Vindicator Logo

GAIL WHITE With songs in his heart, man sets shining example

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

If enthusiasm could be measured in degrees, Stanley Simmons would be at boiling point.
"I don't believe in keeping my light under a bushel," he says with a smile. "I want it to shine!"
He "shines" at the grocery store, at work, at the doctor's office and the gas station. When he goes to garage sales or flea markets, he "shines" some more.
Jokes and songs are his light. And it doesn't matter where he is or who he knows -- or doesn't know. He will shine.
My granddaughter said, "You have to write a rap song
so all the little rappers can rap along."
So I rapped on the wood
And I rapped on the floor;
I rapped on the ceiling
and I rapped on the door.
Stanley sings to a child in a grocery cart.
I rapped on the wall
till the morning light.
Cassandra said, "Grandpa, you're
not rapped too tight."
As a smile begins to shine on the face of the child in the grocery cart, Stanley knows he has succeeded in sharing his light.
His works: Though a millwright at CSC Steel for 41 years, Stanley has been doing "wrighting" of his own for nearly 30 years.
"I've written over 100 songs," he says proudly. "They just come to me, and I write them down."
Each inspiration looks like a poem, written on the page. But Stanley has a tune for every single one.
In a country-western bluegrass style, Stanley's big, full voice bellows out his songs a cappella. He never misses a word or a note.
There is a richness to his music that comes from more than powerful lungs and a keen ear. This is music straight from his heart.
"Grandpa's Rap," "Puppy Dog Eulogy" and "Spider on the Web" are a few of his fun songs that he enjoys sharing with others.
Some of his most meaningful pieces come from his faith, inspired by his grandchildren.
When you're too little to understand,
Nathaniel is already in the Master's hands.
For you know he loves you so,
And he'll never let you go."
A man of great emotion, Stanley tears up as he talks about singing to his beloved grandchildren. Their names are peppered through many of his songs.
His audiences: Though children seem to respond well to Stanley's demeanor, his family is a bit lukewarm to his humor and songs.
"I get less respect than Rodney Dangerfield," he quips, breaking into an impersonation of the actor.
"I heard you were singing at the grocery store again," one son will reprimand him.
"Don't pass out any song sheets," his wife will insist before he leaves the house.
Stanley simply can't help himself. If he does not share the burning fire within him, he may very well self-combust!
"Respect" is on the way for Stanley.
A local radio station is interested in some of his songs, and his cassette "Stan's Laundered Humor: No Laughing Matter" is carried in several local bookstores.
His mission: Yet Stanley's crusade is really more of a personal, one-on-one relationship. Shining his light on whomever he encounters.
Recently, Stanley has been compelled to shine his light to others with songs he wrote in May of this year.
The American vet would die for you and me
On the land, in the air and on the mighty sea.
He would have given his life for liberty
For the American way and the land of the free.
The words were written to commemorate Memorial Day. They ring true in the heart of every American as we enter a new chapter in our history.
Many have died to keep us free.
Our military might and prayer you see
Is the only thing that will keep us free
In this great land of liberty.