Native Daughter

Chris Legband

It all began seven years ago in Norfolk.

We had planned a 10-day celebration to celebrate my husband’s retirement after 35 years of teaching.

The plan was to start with a Beach Boys concert followed with a weeklong trip to the Caribbean.

The Beach Boys were playing in Norfolk and a friend of mine, Mike Semrad, a member of the opening band, gave us the heads up so we could get our tickets and hotel reservations quickly before they sold out.

In the front row and VIP section, we listened to the Smoke Rings, grooving to the hits of the 1960s which was the perfect primer for American’s band.

Little did I know at the time that the Beach Boy’s touring drummer was the drummer of my childhood obsession, John Cowsill from the group The Cowsills.

For those of you who don’t remember, The Cowsills had several top 10 hits in the late 60s and were the group that the sitcom The Partridge Family was modeled after.

The difference is that the Cowsills were all musicians, not just the lead singer and the mom.

In this family are some of the most talented musicians I have ever had the pleasure to hear both on vinyl and in person and now to know as people.

The week before the show, my son suggested I wear a Cowsill t shirt so I quickly ordered one online.

This gesture would result in one of the coolest memory ever of John Cowsill noticing my t shirt and tossing me one of his drumsticks. My husband is still in shock that I actually caught it.

At that moment I was taken back to a time where I was seven years old, loving this group, pretending to sing with them on my homemade stage in my basement. Their music was my getaway from the ups and downs of teenage drama.

Because my husband spent his childhood on the court or on the field as opposed to listening to music I had to put this into his perspective.

I tried my best to ask him what it would have been like if he went to a Boston Celtics game and Larry Byrd threw a basketball directly to him.

He looked at me like I was crazy and although it didn’t seem to make sense to him, he continued to support my dream because that is the kind of man he is.

After a quick overnighter in Norfolk I started to do my homework, scouring the internet for Cowsill concerts in my effort to reconnect with this group I had not thought so intensely about for a very long time.

This would lead to several years of cross country tours of our own, seeing several Cowsill shows in Las Vegas, Kansas City Mo., Iowa casinos, Kansas casinos, the Missouri State Fair and even the Ralston Arena.

After every show Bob, Paul and Susan, the sweetest people come out and greet their fans and friends, no matter if there are two people or 200 and I for one have been on the lucky end of those moments spending one on one time with them.

Sometimes the Cowsills are the headline group and other times they play with other 60s groups in a tour called The Happy Together Tour. This tour features groups that have included 60s stars Gary Pucket and Union Gap, Mark Lindsay from Paul Revere and the Raiders, Chuck Negron from Three Dog Night, The Association and The Turtles just to name a few.

But my sweetest memory was during a vacay with my husband to New Orleans where Susan Cowsill resides.

Because I had become what she refers to as one of the “latecomers” to the fan base but none the less not any less crazy than the rest of them, she was so gracious and in a lifestyle where there is never enough time in a day for herself, picked us up in her car and drove us around town.

She showed me what we referred to as my favorite “points of interest” meaning places she and her brother Barry had made their stomping grounds prior to Barry being lost to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

It was a day I’ll never forget.

But through all of these trips, Susan Cowsill always made it a point to thank my husband personally for being such a good sport while tagging along, whether it is to see a show, or just to get a quick gimpse of the people that were a loving mainstay in my childhood and have now become our friends.

I shudder to think how many places my husband would have preferred to travel to but he never hesitated when I would come up with these random trips to random places with one thing staying consistent.

He and I and the Cowsills.

I simply thank God that He made this man my life partner through our never ending Cowsills adventures and other life events.

Onto “the rain the park & other things” my love!

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