In Memoriam

Posted by JonWoods JonWoods
Options
For those of you unfamiliar with the tradition of "El Día de los Muertos," Google describes it as a day of "prayer and remembrance of friends and family members who have died." I'm afraid I couldn't get this entry finished in time for the actual celebration, which ended on Thursday, but it's one I've been thinking about for quite a while so I'm going to post it anyway, since this holiday seems to be the most appropriate time for it.

We work in a business full of young, vibrant, lovely women. Even though some of them may have their demons, they're all bursting with life. For that reason, it always seems especially tragic when we hear of one of them passing away. Realistically, when you work with hundreds and hundreds of people, it's statistically inevitable that these tragedies will occur. But that doesn't lessen the impact. I apologize if the topic is depressing, but I wanted to spend a moment to share some thoughts on them.

I had only been out in California for two years when the news broke that Alex Jordan had committed suicide. While I'd never met her, she loved doing fetish work and was an immediate favorite of both Chelsea Pfeiffer and Lorelei. I read that at the time of her death, Ms. Jordan was planning to leave the adult business. Yet I somehow felt that had she not ended her life prematurely that it was almost inevitable that we would've worked together and done some wonderful things. It was the first time that someone in my immediate circle, while not close to me, had died at a young age.

Nicole Fauve was a friend of Talia Monét. I worked with her around 1999, and she had a winning combination of movie star looks and remarkable flexibility, but she was a very troubled person. Nicole was a heroin addict (which was not that common back in those days), and it was one of those unique moments in my career to notice a lot of needle-marks on a model's arms as I was tying her, and then suddenly be made aware of my own naiveté as the reason for her two hour delay in arrival became apparent. In a cruel, ironic twist of fate, Nicole and her boyfriend were fleeing Los Angeles in an attempt to get away from a toxic environment and clean up when they were stopped by a cop because of the boyfriend's erratic driving. Instead of arresting them, the cop insisted they switch drivers. Nicole nodded off at the wheel and hit a tree. While her boyfriend survived with serious injuries, she did not.

I met Teri Rose (AKA Teri Diver) at one of the first shoots after joining the Harmony Concepts staff. I was assisting Lorelei's video shoot with her and Ashley Renee, and I believe Teri may have been the first woman to be tied up in the trunk of my (then) new 1993 Saturn SL2. She was a sweet person, and friendly, but that turned out to be her final shoot for Harmony, so I never had the opportunity to work with her for one of my own projects. In 2001 we got the word that she had died from an accidental overdose of her migraine medication. I felt stunned at the news, and I clearly remember as I was driving home the Byrds' song "Turn, Turn, Turn" played on the radio as started the car. When it finished, I changed stations and I heard the same song (from the beginning) a second time.

I worked with Livia Choice only once at a shared shoot with Ikaras Jones. She had striking looks, but I must confess she was decidedly sleep deprived because of a very active shooting schedule while she was here in L.A., and so this stunning blonde was not performing at her absolute peak for us. Because of the symbiotic nature of shooting, I feel like I probably didn't do my best work with her either. But I had hopes that the next time she came through the U.S. that we'd have a more successful collaboration. Then later we heard that Livia had died in an automobile accident in 2005. I may be misremembering (and I sincerely apologize if this is the case) but I thought I'd read that she'd fallen asleep at the wheel while traveling to a job, which considering Ms. Choice was in high demand, hard-working and motivated, it wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility to learn she'd pushed herself beyond her limits.

One of the most involved and unusual incidents was in August 2012 when Natali Demore committed suicide along with my former Harmony co-staffer, Jack Banner. Natali was a bit closer to our circle than anyone else being remembered on this list, particularly as she had close connections to our friend Ashley Renee. Natali's was a complex tale, and I really couldn't do it justice here without an overabundance of detail, many of which should probably remain private. Suffice it to say, she had mental and physical issues that should have been addressed, but instead she linked up with an enabler for her self-destruction. There are many mementos of her around here, and I do still think of her often.

The most shocking story in this list is the case of the model known as "Santana." Unlike everyone else commemorated in this entry, she was the only one who was murdered. Santana was one of those models whom I'd wished I'd worked with a lot more, but she had a tendency to be elusive and not answer emails or calls. Nonetheless, Santana was always very enthusiastic about her work, energetic and vibrant. And she had a genuine affinity for the physical challenges of wrestling and bondage, as well as some personal interest in fetishy things. She also had some of the most amazing hair ever. In 2015 she became a victim of domestic violence in a murder-suicide. Her boyfriend was mentally ill and had stopped taking his medication. He accused Santana of cheating on him, then used her gun to end her life and his own.

When Alexis Grace succumbed to pneumonia last year, it was an unexpected punch to the gut. About a month before she suddenly passed away, she tweeted to me, telling me she was planning another trip out to L.A. I was really expecting to see and work with her again for the first time in several years. We always got along really well and had lots of fun. It was always obvious she absolutely loved doing this work. It just seemed timing and other circumstances were never on our side.  

We heard that Joy Marks had committed suicide in August. For those who may not recall her, she performed in a few videos for Lorelei back in the day and she was outstanding in that I would rate her within the top five of the best actresses I've ever encountered in this business. We hadn't seen her in quite a few years, but at one point we were good friends with her. After Lorelei's father passed away, Joy came that close to adopting her dad's dog, Indie. (Eric Holman decided at the last minute he'd become too attached to let her go.) Joy was a sophisticated lady with many talents, and while we don't know what her motivation may have been for ending her life, we're saddened by the news because we're certain that anyone who knew her would have done anything to help her out. Our mutual friend Slamm writes: "She was the quintessential 'crazy redhead', and I have a lot of funny stories of my time with her. I always felt whoever she dated would discover that she was a handful. I loved her look - she was unique, beautiful, very athletic, and oh, that red hair. And she was very talented; perhaps one of my best models in that she could act."

They were all taken from us too soon, and we hope their souls are at peace. We miss them, but they live on in our hearts.


1 Comment

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
Andre The Toon Man Andre The Toon Man
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: In Memoriam

I would also like to add two very different people who were not models who went way too soon.  A producer from Friendship Studios back in the early 80s who called himself Mr K and a transwoman named Nicci Tristan.  Even though I'm not into the rubberwear stuff that she was into we actually had some interesting conversations about bondage on FetLife.  What also bothers me is her death may have been a suicide but the family has been very tight lipped about it.

Mr K was a rigger/photographer for Friendship Studios.  He was also a fan of CD bondage and was a good friend of Sandra Gibbons (TranniesInTrouble.com).  He would often tell me stories or send me some of the images he took way back when.  I would urge him to tell his stories to a wider public but he was reluctant to do so.  He was a bondage fan to the end and even helped fund a couple of my shoots.  I will always be grateful to him for that.  The last couple of years he was in poor health and passed away in the hospital after losing a massive amount of weight.  

I had NO idea how many of your models had passed on over the years.  Let's honor their memories and help keep their names alive at least!

Andre