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The Madera Tribune

Raged and bugged

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webmaster | 03/02/12

This Monkees fan was saddened to hear of the sudden death of the band’s leader, Davy Jones, from a heart attack. If you think Justin Bieber makes the girls swoon, the “Daydream Believer” was born in Manchester, England and the teen girls raved, screamed and fainted with every sighting and song, or when simply hearing his accent.

Sometimes called the “American Beatles,” The Monkees were terrific musicians in their own right with many hits and a top-rated television show. At age 66, Davy Jones has taken “The Last Train to Clarksville” way too soon.

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Good news. This admiring scribe is happy to hear, through a well-qualified and informed source (okay, his son, Scott), that Mario “Blackie” Gonzalez is recuperating remarkably fast from quintuple (that’s five!) bypass surgery. Blackie was (is) a pretty tough guy and was my mentor when yours truly was a teen at Madera airport. He was chief mechanic and “head honcho” for my dad’s crop dusting business.

I learned a lot of important lessons from Blackie, besides how to jump rope like a proboxer, play a skillful game of ping-pong and horseshoes and pull a prop through to start the plane’s engine. He was also the inspiration for the character “Brownie” in my first novel, “Black Hearts, Golden Wings."...


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