It’s kind of fun when a baby boomer — now “all growed up” — holds onto some of the cherished memories from when we were young. So it is for Patricia Mattheiss, who wrote to us from her home in Towson, Maryland, an essay she calls “David, why are you STILL always on my mind? Could It Be Forever?”
I was 11 years old when I first met him. Well, I didn’t actually meet him -– it was hero-worship from afar -– but it felt like he was breathing my air, occupying my space, and living in my world.
It happened when he and his family casually strolled into my living room one day and decided to take up residency. From 1970 until 1974, these new “friends” made themselves comfortable every week when they came into my house through the boob tube.
Yes, on Friday afternoons, my sister and I would hurry home from school, grab our after-school snack, and sit cross-legged on the floor waiting with anticipation for DAVID!! Oh, and his family, too: The Partridge Family. And, all my friends who were born in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s were doing the same thing (just in their own living rooms, in front of other console TVs, and with a different sibling or friend).
For four seasons, during my preteen years, David Cassidy was the priority in my life. I saw him on television, I read about him in Teen Magazine, and I listened to all his 45s. I knew the lyrics to his songs, stared for hours at his posters, and gobbled up every bit of gossip I could find.
I listened to his music nonstop; he romanced me with “I’ll Meet You Halfway” and “Could It Be Forever.” I fell asleep listening to “I Think I Love You,” as did many a teenage girl in 1970, and greeted each day with “I Woke Up in Love This Morning.” David’s songs spoke of heartfelt longing and loving; I was star-struck. But, such as with any first crush, it all came to an end one day.
David, the tabloids reported, was leaving the show. The Partridge Family was finished. Life changed for David, and mine did, as well.
My infatuation was over, replaced with new heartthrobs, and eventually a real live boyfriend. I rarely thought about David Cassidy. Sometimes I would read an article about him or catch a glimpse of him on the flat screen, but by then I really didn’t care or have time to follow his career.
David grew older, lost some hair, gained a few pounds and more than a few wrinkles. I almost forgot about him until last year when I heard that he had passed away. He was only 67 years old.
The news caught me by surprise and, oddly enough, made me sad to hear that the David I remembered, who sang his way into my teen dreams, was gone. My heart took a little tumble, just a small one, when I thought about those heartfelt moments from the 70’s.
Yes, the posters were all tattered and torn, my collection of 45s long ago warped and chipped, and the old magazines went out with the trash. And yet, although I am no longer sitting cross-legged on the floor with an after-school snack, I think about him . or maybe CHERISH is the word.