By Cat Ortiz-White

At times it really does feel like "Only A Moment Ago" that I was visiting with my best friend Bunny (short for Belinda) and we were looking through her Tiger Beat and Fave Magazines looking at Bobby Sherman when we spotted a new face. There was a question about an actor who appeared on an episode of "Ironside". The magazine said his name was David Cassidy and he was doing a pilot for a TV Series called "The Family Way." Both Bunny and I went "Ooooohhhh, he's CUUUUTE!!" LOL!! The year was 1970 and that summer I moved with my family to a small town in the desert called Trona.

Of course we all know now that the series was changed to the name of "The Partridge Family" and both Bunny and I loved the single "I Think I Love You," which was already a hit by the time the show aired in September. I can still remember watching the pilot and my mom was popping in and out watching it too as she was doing the dishes from dinner. I'll never forget how she laughed so hard when Danny went into the men's bathroom after Rueben and he looked over the bathroom stall at the young boy, with THAT look! LOL! We were both in stitches.

Also in September I started going to my new school and I was in the 6th grade. The first day I was being circled by other kids who were saying, "Half Mexican, Half NIGGER" over and over. I finally said, "What if I was half BLACK? What would be wrong with that? Black is beautiful baby!" The other kids mouths dropped open and they didn't say anything for a while. My mom was also surprised I couldn't wear this cute little psychedelic dress she bought me that had those "hippie words" of "Love, Peace and Joy" on them! Mind you, I thought it was the "grooviest" thing in the world to be a hippie! I even had some very cool patches for my bell-bottomed blue jeans that said "Hippie's just another word for LOVE." My father was a Methodist Minister who was the first Mexican-American to be allowed to be a minister in the Methodist Church. He was very active politically and in the 1960's we'd marched in the streets for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. At his last Easter Sunrise Service in Fontana, CA where we'd lived for 5 years,  my dad had a popular DJ from a local radio station come out to play song like the Beatles "Let It Be." He told his congregation that the young people of today had something to say and that we should listen to them. I used to hang out with the "Big Kids" who were the teens in the 60's and I loved all the rock music. My dad had a popular teen center down town where he got many kids off of drugs and it's where I learned to play pool and ping-pong. My mom was a Speech Therapist and after we moved to Trona she got a job in Ridgecrest, which was 25 miles away and the closest town to Trona. Some of you may know of "China Lake" which is a Military Base next to Ridgecrest.

Like millions of other young girls across the country, after the PF aired, I "fell in love" with David Cassidy and didn't dare miss an episode of the coolest family on TV!  I loved the psychedelic bus, how ultra hip Laurie was into all the social causes of the day, and their liberal mom and how she told off the "Morality Watchdogs" in the episode "My son, The Feminist."  I also thought it was very cool when I read in the teen mags how David had dated a black girl while in High School and that he was a Democrat who was voting for McGovern.  They also stated that just like my other favorite singer, John Lennon, David was for women's rights. The following year, I loved how David also posed nude for Rolling Stone like John & Yoko had for their "Two Virgins" album cover.  David was TOTALLY MY KIND OF GROOVY DUDE MAN! Unlike the very conservative Donny Osmond who said he'd only marry a good Mormon  who would stay at home with the kids and be a traditional house wife. I thought Donny was cute but for me, he just couldn't compare to David! I also thought it was very sexy that David was an "older man." LOL!!!

In 1971 my parents divorced. It was a very BIG deal for a minister to get a divorce back then! My brother and I were given the choice of parent we wanted to go live. We both stayed with my dad.  Even though I didn't really like Trona as it was a very racist small town where I never made any friends, I was very much "Daddy's little girl" and we were very, very close.  I was born only 2 days after my dad's 50th Birthday and we remained close until he passed away at the age of 80. At the time, it was somewhat comforting to read about how David's parents also divorced when he was very young.

I can remember that one day my dad came home after shopping in Ridgecrest. We only had one small grocery store in Trona so many people would shop there. It was a HUGE deal when they got a McDonalds - the whole town went over there! LOL! Anyway, my dad told me The Partridge Family was had been over in Ridgecrest and that they had stopped traffic as they had done an impromptu concert performance! They had filmed some of the bus driving scenes there too. I wanted to go to Ridgecrest RIGHT AWAY to see them but he said it was sure it was too late now.

After my parents divorce, my mom had moved to Ridgecrest. One time when she came to visit us she mentioned that she was tutoring a student named Terry Cashman. She said he helped write some songs with his partner Tommy West for The Partridge Family. They'd also worked closely with the singer Jim Croce. Of course I asked her if she could have Terry get an autograph from David Cassidy. She said she'd ask him. The next time she came over, she said that she asked Terry Cashman for David's autograph and he told her that couldn't do that because if he asked everyone that wanted one, that's all he'd ever do. I was disappointed but I could understand that, as David was very popular at the time! Instead, Terry wrote out the words to the song he'd written that was on the PF's first L.P. titled "Only A Moment Ago." At the time, it wasn't one of my favorite songs on the L.P. as it was less "pop" than many of the others. However, over time it's really grown on me and it's now one of my very favorite PF tunes. The words are also a lot more meaningful as time has gone by and boyfriends as well as friends have come and gone, etc. So this is now a very treasured "keep sake" of mine. I've scanned it here for you and hope that you'll also enjoy it here on the C'mon Get Happy Web Site, where we all share our Precious Partridge Moments!

When asked by Cat about the Partridge Family and working on the music for the show, Terry replied, "    The truth is we never met David.  We just submitted our songs to Wes Farrell who produced the records.  Thank David for us.  My favorite of the 6 or 7 he recorded is 'She'd Rather Have The Rain.'"

Only a Moment Ago" appears on Family Album.