The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

June 17, 2013

Family and fans remember Davy Jones in his beloved Beavertown

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

— BEAVERTOWN — First, Beavertown officials and friends of the late Monkee Davy Jones commissioned a statue, but had no permanent location to display it.

Then, fans complained that an 11-foot statue placing the 5-foot, 3-inch singer on a pedestal was too tall, so Altoona sculptor Chuck LaMark scaled it down.

On Saturday, LaMark unveiled the statue he created free to more than 250 fans during a ceremony that included live music, a bed race and Jones’ four daughters in attendance.

But he cautioned the eager crowd that it was not the final product.

“I chose the wrong materials,” LaMark said of the water-based clay he used to create a likeness of Jones, in his mid-20s and holding a tambourine, at the height of his television and singing career with The Monkees.

“This one will be scrapped.”

He plans to create a new statue with oil-based clay and unveil it in 2014 at the next ceremony honoring the late singer.

“I’ll be able to get more detail and make him a little more animated,” LaMark said.

Some fans were disappointed not to see the final statue.

“It’s a work in progress? I guess we’ll all be back again next year,” said Laurie Newman, who traveled from the Philadelphia area.

Many, though, were just happy to have a chance to get together with other fans and reminisce about their idol, who passed away in February 2012 at age 66.

“You can’t perfect perfection,” said Cathy DeFini, of Mentor, Ohio, after seeing LaMark’s work.

Jones’ youngest daughter, Annabel, wept at the unveiling as the crowd sang one of his hits, “Daydream Believer.”

“He’s just my dad,” she said. “To see all this effort being made ... he wouldn’t believe it. He was really humble.”

From California, England

She and her sister, Jessica, traveled from England and their half-sisters, Talia and Sarah came from California to attend the event and  participate in the first annual Middlecreek Area Community Center Bed Race at the nearby Beaver Springs Dragway.

“As long as everyone else keeps showing up, we’ll be here,” said Annabel, adding that her father worked hard and appreciated his fans.

The 24-year-old said she enjoys visiting Beavertown, where her father owned a horse farm for more than two decades.

“I’ve been coming here since I was a baby,” she said. “These are all our friends and neighbors.”

Sarah echoed the sentiment.

“Our father’s fans are incredible,” she said. “They’re like family and have helped us through our grieving. We’ll do whatever needs to be done to represent our father and his legacy.”

Sarah said she and her sisters are hopeful they’ll be able to carry out their father’s wishes of establishing a community center or theater in a former church he purchased in Beavertown years ago, but are waiting for his estate to be settled.

“That was his dream,” she said. “Without question, we will do whatever it takes to honor him and his work.”