Though she went back to work soon after she adopted Jamie, actress Jeri Fields did not immediately get her screenplay produced.
“Of course I didn’t realize how hard it would be. I thought my boss would love it and want to produce it, but she was less than enthused with my work.
‘This just isn’t right for the studio at this time,’ she said to me. ‘We’re sorry but we can’t produce this. It needs too much work.’
I was devastated, but I didn’t give up. I continued doing the work the studio gave me and I revised my work, planning to try again to get it produced at another time.”
In the meantime, Jeri’s children were getting older.
“Aaron grew into a blonde version of my dad in terms of looks. Fortunately he didn’t get Daddy’s partying spirit. Aaron was a certified genius, a serious, quiet kid, who preferred to read or play chess. He did have a flare for dramatics, but his enthusiasm was for cerebral things, not arts and music like so many of my family have been interested in. I even heard him saying he thought he might become a scientist. He must have gotten those genes from his birth father. No Fields in all of our history had ever been interested in science.”
Jeri and Phillip’s twins were also growing up. Unlike their brother, their birthday was celebrated more quietly at home.
“Daddy insisted that Aaron have a public party. He’s the one who arranged it. Aaron would have probably been more content with a party at home. But Mickey coaxed him out promising him that the venue had a really great electronic fish tank.”
“The two boys, Jamie and Aaron, both loved the fish, but were uncomfortable with the crowds at Aaron’s party. After he’d blown out the candles, Aaron wanted nothing more than to eat his cake and go home.
Daddy didn’t understand that his grandson didn’t care for large crowds of people. Neither of the boys did.”
“The twins were even more identical as they grew up. I think only the members of our immediate family really could tell which was which unless they spent time with the girls to distinguish their personalities.”
Like when they were babies, the Fields twins wore different colored hair ribbons to distinguish them.
“There were subtleties in their clothing, but Glenna and Candice liked looking the same. I think they felt special that way.”
Benjamin, the youngest Fields was also growing.
“Little Ben continued to be our delight. He learned so fast! I thought he might end up being a genius like his brother. He was a little clone of his father, too. He looked so much like Phillip!”
Although she hadn’t had her screenplay produced, Jeri was enjoying so success in the film industry.
“We weren’t doing too badly. It helped that Daddy was still working. He’d gone back to the music industry. This time he was composing instead of trying to be a rock star.
Anyway, with our success we were able to buy our kids a very nice outdoor playground in our back yard. This was something that I had never had growing up and always wanted. I couldn’t get it for Aaron, but each of the other kids could enjoy it.”
After a few years of polishing her work, editing and revising until she felt the studio couldn’t refuse it, Jeri once again tried to get her work looked at.
“This time I took a different approach. I am not ashamed to say that I used my connection to my aunt Virginia to get my screenplay noticed by the right people. I caught her on the set of her new hospital drama. I was working on the sound stage behind her. When we both had a break, I approached her.”
Virginia Fields agreed to read her niece’s work. Once she did, she fell in love with it and arranged a meeting with the head of the studio, Malika Sacarin-Williams.
“Ms. Sacarin-Williams wouldn’t have met with me without my aunt’s insistence. We met in her office and she told me that she’d reluctantly given my screenplay another look.”
With the changed Jeri had made, Malika now felt the studio could produce Jeri’s movie.
“I hadn’t forgotten the movie. Jeri was just so young and green that it wasn’t the right time to produce her work. But after she polished it up a bit, it was a hit. I knew it right away.”
“I wasn’t so sure the movie was going to be a success. There were a lot of meetings to be held and I was nervous before each one. I practiced what I was going to say in front of my mirror each night until Phillip told me to come to be. He reassured me that everything would turn out and I’d be famous before I knew it.
I really wasn’t in it for the fame, but I did want to be successful. I’d do anything to have my work finished. I’d even change my whole look if that’s what it would take.”
Malika and Virginia met with Jeri often. The two older women would be the executive producers on the film. Virginia would also play the mother’s role.
“She was a little old for the part, but I wasn’t going to tell her no. Her name would add credibility to the film anyway. She’d won a Best Supporting Actress Simscer after all!
Malika had a brilliant idea about where we’d film. She let me know that she was thinking about France. She and Virginia had been talking an the water off the Champs Les Sims would be perfect.
As for me, I insisted that Daddy compose the score for the film.”
“In all honesty, I wasn’t sure getting Mickey to write the score was a good idea. He’d always been such a screw up. Even as an old man, he was still running around to all the bars and flirting with younger women. I wasn’t sure we could trust him, but Jeri insisted.”
Jeri got her aunt and her dad to meet about the production. Mickey had already been working on a few pieces of music.
“I knew if they’d just talk, Daddy would prove that he was the man for the job. It would be a family affair. I couldn’t wait for things to get underway.”
Producing movies takes a long time. While in production, Benjamin started grade school, joining the twins and Jamie.
While Jeri was working so hard to get her movie made, her oldest son was also starting to date.
“People always make such a big deal about Aaron dating. Really, Felicia Sacarin-Williams was the grand-daughter of my boss, Malika. Felicia and Aaron were in the same advanced classes at school. Malika and I were happy that they had found each other.
The press thought that it was some conspiracy of mine, using my son to get on the good side of my boss. That was just ridiculous! And what’s worse, everyone kept speculating about whether or not the two of them were intimate just because I’d had Aaron when I was a teenager!”
“Yeah, the paparazzi had always been around our house, but they really started hovering over me when I went out with Felicia. We met in the chess club. If the press knew the truth…we were just two geeky nerds going out.
And Mom told me about woohoo and using protection. Not that Felicia and I were doing that. We weren’t, but I knew what to do if we were.”
“Aaron and his mom weren’t using me. We were in all the same classes at school. He liked science and chess and so did I. Our relationship was perfectly innocent.”
Regardless of what was said about the relationship of Aaron Fields and Felicia Sacarin-Williams, Jeri and Malika were not bothered by what was going on. They still met regularly at the studio offices to discuss the movie.
“We were just about to start filming when two things happened to delay production.”
The first thing was Jeri’s anniversary with Phillip. They’d gone to the Aquarius to celebrate.
“Oh, our anniversary had very little to do with things actually, except that we celebrated maybe a bit too hard and then forgot ourselves a bit when we got home.
I really didn’t think anything of it because I felt like I was too old to become a mother again. I was middle-aged! I shouldn’t be getting pregnant like a silly 16 year old who doesn’t know any better!”
Jeri had barely begun to suspect she might be pregnant when the second thing happened. Mickey Fields suffered a massive heart attack while making breakfast in the family’s kitchen.
“It was awful. The bus had just pulled up and the kids were cleaning up the last minute dishes before dashing outside.”
“Candice, Daddy’s favorite, was the closest to him except me when he collapsed. She was terrified. I knew that Daddy wasn’t going to make it, but I tried to revive him for the sake of my daughter.”
But nothing could be done. Mickey Fields was dead.
“Daddy’s death couldn’t have happened at a worse time for our family…not that any time would have made it any easier. The same day he died was Jamie’s birthday. Daddy was planning a huge party similar to the one that he arranged for Aaron. Instead, we canceled everything. Poor Jamie! I know he was devastated that his grandpa had died. He wasn’t looking forward to the party, but he would have enjoyed it as long as Mickey was there.”
After a few days, the entire Fields family gathered in Twinbrook for Mickey’s funeral. By this time Jeri was sure she was pregnant.
“It was bittersweet. I was happy to be pregnant, but I was sorry that my movie would have to be postponed. I was happy to have all of my family around me, but I was sad that what brought us all together was my dad’s death.”
Each one of Mickey’s four siblings survived him. Rhonda had gone on to become a chef specializing in healthy cuisine. She, who had once been quite heavy-set, had become a household name for fitness and food. Sherona had married Kristopher King and had one son, Tad. She kept playing music, becoming well-known as a lounge singer and drummer.
Danny Fields played soccer until he retired and then he went on to become his old team’s head coach, leading them to Sim Cup victory twice out of the five years they went to the Sim Cup. And of course Virginia was an award-winning actress.
“Virginia and I had a long talk at Daddy’s funeral. We both knew that the movie would have to be put on hold. She was disappointed because she probably wouldn’t get to play the part she wanted. I wasn’t sure when the movie would be made, if ever. At the time I wasn’t as upset about that as I was about Daddy. I missed him so much! I was really excited that we’d be working together.”
Mickey’s funeral was epic, just like he would have wanted. In the end it was not a sad affair.
“Daddy would have been really happy with the party. Aunt Virginia was the one who got everyone rocking. She pulled out her guitar and started to play one of Daddy’s songs. Then Sherona joined in on the drums. Eventually, Virginia coaxed my boys into playing. Daddy had been teaching both Jamie and Aaron.”
“It was terrible that Daddy left the world so early, but I can’t say that I was surprised. He lived life to the fullest, but he didn’t always live a healthy life. I know a lot of people criticized Daddy and how he lived. He drank too much. He liked to flirt and romance with pretty much any woman. He may not have always been the most attentive father.
But he was a loving man. I always knew he loved me and loved my children. He was the best grandfather to them. In the end I think he met Death easily. I don’t think he would have been sorry that his life was cut so short. He’d lived it. I’m sure is probably up in heaven partying hard with the angels. That’s how I think of him.”