I want to Talk about a great weekend in Carmel seeing old friends and making new friends, all who adore Doris Day…
The celebrants were finding their tables when a buzz from the entrance caught their attention. Then a voice … “she’s here!” The room was electrified, tears were streaming down the faces of adoring fans, who were experiencing a major mass realization that their lifelong dream was about to come true.
For the first time in many years, Doris Day came to her celebration and surprised everyone. No one, NO ONE, not even those who worked with her daily, knew she would attend. Needless to say, it was a heightened evening full of film clips with her, as she says, “cream of the crop” leading men, and birthday messages from celebrated friends. The incomparable Peter Marshall had the adorable Sue Rainey join him with a musical tribute to Doris. Peter was the MC and also the Auctioneer (and I got to be pushy helping in the audience), with all the funds raised going to the Doris Day Animal Foundation, a private grant-giving organization that helps fund animal welfare groups all across the country. It was a good chance to thank Doris, and the members of the DDAFBoard of Directors, for its generosity to Actors and Others for Animals, the organization Doris helped establish in LA over 40 years ago. Some special old buddies, who are devoted to Doris, were with me and beyond thrilled at the quality time they had with her. Richard Jordan (who drove me up there) was so moved he decided to join the Doris Day Cruise. Christopher Escamilla, of Crystal Cruises (he signed me on for the D Day May 15th extravaganza), was a superb representative for the Cruise Line. And Pierre Patrick, author of The Doris Day Companion: A Beautiful Day, joined the bountiful bunch.
I do believe she felt the love. Doris stayed through the end and had a wonderful time. After the event was over, a cluster of fans formed a single snaky (long) line to meet Doris. She paid sweet attention and took pictures with each and every one. To say that the guests were glowing would be an understatement. And the afterglow lingers on …
The last day’s event was a Doggie Fashion Show and Pet Adoption on a red carpet at the Cypress Inn. I was the lucky commentator, along with Daisy Day, one of Doris’s own pooches. We shared the opinion that the dogs needing homes were marvelous models and much deserving of a loving forever home. Afterwards, I went home with Daisy and spent my last night back at the kitchen table with Doris and a few pals. She talked of how much she appreciated the fans and that she answers every letter.
My favorite moment: I caught Doris’s eye at her table and pointed at her (like you rascal, you showed up!). She stuck out her arm and pointed back (with a gleam of mischief). I raised my arms and waggled. Doris did the same. I wiggled my fingers in my ears and stuck my tongue out. Guess who did the same! I wish we had a picture of that!
Doris really enjoyed her party. Truthfully, I saw what a difference a day makes. My dinner with her the night I arrived was a good reunion and very fun. But on my last night’s visit, she was glowing like the rest of the gang. Really uplifted by the whole celebration.
What a gal, she gave many at her event the best day of their life. And the Internet was busy revealing that she is still lovely and in fine health. So many people on Facebook are thrilled to see her newest pictures and read of this amazing Sentimental Journey weekend. (Poor tabloids, they have to stop with their false and cruel stories about Doris).
Surprisingly, Doris has a yen to come back to Los Angeles. She lived in Toluca Lake, while working at Warner Brothers for so many years, and misses the territory. That would be nice. Que Sera …
Doris Day fans’ secret love is no secret anymore! And if possible, she loves you more.