Sharing show business secrets
I’m on Jack’s Valley Road, making my way to a “meet the author” event; I’m the author. Bonnie Rogers contacted me several months ago, asking if I would speak at her organization and of course I said yes. Apparently, I have a reader who enjoys this column.
I climb the mountainside, the view becoming more sensational with every turn. A serpentine driveway leads to what can best be described as a castle. A small sign indicates that the main entrance is just around the corner.
Meeting me at the front door are Bonnie and Brenda Robertson. It’s Brenda’s home. I half way expect Brenda to be wearing a tiara, but instead, her attire and manner are faultlessly informal. Both she and Bonnie welcome me with such cordiality, that I give each lady a hug.
We leave the entry way, and walk down the hallway to a large room with a high ceiling. We are treated to a glorious view of Jack’s Valley and adding a touch of exotica to the scene are half a dozen taxidermized animals on the walls.
Twenty-five to 30 chairs are placed in a crescent in front of where I will speak. As guests arrive, I busy myself by displaying my book, and adding a dance photograph taken when I was a third my present age.
Ann, the stage manager of the event, brings the ladies of the University Women’s Organization up to date regarding their scholarship program, and turns the meeting over to Bonnie. Bonnie says some very kind words in my direction, and it’s up to me.
For an hour I speak about my life as a young dancer in New York, going to “cattle call” auditions, and taking jazz dance classes seething with emotion. I recall in detail my saving the virtue of a ravishing redhead in a rowdy production number called “Morocco” at the Moulin Rouge in Hollywood. At one point, I am brought to my feet and give a pretty good imitation of an impassioned Elmer Gantry.
Time has flown by. Ann jumps to her feet and thanks me profusely, but not before I seize the moment and lead three members of the group in dance moves to Frank Sinatra’s “Down Mexico Way.”
As I am about to take my leave, a woman of great dignity walks slowly toward me.
“I have a young friend, a boy who loves to dance, I would like to have one of your books for him.” This gives the afternoon an unexpected purpose. I gave the best I had to offer, and realize my spontaneity might have been a trifle unsettling for some of the ladies, but meeting Bonnie and Brenda, and the kind, kind lady who wants to encourage her young friend, are moments you look for in life.
To top it all off, Bonnie gives me a hug goodbye, and Brenda collects a paper plate full of pastries and walks me to my car, where she sends me off with a solid hand shake. My day is a success.
Ron Walker can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.