Bootie Bell Chewning to be exact. Even her name makes me smile…and I’m not alone. She makes everyone smile. She just has that thing…that “it” factor. That “too much abundant joy not to share” kind of vibe.
I originally wrote this several years ago but Bootie just had a birthday! Happy Birthday, Bootie!
Bootie is a generational blessing to me. She and her brother George knew my dad from high school days and my mother continues to count Bootie among her dear friends. I can’t remember a time when I did not know her. And now, my daughter Maddi shares in our generational joy of knowing, loving and being loved by her.
Bootie seemed to always be involved in any kind of live performance when I was growing up. To my mind, she was/is Vinton’s link to the Broadway and Hollywood. She was, is and ALWAYS WILL BE a star.
Bootie and my mom, 2016.
Whether it was a school play, the Vinton Lions Minstrel Show, the Junior Miss Pageants (local and state level), Showtimers or the Miss Virginia Pageant, Bootie brought it! In fact, she STILL brings it! Her talents and fingerprints were all over the shows. Production. Music. Choreography. Lighting. Sound. She knows how to bring out the best in everyone.
And…she can dance. And she can sing. And she can make everyone smile and laugh.
Bootie, thank you for being one of the giants upon whose shoulders I stand. Happy Birthday! I love you.