My close friend Doris Day, star of stage and screen. We haven’t talked in years, but…
Long ago, when I was a young lad, I was tight with Doris.
Perhaps tight’s a stretch, but we were… this close to each other. I’m holding both of my hands as far apart as possible. In movie star terms, that’s close.
The year is 1981. I and colleagues from around the country who do similar work are attending a professional conference in Los Angeles. A long day of sessions ends, and a dozen of us youngsters change into our Hollywood clothes and drive to a restaurant known to be a favorite of the stars. By Hollywood clothes, I mean un-pleated slacks and a snazzy yellow sweater vest over a brown shirt. Back then, these duds were the height of cool.
The hostess escorts the twelve of us to a large round table. The waiter comes. We place our orders and ask if there are any movie stars in the restaurant. He points toward a booth in the shadows near a passageway and mouths the words, “D o r i s D a y.” One by one, members of the group begin to stroll by her booth, stare at her, and continue on to the bathroom. My turn comes. I walk slowly by her booth, trying not to be as obvious as the others. And run smack into the doorway. She laughs. I cause Doris to laugh! I made her day! I’m sure of it.
Thirty-two years later, I look back at that moment fondly. Doris, now 89, does too. I’m pretty sure.