For Marsha, On Her Birthday 2011 Don McGregor August 3, 2011 Columns, Riding Shotgun August the third. I had no idea that day would become one of the most important in my life. August 3 – the day Marsha was born. Marsha – a transplanted Oklahoman woman come to New York City who would change my life forever. Marsha. Her name, like the day, now claiming my life inextricably. Marsha is an unconventional woman. A beautiful woman who often did not know how beautiful she is. Her smile brightening the day. Lighting up her warm, intelligent eyes. She was a rodeo queen and rode in the pageant; she was an actress and performed off Broadway and got written up in the New York Times; she was Deirdre in the film version of Detectives Inc., and I wrote the role for her, knowing she would bring the heart and soul to it; she came to New York City and took it on and the men in it, too; she challenged the racial inequities of the time, standing firm where others would not have gone. Statistically, she was never conventional in those days; she dared go where many never would. When Marsha committed herself to whatever she was doing, she held nothing back, she gave everything to it, with passion, caught in the moment without any regard for personal hurts that should have wounded her and made her put up her guard. In any area of her life, she would put her energy and soul into it. Being a mother. Daughter. Acting. Working. Sex. Whatever she was focused on, she did it with wild abandon and true grit. She never did any of it half way. As I wrote in my introduction to Sabre: The Decadence Indoctrination, she is my Melissa Siren. And she stands before a page with Sabre and Melissa together, her beauty and smile caught in one image. Happy birthday! 2011.