Sitting here in my Colorado mountain tourist town home on New Year’s Eve, I discovered that it is sad as we approach the ending of each year because, in spite of the rampant remarks about the bad things that happened in 2016, there were also many good things. But as I was pondering this subject, I wandered many years back to some things that used to be, but are no more. Two recent losses sent me there.
Back in the early 80s, my ex-husband and I bought a lot downtown and erected a commercial building on it. It housed a rental apartment on the top floor, my bookstore just above ground level and a rental store below that. My ex had an office in the back of the bookstore for his CPA practice and the bookstore shared it for its office, as well .
One day I was working in the bookstore alone when in walked none other than Debbie Reynolds, whose parents lived here at the time. Her mother was a rather wonderfully extroverted character, but in a good, down-to-earth way. Everybody local knew and loved her. I only saw Debbie’s father one time and he appeared to be a rather quiet gentleman. But our meeting was brief, so I don’t really know.
Debbie’s father loved books and especially Louis L’Amour’s, so she was always shopping for those and other westerns for him. Imagine my surprise when, while browsing the shelves, she suddenly started singing “Tammy’s In Love” as I answered my ringing store telephone that day.
Another time, she and Carrie Fisher came in to shop and Carrie volunteered to send an autograph home to my then teenage son, which she signed Princess Leia. She was at the height of her fame for that role at the time.
The last time I saw Debbie was when she rode beside another local resident, Dennis Weaver, in the July 4th parade a few years ago. And now, sadly, they are all gone. Even though I heard it said on a recent show about them that Debbie and Carrie were “big deal and high maintenance broads,” neither of them acted that way when they were here and I am proud to have had the privilege of meeting both of them. Dennis Weaver was the same – unpretentious and always out and about and approachable, though we tend to let the movie stars alone around here because I think they come here to escape that sort of thing.
To pull myself out of this roaming back into the past, which was provoked by the two deaths, I told myself that, even though this night was to be an ending, it is also a wonderful, new beginning. I don’t make resolutions anymore, but I do have high hopes that 2017 is going to be an outstandingly wonderful year for us all.