It's Leap Day. Or Leap Year Day. Whatever you want to call it. That funny day that occurs once every four years. I'ts also known as Sadie Hawkins Day. When a woman can propose to a man. All of this came about in Ireland because of St. Bridgett complaining to St. Patrick. Her problem was men taking forever, dragging their feet to commit, and making gals 'sit on a shelf' and wait. There's a wonderful movie, called "Leap Year", that I really enjoy, where an American woman wants to propose to her boyfriend in Ireland on Leap Year day... and ends up meeting her soul mate and her true love during her journey. It's a lovely movie. Big favorite of mine.
But this time around, on Leap Year Day, something not so pleasant... a celebrity I liked died this morning apparently of a massive heart attack. He was 66 years old. Husband, father of four, and someone who I have actually met in the past, when I was still pretty young. I enjoyed his theatre performances, his music, and how nice he was. David Jones of the Monkees. More commonly known as "Davy".
I met one of my 'then' closest friends in the late 80s, when the Monkees were making their 80s comeback, and they were showing the Monkees show in a "marathon" on MTV. For her privacy, I will just refer to her here as "M". "M" was seriously 'into' them, and I got caught up in it. Drank the koolaid, if you will. (or should I say the jello shot) Boy did I catch a lot of unmerciful teasing for that... from everyone. But I didn't care. It was fun. I ... WE were having fun... and it was harmless. I drove to Miami alone, saw David on the stage... he played Fagin in the production, "Oliver!". I met David a few times during that weekend, and he was always super nice, even when he was fresh off the stage, and I'm sure, exhausted. He personally mailed me two autographed 8x10 pics of him a couple of months later. A year or so later he was supposed to be in "Godspell"... I rode to see it with another friend, (she drove), only to find out the show had been cancelled, unbeknownst to us. We'd driven there for nothing. I was really upset, and disappointed. Word got back to him that one of his fans had driven there 'for nothing' to see him, and was really disappointed. Bless his heart, he sent me a personally autographed copy of his book. I was touched. What a nice person! The book being mailed to me had been helped along by my friend "M". She had "a friend" who made a personal call to David. I'll never forget that.
That was all years ago... I've been married and had children since then... and a lot of things take a backseat to real life and reality. I guess I, (so to speak), put away my childish things. I was/am a wife and a mom. I didn't think about it anymore. He did a show here a couple of times, but I didn't go. Too much to find a baby sitter and get tickets and go through all of that. Yes, I have done it to see U2 in concert... buying tickets for myself and my husband and kids, and then us attending as a family. But when you are married with kids and a mortgage, you can't do 'everything', no matter how much you may like to. Unless of course, you have a lot more money than I do. LOL And if that's the case, then go and have fun and enjoy yourself. But we are not rich, and sometimes you have to choose what you want to do more. At any rate...
This morning I get a call from my sister, and she tells me that he died this morning. Yes I was shocked. Someone I was a fan of twenty years ago... and of course I still had and always will have a soft spot for him. Sort of like Donny Osmond. I LOVED Donny Osmond when I was like... 6. Have you SEEN Donny? Oh my goodness. He grew up REALLY good looking. Has been married to the same woman all these years and has all sons. Donny will always have a special little spot in my heart. And so will Davy. And... he died today. And today I am remembering meeting him. I am remembering the joy at opening the mailbox and finding a package addressed to ME from him... where he took the time to send me something personally. TWICE! It made me feel special. I was just a fan... but he took the time to be kind to me. Someone he probably didn't even remember meeting. I am sure I was just one of a multitude. A celebrity though, who is nice to his fans, is unfortunately not as common as they ought to be. After all, the fans are who 'made' the celebrity. So many forget that. But Davy didn't. And he was good to his fans.
When I met him all those years ago, I met his daughter Sarah. She is his second oldest daughter. His oldest daughter is my age. LOL Funny how age doesn't concern you when you have yourself a crush on someone. Sarah was so nice. I liked her very much. She had this bright, excited smile, and happily chattered to me... I can't remember what we even talked about... but I remembered thinking how sweet and cool and NORMAL she was. How I could totally see being friends with her. She could have been anyone. She did not have that, "Oh, EXCUSE ME, my dad is a celebrity" air. Nope. Just a sweet, normal young gal who was happy and sweet. I am thinking of her today. Her, and her sisters. How sad and heartbroken they are undoubtedly feeling. I read that he'd just gotten back from a cruise with his current wife, his daughter Sarah, (now a wife and mother herself), and her little boy. And how Davy had bought his little grandson a pirate hat and he wore it the whole cruise. I hope that Sarah took a lot of pictures. I hope this little boy will remember his grandpa. I am just sad for their family. Funny... I don't even 'know' these people. I guess celebrity is like that. Like living in a a fishbowl. Everyone can see everything. More than they ought to see, or even know about. Part of being a celebrity I guess. I would hate that lack of privacy.
So anyway, I sent a text message, and sent the article of his death via Facebook, to "M", (the one who got me all into it to start with, and was one of my best friends for nearly twenty years), and let her know he had died. I knew that she would want to know.
After our friendship ended, ("M" and I), I had grieved losing her friendship for literally a year... it felt like a divorce. But I got over it and moved on. I am not going to say I don't still miss her sometimes. We had a LOT of fun times. I miss that. I shared everything with her... even things I should have kept to myself. But I loved her and trusted her... I have trouble trusting anyone now. With her I could be silly... and she didn't think I was a dork for it. And we were dorks together, and had a marvelous time at it. But the differences really came out those last few years... Honestly though, I am not mad at her. I will always care about her and want the best for her. I still pray for her. I hold no grudge. As far as today... she was on my mind because Davy had died, and I thought we could talk a little. *shrugs* Ah, well. She was one of my best friends for so many years. I don't have a "best friend" anymore. I had two. I had her, "M", and I had Steph. Well, Steph died. And "M"... we 'divorced'. We grew apart. Sort of like me 'outgrowing' my crush on Davy. We outgrew each other. She wanted more 'secular' things. I wanted to grow in my faith and homeschool and raise my children. Those are my priorities now. It's a shame what happened with our friendship. But I don't regret it.
But Davy... I still have those autographed items. I have those warm fuzzy memories of watching whatever show you were in at the time, and then meeting you and feeling so excited. And then have you look right into my eyes when you talked to me. For adding to my life... to giving me some joyful times. For your songs I sang along with. For the silly fun I had with my friend "M"... no matter what has happened between she and I, the fact remains that we had some real fun times together, and that was something we both shared. Despite everything, my friend was someone I could share with. And she got it. I guess that's what I miss the most.
In life it's hard to find a real friend who gets you. Someone who see's you at your worst, and doesn't even blink. I had that with two friends. I know I will never have that again with anyone other than my own husband and kids. I guess I've learned the hard way that THAT is enough for me. I have put away my childish things, and look back and remember the good times with fondness, and will try and forget all the bad. I may have other friends... but "best" will never come around again. Davy will never 'come around" again. With "M" I will have memories of all the times we could 'escape' and be silly, be serious and talk... and be 'bad' and laugh and forget all the bad things in life... and be care-free. We made our OWN Breeze. We were Ya-Ya Sisters. Monkee Fans. BFFs. And Davy was part of that.
Saying goodbye to a fun part of your life sucks. But it was glorious fun while it lasted... all the years that it lasted.
So with an aching heart, and a few tears, I tuck away this part of my youth.. away deep into my heart and memories... deep enough to remember well, but hopefully deep enough that it won't hurt as much. To my Sister in Crime. A Ya-Ya. My friendship with "M", rest in peace.
To my favorite Monkee, Davy Jones,
may you Rest in Peace.
may you Rest in Peace.
From a Daydream Believer.
You will be missed.