Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Monday, May 26, 2008

". . . The Kindness Of Strangers"


As the story went according to my boyhood friend Mike, his neighbor M__ H__, a 'second lead' in one of the second-rank studios, entertained ladies quite a bit, and Mike would peek out the window, sometimes with binoculars, to get a load of who the new invitee was.

One day a young lady exited early one morning when Mike happened to be in his own driveway near the front lawn. The actor banged open his screen door and started playing with his penis, calling out to the girl by name and imploring her to come back.

Our adolescent circle didn't drop this story for weeks, howls turning into pushing-and-shoving laughter and imitation, then simply to the coded winks of those in-the-know.

Decades later the incident took on different meaning. Things connected up in my head. When he had called her by name -- Stella -- he must have been aping Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire.

I should also wonder whether my adolescent friend actually just saw M__ H__ tear at his T-shirt.

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