Saying goodbye to an old friend I never met

lari whiteFame is a rather weird thing, isn’t it?  Someone we never meet can be with us in our adventures and even intimate moments.  We can watch a person hone his or her craft and skill for years and monitor his or her improvement.  Various interviews are publicly displayed and help us become closer to the persona the celebrity chooses to share.  Over the years we can feel as if this particular person is a trusted friend even though it is one sided.  It is an unbalanced intimacy.  In short, the star will never know ck but ck will know details about the star.  Details that are usually shared in a two way conversation between us normal people as we get to know each other better.

Weird.In the early 90’s I hopped on the country western train for a bit.  My radio was set to country music.  My tapes and CD purchases were country singers.  I wasted a fair amount of time watching music videos on The Nashville Network.  I dressed country.  I watched country.  I learned country.  I was an early 90’s country music fan.

During this time, I discovered a singer named Lari White.  The first song I heard by her had witty lyrics and I loved the fact she actually wrote the song.  A fan was born.  I bought her first two albums in cassette tape format.  I bought her next two as CDs.  For my sister’s birthday one year I bought her first compilation CD because I always figured everyone would like her music as much as I did.

My dreams in the 90’s were fairly lofty considering the effort I was putting forth in life.  My goal was to somehow miraculously become a movie director.  When I became famous, I planned to help Lari’s career by featuring her music in my movies.  I knew she had the talent and just needed to be discovered by a wider audience.

I was surprised and delighted when Lari had bit part in the movie Cast Away.  By this time, I realized my big dreams were going to remain dreams.  In real life though, I did my best to share her music.  Anyone who has taken a road trip with me has heard her CDs – including the one that I gave my sister and “borrowed” years ago.  My nieces were introduced to Lari’s music at a young age and we would sing along to her songs while traveling down the road.

My music tastes have changes over the years but I still have a couple of hold outs from my country days including Lari. In our modern age I followed her on Facebook.  My goal was to attend a concert someday.  Someday I would.  In the meantime, her music accompanied me on many a road trip and I used it to make videos for family members.

I have “known” Lari for about 24 years or so.  When I saw a brief Facebook post about her passing I mourned.  It’s an odd thing to mourn for a celebrity because grief is a personal emotion.  I truly felt as if I lost an old friend.  A friend that had traveled thousands of miles and many years with me.  A friend that spoke to me when I was blue and one who let me dance when I was happy.

The next day after I read about her untimely passing I took out The Greatest Showman CD from my car’s CD player and put in her CDs one at a time.  It was the best way I could think of to say goodbye to my old friend.

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