It is sixty eight degrees in on the pier. The sun streams brightly across a blue cloudless sky. The ocean rocks gently against the sand. Palm trees are rustling in the wind and sea gulls are buzzing them as they fly along.
There is a distinct Christmas feel in the air. It does not need snow and cold weather to make its appearance. Santa can wear sunglasses and drive a '55 Buick convertible.
Merry Christmas to all of you from a sunny day in Santa Monica.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
I first heard of the Del Rubio Triplets in the late 80's. Identical triplets in go-go boots and miniskirts well into their sixties performing both Sinatra standards and the Devo songbook. Their enthusiasm more than made up for any lapse in actual talent.
Sadly, both Eadie and Elena have passed on and Milly is pressing on alone. Recently I have learned that she has been having heath challenges herself and may be facing her last Christmas season. Her friend Michael has started a campaign asking fans to send a Christmas card to Milly so she doesn't feel forgotten. Please send the cards to him, and please don't refer to her health or the passing of her sisters.
Send a Christmas card to:
MS. MILLY DEL RUBIO
VIA: MICHAEL A.
2275 WEST 25TH, #30
SAN PEDRO, CA
And to get you in the Holiday mood, check out this video of the fabulous Del Rubio Triplets at their peak, performing Winter Wonderland on Pee Wee's Christmas Special, circa 1989. Ho Ho Ho.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
The slender volume of dark maroon leatherette was on the stand next to her bed. The cover said "Senior Memories 1952" in silver debossed lettering. Inside were many casual photographs of her- playing sports, clowning with her best friend , skating in an exhibition.
Her senior portrait showed off a modest smile. She wore her brunette hair not unlike Audrey Hepburn's. A single strand of pearls accented her sweater. Her intense blue eyes stared out into a world full of promise. Each graduate's picture bore a caption, hers was "A lily girl, not meant for this world's pain". It would prove more prophetic than anyone could have imagined at the time.
She endured more than her share of this world's pain. Her years of skating as a teenager, compounded by pregnancies, caused severe back problems in her young adulthood and a premature onset of arthritis. Medical science responded in imperfect ways, including the introduction of pain medications whose presence caused dependency. Her mobility diminished with each passing year but her spirit did not.
There were emotional pains as well. Two miscarriages, including one which would have provided a badly wanted daughter. A failed marriage later in life, the loss of her own mother to whom she was extremely close. And yet her will to live was undeterred.
We spoke briefly on Friday. I had gotten in too late on Thanksgiving to call from California. When I reached her, she seemed sleepy. I told her to rest, and that I would call her later. "I love you, Mom", I said as I hung up the phone.
We found her on her sofa with her hands peacefully clasped, as if she had laid down for a nap and simply did not awaken. Five days short of her seventy fourth birthday, her pain finally ceased.
I've returned to Michigan in the winter for the first time in fifteen years. I always come in the summertime. She's commented before how I've been back for Dad's birthday but not hers. The irony was not lost on me as I boarded the plane on December first- she finally got me to come back on her birthday.
She is laid out in pink, because she loved pink. She was a girly kind of girl at heart. She'll be wearing her Macewen sash, honoring her Scottish heritage. My brother has arranged for a piper to play for her. Following services on Monday, she will be laid to rest alongside her mother. Both my darling girls will be together.
Rest well, lily girl. There will never be another like you.