This past Saturday, at the end of intermission of the concert that Joni and I were attending in Arlington, the performer, Rebecca Parris, returned to the stage to announce that Whitney Houston had died. It was particularly disheartening news because she was so young (48) and our family had a minor connection to this amazingly talented singer.
It dated back to 1985, when my parents were close friends with Whitney's financial manager and his wife. Alex was born on May 20, the day that Whitney's album went double platinum (1 million sold). My mother was with her friend, who received a call from Whitney with the news, and she told Whitney that her friend's grandson had just been born. Whitney replied, "I must meet this child." A few months later, on a visit to Boston, Whitney Houston met us at a hotel and held Alex for a while. It was a brief, tender moment with the 22-year-old superstar whose gigantic success and enormous troubles were still ahead of her.