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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Local grandparents sing their way into your hearts - Viral Video

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BATON ROUGE - A Baton Rouge couple wasn't going to let the coronavirus get in the way of seeing their grandchildren, even if they had to get creative with their distancing and their displays of affection.

Linda and Tim Manes formulated a plan that both played to their strengths and pulled at their heartstrings. The pair have always had music in their lives since they met as LSU Golden Band from Tigerland members back in their college days. Linda knew exactly what they should do, and how they should do it. 

"I said okay, Tim grab your trumpet. I'm gonna get my clarinet, we're gonna do a driveway visit," the grandmother of two said on Friday afternoon via a facetime interview.

"We got out of the car and as they came out, we played together 'You Are My Sunshine'," the pair said finishing each other's sentences. 

"When we pulled up we started playing and what you couldn't see is the children started, dance, and just kind of general bedlam. And the thing that I enjoyed the most was hearing the laughter seeing the dance movements and that brought joy to my heart." Tim referenced his favorite part of the impromptu concert. 

There was never a doubt as to the song they pair would play, it's been a part of the soundtrack of their lives. Linda chose the Louisiana favorite "You Are My Sunshine" created by the state's former governor Jimmie Davis back in 1939. 

"It's a special song that I used to sing to my grandbabies, because that's how I feel about all of them," Linda said of the musical choice.

The Manes' grandchildren Ellen (10) and James (7) lived with them during the family's recovery of the flood in 2016 and the two groups live only a mile and a half apart so the sudden stop of visits has been difficult according to Tim, "it's hard not seeing your grandkids up close. And we're huggers so that's that, you know, that's a real challenge for us."

Linda, who still teaches piano lessons via the internet, felt the notes struck by the song selection were perfect for these challenging times. 

"You know, there's not much that the old sunshine can't cure, so when you're down below kind of low, just walk right out in its golden glow - song lyric from You Are My Sunshine"

"Music has great power music has power to soothe," Linda said. "It has power to inspire, it has power to change your mood. And what we saw in what we did was a revitalization of the people that we love, and I've seen that happen so many times throughout the years in which where there are no words music is sometimes the thing that gets the message to the hearts of the people."

"you are my sunshine, my only sunshine..." 

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