Can you describe Micky as a little boy?
I think a lot of the American Indian that is in me, which isn’t very much, maybe one-fourth or one-eighth, caused him to have the cut of his eye slant a little. The cut of his eye looked a little oriental or American Indian or something. He was very chubby, strangely enough, and he had very curly hair.
When did he lose the fat?
Really, I would say around four or five years old. As he started growing because most of it was baby fat. As you can tell today, he isn’t inclined to being fat. The little pug nose was there, but his face was just as round as a ball and really a very cute face and had a lot of black hair.
What do you think was the happiest day in Micky’s life?
If I had to pick one, I would think it would be when he got the part in “Circus Boy.” He was very happy when he got the part in the Monkees, I can’t underestimate that, but since you’ll only let me pick one, I think it was “Circus Boy,” because he was only eight years old and they made such a big production of the contract.
He had been on the set a few times with his dad and with me the one or two times I worked, but he still didn’t know that much about show business, so he was very thrilled being able to do it. We had a big surprise party at one of the restaurants we owned at that time and they presented him with a big contract with cartoons of elephants and a picture of Circus Boy and the producer and director were there and it was a big thrill for him. So I would assume it was the most exciting day he’s had. Of course, he was thrilled with the Monkees too.
Another very happy day in his life was when he got the horse he’d been wanting for so long. He and Coco both got a horse right after Micky finished filming “Circus Boy.” He and Coco both had been saving their money. It was a great accomplishment for him to save his own money, all his allowances, and he felt he had done a real great thing. So Blaze, Micky’s horse, and Apache, Coco’s horse, came riding up in that trailer and they were so excited they could hardly stand it.
Was Micky excited about the arrival of a new baby?
Oh! Yes! He’s the one who named her Coco. At the age of four he was a very precocious child. At the age of three I remember him discussing the sun rising and setting. So I wasn’t about to be able to give him the stork bit. He was going to have a little sister as far as he was concerned. He named her Coco Sunshine Marie. Don’t ask me where he got it, I don’t know. Coco stuck. He was very thrilled at the thought of having a little sister to take care of. As he got older, he would tell me, “Oh, it’s great to have a sister to be able to boss around the way some of the big kids at school boss me around.”
Were there any foods Micky disliked as a child?
He couldn’t stand squash. But Micky wasn’t picky. He loved Chili. He used to eat Chili on the “Circus Boy” set in the morning. When I know he’s coming up to visit us, that’s the first thing I do—I check for two things—Chili and Swiss Cheese. I have to have those two things on hand.
What games did Micky play with the neighborhood children before he began work on “Circus Boy?”
He used to dig trenches, not soldier trenches, but caves for exploring. The Evans family, who lived next door, both of our back lots were dirt. They dug caves and played explorer. They were always exploring.
One day Micky made a great discovery. He found if he put the magnetic hammer down in the soil the ore in the ground would catch on. So one of his favorite pastimes was collecting all these little bits of minerals in the back yard sand.
He and Coco and the two Evans children were the four that played together. Micky built a playhouse in a tree once. He was always very active. He was a reader, too. I would have to make sure the light was out after a certain time or he would have read all night. His games varied. When everyone else would be playing cops and robbers, he’d say, “That’s silly, let’s play explorers!” He always had a great imagination.