The back seat of my grandparent’s Oldsmobile,1985.

When I sip coffee with Baileys or get a Frosty at Wendy’s, a smile will appear for my grandmother, whom we called Ba-Ba. She made me feel safe in a world when I often did not.

Be it the oldies station, the dentist’s office, the supermarket, a wedding, or wherever else good songs go to heaven, there is one special song that brings the biggest smile.

Come on, shake your body baby, do the conga,
I know you can’t control yourself any longer,
Feel the rhythm of the music getting stronger,
Don’t you fight it till you’ve tried it do the conga beat.

Can our loved ones send messages from beyond? Good chance because I hear this song all the time! My grandmother was proud of her Puerto Rican roots, and Conga is early Latin-Pop royalty. Not only did she teach me about our heritage, but also that music can stop time.

I remember climbing into the backseat of my grandparent’s Oldsmobile to get to and from school daily. When the environment at home was tense, or I was being bullied for my overwhelming overbite, Ba-Ba was there with this song. We would try to catch up to the words, banging on imaginary conga drums as my tears dissolved.

If just for a few minutes, my world and heart felt lighter. Thank you, Ba-Ba. I know you are still here, singing Conga with me.

Stereo story #724