Hello Gentle Reader,
I recently discovered that this column is very similar to another that I wrote 2 1/2 years ago.
Rather than a re-run, this essay is more of a reboot.
So, without further ado, please enjoy a tale of my elementary school love life.
Take care and stay safe,
This is going to date the heck out of me, but when I was in kindergarten, at Lad & Lassie School in Mobile, Alabama, I was madly in love with Bobby Sherman.
I thought he was dreamy. I had a Bobby Sherman lunch box.
When he sang “Julie Do You Love Me?”, my besotted brain changed Julie to debbie. He was also the star of his own short-lived sitcom. IMDB informs us that the name of the show was “Getting Together”, but until now I always assumed, it was, “The Bobby Sherman Show”.
That’s what I called it in my heart. My fickle, fickle heart.
By the first grade, I was all about Donny Osmond. And I loved sister Marie; I couldn’t wait for her to be my sister-in-law.
I’d received a portable cassette player and the Osmond Brothers “Crazy Horses” cassette for Christmas. Every afternoon, I would grab it and rush down to Cathy Ainge’s house (unlike me, she didn’t have brothers, so it was much more peaceful at her place).
We’d pop in that cassette and proceed to squeal at the sound of our beloved’s voice. Then, we’d swoon like a Jane Austin heroine seeing her first hairy chest. How her mother put up with it is anybody’s guess.
I read Teen Beat and Tiger Beat magazines. But 16 (the fan mag, not to be confused with the fashion mag for older girls, Seventeen), was our absolute fave. In addition to interviews and layouts with Donny and a host of other cute boys, they printed serials about different celebrities that ran for months.
We were about six months into a Donny serial and deeply immersed. There were probably at least six more months to go when my dad came home from work one day to announce that our Coast Guard family was being transferred to Puerto Rico.
I was already, at nine-years-old, a veteran of these moves. And who wouldn’t want to have a three-year vacation in a tropical paradise?
Of course, I would miss my friends. I would miss the Girl Scouts and my Brownie troop. I was also shortstop on my t-ball team, which I loved. The kids that lived in my neighborhood were my cohorts and my squad. The neighborhood itself was still full of places I hadn’t yet explored.
But I was a Coastie kid, and moving every few years was part of the deal; I knew I’d make new friends, have new clubs and activities, and have many new places to explore.
No, my relocation veto had nothing to do with any of those things.
It was because of my (current) one true love, Donny Osmond.
I was staying in North Carolina because I had no idea if 16 magazine was available at newsstands in Puerto Rico—and I was taking no chances.
It speaks to my parents’ ability to wisely deal with the upheavals that came with being a Coast Guard family, that they took my objections seriously. They proposed a plan in which I would earn the money in advance, and my mother’s best friend, Mizz Judy would purchase the magazine each month through the run of the serial, and mail it to our new home in the Caribbean.
Mizz Judy faithfully kept mailing, and I kept reading until Donny’s multi-part adventures had concluded. And, our dreamlike sojourn in the very Northwestern corner of that little coral outcropping called the Borinquen (bo-rink-can) became one of my very favorite homes.
And, Donny was far from the last crush I had. And as I grew up and matured, so did my crushes and the motivations for them.
Thanks for your time.
Contact debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org.