Happy birthday to the first 🐠 Pisces I knew, my mother’s mother, Cleo.

A true Rosie the Riveter, she bucked rivets in the wings of the B29 Superfortress and filled shells with tetryl powder while her brothers were off fighting in WW2.

Cleo Simonds in Daytona, planning the gamble

I had the honor of living with her to finish out school in Hapeville while my mother moved up to Sandy Springs to get me into a better school starting the next school year.

Living with Cleo was amazing. People were over at all hours of the night, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and gambling. NEVER would anyone dare come over or call before noon though (see where I get my up-all-night/noon-starts-the-day thing).

But my favorite part of living with Cleo was the times we were alone, when she would pull out all the secrets she kept under the tablecloth, and teach me things… like how to tell fortunes ✨ using a deck of playing cards retired from a Vegas casino (you could tell the cards were retired because of the hole punched through the deck).

Charlsie Gillespie, Cleo Simonds, Bonnie Gillespie 1970

Cleo called me her baby (I am, of course, the youngest of all her grandkids) and she never ever ever said goodbye when hanging up the phone. Just… “well…” *click* 🤣

I have 1234567890 Cleo stories. She was truly one of a kind. I’m glad I got 22 years of my life with her in it… one of ’em with her all to myself!


Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

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