I was about eight years old when I first saw him, and it was love at first sight. I fell madly in love with his sparkly eyes, his boyish handsomeness, his British accent. I didn't miss a chance to see him. I'm talking about Davy Jones, who died of a heart attack yesterday at the way-too-young age of 66.
The Monkees, complete with misspelled animal name, were created to compete with another "boy band" of the 1960s--the Beatles. I didn't care why they had been created. I didn't care that their series was cheesy and silly. They were on twice a week as I remember--including Saturday mornings, and I didn't miss an episode, much to my mother's disgust. (Seriously, the show was TRULY silly and cheesy.)
From 1966 to 1968, I was in love with the man/boy who had planned to become a jockey until fate intervened. After the series went off the air, Davy recorded a solo album, which I owned, played and sang along with continuously. When the show went off the air, I found another crush--Bobby Sherman, but it's true--you never forget your "first love".
I cried when I heard the news of his premature death--and then I went to iTunes and bought "The Best of the Monkees" album. I listened to it in my classroom and on the way home from school, and it's astounding to me that all the words came flooding back to me as if I had just heard them recently. It's with great sorrow--and appreciation--that I say, "Rest in peace, Davy Jones. I loved you so much--you were an escape during a rather ragged childhood. Thank you for the smiles, the silliness, the music. You made me a 'daydream believer', and I will miss you."