Thursday, March 1, 2012

My First Love

One thing I think is common for all of us is that we always remember our first love. They are someone who makes an impact on our lives, helps us to feel those deep feelings of connecting with a special someone. We’re usually very young, and of course it doesn’t last, but we are left with an experience and a memory that stays with us the rest of our lives.

My first love was Davy Jones of the Monkees. I was just about to turn 11 when the Monkees came on television. I’d been hearing about it, seen the commercials and was anxious to see this show about a band. I was not into the Beatles, although my father made me watch them when they first appeared on Ed Sullivan. But this show looked interesting and fun!

I was hooked from the start. It was a terrific show for someone my age who was just trying to discover things like musical tastes and boys. And the sweet-faced young man from England just stole my heart. I put his pictures up all over my walls, wrote his name on my PeeChee folders, and saved my allowances to buy the Monkees albums. I was in the sixth grade, and the boys teased me for liking the Monkees, and Davy in particular, but I didn’t care. I was in love!

He was a good guy to have a first crush on. Funny, sweet and his music was gentle and happy. The Monkees embraced who they were. They weren’t the Rolling Stones or the Beatles, they were a band made for television and the young girls who would watch it. In recent times Davy continued to perform, continued to accept who loved him. He said recently that he knew his audience was filled with grandmothers, daughters and granddaughters. He knew, he said, how the music made them feel because he felt the same way about it.

When I started junior high the next year, I met my friend Beth. And -- oh happy day! -- she loved Davy too! We have spent many happy hours over the years listening to his music, talking about him, laughing over the memories. In our twenties we wrote him a fan letter, and took all of our Monkee albums and made a tape of songs that Davy sang lead on. About seven years ago we made a CD of it as well.

Beth and I finally got to see the Monkees on their 25th anniversary tour. Sooo much fun! Dancing, singing, laughing! One of the best experiences I’ve ever had. About 8 years ago Stan and I took the boys to see them when they came to town. Again it was one of the most amazing times. We spent most of the evening on our feet dancing and singing and laughing and just having the most fun you could ever have at a concert.

I’m listening to my Davy CD as I write this. My first love died February 29, 2012. He was 66. Too young to have died. Beth said she wonders if he still has our letter. I’m pretty sure he has our letter as well as all the letters that were written to him with love and sweet memories. Unlike so many former teen heartthrobs, Davy Jones enjoyed who he was and what he represented to so many of us.

He gave his last performance February 19th. He ended the show saying, “When you go home tonight dance like no one is watching, love like there’s no tomorrow, and if life gets to hard to stand, kneel. God bless America!”

I hope He blesses Davy as well.

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