Birthdays, anniversaries, days of “firsts”, graduations, sometimes divorces, and dates of death of loved ones are always and forever etched into our subconscious some how.
These things never seem to leave us and we stand up and shout that we will never forget. Mainly because our brains never do allow us to as our memories are triggered by someone or something that would always bring us back to these specific and personal days in our lives.
The 31st of August is one of those dates for me. Both good and bad. Both happy and sad.
Deborah “Debbie” Gibson was born on the 31st of August in 1970, she became the pop music princess of the world and she paved the path for so many others such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and even Demi Levato and Ariana Grande today.
With my fascination at the time of trying to find a way to get into the Guiness Book of World Records, Debbie Gibson entered it with her number one hit “Foolish Beat” … she was the youngest person to write, produce and perform a song.
Ironically, I would hear that song for the first time and something was going on in my own personal life with a girl I had a crush on at the time, that was devastating to me. And that’s the first song I remember hearing.
The news was that she had a #1 hit with the song, and she was put into the Guiness Book of World Records.
And that would start an amazing collection of “cassette singles” that I would have for many, many years. “Foolish Beat” being the first one I ever bought for one dollar and some change at the local Wal-Mart.
If only music (actually physical copies of CDs) were that cheap still. Screw iTunes!!! At least until there are no more compact disc players and mine die out.
Today, Deborah (as she is now known) turned 44 years old. Wow.
Twenty-seven years after the birth of Gibson came another event on that day. It would turn out to be a tragic event. The announcement of the death of Princess Diana in 1997.
I woke up that day and turned on my tiny black and white television that had been loaned to me for a while only to find that television had been interrupted. There was an airplane standing there. Then a car. Then a hearse.
I wondered which “celebrity death” had happened and who was famous enough in the time and space to interrupt television programming but I couldn’t think of anyone.
But it was England’s finest princess. And she was dead. Rumors were constantly circulating around. But one thing was for sure. She had been involved in a automobile crash that took her life and the life of her current lover.
For the rest of the day and night television was focused on NOTHING but this news that Princess Diana was dead.
Princess Diana to me was someone who was like an angel.
All of her charity and humanitarian work that she did and her goals to get rid of violence in other nations and taking care of one another was so appealing.
I remember as a child shortly after she did marry Prince Charles, of her going through the airport at the same time my family was sending off my grandmother after another long summer visit with her.
I remember punching and pushing my way to get to the front of the crowd to see her walking through the terminal and waving and once in a while touching hands.
She saw me standing there and I was waving and saluting. Princess Diana walked by and turned her head and saw me. She then stopped in her own tracks and came back to me and touched my cheek and the top of my forehead and called me a “lovely child.”
These are the memories that cannot be taken away from me. And every late August I sort of mourn because of her loss, which is almost twenty years ago. Amazing what time does to you.