SYNOPSIS: After she discovered adoption papers with her name on them hidden in the attic, Ceecee Bennett, in a wave of depression and anxiety, took her life savings and boarded a plane for Los Angeles. In Hollywood, at the Copper Skillet—a fav hangout for teen stars—Ceecee met her “guardian angel” Aunt Tillie, who got her a job as assistant seamstress in the Wardrobe Department at Screen Gems Studio. On the Screen Gems lot the Monkees have their home office and Bobby Sherman’s “Here Come The Brides” is shot. After seeing Mark Lindsay, and meeting Davy and Bobby—Ceecee can’t believe that even more wonderful experiences are ahead of her!
Ceecee spent the afternoon quietly sewing buttons and stars on some of the Monkees’ costumes for their TV spec. Aunt Tillie’s sewing machine never stopped buzzing, and Ceecee found herself silently admiring this wonderful woman who worked so hard, who gave so much, and who—while asking no questions or imposing on Ceecee’s privacy—gave her the feeling that she was loved and protected. Ceecee wished there were more people in the world like Tillie. She vowed that she, Ceecee, would make every effort to be as fine a person as Tillie.
Bam! Bam! BAM!! It was Davy, lunging back into the sewing room again! This time he was accompanied by a man wearing dark glasses.
“Hi, my fav ladies!” Davy called out. “I wantcha to meet one of my fav guys!”.
“’Fraid I’ve already had the pleasure,” Tillie said, smiling.
“Well, then—Cee, this is Gene Ashman. He’s the guy who’s really in charge here!” Davy continued.
For a split second, Ceecee felt all queasy inside. Oh, dear, she thought, suppose he tells me I can’t work here—or asks me a lot of questions?!
Before her thoughts went any further, Gene allayed her fears by sticking out his hand. “Shake, Ceecee,” he greeted her warmly. “Make yourself at home. Don’t work too hard—and don’t let Davy tease you too much!” With that, Gene vanished again into his world of endless racks of gorgeous costumes—and Ceecee found herself with the distinct impression that she had just met another fine person.
“C’mon, Cee,” Davy suddenly said. “I wantcha to meet yet another friend. And besides, we’ve got to get you something really super to wear on your big date tonight!”
“What big date?!” Ceecee asked in utter amazement.
“Never mind!” Davy raved on. And without explaining a thing, he grabbed her coat and bag and ushered Ceecee out of the door. “I’ll bring her safely home by six, Tillie!” Davy called—and the last thing Ceecee saw was a happy, smiling Tillie waving and nodding approval.
As Davy and Ceecee rushed hand-in-hand across the Screem Gems lot, past the security guard and onto Gower Street, startled and amused passersby stopped to turn and stare. Though her heart was beating a mile a minute, Ceecee hung onto her composure—but deep inside, she couldn’t help thinking, I wish the kids back home could see me now!
“This has always been one of my favorite stores,” Davy said, as they stopped in front of Lenny’s Boot Parlor.
“I read a lot about it in 16,” Ceecee replied. Then she softly added, “But I never thought I’d actually see it one day!”
Davy grinned. “You’re not only going to see it,” he said, “you’re going to go in it and you’re going to get a gift!”
Within no time, Ceecee had met jovial Lenny and she and Davy were rummaging through what seemed to be an endless selection of shirts and slacks in all colors and sizes. “Everybody shops here,” Davy volunteered, “Ann-Margret, ‘Sammy’ Dolenz, Sally Field, Micky, Mike, myself, the Cowsills, Mark Lindsay and Sajid—”
As if on cue, the door to Lenny’s opened and Sajid Khan walked in!
At first, Sajid didn’t see Davy and Ceecee, who were down on their knees looking at some shirts buried at the bottom of a pile. Lenny walked over and started to chat with Saj. Though she was burning with curiosity, Ceecee tried to keep her cool and not noticeably take any notice of Sajid. Finally, she could contain herself no longer. At her eye-level, she saw two immaculate white boots; above them gently flared, deep blue pants that dipped down slightly in the back (a “Lenny” trademark, she learned later); next a beautiful, soft white, Nehru-type jacket and several rows of seed, shells and love beads. As Ceecee’s gaze came even with Sajid’s face, she gasped inaudibly. He was looking straight into her eyes! He had been watching her every move all the while!
Davy suddenly became aware of the silence. He looked up, saw Saj and once again burst into his typical happy Davy Jones grin. “Hi, Saj!” he said, jumping up. The two shook hands and Davy said, “Saj, this is Ceecee. Cee, this is Sajid Khan—but somehow I get the feeling that you already know who he is!”
Ceecee smiled quietly. For some reason, she felt embarrassed beyond words. But Saj, with one quick move, erased all her uneasiness.
He stepped forward, extended his hand, and said in an unbelievably gentle and beautiful voice, “Well, Ceecee shall we shake hands? I am still learning your American customs—and this is one I really like.”
As he smiled and took her hand, Ceecee again was struck by the simple straightforwardness that was such a natural part of all the well-known and famous people she’d met lately. She wished everybody could be like that.
“We’re looking for some slacks and a groovy top for Ceecee to wear on the town tonight,” Davy explained. “If you see anything suitable, please show it to us.”
“O.K.,” Sajid said, and wandered off into the store. In a few minutes he reappeared, carrying a garment over his arm.
“Ceecee,” he said, “let me hold this up to you.”
Ceecee turned and found Saj holding a lovely, pink embroidered and jeweled Indian shirt in front of her.
“Well, that seems long enough,” Saj said. “What do you think, Davy?”
“Perfect! Wow—what a great idea!”
“What is it?” Ceecee asked timidly.
“It’s an Indian shirt—one from the country I was born in,” Saj explained. “It is a small size made for a boy, but on you it is like a dress. What you call a mini-dress.”
Ceecee looked down at the shirt. Indeed, it was perfect as a dress for a girl—and it also was one of the most gorgeous things she’d ever laid her eyes on!
“Sold!” Davy exclaimed.
“Too late!” Saj called over his shoulder as he walked out the door. “I already bought it for Ceecee as a present—” and he vanished.
“Oh, dear!” Ceecee said, “He’s gone! I have to thank him—”
“’Fraid you’ll have to do that some other time,” Davy chimed in. “You’ve forgotten what Bobby and I told you after lunch today. And if we don’t get this show on the road soon, you’ll never get home in time to fix yourself up and be ready for your date tonight with Bobby Sherman!”
If it hadn’t been for Aunt Tillie, Ceecee would never have been ready for Bobby. To her delight, Ceecee discovered that Tillie was not only an expert at making clothes look stunning—but she was also the world’s greatest undiscovered hairdresser! So by 7:30 P.M., when Bobby was due at her door, Ceecee had put on her lovely new dress and high pink and gray boots—and Tillie had turned her hair into a magnificent coiffure, topped with flowing pink ribbons!
“Ceecee, you look like an absolute dream,” Tillie said, slowly turning her around. And just as the doorbell sounded, Ceecee saw a tear of joy in the corner of Tillie’s eye. Impulsively, she leaned over and kissed Tillie. “Thank you so much for everything,” she said softly, almost crying herself.
As Ceecee opened the door, she reminded herself not to lose her cool. She kept saying over and over to herself—He’s just a boy like any other boy and he wants to be treated like a human being, not like a star.
Her little magic trick seemed to work, for when the door was fully opened Ceecee felt strangely calm and serene. But her serenity did not last long. The pair of magnetic, sparkling blue eyes that looked directly into hers made her heart start to beat like a fast drum. Thank heaven, you can’t see hearts—Ceecee heard herself thinking.
Bobby stepped back and looked at Ceecee, up and down—very slowly. He finally said in a very low voice, “Ceecee, you look so—so very lovely!”
“Thank you, Bobby,” Ceecee said. It was the first time in her life any boy had ever looked at her like that, or spoken to her in a voice like that—and it sent tingles up her spine.
After a moment, Bobby blinked and smiled. “Hey, come on out and see my car! It’s a midnight blue, silver cloud Rolls Royce—and you’re going to be one of the very first girls to ride in it!”
As Ceecee sat down beside Bobby, he said, “I’ve planned the whole evening—dinner at my favorite restaurant, a sightseeing drive—and then I’m going to take you to my very own private hideaway, my secret place!”
And they roared off into the moonlit, star-strewn night.
Where does Bobby take Ceecee? What secret does he reveal to her there? And what secret, in turn, does she reveal to him? Join the fun and excitement again next month! It’ll all be in the July issue of 16 on sale May 20! Reserve your copy now!!