It all started back in the late 70s and early 80s. I’m not sure when I first fell in love with John Denver – whether it was the appearances on the Muppet Show or his roles in the “Oh God” movies, but somewhere along the way I developed a serious crush on this man. I have forever since been a sucker for guys in glasses.
My swim coach could do a mean “Annie’s Song” on the guitar, and I longed for a trip down a Country Road with John every time I heard it. Given our (mine and John’s) age difference (29 years) – and the fact that I didn’t actually know John Denver or have any way to meet him—I had to content myself with a crush on a guy that rode my bus that sort of looked like him. I’ve always been a realist that way.
Anyway, these were the days when groceries were expensive and money was not wasted. So, when I begged—you can imagine the shameless pleading in the middle of the cereal aisle of the Burris Supermarket in Colleyville, Texas—and Mom finally acquiesced, the go ahead to buy the Grape Nuts cereal came with a strict warning, “you have to eat the WHOLE box.” I agreed readily. I mean, why not? My beloved John Denver wouldn’t try to sell me a cereal that wasn’t great, right? It’s going to taste like the great outdoors; it’s going to give me a Rocky Mountain high, right? WRONG. If your idea of a great cereal is little tasteless pebbles in your mouth that risk chipping a tooth with each bite, then, sure, Grape Nuts is great. Sadly, that is not my idea of a satisfying breakfast experience, and I was stuck with the whole damn box. I ate them, but I was not happy about it. I eventually forgave John for his involvement in the Grape Nuts affair.
When he died in 1997, I was crushed – so young, so tragic. John, you filled up my senses. Wish you were still around; I miss you.