Friday, February 24, 2006

Barry Cowsill Memorial and a Sucker Punch

Last weekend I flew to RI for Barry Cowsill's Memorial Services. No one would have blamed The Cowsills had they decided to conduct a private service or just invite family and close friends especially after the months long search for Barry. But Barry wanted everyone to party when he died and so The Cowsills threw a party and invited anyone who wanted to be there to come. Before the party, on a very cold and windy RI afternoon, The Cowsills conducted a short service at King's Park in Newport, RI in honor of Barry. Even though it was as Paul Cowsill put it "frickin' cold" the weather somehow seemed fitting to what was happening that afternoon - saying good-bye to Barry and bringing him back to Newport. Barry wanted a party and so later that evening, a party was held in Barry's honor at the Hotel Viking. It was amazing to watch the Cowsill family during these events and see the love and generosity that they showed to all of those who were able to make it to Newport - friends, family and fans alike. The Cowsills are truly amazing people and I am proud to know them and humbled to have been invited to share this with them. If you're interested, you can view the photos that I took at both the Kings Park service and the party at the Hotel Viking.

And now to the sucker punch ... after the event at King's Park, The Cowsills received a phone call from Canada and were informed that their older brother Billy had passed away the night before. When I heard the news my stomach literally knotted up. I cannot imagine how each of The Cowsills must have felt. To lose two brothers in such a short time would be devastating to anyone yet The Cowsills continued to hold the planned party for Barry and will hold additional memorial services for Barry in New Orleans, LA this weekend before they can turn their attention to the north and to Billy.

Billy was an enigma to me and I have to admit I was rather intimidated by him. I only met him twice. The first time was in the early 1990s when he came down to southern California and was at Pickwicks Pub one night. That night The Cowsills at Pickwicks included Billy, Bob, Susan & John and it was the first time that I had heard The Rain, The Park & Other Things live and in person with Billy on the lead and it just sent chills down my spine. It truly was a night that I will never forget. The second time I met Billy was in 2000, at A Taste of RI, when the entire Cowsill clan reunited on stage and off. There are not words to describe that experience; to see all of The Cowsills on stage together definitely brought out my inner pre-teen again. Both times I had the privilege of seeing Billy, he just amazed me with his presence on stage. He simply belonged there. And to see Billy and Bob together on stage was a true treat that I am so glad I didn't miss. It was just right and now it can never happen again. It still seems unbelievable to me and just so sad. has Memorial Books for both Barry and Billy if you want to post your condolences and/or memories.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Home Alone (almost) and Hair Traumas

Each year the Middle School students at the girls' school go to Catalina for a week. This is the week and both Emily and Paul are gone. Paul has gone as the chaperone every year that Emily has been in Middle School. Emily's sad that this will be her last trip and she's already told Paul that he can't chaperone when Hannah's old enough to go since that would mean that he got to go more than her. They always have a great time snorkeling, rock climbing, hiking, dissecting squids (okay Emily is not thrilled with this part), learning about marine life and more. Everyone comes home exhausted but happy from these trips. I'm just really glad that the week they went this year was changed. Last year, the 8th graders had to test for high school the Saturday morning after they got back from Catalina - luckily this year they've already completed their testing so Emily won't have to go through that when they get back.

With both Paul and Emily gone, that means that Hannah and I are home alone for the week. Hannah's new hairdoHannah didn't have school on Monday or Tuesday because it was parent-teacher conference time. Yesterday we went to see Nanny McPhee which we both enjoyed. And, today Hannah got her hair cut. She insisted on looking through the book of styles and picked the one she wanted and had it done. The hair stylist was probably amazed that I let someone so young pick out her own style but then again the hair stylist probably thought she was a 1st or 2nd grader. It looked very cute with one side curled under and the other flipped up and she really liked it. Then tonight after her shower she discovered the sad truth that all women must learn at some point in their lives. No matter what the cut you will never be able to make your hair look like the hair stylist did. :) It's been a major trauma since shower time to try to get her hair to look the way she wants. Poor Hannah and just think there will be more of these types of truths she'll have to endure as she gets older.

I feel for her on the hair thing though and may very well be going through the same trauma later this week since it's on my agenda to get my hair cut too. For the past, oh probably 10 years, I've just been having my hair cut into a collar-length blunt bob and then coloring at home. I'm debating trying to branch out a bit this time and in having my hair professionally colored since the at home jobs just aren't doing the job any more. So, I could be enduring the multiple trauma of cut and color later this week!