This is the first post in a series of personal stories about how my parents’ house has some really bad luck.
I’ve been a fan of The Monkees for nearly as long as I can remember. Davy Jones signed the liner notes for my copy of their greatest hits CD. I not only have watched “Head”, but I own it, and I like it. As a kid, I recall frequently asking my mom if a song on the radio was by The Monkees. Almost every time it turned out to be the Beatles, but that’s neither here nor there.
My lifelong fandom is undoubtedly due to the hours I spent watching the TV show in a hotel room when I was three years old. You see, my family lived in a hotel while we rebuilt our house.
It wasn’t a planned rebuild, mind you. The project was thrust upon us when the house caught fire.
I’m not entirely clear on the details, but somehow the fire happened when the house was in limbo. My parents were stuck with it, but the previous owner got the insurance payment? I don’t know; I was three. At any rate, it turns out that the previous owner had similar circumstances befall them at least one other time. Not suspicious at allllll.
But if the house is cursed, my parents were lucky in one regard: they had the carpets cleaned that night. The dampness slowed the fire long enough for the volunteer fire department to arrive. This kept the house from being a total loss.
It also gave me one hell of a headache. I ran through the house, being a three year old, and immediately fell when my wet shoes hit the vinyl floor in the kitchen. I still remember sitting on the back porch crying. My grandpa was there with us and he let me come spend the night to help me feel better.
I have a vague recollection of my parents showing up at his house later that night or the next morning. I assume they talked about the fire. I don’t remember if I had any reaction to the news or not. Ah, to be young again!
But this post is about The Monkees. So there we are, living in a hotel. My parents, my infant sister, and me. There’s not a lot for a kid to do in a hotel, especially when dad is at work (or working on making the house livable again) and mom is caring for a baby. So I spent what was probably a good deal of time watching TV.
This was around the time that The Monkees were having a resurgence in popularity, and so the show was on TV. I don’t remember specifics, but I know I liked the show. While the jokes went faaarrr over my head, the silliness is evident even to a three year old.
The Monkees got me through what was probably an incredibly stressful winter for my parents. I’ve been a fan ever since.