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Thread: Beautifl Girls

  1. #1
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    Beautifl Girls

    Beautiful Girls

    I remember while traveling, when people found out you were from California theyíd ask if you run into any movie stars. You canít help but run into a few, after all, the movie industry is just a little over a hundred mile north, and thatís where they work.

    Most of the few Iíve seen were in Hunterís Books on Girard in La Jolla, the same store as in my Pulled Over story, same timeframe too. I just asked Brad the other day, thatís Brad, the guy I went downtown with on that dark night in the Pulled Over story. I saw John Wayne and Dr. Salk who invented the first Polio vaccine, and letís not forget his wife, Francoise Gillot. Picassoís ex-mistress. But he was there when Joey-Rat-Pack Bishop came in, and Carlos Castaneda later, for a book he had on hold. Don Juan and Don Ginero were nowhere in sight, but thatís just how they were, probably out in the desert flying through hidden psychic dimensions.

    But these are just rubbing-shoulders experiences, if not even that. A few words pass back and forth, but these are not intimate-touchy-feely experiences,

    Letís do a negative one first. It wasnít negative to me, since I plead not guilty with a kidís excuse. I didnít know what I was doing, and someone else put me up to it. My parents were the instigators.

    When Iím ten my parents take me to Disneyland, which magically appeared one day in the middle of hundreds of orange groves in Wherever it Is, near L.A. Buena Park, Buena Vista, Buena Somewhere, thereís a lot of Buenas in California.
    Since itís the Cold War, theyíre selling bomb shelters just off the freeway. The company digs the hole in your back yard and in goes the shelter complete with a down staircase. The only bomb shelter Iíd ever seen was on The Twilight Zone.

    Disneyland has the biggest parking lot Iíve ever trooped through. We walk down Main Street and end up in Frontier Land, then Adventure Land, make a left turn at the rocket in Tomorrow Land, and end up at the Teacups in Fantasy Land.
    After whirling around a few minutes, we decide to get hamburgers and milkshakes. We plop down at one of those circular metal tables and dig in. All this walking has us famished. Afterwards Dad lights up a Marlborough while Mom plays with a nob on her Kodak Brownie Camera.

    Mom looks up at me and smiles, and I smile back, but suddenly her expression changes as her brows furrow intensely. But I havenít done anything wrong, and itís not me sheís looking at, itís just past me somewhere. So, I turn to look.
    One table has a man eating a slice of pizza with his kid, and the rest are empty. I turn back to see whatís was up with my mom. Sheís taking the camera strap off her neck, and in such a rush, her hands are shaking.

    She thrusts the Kodak Brownie across the table.

    ďThatís Jack Lemmon, go over and ask to take his picture,Ē

    When my mom gets this intense, itís always a serious affair. It doesnít matter if you donít know who Jack Lemmon is. It only matters that you obey her orders. If not, you suffer. There will be a price to pay. The Private never questions the Master Sergeant. So, I check the tension of the winding knob, take my handkerchief out of my back pocket, dust the leans off, sling the strap over my shoulder, and head out on assignment.
    It was all over in a flash.

    ďMister Lemmon, can I take a picture?Ē

    ďSure, kid.Ē

    Thatís all he says. He doesnít even look up. His son, I believe itís Chris, is taking a bite too.

    But when I press the shutter, for some reason, the flash goes off too. And although itís broad daylight, it draws someoneís elseís attention.

    Thereís a gaggle of blue-haired Geese, six or seven of them, sitting on the other side of us on the Little Old Ladies Tour. When the flash goes off, they raise their silvery-blue-grey heads in unison and look his direction. Oh! The Sound! The Fury! They pick over him like a sock sale at Macyís.

    They mob himÖwhile we slink off in disgrace.

    Thatís why I call it the negative one.

    ***

    ©Steven Hunley2022

    You will notice Dear Readers, that as usual Iíve posted a song along with this. Itís one of my favorite Billy Wilder films. You notice the three main actors in the film? Well, we just told you about one encounter, and that leaves two to go. Am I saying I have a true story about Tony Curtis and Marylin Monroe too? One thatís never been told? Thatís exactly what Iím saying. Stay tuned for part two.



    https://youtu.be/TRd29cU-u00 Beautful Girls Van Halen

  2. #2
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    Part Two

    The second close encounter happened years later when I took a film class at Grossmont College. The film teacher wore a beard and had an inside connection in the film industry. He personally knew a security guard at Paramount Studios. Paramount was a Ďworkingí studio, not open to the public. Tourists couldnít get past the gate. Naturally, we werenít going there to see actors, this wasnít a drama class. We were going to see the process of how films were made, stay quiet and make ourselves as small and inconspicuous as possible.

    Off we go on a bus on the Interstate Five North. Hollywood is less than two hours away.

    The first thing I notice when we pass through the Paramount gate is an immense water tower with the name DesiLu written in faded black paint. Then we wander through a deserted western set they use for Bonanza, and hundreds of other westerns, and continue after crossing ďThe TankĒ they call it, where they filmed the Red Sea parting for Moses, or Charlton Heston, same thing.

    Thereís no water in it now, just sets of houses folded up like large-scale Origami. A gigantic wall towers over us on the left, painted blue with white clouds. They set the cameras at a certain angle, and it looks like the ocean and sky. They build model warships, ferries, the Titanic, whatever, film it at a certain film speed, from a particular angle, project the image at another speed, and it looks like the real thing. This was way before digital effects.

    Guard Guy says, ďIn the early days of silent films when film was black and white, they used untoasted corn flakes for snow.Ē

    We see stars, but since theyíre working, we must drift by in silence. No touchy-feely when we trail though the Oval Office and discover Henry Fonda and Carl Mauldin sitting on stools just out of the set, looking like bored little boys dressed up in suits. Four or five electricians are on ladders, unscrewing and screwing light bulbs, trying find the one thatís making a tinkling sound the boom guy is picking up. This may be the set for Meteor, Iíll have to check.

    The next sound stage we enter through enormous sliding doors, and itís black as coal inside until your eyes adjust. On the far end, theyíre filming a scene for The Bad News Bears Go to Japan.

    Although itís an outdoor scene theyíre filming this spectator scene indoors. Theyíve constructed rows of bleachers like at a real game and itís filled with about 50 extras. Theyíre all pretending theyíre watching a pitcher and batter at work, synchronizing their heads left to right when the ball is hit, then lifting their chins and eyes as is they pretend to follow the beautiful arc of a homerun hit out of the park.

    But there isnít a batter or pitcher or even a ball. Itís two guys tossing a balled-up piece of paper back and forth. The real pitcher and batter and ball were already filmed outside. A good film editor can make it a seamless transition.

    Out we go and follow the guard back into the dark. The class spreads out, and two girls and I are at the end of the line. Weíre about to step through the tall sliding door when a figure appears, going where weíve just come from. Itís a guy, we can see that much now, but heís forced to pass right by, and oh my God, itís Tony Curtis!

    Tony Curtis, best friend of Spartacus! Tony Curtis, whose wife was murdered while taking a shower in the Bates Hotel. And why not? This is Hollywood. Everybody goes a little bit Psycho sometimes. And what about their daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis? What about Halloween?

    He stops and shakes our hands, and when weíre close, I see heís shorter than I am, and when he says thank you, his voice is soft, itís hard to describe, but he sounds sincerely flattered. And I swear, even in the pitch-black of this unlighted sound stage, the man has a twinkle in his eye.

    Then we walked back outside, and the moment our eyes are struck with megawatts of blinding California sunlight, the man becomes a memory.

    Then we glimpse Rita Moreno dubbing words to her own image, and spy Burgess Meredith eating lunch at their cafeteria or commissary, or whatever they call it. Same as the bomb shelters, Iíd seen him on the Twilight Zone too. Seems like half of my life has been spent in The Twilight Zone in one way or another.

    In another arm of the room, we spy the Fonz, is that how I should type this? or since the word ďtheĒ seems to be a part of his actual name, maybe I should type The Fonz. But you know me. Whatever.
    Heís having lunch with some unidentifiable blond. Hey!

    The we wander through their back lot, a couple blocks of which resemble New York, then into a room where they make that imitation glass that cowboys in barroom fights get thrown through, and then to the engine room of the Enterprise. Theyíd bought ten plastic planters for exotic plants in the shape of a chess pawn about three feet tall. The middle was transparent plastic, which they stuffed with blue lights that pulsated rhythmically.
    Pulse, pulse, pulse, zoob, zoob, zoob, hum, hum hum, sung the engine room of the Starship Enterprise.

    Then we jettisoned that distant galaxy, hopped on the bus, and returned home to earth.

    ***

    The present generation may not remember actors Tony Curtis or Jack Lemmon. But they know her. Her body flamed out, but her star never faded. It grew, because somewhere in her fatal development, maiden became myth...

    Stay tuned for part three!

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