv series that remind me of Trace

List by Tosca

"No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow."
- Euripides

On 11 March 2009, staff at Manurewa Library lost a much loved friend and colleague to cancer. I remember the day we received the phone call. I remember what we were all doing. Most of all, I remember that we were numb with shock and pain and grief. It was a heartbreaking and devastating blow for all of us. This post is nothing more than a chance to remember a friend.

Tracy Munns was the heart and soul of Manurewa Library. She had worked there for almost twenty years of her life so she knew the local police, local fire fighters (she did adore men in uniforms), community board members, regular library visitors, shopkeepers, parents, security staff - she knew everybody and was one of the most generous and warmhearted people it has ever been my pleasure to meet. I do not make Trace into a saint - she was far from it. In fact, Jean and I sat, very briefly, in Manurewa Library's workroom this morning and remembered how one conversation with Trace could run you through the whole gamut of emotions and you would often find yourself agreeing, disagreeing, nodding, shaking your head, exasperated, sighing and then laughing. Trace lived life full throttle and expected that others would do the same as well. Even in pain, especially towards the end, she held on to hope. I visited Tracy a day or two before I flew out to New Orleans and I was shocked at how tiny and frail she seemed. It hurt to look at her. I sat with her for a good two hours laughing and talking and pretending that I was as brave as she was. We hugged before I left and some part of me knew that I wouldn't see her again. And I didn't. A few days after I returned from my trip Tracy passed away. I only knew her for two very short years and I wish I had made better use of them.

In memory of Trace: moe mai ra i raro i te korowai aroha o te Atua runga rawa.

To Manukau staff who knew Tracy: I'd love it if you would leave a comment about your most vivid memory of Tracy, or perhaps even the title of a book, or song or even an author or activity she enjoyed :)

To readers who have lost friends and family to cancer: feel free to leave a comment, memory, song title, author or even book title in memory of loved ones.

Redneck woman : stories from my life / Gretchen Wilson with Allen Rucker
Country Music personality Gretchen Wilson offers up her rags-to-riches tale with the same storytelling that fuels her songwriting and inspires millions of fans to both celebrate and identify with this self-styled Redneck Woman.

Buongiorno Principessa from A night with The Ten Tenors [DVD videorecording] : here's to the heroes / The Ten Tenors and Here's to the heroes [compact disc] / the Ten Tenors
The Ten Tenors, at this point in time, were: Craig Atkinson, Shannon Brown, Drew Graham, Craig Hendry, David Kidd, Liam McLachlan, Dion Molinas, Stewart Morris, Adrian Phillips, Jason Short, Jeff Teale, Jason Turnbull ; with accompaniment.

Tosca's comment: From the unlikeliest conversations are enduring friendships formed. Weirdly, my friendship with Tracy Munns began with her love of The Ten Tenors and, in particular, this song.

Nora Roberts and JD Robb
Nora Roberts, or La Nora as I like to call her (because we're friends like that - ok, no we're not) is a prolific romance writer. I had avoided JD Robb (who is Nora Roberts) for years but Trace convinced me to give them another go. Reluctantly I liked the series.

Tosca's comment: From Trace I learnt that if you're going to read romance, do it publicly and without shame and never make our customers feel small about their reading material.

Shut up & sing [DVD videorecording] : Dixie Chicks
On stage at a 2003 London concert, Natalie Maines, lead singer of Texan trio the Dixie Chicks, spoke these 15 words to a small audience at the start of their sold-out international tour: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." The comment was delivered on the eve of the American invasion of Iraq, and drew cheers from the decidedly anti-war and anti-Bush British crowd. It was an off-the-cuff remark typical of the lead singer's temperament. Natalie, and fellow Dixie Chicks Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, thought little of it. But history and this film demonstrate that at this heightened moment of political polarization in the United States, many people did care, and empowered this simple, yet loaded remark to carry serious and longstanding ramifications. The documentary shows the band from their peak of popularity as the national-anthem-singing darlings of country music and top-selling female recording artists of all time, through the now infamous anti-Bush comment, and on through the days, months and years of mayhem. The film also follows the lives and careers of the musicians through the writing and recording of their first album since "the incident" - and three years of political attack, making music, birthing babies, bonding, death threats, and laughter.

Tosca's comment: We both rated this our top documentary of that year. Admittedly we were both biased because we were such fangirls about the Dixie Chicks.

Criminal minds. The first season [DVD videorecording] / created by Jeff Davis ; directed by Richard Shepard ... [et al.] ; written by Jeff Davis ... [et al.]
Starring: Mandy Patinkin, Thomas Gibson, Lola Glaudini, Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler
Criminal Minds revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country's most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again.

Tosca's comment: I gotta be honest, I didn't want to watch this series. Not at all. But clever Trace knew how to get me hooked - she simply told me that Shemar Moore was in it and, because I'm a shallow person who is all about the eye candy, that was enough to start with. She'd tape every episode and bring it for me to watch. After a half a season I was hooked and have been ever since. Even now, every time I watch an episode, I remember how I used to have to fast forward Coronation Street (I have no idea why Trace liked that appalling show!) to get to Criminal Minds :)


Anonymous said...

I remember that Tracy liked children and always had time for them, no matter what.

Anonymous said...

Tracy was a great community person, before I even worked at the library I knew her, she was so prolific in the community and was always keen to help a library patron in need

Merrin said...

Yes, its been 2 years since we lost Tracy. This time of year I think about her often, as she was a great fan of American Idol. I remember we had little bets (chocolate bar) on who would win. We would pick out 3 favourites from the last 12 and if one of our picks won, the other would lose the bet.

catatonia said...

YES! I remember your American Idol fondness and bets :) And I'm still not sure why you two both watched that horrid show :-/

aquarius said...

What about all those tenors??

catatonia said...

@Corrie - Gosh didnt she love The Ten Tenors! She knew them all by name LOL I still have The Ten Tenors koala Teddy bear she gave me. Merit and I saw them 2 or 3 times with her and the last time she managed to get them all to autograph her programme :)

Kelly M said...

I can't believe it has been two years :( I'll always remember Tracy telling me tales of the cute policemen at Manurewa....apparently you guys got all the best ones :)

catatonia said...

I'm totally oblivious about cute policemen - I see the uniform and never notice the person in it, which Trace used to rib me about all the time. There were one or two who were extremely good friends with Tracy and her family. I haven't visited her mum and sister in a while. I think it might be time to do so.

Anonymous said...

Mostly there is not a day that goes by that we dont mention or think of Trac especially after school when the kids come in how can we forget how they mobbed her as she always had a hug for them or gave her time to listen to them.

I miss how she would be able to bring alive for us and the public the results of any olympics with medal charts and pics and tv coverage of the day befores events amazing.not to mention all the men in uniform my goodness ....