As a twelve year old, I became obsessed with the Monkees. I did the whole nine yards, watched the show, bought magazines that had any mention (no matter how small) of the four guys, fell madly in love with Davy Jones, argued with my best friend about which Monkee was the cutest, and begged my mother to let me get concert tickets. I was a diehard fan.
My mother allowed me to get concert tickets in 1967. The concert was scheduled the same week as the infamous 67 Detroit riots. My parents were afraid of Detroit, having taken part in the great white flight to the suburbs in 1964. The concert (which was to take place at Olympia Stadium) was rescheduled for the week following the riots. A testament to my mother's love is that she drove me and three friends to the concert through what looked like war torn streets and neighborhoods following that terrible time in Detroit. Though very fearful of what was going on in Detroit at the time, mom drove around Olympia Stadium for three hours untill the concert was over.
Years later I realized that she understood that my twelve year old life would end if I could not see the Monkees in concert. It was an amazing day. We were young and inexperienced (girls were stripping off their clothing and being carried out of the arena by security guards), we were in the nosebleed section of the arena (the Monkees were tiny white specks on the stage), the screaming and bedlam was overwhelming, and I had the time of my life.
Over the years, I managed to see the Monkees in concert a total of four times. The second time, I brought my son who had become a fan during reruns. The music has never gotten old, and I've found myself drawn to it whenever times have been tough in my life. Though I might go months and months without thinking of or hearing about them, just like bologna sandwiches and chicken soup bring me comfort during illness, the Monkees bring me comfort when I'm stressed or sad. I don't know if it's the music, the fond memories, nostalgia, or the knowledge that at that one perfect moment in my life, my mom completely understood me.
I will pray for Peter Tork as I reflect on the comfort those four guys have brought me over the years and I will remember them with gratitude......