Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What an Entertainer!

Judy Garland in "A STAR IS BORN"

Jerry had left Flint by Greyhound bus, (this was 1956), while I flew. I arrived there the same day he did, after leaving a day or two after he had left Flint. And walking around Times Square, we ran into one another! I hadn't even told him I was planning on going and I had decided on the spur of the moment, after he left. We walked around Times Square just staring at everything, like small town hicks do. While walking around we noticed JUDY GARLAND was appearing at the famous Palace theater. I couldn't believe it. I loved Judy and "A STAR IS BORN," had been a success at the Capitol just before I started working there. It was now winter and really snowing and cold. I didn't think there would be any seats left. But they did have seats left, "in the last row", and the tickets weren't too expensive, around $5.00. I bought a ticket for me and Jerry and we were excited as hell.
It would be a while before the show started, so I suggested we go behind the theater by the stage door to see if we could see Judy when she arrived. And suddenly she appeared walking around toward the back of the theater. And she was startled to see two guys standing there, in the freezing snow. I remember she was very short and I had expected her to be much taller. She smiled when she saw we were fans and we got her autograph, then went inside to see her show. The show was great and she even sat down on the edge of the stage and sang extra songs. I'll always remember, Judy at the Palace. That was also the last time I saw Jerry.

I would later learn, through a guy who had been in the chorus, that when Judy bowed to the crowd, she would say, "under her breath", "Thank you, you sons a bitches, thank you." That was Judy.

I would visit New York again, the following year, and would visit my friend Paul Mauk, whom I had gone to school with in Lima, Ohio. He had moved there after graduating from an art college in Florida. I had bought tickets to a stage play, "GYPSY," but another customer at the ticket agency was so disappointed because I had bought the last two tickets, (and he was with his girlfriend), I sold him the two tickets I had bought for Paul and I. Paul was very disappointed and we ended up seeing a movie, "A House Is Not A Home," which was a lousy film starring Shelley Winters.

I mentioned Moondog in the previous chapter. While waiting to see Paul, I was walking the streets, sight seeing, and saw a blind beggar who turned out to be Moondog, Jimmy Dean's friend. I asked him if he was, "the" Moondog and he smiled and said he was. I put a couple of dollars in his cup and when Paul came, we went a small ways to Jerry's bar and without realizing it, it was the same bar where Jimmy Dean used to hang out. Coincidence? We were sitting in the bar and I noticed a small photo of Jimmy on the back bar. I asked if this was the bar Jimmy used to eat in?, and was told it was. Paul still lives in New York, the lucky stiff.



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