You know those moments when you hear something or see something and it jolts your mind, like when you hear about a former boyfriend/girlfriend eloping with a carnival worker, or you find out a co-worker you used to work with passed away suddenly? Yesterday I had one of those moments and it began with a friend's Instagram post.
The post was of a photo collage of her father on his birthday. It was a bittersweet post because her father passed away, but she wanted to make sure she wished him a happy birthday and to tell him he was missed. I looked at the pictures of her dad, then I looked at him again, and I realized that my friend's father was Danny.
For those in the entertainment industry growing up in Utah in the 1980's, 90's, and early 2000's, you probably knew Danny Thompson. I first met Danny when I worked at Lagoon. Danny was a charter member in one of the most prestigious gigs in the state, Lagoon's Music USA. He could sing, dance, act, and was one of the funniest people I've ever met.
The thing about Danny is he made everyone feel like a million bucks, no matter if you were a fellow cast member, or just the guy who ran the lights. I remember wishing him well at the SLC airport when he left for a tour to Korea. I remember attending his mother's funeral. I remember my wife and I going to his wedding reception at the Lion House, and I remember seeing him at the Stadium of Fire entertaining tens of thousands of fans (and almost getting fried in the process...).
I also remember getting the terrible news that he died. He crashed his car and died due to complications in the hospital a few days later. It's been a while since I thought about Danny, but his daughter's post wishing him a happy birthday and feeling sad that he was no longer with us made me miss him all over again.
It's been almost 10 years since he passed away. For those of us lucky enough to know Danny will never forget his laugh, his crazy talent, and his insane driving skills (not necessarily in a good way...). His birthday was yesterday. Happy birthday, Danny. You are missed.