Treon / Cheryl Remembers Donato/Daniel

I loved him…. and you have to understand.. for me to love a man… any man.. is a minor miracle… He was like a father to me and, well, let’s say the men in my life were less than encouraging… He helped me believe in myself again… I had completely stopped doing music even though I had been blessed with an amazing talent. I don’t say this in an egotistical way… we all have gifts… music was mine. I would never have picked up a guitar again… or sang again… or anything if he hadn’t protected me and said “I won’t let anyone hurt you”…. When I went to him and said if I write music no one will listen or give me a chance… He said “he’d fix it”…. next thing I knew I was channeling the music… if was a clever ruse but inspiration comes from somewhere anyway and it kept me from being attacked by those who would be jealous and say I was in it for personal glory…. when you have talent some people get jealous and jealousy breeds a lot of negative emotions… I had been a victim of that for most of my life and had suffered as a result…. In Morningland… I felt free to do music and not worry… And I was safe… right up till the day he died… and, guess what?, I was one of the first ones to get tossed…. what a heartbreaker.

But you asked what he was like…. He was a typical New Jersey Italian that ate too much pasta, drank too much coffee, and smoked too many cigarettes. He didn’t take shit…. but I never saw him get mean or raise his voice…. If he wanted you to take a hike… he said take a hike and you did… He had a crazy wife who he exiled to Escondido to get rid of her… I don’t think he ever thought Escondido would balloon the way it did… I truly think that he sent her there initially because she wouldn’t keep her mouth shut…. He told me if I didn’t learn to keep mine shut he would send me there too… needless to say I got very involved in music and stayed away from the temple as much as possible… being with Patricia… what a nightmare… I felt sorrier for those in Escondido than anyone will ever know.

Donato was a humble man…. but a man… he liked sex no doubt about it… what man doesn’t… but he wouldn’t force anything… He never touched me.. He worked every day of his life at the boys club in Long Beach… He never lived off of Morningland… I think his dream was that people would have a place to go for readings without strife or fear…. I am amazed at the guys who attacked him after the fact… but he refused to let men rule… it was one of the few places where men didn’t have the upper hand and where women weren’t abused… If he got wind of any of the guys abusing women in any way he put a stop to it (i.e…. one of the guys was spreading VD… Donato asked him to leave… He left… later after he got the problem taken care of he was aloud to come back)……

Donato was funny… He had beautiful blue eyes that would just twinkle when he was playing with you…. He made me laugh… He made us all laugh at times… He wasn’t comfortable in front of crowds… I can only remember him doing public readings once… after the last Nebadon concert. He could get to the heart of the matter and cut through bullshit faster than anyone I ever knew… whether he was psychic or had just lived… I don’t know but he cut through crap… He hated it when people tried to bullshit or lie to him… a lot of guys hated that he did that… it pissed them off… Patricia fed egos… Donato cut them to shreds. He cut through my bullshit quite a few times, but I know he loved me because 99% he was right… I could forgive the 1% or so that he wasn’t…. A lot of people focused on the 1%… but let me tell you… Morningland was a lot better with him than without him… and that’s a fact… If he had lived I would probably still be there… a lot of us would… why is that?… I loved him and I will never apologize for that… He was the closest thing to a father I ever had in this world and, to this day, I owe the fact that I can actually relate to men at all to him… so there you have it…

Donato through the eyes of lil Sparky..

image from the findgrave