In her quiet way, Doris Day continues to spread joy and not only with her music and films. Residents and visitors – two legged and four-legged – of Carmel-By-The -Sea, California are in for a treat as they reside or visit in this beautiful beach town near Monterey. We were unexpected recipients of Day’s Happy Day Vibes late January.
After dining at the excellent Grill on Ocean Avenue, we asked our waiter about any local spots where we could hear some music. He said we were in luck, to walk down a couple blocks to the Cypress Inn. Surprisingly unfamiliar with this place, we came upon a beautiful 30s-era smalllish Mediterranean white stucco hotel. Once inside the front door we were greeted by a small group of people and dogs(!) in a living-room setting with a pianist and flugelhornist playing jazz . It was something rather unimaginable in this day an age. The pianist, who turned out to be the well-known Dick Whittington and fellow musician , whose name we failed to write down, were putting on what amounted to a private concert of world-class vintage jazz as we reclined on couches, sipping drinks. Everyone , both two legged and four legged , in the room couldn’t have been more friendly, including the artists themselves. The unplanned experience was like something from another time and place. I can’t wait to go back to see what next time will have in store. Whittington, a transplant from Berkeley, CA , plays every Friday and Saturday with various renown guest artists.
Just experiencing the charming Cypress Inn was an experience in itself but learning that Doris Day was part owner, as was her late musical son, Terry Melcher, made it even more special. The retiscent Day was no doubt talked into allowing old movie posters (Pajama Game, etc.) and record album covers to adorn the walls near ‘Terry’s Lounge, an elegant classy but non-ostentatious bar which now serves tribute to Melcher, who had quite a remarkable, if under-appreciated career of his own as producer, musician and entrepeneur. It’s obvious that Day does not run the Cypress solely for profit , judging by the quality of music and charm we witnessed and not the number of people who could squeeze into the place – a gift for humans to enjoy with their four-legged friends. Their may not be another venue like it anywhere. Cats as well as dogs are welcome to stay overnight in the Inn along with their folks.
Usually one thinks of Clint Eastwood as the person most synonymous with Carmel but that seems to have changed – at least for us… Day is probably singly responsible for making Carmel one of the most dog and pet-friendly towns anywhere. Of course, Doris Day is probably more famous today, especially among younger people, for her Doris Day Animal Federation, which helps rehabiliate and find homes for dogs and cats, most recently having sent relief help to Haiti for all the abandoned and injured pets in the earthquake.
Going from her prototypical 50s image as the wholesome girl next store to a later life filled with much sadness – a number of failed marriages including brutality and the loss and associated tragedies involving her devoted son Terry, who, by the way , helped run DDAF, Day no doubt takes solace in the animals and in the contributions she has made.
Doris Day may be in her late 80s but, in our book its only a number and as one will witness at SeniorCountry.com ( to come) with Jack LaLanne, Art Linkletter and others, people can be vibrant at any age while others’ lives are basically over at much younger ages.
Doris Day, we are told, rarely has made public appearances in many years. Though we wish she did , for our own selfish reasons, we can understand why this kind sole, who has helped so many others and not gotten back nearly what she deserves, must take life like the words of her signature song, ‘Que Sera Sera’. We can only wish her the very best for many more years doing what she does so well , while we continue listening to her beautiful music and watching those fun, uplifting movies. Perhaps this little mention will alert others to what Doris Day is about today, and perhaps bring some joy into their lives too, whether it be at the Cypress or somewhere in Carmel, or just enjoying the music and movies. Doris Day, one of a kind. Great to have her with us!