Today is my daughter’s 11th birthday. Before I woke her up this morning, I looked around her room and smiled because she is still my little girl. On the walls in her room, are Hawaiian flowers and poke-a-dots with teddy bears, her snow globe collection, a porcelain doll and a collection of the “Dork Diary” books on the shelf. She hasn’t gotten that star idol crush thing yet and there aren’t any teen magazines peaking from under the pillows. At her age, my room was filled with my teen idols. Back then, it was Shaun Cassidy and Peter Parker of the Hardy Boy Mysteries. I had every 45 record that Shaun Cassidy sang. I think I wore some of the grooves out of a few of them. Looking back, I would consider Shaun Cassidy my first really crush. Until, I saw “him.”
I was about 10 years old and living in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. His name was Daniel and I thought he was even cuter than Shaun Cassidy. The year was 1976. Our school was on Otis Air Force Base, so we were all military brats and most of the boys had crew cuts just like their daddies. Daniel’s hair was slightly longer and dirty blond. That year, we were working on a school play for Thanksgiving about the Pilgrims. Daniel was playing Captain John Smith. Being the only girls in the class with natural long black hair, I was hoping to play Princess Pocahontas but no, the prettiest and most popular girl in the school got the part. Her name was Mary. I remember the day of dress rehearsals, she was wearing a beautiful white dress with tassels in all the right places that her mom had made by hand. My mom (God Bless her for trying) took a boy’s brown button up shirt and sewed brown tassels on the arms. She then bought these brown moccasins from somewhere that look more like slippers compared to the awesome white leather boots that Mary wore. At that point, I was thankful that I didn’t get the part.
I continued to watch him from a far at school but afterschool we would walk home together with ten other kids because we lived in the same neighborhood but I didn’t care. Some times he would walk next to me and make me laugh.
Then one summer day, we saw a moving truck pull up the street. We all knew that meant someone’s dad got stationed somewhere else and it was time to move. We all hated seeing the moving truck because that meant a part of our pack would be gone. It was Daniel. The neighborhood brat pack gathered at Daniel’s house that day the moving trucks came. We sat across the street on the curb. We hadn’t seen Daniel for weeks because he was away for summer vacation. Then from inside the house we saw him, the boys in the group literally jumped off the curb and called out for him. He ran across the street to sit with us, as we watched the movers carry all the stuff from inside the house to the truck. It was hot summer day, Daniel’s mom brought us all ice cream from the ice cream tuck just in time before we all melted from the heat.
Then the moving truck started up and pulled away. Daniel’s parents waved for him to get into the car. They were going to start driving across the country that night. They were moving back to the West Coast. All the boys gave their usual boy gestures instead of hugs. When he came to me, he just kept looking into my eyes then he hugged me and said, “See you” as he ran across the street, jumping into the car. I started crying and of course, the boys gave me a bad time for it but I didn’t care. We wrote letters back and forth until summer ended. When school started the letters stopped. I never knew what happened to him but I will always remember “Daniel.”
Do you remember your first crush? Who was it? Did they ever find out?
Oh! I found these pictures of Shaun Cassidy (the one I had a crush on back then) and then this one from today’s world, Sean Cassidy. I have to say, if I had to choose between the Shaun Cassidy from 1970’s and the Sean Cassidy from today’s era…I think I’d choose the latter. Sorry, Shaun… (LMBO)