A life in the making
George just called. It has been 25 years since we last spoke. Our lives once meshed at Resorts International. Resorts was the emerging Mecca of entertainment on the East Coast. My task at the time was to select strolling musicians, magicians and jugglers. It was when George Romeril auditioned that we found someone unique. George was a mime. His theatrical name was Jordi and he did all the standard mime movements, but when he spoke he became more than a mime. Personality came flooding out of him. He reached into everyone’s heart. Truth is, Jordi was a free spirit and that’s when we started calling him, “Jordi, the world’s only talking mime.” He loved being with people and he let them know it.
When he found out it was someone’s birthday in a cafe, he led everyone in “Happy Birthday to you” and then moved on to the next cluster of people. He eventually became a spokesperson for the Hotel. Several times he rode on Resorts’ float in the Miss America Parade.
One New Year’s Eve, we tried something special. We dressed Jordi in a long white robe, gave him a wig, handed him a scythe and pinned a sash across his chest which read “Father Time.” Snuggled up next to him was a pretty young dancer. She was “Baby New Years.” They were a big hit. Crowds of people had their pictures taken with them.
Disaster struck. One day, Jordi borrowed the Entertainment Van without permission. He had his girlfriend’s ice skates and needed to return them to her. She was only 5 minutes away. What could go wrong, and of course it did. He was stopped by the police. Jordi is not a Green Bay Packer linebacker type and froze. The officer asked him to roll down the window, again and again. He was afraid and wouldn’t, no matter how much the officer tried. Soon we received a call from the Police. I fudged and said it was OK for George to be driving the Entertainment Van; no arrest, no charges. The simple fact is, George felt insecure and panicked.
George and I talked for 30 minutes.
“They let me do 10 minutes as a “stand up” comedian at a club in Philly last night. And Ron, I’m married and have a son in the 6th grade. He is into sports, and has the lead as the Beast, in ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ If Dale Carnegie were alive today, he would be so proud of him. He remembers everyone’s name. He’ll say, Dad how is so and so, and I have no idea who he is talking about,” George says proudly.
There is nothing sweeter than hearing from someone who is brave enough to preserver and “suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, to paraphrase, and finally get a taste of success. Today, George’s call gave me a tremendous boost when he said, “Ron, you gave me so much encouragement back then. You were so patient and it was you who came up with “world’s only talking mime.”
George still has the ability to tell us what we need to hear, and he sure hit the mark for me today.
Ron Walker can be reached at email@example.com