Rest In Peace, Donna

One of my earliest and fondest memories of my childhood in the seventies was watching my mom sing and dance around the house to Donna Summer’s On The Radio album.  When she wasn’t listening to it, I remember holding the old school album sleeve in my hands, the vinyl tucked safely inside. I thought she was the greatest thing.  That beautiful black hair. And those pink sandals dangling seductively off her toes. I thought she was so sexy, before I even knew what sexy was.

I decided right then and there what I was going to be when I grew up. A disco queen. Just like Donna.

Freshman year in high school I met who would be one of my closest friends.  We bonded instantly over all things cheesy and classic, our love of seventies music being one of them.  We made up our own traditions, one of them giving each other silly birthday gifts that reflected the things we loved. It was really hard finding some of these treasures, but we did it (Ebay really can be a godsend).  One year she topped herself. She somehow tracked down an old VHS tape of the disco movie Thank God It’s Friday.  A complete disaster of a movie, but Donna was in it, in all her disco queen glory.

There was no way I could ever make it up to her when her birthday rolled around four months later.

We went on a Hawaiian vacation together, and we would lay out at the beach singing MacArthur Park at the top of our lungs. And then we sang Heaven Knows, and Hot Stuff, and Bad GirlsDim All The Lights, and of course On The Radio. We knew every word of every single song. And everyone at the beach thought we were crazy.  And we didn’t have a care in the world.

Today I talked to my friend for the first time in months. We have both been busy with life and responsibilities, and time has a way of flying by the older we get. I wish we connected for a different reason. It was Donna’s death at the young age of 63 that prompted us to talk again.  Donna bringing us together, in life and in death. I will always treasure those fun memories, bonding over her music.

Even as an adult I look at the On The Radio album and love those sexy pink sandals. How delicious.

Rest in peace, Donna.

The world will miss you.




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