Sometimes the strangest things can make a person fall down a rabbit hole. Last week, my friend Joann, apparently watching old Road Runner cartoons, posted a status update about how the Road Runner theme song was wrong when it included the words “Poor little Road Runner never bothered anyone.” Obviously the Road Runner bothered Wile E. Coyote, right?
I got a kick out of that status update, mainly because my husband’s ex wife reminds me of Wile E. Coyote. I never liked Road Runner cartoons when I was a kid, but I have a new appreciation for them now. So I decided to look on YouTube for the theme song, and I ran across this gem…
Thanks to Joann, I learned about Barbara Cameron, the woman who composed the theme song for The Road Runner Show. Barbara Cameron, a native of Dayton, Ohio, passed away in January 2013, just a month shy of her 87th birthday on Valentine’s Day. Her children, Cam and Doug, are both professional musicians. That’s her son, Doug, playing violin in the above clip. Doug has two sons who are also musicians. Check out YouTube and you’ll find lots of videos of them playing violin with their talented dad.
After I watched Barbara, a former torch singer who once took over a singing job from Doris Day, singing the famous theme song she composed, I ended up watching the memorial video her son made for her. It’s kind of a long video, but very well done and moving. Barbara was obviously a wonderful lady who had many people in her life who loved her dearly.
I’m amazed by the things I find in unexpected places and under unusual circumstances. My friend Joann mentions the Road Runner, a cartoon I never even liked much, and suddenly, I’m learning all about the composer of the theme song, a marvelous, talented, charming woman. And I was also introduced to Doug Cameron, who has put out some great jazz albums and apparently shows up on cruise lines like Azamara. I have heard good things about Azamara. I might have to try them sometime, even if they are owned by Royal Caribbean. For more on Barbara Cameron, check out this link. Another blogger was more prepared to pay tribute to Barbara than I am.
YouTube algorithms being what they are, I also somehow wound up getting videos from Phyllis Stokes. I don’t know how I ended up getting her videos, although I guess they are appropriate. Phyllis Stokes died on January 25, 2020, having had a very tragic 2019. In the spring, she was diagnosed with cancer that affected her liver, gall bladder, and bile ducts. A few months later, her beloved husband of 36 years, Bucky, died. A few months after that, Phyllis herself was gone.
Until a couple of days ago, I had not heard of Phyllis Stokes, author of a Web site called SouthernFrugal.com. Phyllis also made many videos showing how to make wonderful southern delicacies without breaking the bank. I love southern food and I used to love to cook… well, usually anyway. Maybe I’ll get back into cooking once I have my own kitchen. She was a very popular vlogger, and I have since seen many tribute videos to her made by total strangers who loved her work. There was also a touching video made by her son. I think I might have watched the below video before I ever watched any done by Phyllis herself. I was compelled to watch Phyllis when I heard her son talk about her.
The above video is probably the first one I watched by Phyllis herself… I was very moved by it, which led me to watch one about how she and her husband met. It took me several videos before I finally watched one about what attracted people to her channel in the first place– her southern recipes. People really seemed to connect with Phyllis’s very sweet, southern demeanor. She lived in South Carolina, which I also did for three years. Listening to her speak kind of takes me home.
I am kind of envious of women like Barbara and Phyllis. They have the kind of personalities that draw people to them. Barbara Cameron was still so beautiful and elegant, even in her 80s, and still game for singing her famous song on her son’s jazz album and in concert. She really had a spark and, I can tell she was just a delight to everyone. Phyllis Stokes just oozes southern sweetness and humanity. My heart just broke for her as she held back tears and talked about losing her husband, yet cared so much about her viewers, even though she was desperately ill herself. What a lovely woman she was. They were both wonderful women, and people to emulate.
I do love wasting time on YouTube, but sometimes I find content well worth viewing… stuff you’d never see otherwise. What a gift YouTube is to the rank and file who have things to say, but never would have had a vehicle for it if not for the Internet. I’m beginning to think I should spend more time on YouTube than Facebook. But then, if not for Facebook, I never would have fallen down the rabbit hole in the first place.
Anyway… if anyone from Barbara’s or Phyllis’s families happens to read this post, my heart goes out to you for your tremendous losses. They were both very special ladies indeed. Thank you for continuing to share them with the world, even after they’ve gone.