I just wanted you to know I enjoyed reading your fan story on your web site. I have been meaning to write to you a bit more in-depth for some time.
I have been a fan of Parker's in the last 25 years and never really took a break from it. I find it amazing what with the internet and all that people are re-discovering their old favorites they grew up with and finding they have missed out on a lot of activities. For me, when I discover someone my heart wants to appreciate I stick with them through thick and thin.
I remember when the "Hardy Boys" ended I promised myself that I would keep up with Shaun and Parker's careers (In fact, I have been Vice President since 1990 of FOTC--Friends of the Cassidys Fan Club, which evolved from the Friends of Shaun Cassidy Fan Club. It is run by Cheryl (!) of Los Alamitos, CA. You can visit our web site at http://members.tripod.com/~fotcprez/ .
Strange as it sounds, it makes sense to me why advertisers today cater to teenagers. They cater to them in hopes of developing "product loyalty" that will last them through adulthood. Well, for me it wasn't products so much, it was who my favorite stars were. I think it was true back then for everyone. Because of their appeal, there were hopes that they would have long careers ahead of them.
I didn't mean to go off on that rant there! I couldn't help but notice cultural similarities! I attempted running a fan club for Parker from 1983-1984 that was started by myself (it was completely amateur and grass-roots). I wanted to create a fan club that was solely for Parker and his fans (there were many clubs for Shaun around but almost no clubs for Parker, and I knew not everyone liked Shaun, just Parker). Suffice it to say I was in college when I did this (I molded it after a friend's Cassidy club). I had response to the club, but college was more important then. It had to end. (NOTE: A member of the club mentioned it to Parker after he saw him attend a play Shaun Cassidy was performing in, in 1984, and Parker was flattered that there was a fan club for him! Sad to say I never had any personal contact with him.:() Also, Parker had married Kirstie Alley in 1983 and I was concerned that the club would turn into a Kirstie Alley club (at the same time her career was taking off).
So much for my own fan and fan club story. Outside of the "Hardy Boys" club--which I was never a member of--I used to think fan clubs were passť until I was talked into joining one by a former pen-pal (I got into writing pen-pals after the "Hardy Boys" ended as I myself had high school friends who weren't interested in them [not one to be ashamed of my age, I was born in 1963]. I wanted to continue talking about them and make new friends with people who understood. In all, pen-palling proved to be a wonderful experience. My "oldest and dearest" friends I have known for 22 years now!) Speaking of pen-pals, Karen , whom you know, and I re-connected after I got online last August. She was in my Parker club, originally. It's been so nice to be in touch with her again!
I never believed I should be a fan of a star just because he/she is the coolest person on Earth, according to what Madison Avenue, Billboard Magazine and the Neilson Ratings dictate! Even in high school I was a fan, though silent about it to play "cool." Now that we're grownups we're trying to teach our children these same lessons (personally, I don't have children. I pretty much dedicated my life to "fandom" as my way of "chilling out" from my day-to-day adult life in the real world). I'm proud to be a fan of Parker's--and even Shaun's--today, as well as everyone else I am a fan of (I picked up Journey, Van Halen, Bon Jovi...as well as most all of the other classic rock bands along the way.) I had my good times and my hard times. Then when Rosie O'Donnell's show came on 6 years' ago (I'm sad she's leaving soon:( I was always hopeful Parker would have put in an appearance himself. She really named her son Parker after him!) I was forever reassured that being a fan of my old favorites was always OK all along!:) (But still trying. I had a difficult time dealing with all the horrible publicity surrounding Parker and Kirstie's divorce, especially since Shaun Cassidy parted with his first wife very amicably. I had hoped the same would be for Parker and Kirstie. I can only hope they do try to mend old wounds. I enjoyed following Kirstie's career as well. When her Pier 1 Imports commercial comes on, I pause and watch!)
Anyway, I am sure I could go on for pages. I do have an old collection myself (not a roomful of materials, but there are some gems!), but am reluctant to share it because almost all of the photographs I have are copyrighted--even going back 20 years.
That's my own story (which took awhile to write!). I do enjoy your site and I hope you are around for a long time.