Horsing Around With David
By Cat Ortiz-White
Photo from "Santa Barbara Magazine."
When I last left you, I was seeing David in Aug. 1984 in Kansas City. In 1985 David went to England to record an album titled "Romance" which was a HUGE hit through-out Europe. He did a concert tour in Europe that ended at the Royal Albert Hall of which a video was even made.
After that David came back to the U.S.A. and in 1986 we heard that David was going to do the play "She Loves Me" in Santa Barbara, CA. The same play in which his father Jack Cassidy won the Tony Award for "Best Actor." I almost bought tickets when just in time, I heard David decided to do a play called "Time" in London, England instead. I was unhappy that I might not get to see him as I never did get to go to England to see him on tour there and knew I might not be able to afford to go there that year either. However, I was happy that it was a new play that was doing well in England & had Lawrence Olvier, and might even eventually go to Broadway.
On the personal side, I just split-up with a boyfriend and went to visit a friend who lived in Rancho Calif. was also having "men problems." My friend suggested we go to the race track to cheer ourselves up and she knew people who were important "horse people" so we could use there seats as they weren't there that day. I said "Ok" and off we went.
In-between one of the races, my friend went to get us something to drink. She didn't come back, so I went looking for her. To my surprise, I looked and then turned my head - "Is it him?," I thought. "No - Yes - No - Well, yes it is!" I saw David and did a few back-lashes at him. He had gray hair with a cigar and casual dress with sun glasses so I wasn't sure at first.
Well, I wasn't about to disturb him during his private time! I was about to go look for my friend again when David started coming towards me!! He was very friendly, said "Hi, How are you?" I said fine. A female friend of his was with him and he introduced us. I told them about my friend & the drinks and his friend bought me a drink!! I mentioned my disappointment in not seeing him in "She Loves Me" and he said "Yeah, but this is a better opportunity for me." I told him I understood and that I hoped I could come up with the money to go see him. He said he hoped I could too. I wished him the best of luck and went to find my friend.
Although this was a very short incident, it's actually one of my fondest times of seeing David. For it was a TOTAL surprise & David was very casual and looked "himself." It wasn't for a show, publicity or anything - so he wasn't "ON", if you know what I mean. He didn't HAVE to be nice to me - but he was anyway - and it definately got my mind off of the ex-boyfriend for a bit!!! Later, when I read David's autobiography, I learned that David was just getting off a very depressing part of his life too. He'd just been separated from his wife Meryl and was broke as well! Little did I know it at the time!!
I later heard when David's plane was leaving for England and saw him off at the airport. Just a quick "Hello" & "Good-bye" thing. That would be the last time I saw him as a fan club President. In 1987 my life was becoming very complicated and the club, I felt, was taking over too much of my life. It had grown very big with many members - many from Europe & other countries and the mail alone was just staggering! I had more that wanted to join too. I didn't think it was fair to not let new people join but there was no way I could continue to take more members, answer all the mail and keep my job! I decided to stop the club & was going to give my members to the other American-based club DGAD, but Lisa who ran it said she'd stopped accepting new members herself. So, I finally just stopped putting out a very small issue wishing everyone there best and telling them about the other clubs for David. Lisa Richmond stopped doing DGAD in 1991.
I heard that Urda stopped running her fan club the following year. Luckily, Tina Funk took over Urda's members and became "The International Just David Fan Club." Tina enlisted the help of Barbara Pazmino for the North American members. They do an excellent job and I'm very grateful that they've continued so that David and his fans still have a wonderful International Fan Club.
1986. Photo by Lain Waymark. David holding a Da-idy Newsletter.