People come and go throughout your life. some stay for a minute and others for a lifetime.
But it’s the ones who enrich your life that are really something special.
Enter stage left, Linda Gerard.
Born 1938 in New Jersey, Linda was destined for the bright lights of New York City. So in her mid 20’s Linda headed to NYC and found herself backstage on Broadway as the understudy for Barbra Streisand and Mimi Hines during the original run of the musical Funny Girl, of which she took the stage over 100 times as Fanny Brice.
Then in the 80’s Linda packed up her vivacious wit and zest for life and headed for Los Angeles. It was time to trade her savings and occasional part time stage life for a permeant gig at the Rose Tattoo. The club, which Linda had opened, put her in the spotlight for well over a decade as she performed in what she envisioned to be a New York style cabaret.
Fast forward to 2011 and the moment when I had the extreme pleasure of crossing paths with the tiny firecracker on my first trip up Palm Springs, the Californian city Linda retired to.
And although this talented lady had relocated once again, she reinvented herself (and her career), and she was now the star of Sissy Bingo at the ACE hotel.
Now this wasn’t just your regular bingo.
Linda had managed to turn the mundane game into a night of stories, laughter and music.
Between calls like “If it’s not Malignant, it’s B9!”, Linda would travel the room singing songs from the past and showing the packed ‘Kings Highway’ that she was still a force to be reckoned with.
Linda quickly made Palm Springs my favourite place to visit, and over the past 3 years I have vacationed there countless times, always making sure to drop in at the ACE Monday night during Sissy Bingo.
But sadly, less than a year ago Linda received the horrifying news… It wasn’t ‘B9’ it was Stage 4 Lung Cancer and she was given 6 months to live.
And although chemo was able to extend her life for a few months longer than she was given, the song bird sang her last note on March 21 2014.
The life of Linda Gerard may have come to an end but the joy she’s shared with the world will never disappear.
She was a true star and someone I will never forget.
Mr Fab bingo