Streetlights Down Memory Lane

First Crush: My Tribute To Davy Jones

Who was your first love, your first crush? Was it the boy next store? A teen idol? Or that guy you hoped would at least look at you when you passed each other in the hall at school?

In 1966, I was fourteen years old. Up until that time, I’d certainly had my share of near crushes. Elvis Presley when I was six, the New Orleans policeman (we didn’t say officer back then) who stood next to me in an elevator, even then I was drawn to a man in uniform, and Robert Wagner when I was eight. And then there was Chris Pittman. I was eleven and he was the best friend of the boy who lived across the street from me. I guess you could call it an almost crush. He teased me with that twinkle in his blue eyes and pulled my pigtails on more than one occasion. I remember I was not quite sure what to do with how he treated me. But, I confess, I liked it.

All of them had their special place, “priming the pump”, preparing my heart for that special detour on my road to discovering what love really was.

The day was September 12, 1966. Within the first five minutes of NBC’s, The Monkees, I fell in love. In all of its teenage puberty laden hormonal glory. In my fourteen years on the planet, I’d never seen any one more adorable, breathtaking and totally heart stopping then Davy Jones. Today, I can say with  confidence that Davy Jones was my first real crush! Was it because of my age and the natural hormonal changes that come with that age? Would I have not fallen so completely head over heals if I had just turned twelve? Would I have just smiled and said, “sure he’s cute but way too short”, if I had been seventeen?

Maybe. But all I know is that I’ll never trade that moment in my life when my sweet wholesome heart opened like a flower for this handsome young Englishman. Sparking the wonders of love in my heart, he set in motion the most exciting treasure hunt I would ever experience. He gave me a point of reference, a beginning place to start my journey. Filled with a gamut of emotions that I’d never experienced before, Davy Jones awakened feelings in me that have never stopped.

And this was just the beginning.

Until him, I hadn’t known what love really felt like. So, each week, I watched his show, played his records and danced and sang to his music with my girlfriends. Week after week, I watched The Monkees, so happy when the episode showcased him. Thrilled when the cameras focused on his adorable, handsome face, his contagious smile and his crop of straight dark hair. Groovy didn’t even begin to explain what I felt when I looked at him. I completely and utterly adored him.

There were no tape players or DVD’s or YouTube where you could watch your favorite show over and over at will. No, I had to wait until the next week to see him again. For the first time in my life my heart pounded with sheer joy and giddiness over the opposite sex. Until Davy Jones, I’d never known or experienced what “longing” really meant. And even though I knew this girl from the south would never know him or get to meet him, it didn’t deter my joy in watching him each week and creating a world in which he danced and sang with me.

Forever, my first love, Davy Jones became the measurement of everything I looked for in a boy after that.  Maybe that’s what first crushes do. They give you a marker from which to start. A place to begin. If this is what love feels like from a distance and totally one sided, what must love really feel like, in all of its glory and reality?

Even his chipper performance of Cuddly Toy embodies everything delightful and sweet about my crush. If Davy and I could have had a song, that would have been it. With, We Were Made For Each Other, a sure back up. If I had one word to describe that time, it would be, joyful.

Here’s the link to Cuddly Toy in case you’re interested. Go ahead and watch it, you know you want to!

Is it any wonder, I write sweet romances? 🙂

Davy Jones gave me the starting point. He was the starting block in my race to find true love. He was the road sign that pointed in the right direction. He paved the way and the door opened wide and I walked right through it. As a result I knew what to look for and eventually found it in a young man named Tom. Twinkled eyed and handsome, who only had eyes for me. Because of my crush, at that time in my life, and the focus of that crush, I recognized real love when I finally found it.

My teen years with Davy were a magical time and a safe place for my young heart to embrace life and love with joyful abandon. My memories of the sweet and adorable charm of Davy Jones and the joy in watching and listening to Cuddly Toy have made my books better and more importantly, my life.

I love that Davy fathered four girls! How wonderfully appropriate! He must have known what he’d done to the hearts of millions of girls across the planet, but in case he didn’t, I’m sure he finally learned it first hand by watching each of his daughters experience their first crush! I’m sure it opened a special window into that world he’d been so much a part of. Not that he ever asked for total and complete adoration from millions of teenage girls, but in God’s perfect plan Davy Jones was the chosen one. Watching him perform, I believe he loved every minute of it. I know I certainly did.

Every generation has their teen idols; my mother’s was Frank Sinatra. I’m forever thankful Davy Jones was mine.

Love and Blessings,


David Thomas Jones 








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Streetlights Down Memory Lane

Simple Things


In my book, Keeper Of My Heart, my heroine, Katie McCullough, has a special bond with an elderly man whom she “adopted” at age ten as her ‘stand-in’ grandfather. One of the things I love about Katie is her devotion to this wonderful man.

As a child growing up in New Orleans, I knew a kind elderly lady named, Mrs. Bulleman. I called her Mrs. B. She lived across the street from us and for the most part was house bound. My mother, an avid gardener, had a cutting garden in the front of our little house on Wilton Drive, and once a week during the summer she’d cut a bouquet of flowers for her.

I had the privilege of bringing the flowers over to her house. As a little girl, this was a highlight for me because I was allowed to cross the street ‘all by myself’. I felt very grown up and knew I was doing something grand when I handed over the lush bouquet to this lovely lady. I can still see the joy on her face as she took the flowers from me. Most of the time she’d invite me in for a cold lemon aid and a piece of chocolate. I remember sitting in her semi dark parlor leaning over the coffee table hoping I’d pick a piece with a nut inside.

One Christmas when I was about nine or ten, I was in Sears shopping for presents with my mother. Armed with fifty cents I went through the store looking for something I could buy for my only living grandmother and for Mrs. B. I had adopted her as my ‘in town’ grandmother so no way could I leave her out. A sales lady suggested I buy each of them a butter knife. They were only twenty cents each.  So I did.

The knife I bought for Mrs B.

As the years went by and I grew older, it was my mother who took Mrs. B. her ‘weekly’ bouquet. But once, in my teen years, just as I was about to go out with friends, my mother grabbed me. “Run these over to Mrs. Bulleman. She hasn’t seen you all summer.”

I crossed the street with flowers in hand and was met with the same joyful reception I remembered as a child. Mrs. B. kindly offered me something cool to drink. I looked back at my friends, motioned for them to wait, and stepped inside her parlor.

Several years after Mrs. B died I was home planning my wedding when her daughter showed up at our back door. She smiled and handed me the little butter knife I’d given her mother all those years ago. A sweet flood of memories filled me as I recalled the day I bought her that knife. Her daughter shared with me how much my gift had meant to her mother and knew she would’ve wanted me to have it back.

Today, that simple, inexpensive knife sits by my butter dish. We use it every day. For me it’s a precious reminder of Mrs. B’s gracious acceptance of a small child’s gift and of how a life is touched by thoughtful actions and the simplest things.

Growing up, did you have an elderly neighbor that influenced you in a meaningful way?  Or maybe, there’s someone right now in your life that holds a special place as a surrogate grandparent either to you or to your children? Is there a special object or gift that reminds you of this person?

I would love to hear your stories.

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