It is was my pal Joanie’s birthday earlier in the week and it reminded me about the rapidly approaching anniversary of her sister, and my dear friend, Jacs’ death. It has been making me feel melancholic and left me unable to adequate celebrate for Jo-Jo, so instead of drowning my sorrows – my go to coping mechanism – I decided to whip out the time machine to say my goodbyes.
As you know, Jac kept her illness secret, even from her two closest confidantes – Joanie and myself – and we only found out a few weeks before she passed and sadly I didn’t make it over in time to say goodbye, which has haunted me ever since.
I first met Jac in the 40s, after working with her big sister in a production of A Doll’s House. Seeing my star turn as Nora Helmer, Jacs was inspired to follow in Joan’s footsteps and become an actress.
Despite a brief falling-out in the 60s when we had a simultaneous affair with Marlon Brando, Jacs and I have enjoyed a close bond, with my mentorship of her acting and later her mentorship of my erotic writing career (to be published, for some reason).
Wanting to get closure, I didn’t travel far back in time to just before her passing so that we could enjoy a last hurrah. While she was so close to the end, Jacs was still so full of life and was as witty and sharp as ever, which just warmed my heart to be able to see and know that she was ready.
As I said, I wasn’t going to drown my sorrows, so instead we joined together to toast a life well lived and a career full of scintillating writing over our drink of choice – a Jackie (Tom) Collins.
As great as it is to witness the Collins girls banter back and forward, I couldn’t risk Joanie throwing a drink in my face and wrestling me in a pool – as we are known to do – so I just kept it to the two of us.
But when you’ve got a raspberry and lemon, gin soaked delight – do you really need anything else (or to be soaked by pool water)?
Jackie (Tom) Collins
ice cubes, to serve
2 thin lemon slices, halved
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
chilled mineral water, to serve
Place ice, a couple of raspberries and the slices of lemon in the base of your glass. Add the gin and lemon juice and top up with mineral water.
Swizzle and down. Simple and delicious.