This is my friend, Ritchie. Most people probably know him as Mr. Jackson. Which is so foreign to me. Because to me, he has been Ritchie for a very, very long time! Gosh, Ritch…we look GOOD right?! Who woulda thought..soo many moons ago (almost 30 years!), that we’d be in Destin/Niceville, both doing what we LOVE to do. And, who woulda thought that we’d make such an impact on those around us?!
Back in the day…both Ritchie and I led very self-centered lives. But, that’s because we were young and carefree and we knew to our core that we’d live forever. We flew around the world together. We partied in Bangkok…celebrated the New Year in Sydney..we’d ski Vail, Big Mountain, Whistler, Sun Valley, you name it and we were there. We did the Christmas thing in Tokyo…and Thanksgiving was probably in Maui. And every day in between, we were on the beach in Kailua. We were the ones in the back of the bus…the outsiders…the thinkers and dreamers…knocking back our octane juice.
And, it wasn’t just Ritchie and me…it was our tribe. We were international flight attendants! We served our coffee and tea, chicken or fish along the way. And, we did it for decades. But, we longed for more. Our routes were circuitous, but we ended up in the same place. I had a penchant for all things ART. All I wanted to do was create. And, I wanted to share/teach my craft.
Ritchie had his eye on theatre for as long as I can remember. He volunteered at the Hawaii Film Festival every year, getting so excited about chauffeuring the movie stars around. We were roommates in Hawaii for a while too. He decorated our house in Marilyn-Monroe-black-and-gold, and sang like Ethel Merman in the shower. And even back then, he longed for more. It took years for Ritchie to end up back home…in Niceville, his alma mater, where he heads up the Theatre Dept. at NHS. And, for some odd reason, I ended up nearby too!
I was so excited to host him and his loyal theatre group at a fundraiser at The Shard Shop on a Sunday in December. We had so much fun. Thank you to all who attended and gave graciously. Cheers!!
Here are some throwbacks…from before the digital age 🙂