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Nelda "Sunny" Bingo

Books by Nelda "Sunny" Bingo

Sing or Cry

About The Author

Few of us can truly appreciate the trauma of being born cross-eyed in a time when there was no surgical remedy. Combine that with being so poor that going to bed hungry was a common occurrence and then suffer through the taunting and often physical abuse of other children because of her “devil eyes,” and one has to wonder how Nelda “Sunny” Fairchild Bingo born August 26, 1929 in Burley, Idaho could possibly have grow up to be “normal.” Add to that the trauma of a family constantly on the move as her stepfather went from one “hot rivet” job to another and another.

By her count, Sunny attended at least 30 different grammar schools. You can only imagine the trauma she endured each time this cross-eyed little girl changed schools. When nine years old she was nearly killed when struck by a car and sustained a fractured skull and broken collar bone.

Sunny literally attributes her survival to singing. It was the only way to vent her frustrations and be her own person. When things were at their worst, instead of wallowing in self pity she, like her other siblings, sang! It was also how they earned money to feed and clothe the family.

As a singer, she also became a song writer under the pseudonym of “Ned Fairchild.” Among her creations, the most notable hit was Twenty Flight Rock recorded by Eddy Cochran that ushered in the Rock and Roll era. Many of her songs were recorded and made famous by other great artists such as Gene Autry, Merle Travis and Paul McCartney of the Beatles.

A consummate writer, Sunny also penned many poems expressing her many experiences and thoughts in verse. However, many of those experiences were simply too painful and emotional to recount in verse. There are few poems about her childhood and adolescent years. There is no mention of her first marriage at age 15 in 1944 to Jack Farnsworth who fought in the South Pacific during World War II, was disabled by malaria, and came home a war hero. Nor has she written anything about the divorce that left her a single mother of a four-year-old son.

She wrote many songs while married to Richard “Bing” Bingo, whom she met and married in 1950. Together they had two children, Jill and Frank, and Sunny’s song writing and poetry proliferated. But, as her poems will attest, these were also troubling times. She was often on the road selling her songs and doing “gigs,” singing in bars and lounges with a small band.

After Bing’s death from cancer in 1992, Sunny bought a local “watering hole” in Ashton, Idaho, ran it for three years, then sold it for a nice profit and retired. During the next three years she and her sister Teena often sang together at benefits, and as “casual” singers with local musicians in motel lounges and for special events.

In 2000, Sunny moved to Seattle so she could be closer to her son Frank. Then, with the death of her sister Teena’s husband, Sunny moved back to Ashton where she now resides. They occasionally sing at special events and Sunny has been busy with the publication of this book.

“I hope readers of this book,” she says, “will find what I have written helpful while confronting their own problems. Sometimes it helps just to know that someone has been through what you are going through.
“The reason I wrote the book,” she continues, “is summarized in the following poem.”

Unburdened Heart
Though none call me poet when I am gone,
Someone may find this little book and read
How I was battered blue and left to bleed.
Insensible, on life’s threshing stone.
Not just for my sake or soul’s own purging.
Do I march these words across the page,
Perhaps old sentiments mossed green with age.
Can comfort some a heart with sorrow burgeoning.
If another weep in sweet release
Of pent up griefs that overwhelm them so.
Cries across the years, “I know, I know!
Your pain is mine.” This somehow gives me peace;
A narrow respite from the constancy
Of anguish that did not begin with me.
 

Copyright© 2006 Aspen'd Publishing

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