As I ice my sore, 50-something knee (which makes me feel kind of old), news of the death of Davy Jones of the Monkees shoots me back in time to when I was a girl, back to when I first fell in love.
The first object of my affection was Davy Jones, the cutest member of The Monkees and just about every fifth-grade girl’s dream.
What was not to love?
Jones was cute, funny and non-sexually threatening. In the midst of the British Invasion, he had a lovely English accent and a mod haircut. He was nice, kind and wore cool clothes. He sang well, smiled a lot, and his soft, brown eyes made my little-girl heart flutter.
I loved him as really, truly and deeply as any 10-year-old girl could.
“The Monkees” was must-watch viewing in my family’s little brick ranch in East Detroit. The shows were fun and silly, the music pretty good. I owned all the band’s albums and still know all the words to all the songs. (It’s funny how I lose my keys and forget what I need from the market, but I always know the words to every song I’ve ever heard.)
1966 — the year “The Monkees” debuted on television — was full of music and protest and a dramatic change in the way we lived our lives. It was the year my dad took me to anti-war marches, John Lennon met Yoko Ono, Richard Speck murdered eight student nurses in Chicago, ground was broken for the World Trade Center, “Star Trek” debuted on television, and Walt Disney died.
It was a time when my life stretched out farther than my imagination could see, when anything and everything seemed possible, when I spent all my time reading books and writing stories and poems, when my spirit was all shiny and new.
It was the year I struggled to figure out why we were fighting in Vietnam and how I could look like the girls in the Yardley ads that aired during “The Monkees.”
It was also the year I first fell in love.
For that, I will always have a special place in my heart for Davy Jones and the 10-year-old girl I was.
As I sit with an ice pack on my knee, I mourn them both.