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.