My friend and co-worker Michelle is a bona fide music aficionado.
However obscure the band, no matter the fact that they had one song break into the top 500 back in 1990, it will come on and Michelle will inevitably turn up the volume, shriek “I LOVE this song!” and start singing along. Not only that, there is usually a Kevin Bacon six degrees of separation connection, something along the lines of her former neighbor’s ex-boyfriend used to date the drummer’s sister and the sister, as it turns out, was best friends with Michelle’s third cousin so they got backstage passes to a show in 1991. She still has the autographed poster from their world tour, framed and hanging in her house.
That’s just the way Michelle’s life is, it seems.
So when I got in to work one day this past week, she was checking her phone before clocking in, while we made coffee and chatted and she – once again – got that excited tone of voice.
She could barely contain herself as she showed me a photo on her phone – “Do you know who that is?!” – and I saw two people that definitely looked familiar, like long lost friends whose names you couldn’t quite place.
Arms around each other’s shoulders, smiling for the selfie, it was those former teen idols, brother and sister team Jimmy (James Vincent, to be exact) and Kristy McNichol. Talk about opening the floodgates to memory lane. We are talking late ‘70s, early ‘80s when the McNichol duo were in their heyday, both with television shows, making guest appearances on talk shows, variety shows, the famed ‘Battle of the Network Stars’ and, of course, featured prominently every month in the latest teen magazine. Or was it every week?
Regardless, Michelle and I agreed that Jimmy is still just as cute as ever, and discovered we both had huge crushes on him. I always thought it would be the most outrageous thing to be Kristy’s best friend, since she was cool, was a TV star and rode a mean skateboard, plus she had the best older brother in the world. And you know how the older brother always ends up going on a date with little sister’s friend …
We literally were transfixed; all of a sudden, we couldn’t get enough up to date information about ‘where are they now?’ and we did a little internet poking around to satisfy our Jimmy crush. Of course he is married, with kids – we both kind of expected that would be the case – but what a kick to go back decades in time and gush over him for just a little while.
We took a brief detour to watch a Brady Bunch clip where the kids were singing on a talent show – Peter was my favorite, Michelle preferred Greg – but we brought it back to Jimmy and Kristy pretty quickly. Nice to know they are still out there living life and being real people, who just happen to have a special place in our hearts. And of course, we both had their debut album and could probably still sing along to all the songs if we had a turntable to put it on.
I would love to meet them someday, just because. Maybe we can find out if Michelle has a great aunt whose ex niece-in-law was once set up on a blind date with Jimmy and still keeps in touch with him, sending Christmas cards every year. That could be our ticket in; perhaps Michelle should start checking her family tree.
Hey, it’s 2020 … stranger things have happened.
Marg Jackson is editor of The Escalon Times, The Oakdale Leader and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.