Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Warning !! This is a two part story but NOT a cliff hanger

The table sat 12 and Jerry and I claimed two empties near the head. At the head sat one of the richest men in America at that time, John D. MacArthur. It was obviously his court. Directly across from me sat the "Great One", Jackie Gleason with his long time companion. At her side sat a household familiar golfer who for this account shall be nameless. He is still living and I wouldn't want to paint a dark picture of someone who may have changed mightily with age. The rest of the guests at that table besides the golfer and myself are deceased. The table was rounded out with lesser name golfers.

We were at a country club in Palm Beach Gardens which had just become the headquarters of the PGA and the early round of a four ball tournament had just concluded. And what do you ask was I doing there? Just darn lucky. I was working at the bank at that time so I was on a first name basis with a lot of the local business giants. Somehow, my short stature and incessant grin made me adoptable to a lot of people. Jerry was not my date, but a friend. and he was high up in the MacArthur organization.

Though I was personally a poor golfer , at that point in my life I followed the game closely, especially with the national headquarters so close to home. Jerry got me passes for the tournament when he heard of my interest. Guess it was pay back time for all the extra things I did for him as a customer at the bank. The main person I wanted to meet(tomorrow's post) was not at the table but I was content and awed by who was.

I was never a fan of the Honeymooners but had enjoyed Jackie Gleason in the Hustler. He was a decent golfer and was one of the celebrity participants. Here I was eye to eye with a comedic legend. How cool was that? Not very, it turned out. I foolishly expected lunch to be one laugh after another with the famous comic present. I have since learned that often performers are the quietest people "off stage." Jackie, who was equally famous for his alcohol consumption,did not disappoint. His only conversation between drinks were few word zingers, often cruelly directed towards his companion Honey who suffered in embarrassed silence. His eyes narrowed with each drink, his zingers became more hurtful, and truthfully, the man scared me a bit.

To take my mind off him, I turned to the golfer and reminded and him of a magazine ad we had done about 3 years earlier. No I am not a model, I just happened to be in the right place and earned a whopping $25.00 for the shoot. The ad for Heinz Catchup did make the Post Magazine but with all my moves, it is gone. Of course he did not remember me but he did ask me to dance. This man was huge in the golfing world and is credited with making it the sport it is today. I was not aware of his marital status at the time and I said, "Sure."

"Will you or won't you?" he whispered crudely in my ear as we danced. " I'm not here long so I can't waste my time if you won't." I mean, is this guy smooth or what? Try "or what."

At first, my naivety left me confused. When his clumsy offer sunk home I just told him to look elsewhere,that I had plenty of time to"waste" on someone who mattered.

My celebrity elbow rubbing that day for lunch proved to be a huge disappointment. Thankfully the day was not over......


  1. Goodness Patti! How does one go about living such an interesting life? Do you know the month and year of the Post Magazine?

  2. If you do know the month and year, I might be able to find one at a flea market!!

    How interesting your life has been!

  3. Your description of Jackie Gleason reminds me so much of my ex father-in-law, that it made me cringe. What a wild story. It's amazing how success is often misconstrued as an aphrodisiac.

  4. Jewels,

    All you have to do is live a long time and flit about. I firmly believe EVERYONE has a life that would interest others. Sometimes they are just not aware of it and sell themselves short.


    I have scoured the net looking in the geneal time frame. It was early or mid 60's. How is that for narrowing it down? That has been my problem. I remember thinking it was not very flattering of me so that may be why I was careless with it.

    Thank goodness JG reminds you of a FORMER father-in=law. He really did frighten me the way he would cut his eyes at his companion and snipe at her. Can't imagine what it must have been like for you having someone like that in your family. Glad it is past tense.

  5. Wow Patti... You have had an interesting life... I do think it is true about alot of celebrities.. They are 'on' when in the spotlight and can't carry on a decent conversation in real life.

    I think celebs (sports, Hollywood, Congress, the RICH) think they are powerful for some reason. SO--they allow that power to take over and they seem to give themselves reasons to act like they do... They seem to think they are above the law...

    Right now, I'm so disgusted with our Govt. I cannot believe they are spending money like crazy. Our kids and grandkids are going to have to pay for all of THEIR mistakes. AND--all of them (Republicans and Democrats) have forgotten what we (the people) WANT for our country...

    Can't wait to hear Part II..

  6. Betsy,

    Have faith, tomorrow you will meet some cool celebrities that I met. I do agree that most are full of them selves and think they are above the rest of us.

    I am reserving judgment on politics. We are in a mess and know drastic measures are needed. I'm going to give them a chance.