terça-feira, 25 de junho de 2013

In the eyes of Cathy Swango

Kiko has asked me to write something about Farrah for a long time now and I hadn’t done it because I am tied up in a very controversial group on facebook and thought it would be better not too. However, with the 4th anniversary of Farrah’s death, I thought I would give it a try.

 I have read many stories about how Farrah has touched the lives of various people and they are all wonderful stories and memories. My story is a lot different. I was always a fan of Farrah’s from the time Charlie’s Angels burst on the scene in 1978. I loved all three of the Angels and followed their careers. But, there was something special about Farrah. I don’t know if it was how beautiful she was, her acting, the show itself, but everyone seemed to be drawn to her and I was no different. I followed Farrah’s career, but never as closely as so many of you have done. I watched all the Charlie’s Angel shows she was in, the movies and saw several of the talk shows she was on. However, I was never one to write to an actor or actress or collect autographs; I just admired their work from my TV at home. I guess you could say that I know more about Farrah Fawcett now, after she passed away, than I ever did while she was alive. I did one time write to her after hearing of her illness, but never heard back. 

 This is where my story is so different. After leaving a job in 2006, I was on the computer more and started looking up a lot of things including Charlie’s Angels. I wanted to see if the seasons of the show were available to buy. While looking on the internet for that, I also looked up all of the angels to see what might be going on in their lives and that is when I found out about Farrah’s cancer. That started my interest in following Farrah much closer than I had before. Kind of like when Kate Jackson said, Farrah and cancer, no way. But it was true. In looking at various things about Farrah on the internet I discovered the documentary that was being filmed about her cancer journey. The title of that documentary was “A Wing and A Prayer”. At one point I thought I had missed the airing of the documentary, but found out later that it was still being filmed. I also stumbled across a blog that was discussing Farrah at length. I kind of got involved in reading what others were saying on that blog, which include things about a past boyfriend from College, Greg Lott. I did post some on that blog and got to know some of the others posting. Then I joined Facebook and saw just how many people were still very much fans of not only Farrah, but of all the Angels. From the blog I became friends with some of those people on Facebook and it kind of snowballed from there. Now, I have many friends on Facebook that are “Angel” fans. 

 We were all following Farrah’s progress and treatments and chatting back and forth about it. Then suddenly Farrah took a turn for the worst. I read so many comments from so many places of people praying for her and it was amazing just how many people were saying prayers, even the ones that thought they did not have that close of a relationship with God, but were will to pray for Farrah anyway! I thought to myself, what a testimony it would be if the good Lord healed Farrah Fawcett. As most of you know NBC started running ads about a documentary that they would be airing called “Farrah’s Story”! That is when red flags and sirens went off for me personally. She had titled that documentary something else, so how did it become “Farrah’s Story”? Next thing we knew the producer of the documentary, Craig Nevius, had filed a lawsuit against Ryan O’Neal, Richard Francis and Alana Stewart. Chris Mann from Retroality did an interview with Mr. Nevius and it detailed the fact that Ryan O’Neal had somehow got control of the documentary, that Richard Francis had gotten control of the company Nevius and Farrah started together titled “Sweetened By Risk” and that Craig Nevius was out. It truly set off the sound off bells and whistles to fans everywhere. I followed the lawsuit, as did so many, and during that process, Farrah passed away on June 25, 2009. 

 To me it was such a sad day!! Not only was Farrah gone, but all those prayers for a healing, a miracle, didn’t happen. But, there was no doubt in my mind that she had gone to Heaven and was Cancer FREE!!! That was not what she wanted, but we can’t control when God calls us home. I remember thinking about reading in a blog somewhere or a comment under an article, a guy that said “I am not that close to God, but for Farrah I will pray and hope He will heal her”. I also remembered what she said in the documentary about being able to dip her wings in the rain, wondering if she would be able to do that from Heaven. I think she can and has several times by now. 

 The court case over the documentary was much more extensive than I had originally thought and more than just a company and a documentary being signed away. It was footage of the documentary being withheld by a friend of Farrah’s in order to get more money and a better title. It was questioning whether or not she actually signed those papers giving control to someone else and if she sign the documents, was she really aware of what they were and what they said. Many continued to follow the Nevius case for months and then there was a counter lawsuit accusing Mr. Nevius of doing some things that were not right. It just kept going and many of us on Facebook would talk about it. Wondering why all of this was happening and how could all of this be happening. Farrah was a smart woman and she would have never left these kinds of things up in the air. Then we hear rumors of Farrah not being treated right while she was ill and rumors of people, friends that she care for not allowed to see her in those final months of her life. It sounded horrible that anyone would purposely keep a close friend or loved one away from Farrah when she needed them the most. I went back and reread the interview with Craig Nevius and just had a feeling in my gut that he was telling the truth. Then suddenly Nevius settled the case out of court. Later we find out that he was simply out of money and could no longer fight. That is when I first got to talk to Kiko over the telephone. 

 When Kiko called me one of the first things he said is “What are we going to do?” I had no idea what could be done. All I really knew was what I thought and that was Farrah was done wrong. As luck would have it (if you can call if luck), my high school class had just started a group. After speaking with Kiko and not knowing if there was anything a Super Fan (Kiko) and a simple everyday person that was a fan (me) could do, I started thinking back to my class starting a group, I thought we could start a group. I did a little looking around and it wasn’t that hard to do, so I formed the original group titled: Farrah Fawcett – “We Want The Truth”! It seemed like the best way to call attention to things that we thought were worth looking into as it pertained to Farrah. The group grew and we posted stories, made comments, voiced our concerns and tried to bring some public attention to what we felt was an injustice to Farrah. Although we had nothing to do with it, the New York Times printed an article titled “The Long Goodbye” and after reading that, there was no doubt in my mind that we were doing the right thing. 

 Looking back now, I can tell you that those involved with the group thought it would last a couple of months and that would be it. Maybe we would do some good and maybe not, but it was worth trying. Well, we did some good…enough to get the Attorney General of the State of California to look into the Foundation that was started in Farrah’s name. A Foundation that Farrah supposedly started, yet in the years she was sick never once mentioned it. If Farrah Fawcett said, “I have a Foundation”, you have to know that money would have poured in from everywhere, but she never said a word. Anyway our writing to the Attorney General did not make some people very happy. Oh there were some things said in the group that should have been worded differently or maybe not said at all and I did get a letter from an attorney to cease and desist. Also, because I started the group my family and neighbors got what I can only describe as “hate mail” calling me everything from a deranged fan to a cyber terrorist and more. So, I shut the group down. But, I also felt that there was still work to be done. What we started out to do wasn’t finished yet. So, I formed a second group with the same title and added the number 2.

 The funny thing is that many people in Farrah’s circle that I felt may not have treated her right, people she had fired at one time or another or maybe just some fans, thought that Craig Nevius was behind the entire group. Not true. He had nothing to do with the group and to this day still doesn’t. I have never met the guy, don’t know that much about him, and truth be told … I thought that he should have handled his case over the documentary very differently in the beginning. But, since he is from the same state as I am, everyone jumped to the conclusion it was him. No one was more surprised than I was when I read the article from the NY Times and it said where Nevius was from. 

 Moving on….I have had the honor and privilege to talk to Greg Lott over the phone. As I mentioned before he was Farrah’s college sweetheart and they had rekindled their relationship after Ryan and Farrah broke up. He is a very nice guy, loved Farrah, and he thinks a lot of things went very wrong too. But, that is his story to tell someday. As for me, I just knew that those last few months of her life were not the way they should have been, starting with the name change of the documentary. 

 There are so many things I think, but it is not something I can prove, only inquire as much and as often as I can. We have had many people over the past 4 years asking questions, or emailing the Attorney General and I’m proud of each and every one of them. It takes guts to take a stand against famous people that you don’t know, all the while standing up for Farrah, who I also did not know. I only wish I had. From talking to Mr. Lott, he tells me that Farrah would have loved all of the people that have taken a stand and asked questions and didn’t get chased off by legal letters and harassment that some of us have gotten. He thinks Farrah would have been so proud of all of us…and people…I have to tell you, that is enough for me to continue.

 Farrah Fawcett has made an impact on my life. Never would I have ever believed that I would be so involved or know so much about an actress that I looked up to and was a fan of named Farrah. All of you know that court cases are still going on, questions still being asked, and people that may have not treated her right have not been brought to justice. Until they are exposed for any wrong they did, I am in for the long haul. Farrah brought smiles to my face and others. She entertained us, made us laugh, and just seemed like a sweet genuine person. I think she deserved more toward the end of her life than she received for some of her “friends”! And for the record, I would hope that I and others would take a stand for anyone that was taken advantage of while so sick and try to do something, anything to help right a wrong to “fight the fight”!! Sure it is bigger than life because it is Farrah Fawcett we are talking about. But, doing the right thing…should be done for any person no matter who they are or were. I would hope that we would all be looking out for others when we see things that just are not right. 

 In closing I would like to thank Kiko for keeping Farrah’s memory alive through his blog and Facebook groups and pages. He truly is a “super fan” and I appreciate him for all that he does and continues to do. We all miss Farrah and wish she was still with us! But, we can honor her by “fighting her fight” and try to continue to expose anyone that may have mistreated her in anyway. 

 On June 25th, four years since we all lost her, please say a little prayer that justice will be served. If you read this after that date, say a prayer when you do! Once justice is done, people exposed and the truth come out, then Farrah will be honored in the way she should be, by those that will do it right. 

 Thanks for reading and for caring about Farrah!! I am sure she is smiling down on many of us and is proud of what we have done and continue to do.

 Cathy Swango

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