Christine Macabee, mother of four and lover of all poems good and bad, is a bona fide John Denver. groupie. I'll let her tell you something about that herself….
John Denver died in a holy mess of splat when the plane he was flying crashed to smithereens into Monteray Bay. He had just bought the two-seated fiberglass plane that the orignal owner built from a kit and it was his for just one day. It was a Sunday afternoon and he wanted to take it on a test spin down the coast. I read all about it: he had practiced three touch and go landings -he’d head up, swoop down to the runway and then pull back up. I’ve never been to California but I imagine at 5:28 in the afternoon the sun must have still been a ball of yellow gold and he must have loved seeing the white glitter balls bouncing off the ocean and onto the windows of the houses that dotted the Bay. In the days that followed I read everything I could get my hands on: he was about a hundred and fifty feet from shore, and five hundred feet above the ocean--that’s not very high, five hundred feet. Witnesses said his plane just plunged straight down into the water and broke apart on impact. He was so badly mutilated that all they could tell was that he was a male. His brain, teeth, eyes, one arm, and seventy-five percent of his head was missing, You can imagine how I reccoiled reading that--my wholesome sunshine man picked up like rubbish.
I don’t know if his wicked second wife Cansandra arranged to cremate what was left of him, but thank God a representative of Parker Funeral Home took his ashes personally to Colorado. The funeral service was held on Friday, October 17th, 1997 at the Faith Presbyterian Church in Aspen, Colorado. Over two thousand people attended and of course, I was there too, sitting in my kitchen, holding my rosary beads. I read that John’s horse Tonto was brought the church and six airplanes flew overhead, rocking their wings in a salute. I tried to send prayers and energy to Aspen but it didn’t seem like enough: I was obliged to arrange my own tribute. So a week later, on a rainy Sunday at 5:30 pm, just before our take out pizza arrived, I replaced the red and white checkered kitchen vinyl tablecloth with my grandmother’s white linen runner, I placed two tapered white candles on each end of the dining room table and put John Denver’s eight by ten inch gold framed photo in between them, and In front of his photo, in my best cursive handwriting, I placed the ten dollar mass card I ordered from the Sacred Heart Church. I set the table and on each dinner plate I left a typed copy of “Perhaps Love,” my favorite John Denver song.
There would be ten of us that evening: the kids, Louise, Jimmy’s brother Milton, and Jack and Ruby Nelson, our neighbor’s to the left.
There is not much else that equals the fun I'm having getting to know Christine Macabee...