Darrell Huckaby - 08/05/09

Fall is fast approaching, and at this time of year my thoughts always turn to two things - women's breasts.

I know that half of you were expecting me to say college football and something else and the rest are thinking, "I can't believe that fool just admitted that," but it's not what you are thinking.

I start thinking about women's breasts in conjunction with the Susan G. Komen 3-Day - an event that takes place all across the country in an effort to raise money to help fund research to find a cure for breast cancer.

Did you think I wear pink shirts around town all the time because they look so good against my tanned skin? Not at all. I wear pink quite frequently because it gives me an opportunity to steer conversations - particularly conversations with people who are a little heavy on the hip - to the insidious disease that strikes almost 190,000 women every year - as well as almost 2,000 men - and claims more than 41,000 lives annually. Let me put it this way. In the time it takes you to watch Oprah every afternoon, 22 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer - and five will die from it. And that goes on around the clock - 24/7/365.

My lovely wife Lisa and I made it our business to try and strike a blow against breast cancer three years ago, and since then she has walked hundreds of miles in preparation for the 60-mile, 3-day walk that takes place every October in Atlanta. I haven't participated in one of the 3-Days - yet - but I have walked virtually every training mile with her to show my support - and I have helped her beg for money from friends and strangers and anyone else that I could convince to give me a nickel or two - or a hundred dollars or two. Lisa has raised thousands of dollars for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and I am proud to be like the little kid on the old Shake and Bake commercials. I helped.

Lisa isn't walking in the 3-Day this year, which is why I haven't bugged you for a contribution yet, but the Susan G. Komen people still need your dollars, and I know a fun and painless way that you can do your part.

Enter YaYas for TaTas - a rather whacky group of friends who have been inseparable since middle school. I know because I taught most of them back in the previous century at Newton County High School. The YaYas - Beth Wells, Cindy McGibbony, Lynda Reagan, Nancy Garner, Sonia Mesry and Dana Anckersen - have been training long and hard for months in anticipation of this year's walk, which will take place in Atlanta on the weekend of Oct. 23-25. The folks who do the walk, you see, sleep on the ground, in tents, and walk about 20 miles a day for three straight days. And each person pays $2,300 for the privilege - all of which goes to fund breast cancer research. That's right at $14,000 the YaYas have pledged. That's a lot of dough - in any sort of economic times.

But it is for a good cause because, although none of the six have experienced breast cancer, to this point, they each know that they are susceptible and they have 10 daughters among them, who are also susceptible. Plus they, like all of us, have had their lives touched by friends or relatives who have had to deal with breast cancer. So they decided to be proactive and try to help find a cure.

And you won't believe what they've come up with to raise money.

Blue Maxx.

I realize that the phrase won't mean anything to many of you, but if you are of the same generation as the women who comprise the YaYas for Tatas, you will remember that Blue Maxx was one of the hottest local rock 'n' roll bands around back in the '80s. When I say rock, trust me, I mean rock.

The band was comprised of Jeff "Hondo" Autry, Jeff Hay, Tommy Forgay and John Riley - and the four members of Blue Maxx were close friends with the YaYas. Isn't that a wonderful story, in and of itself? - that after 30 years there are still that many close friends from high school who are still in this area and are still close enough to join forces in an effort to fight breast cancer? Well, I think it is - and speaking of stories - I could tell you some humdingers about a few of these people - but I won't.

But here's the deal - and it is quite a deal. Blue Maxx will be playing a reunion concert at The Ozone Bar and Grill this Saturday night - at 7 o'clock. Brother Pudge, Jeff Hay's country band, will open. The cost is a mere $15 at the door and all of the money - 100 percent - every red cent, will go to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.

Y'all come. Please. As I've said before - you don't have to worry about breast cancer unless you have breasts - or know someone who does. The life you help save may be your own - or someone's very close to you. I hope to see you there. And if you don't like rock music, drop your contribution at the door. If it's a big enough contribution, I'll tell you a story or two about some of the folks involved.

Darrell Huckaby