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Hi Linda,
Terry ("TK") Kellman here, Bobby's guitarist. Remember me? Just a line to let you (and Dodd) know how much I enjoyed his open letter on your site.

Many times Bobby and Dodd (we called him "Moose" back then, God knows why) would come up to Las Vegas and sleep on an old mattress in the spare room of my old rented house on Vegas Valley Drive. The plan would always be to arise early the next morning, jump in the car and meet the rest of the band at Lake Mead, where we would "work" on getting B.D.'s ramshackle boat in shape.

I'm sure that the boat was a project that existed for the sole purpose of spending father and son time with Dodd. There was never a chance that this sorry vessel would acually make it out on the lake. Devoid of a working engine, and in desperate need of cosmetic surgery the whole thing would have been a waste of time had not we enjoyed hanging out on the thing, drinking beer, male bonding, and bullshitting each other.

Bobby would talk over and over again about the reason behind his almost superhuman efforts to continue working concerts despite his illness; It all boiled down to one reason: Dodd.

He would lecture us on the importance of relationships and about how Dodd was the most important thing in his life and how every cent he made from his career would go into investing in Dodd's future and how he didn't know how much time he had left but he intended to make the best of the situation cuz it didn't matter that he had to suck from an oxygen tank three or four times a show as long as he knew Dodd was being taken care of at the end of the day.

I was only 23 then, full of myself and brimming with irrelevance, but I remember being touched by his dedication and so very impressed by the man. He could easily have afforded a new umpteen foot Sea Ray and he and Dodd could have merrily sailed out onto the lake and leave any pretense of "fixing the boat" behind them. But somehow Bobby knew that old junker would carry he and Dodd and the band and myself much farther and closer than a new one could.

Of course, I have no idea if Dodd even remembers me or these little sojourns. Since then I have traveled a lot of years and worked with many celebrities, but I've not had any contact with Dodd since his father's death. I've seen an occasional interview where he says he remembers little of that time. I remember almost every moment. There has never been a man so pivotal in my career or in my life as Bobby Darin. In so many small and giant moments he became a surrogate father, mentor, and friend. I could tell you lots of stories. Personal ones; but now is not the time, so let this small one do for now. Suffice to say that my only regret in knowing and working with Bobby Darin was not having the time or the sense to tell him how much I loved him. I'm sure the rest of the people he touched feel the same way.

Best regards to Dodd and good luck with the film.

Terry Kellman

 

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