Report by Gail Martin
Copyright story and photos: Gail Martin
Gail visited Miami again in September 2006.
She paid a visit to Yvonne as well as Barry and his family.
And she wrote this following report for GSI.
Part 1 visit to Miami 2006.
a look at the garden of Yvonne's old house at Biscayne Bay
Yvonne had not moved yet, so it was such a pleasure to be able to see the house she and Maurice once shared. (she finally moved to her new house early October).
We visited Yvonne on Wednesday, September 13th.
Emmy, Inge and I were greeted at the door by Yvonne and Robin.
"This" Robin is a lovely lady who is Yvonne's assistant. We all settled down in her "huge" living room, with 2 leather circular sofa's, (one facing Biscayne Bay).
Maurice's Grammy's and other awards were sitting on book shelves.
There were many boxes and items on the floor that had to be packed for the "new house".
Yvonne did most of the talking, while we listened to every word. She volunteered lots of info about Maurice and what kind of kind person he was.
So sad though, whenever she spoke of him, her eyes filled with tears, and a quiver tone in her voice. Definitely, she still misses and loves Maurice "very much".
Yvonne told us, while packing Maurice's things, she came across a recording tape. She didn't know what was on it, so she played it, finding out it was a "Happy Birthday" to her that Maurice, Adam, and Samantha had made.
She cried while telling us. It had been put away.
Maurice never got the chance to give it to her.
We were told, Maurice was a "pack rat". He saved everything! Yvonne said he thought he might need something he saved, one day. HA! He also bought 3 and 4 of everything he used like shavers, cameras, and such. (?)
left: Yvonne's assistent Robyn with dog Daisy right: living room of Yvonne's home with many of the Grammy's and other awards of Maurice
There are some goodwill stories Yvonne told us about Maurice. She didn't know about them. People told her about them after he died...
Maurice paid for a lady to have dental work done. She needed work badly, and was having a hard time getting work, due to her appearance...
He also paid for an organ transplant, for someone, who otherwise would have died...
Maurice helped someone who had no more money to complete college...
What a caring man! No one knew about these stories. He just did it, and didn't tell anyone.
I did ask Yvonne, if it were true, Maurice's ashes were buried at their home in The Bahamas. She confirmed and even told us, she has made arrangements, when she dies, to have her ashes put with his.
A loving, heart-felt moment to hear this.
Yvonne said there would be an "estate sale", because she didn't want to take everything to the new house.
She said, "wait just a minute", left the room, and came back with a -cap!-.
She handed it to me. She added, "this is for you, Maurice wore it".
I was floored! Couldn't believe it! She told me,
"I can tell you are a good person and I know you adore Maurice". She continued, "you were so kind to make a special trip to see Samantha and her band," (March this year).
I think she could feel I am a sincere person in what I did, and the words in my letters to her.
I was so "honored" that his cap would be mine!
left: Yvonne talking about her Mo right: cap of Maurice Gail received from Yvonne as a special present.
I have seen this cap in a picture of Maurice. I can't find the picture of him wearing this.
If anyone has one, please tell me.
I would like a copy so I may frame that picture and one of me wearing the same cap Yvonne gave me.
I gave Yvonne a "big hug" and told her,"I will never give it up".
Yvonne mentioned Samantha and Adam.
They both live very close by in (I think) Surf Side. Not real sure of the name.
I know it's near Sunny Isles, in North Miami. Samantha and her band will be playing in Tennessee this month.
Adam has finished college, and will be writing and producing.
Yvonne told us, Maurice Park ceremony is postponed until first or second week of January.
(as of this writing). The plaque in the park has been removed, because there was so much cracking on the mosaic tile. It will be replaced.
Gail wearing Mo's cap
Before we left, Yvonne asked if we would like to see the back area of house.
It sits on edge of Biscayne Bay. So beautiful! I went to sit by Maurice's pool. HA!
We were at Yvonne's, little less than an hour. Before leaving, Yvonne allowed me to take a shot of a picture of her and Maurice, waiting to be packed.
I think it's from 1978-79.
They were both wearing white outfits.
Also took a picture of the garden in front of her house, which Adam helped to build.
Yvonne and Robin were absolutely "super".
Really down to earth, and gracious.
I will never forget her kindness and allowing to spend some time with her.
MEETING BARRY, AGAIN
Earlier I also had the opportunity to meet Barry again.
This was on Thursday, September 7th.
The group that came to Miami for Barry's birthday, had no idea he would be at home.
Heidi notified me. We spent about an hour in his home.
Emmy and Inge were suppose to be there too, however they were delayed because of visa problems.
I quietly told Barry about their situation, and asked if he could possibly make time to see them the following week.
Without any hesitation, he said, "sure".
I just knew he would. Barry "makes" time for his fans. He is "very, very friendly".
Linda is "super" too. She had fun meeting with the fans and chatting with us.
Mr. Ashby is "out of site", a very kind and understanding man.
Steven and Ashley, Barry's son's, were there too, and had time to have pictures taken with me.
Barry giving autographs
I, Emmy and Inge also visited Jimmy's during our stay in Miami too.
After reading that it had been sold, I had to ask Edna about this.
She's the manager. She told me "no", and had no idea how this news got started.
So, Jimmy's is the same! We sat at Maurices "table" for our lunch visit.
I hope you like my story and the photos,GAIL email@example.com
left: Barry and Gail right: Barry was so kind to welcome his fans at his home
for photo report of Gail Martin with lots of more photos (copyright Gail Martin)
Click here for Part 2
visit to Miami 2006 by Emmy.
Thanks Gail for your cooperation
Marion / GSI