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MANDY CLARITA
updated 3/4/2000

A TRIBUTE

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a tribute written about a girl who, to everyone around her, embodied the spirit of Clara Bow. This girl, like Clara, shared a birthday (July 29th), and lived a care-free, exciting life - filled with abandon and wonderful energy. She was a beautiful girl. And to those who knew and loved her, like Mark, the author of this tribute, they "saw" Clara Bow-in both appearance and spirit. Sharing similar family horrors, her early life, like Clara's, echoed tragedy and frustration. Although unlike Clara, Mandy-Clarita found a lasting love, fulfillment, and satisfaction in life. However, this young, vibrant life was tragically cut short. Mandy-Clarita left behind a legacy of love to those who were around her. Those who love her today remember good days filled with music, humor, silent movies, and Clara Bow-the person who she wanted to personify so much. Clara Bow meant a great deal to this young girl. To everyone who has been touched by her screen performances or photos, Clara Bow means something special and different. She embodies a special place in the hearts of everyone who has experienced her magic. When I see Clara Bow in a film, or see her in a picture,it makes me smile. I forget the troubles of the day, and am taken back to another time and place - a happy, fun-filled place filled with exuberant energy and positiveness. This is also a place where Mark and "Mandy-Clarita's" loved-ones can go. This is Mark's tribute:

When my good friend at the Clara Bow Page asked me to put together a tribute to my girlfriend of 11 years, I was grateful. I want to give thanks to him for being such a good friend.

Before I go on, this is a tribute to "Clarita"--her name has been changed by request (and out of respect) of her family. "Clarita" was the nickname she used, and loved so much (Clara Bow fans are familiar with Gilbert Roland's same nickname for her). "Clarita" and I shared the same birthday of July 29. She was born in 1970 and I was born in 1966. Our love was "born" in 1984-one year after she moved here to northeastern Pennsylvania from Kentucky.

"Clarita" was a BIG Clara Bow fan. In fact, she idolized Clara Bow. All of us who knew her had a joke - that she WAS actually Clara Bow reincarnated! Her life did echo Clara's in a way. Like Clara, she had a mother who tried to kill her to "save" her from sin ("Clarita's" sin being that of Rock Music). Also like Clara, she was a tomboy at heart. "Clarita" was a drummer, and some-time singer for our Rock Band, "Dawn Patrol".

I want to share a funny memory of "Clarita". It involved a joke that she played on a poor, unsuspecting butcher: In the summer of 1988, a group of us were attending a month-long silent ladies' film festival. "Clarita" and her friend, Linda were dressed up in their "silent actress" outfits ("Clarita" of course, being Clara Bow). Well anyway, the two girls walked up to a butcher to order chicken for our planned barbeque. "Clarita" said to him, "We want chicken legs!" When asked how many she replied, "Thirty...but we want 15 RIGHT chicken legs and 15 LEFT chicken legs, because our boyfriends don't like the RIGHT ones." Well, the poor guy went to try to sort the right chicken legs from the left ones-holding them up in the air to compare them. The unknowing butcher then said to "Clarita", "I gotta go ask my boss to find out which is which." We didn't hang around to find the outcome, as we all ran out of there as fast as we could-laughing our heads off about it.

Now for the hard part. On February 28,1997, only a few months short of our wedding day, "Clarita" (and her friend Debbie) died as a result of an incident that involved a drunk driver. Now, not a day goes by that I don't think about her. My "Clarita" will forever be a part of me. Please help stop Drunk Driving. "Clarita" and her friend Debbie, were just two young people that had their lives cut tragically short by the insensitive actions of others. For "Clarita's" sake, please stop DUI.

In my eyes, "Clarita" looked like Clara Bow. She especially looked like Clara's "Dot Morgan" from "Down to the Sea in Ships". I now dedicate this in loving memory of "Clarita"...for, like Jewel's song:

"SHE IS MY ANGEL....STANDING...BY."

and is in

"HEAVEN TONIGHT"
(by Courtney Love)

CLICK HERE TO SEE A "CLARITA" COLLAGE!:



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