Amy Lee Davis was a professional actress working out of St. Louis when we officially met when the Alton Little Theater Group in the Illinois suburban side of the metro area asked her to serve as the “pro anchor” in a summer fundraising production of a melodrama where she would be the heroine and they asked me to be the villain in 1977,
She would later tell me that she felt casting me as the villain was a “great idea,” not so much because I wrote controversial columns for the city’s daily newspaper, but because I attended a party a few year’s earlier at her apartment at Southern Illinois University in with a coed she had not invited, wasn’t too fond of and LAO because I had, in a newspaper review, criticized a play she appeared in at the school.
“I figured that if she was the type of woman you liked to hang around with, you were not someone I wanted to know..” she said. “And you misunderstood the sub-text of the play you lambasted.” After college, she became the resident heroine on the Goldenrod Showboat on the St. Louis riverfront, where I also reviewed shows.
she was a blindingly-attractive woman with a sharp tongue a great sense of humor and, I felt, a challenge for someone who already had two strikes against him. I was also, once-married, now single, andhad a what I thought was a modest reputation was a “ladies man.”
“Modest, my ass,” she later told me. “You were an unrepentant tail chaser, a self-admitted racontuer who said he thought a long-term relationship was “a three -day weekend,” whose even my mother warned me about.”
She declined dinner and/or drink invitations, invitations to join any group that included me after rehearsals, but a failed battery in her car left her stranded one night at rehearsals and she reluctantly accepted a ride. When I suggested a snack and drinks at one of our local bars, she agreed, saying she was “bummed out” by the car problems and was hungry.
Over sandwiches and some some drinks, we found we had more han we realized in common and that I shared her opinion on the coed who, it turned out, crashed the party without telling me and who I never saw again. As for the lay review, the primary problem turned out toe be the headline, which was written not by me but an editor and I had also complained about it and was later given the right to write future headlines for review.
With a pounding thunderstorm overhead, we headed back to the parking lot, my two-seater British Sports Car and, with the top up, and made out like teenagers after a high school prom. She was also married previously and both originally said he were not one again but our relationship matured, and we tied the knot in the living room of our pastor with his wife, two kids and pets as witnesses on Dec. 15, 1979.
She continued to work in plays, advertizing and other entertainment operations and continued ot do so in New York City after we moved to the National Capitol Region of Washington, DC, in 1981. While we lived in the same high-rise condo for 23 years in Arlington, she shared a Greenwich Village walkup on South Charles Street in Manhattan for a number of projects, including a benefit gala where she worked with Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and others.
Although she has worked with well-known celebrities in her profession, she collects signatures of baseball heros, including her hometown St. Louis Cardinals heroes like Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Stan Musial and others, she got them at the games from the players themselves. We’ve run into retired ballplayers at a nearby table on New Years Eve on London and other locations.
We have been fortunate to travel the wold, both for work and pleasure, partied for New Year’s Eve in London at Piccadilly Circus, watched and participated in the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade, toured the shrine of Masada, where Jewish patriots were massacred by Romans in ancient Egypt near the Dead Sea.
She stood by me during a long bout with alcoholism and helped create the “intervention” that brought the first steps toward sobriety that began 29 years, one month and 10 days ago. Although age and failing health has hobbled both of us in recent years, she joins me in the 7th decade of life.
Happy Birthday to my best friend, partner, wife and love.