Snapshots: True Stories

(1) 1964.

Mary Jane and I, just sixteen,  wait in the lobby of the old Baltimore Civic Center, waiting for the doors to open so we can be seated for a performance of the Royal Ballet. Suddenly a not-very-tall, muscular young man walks by us and smiles at us. He’s gone around a corner before we realize it ‘s Rudolph Nureyev. Mary Jane and I squeal  as we grasp each other’s hands and jump up and down in our high heels and nylon stockings and  Sunday best dresses. We’re in heaven.

 (2) 1970

Rick and I are walking back from a movie, or perhaps  a late dinner at Le Potiniere, on West 55th Street, where we always get free drinks because the owner thinks we’re a charming young couple. It is near midnight. A not very tall, very square-looking  grey haired man in a burgundy sport coat is staggering around a few yards away from steps down from the sidewalk level to a restaurant or perhaps a bar. He’s with two or three couples, and it seems he’s arguing with them. One of  the men takes him by the elbow and says, Ed, come on, it’s time to go home. Rick and I look at each other, amazed. It’s Ed Sullivan. A really big show, right there on West 55th Street. We can’t wait to call our mothers and tell them.

(3)  1978

Maureen, Peggy and I are  on West 47th Street looking for the Plymouth Theatre. We have tickets to see Runaways. Maureen is driving an enormous maroon  four-door sedan   her father gave her when he bought  a new car. We ‘ve dubbed it the Pimpmobile. We’re running late. Stop and ask someone, Peggy and I tell  Maureen, who  is stopped in traffic. She lowers the driver’s side window with the fancy automatic button, and  calls out to a guy jogging down the block in very short running shorts, “Where’s the Plymouth Theatre?” He stops, catches his breath, and calls over to us.” Two blocks down, 45th Street!” He jogs off. It’s Dustin Hoffman.