I got the news in a text from my daughter.
“OMG! What?!” I texted back.
It’s a hoax, I reasoned. A cruel internet hoax, I told myself as I ran upstairs to Google his name.
I clicked on one of the links detailing the unexpected death of Davy Jones. My eyes filled with tears as I read about the heart attack he suffered. My reaction surprised me. Never before had I been so moved by the death of a celebrity. Certainly far more stellar entertainers have gone before– Lennon, Morrison, Hendrix—and yet it was Davy who drew my emotions to the surface.
In 1966, when the first Monkees episodes aired, I was a budding adolescent. It was a time of discovery, of change – garter belts and sanitary belts, mascara and mini skirts, blue eye shadow and pale lipstick, go-go boots and Jean Naté.
Davy’s rakish grin and Carnaby Street style captivated me. And what was it about that adorable British accent that turned my heart into figgy pudding?
I never missed an episode. And even though the show only ran for two seasons, having the teen idol in my living room, sharing in his scripted adventures brought an intimacy to our relationship that I never felt with other performers of the era.
Over the years, I all but forgot about the object of my first celebrity crush until 2000 when I saw a small article in the local paper announcing his appearance that day in San Ramon to promote his latest memoir, “Daydream Believer.”
A youthful giddiness engulfed me at the thought of seeing Davy in person. I instructed my husband to meet me with our camera at the appointed hour. I wasn’t about to let this chance of a lifetime slip by unrecorded.
I stood in line with the bevy of aging teeny boppers queued up in the sweltering afternoon sun, waiting to breathe the same oxygen as their teen idol.
Gracious, friendly and patient, Davy took time out between autographing copies of his book to pose for photos with his long time fans.
My heart still aches when I think about his passing. But the timeless melodies and lyrics of his songs will forever transport me to that tender place in my memory when The Monkees mischief aired weekly, and daydream believers walked the halls of my junior high.
Camille DeFer Thompson has been writing since childhood. She has won acclaim for her fiction and non-fiction published in a number of anthologies, including Publishing Syndicate’s recent release, “Not Your Mother’s Book…On Home Improvement”.
Her feature articles appear in print, and online at www.sanramonpatch.com.
Camille lives with her husband in Northern California.
Visit her website at www.camilledeferthompson.com