Pages of my life…

P.O. Box 575 Beverly Hills, CA

Posted on: November 7, 2009

I have had the pleasure of knowing some extraordinary folks in my lifetime.  Not the least of these was a gentleman whose name I will not share… out of respect.  He has been deceased for many years now… but to this day…his name is every bit as well known as when he was alive.  There are entire cities…casinos…and a hotel chain that bear his name…all built and so much more …in his lifetime.  There are many reasons for including him on my list of  people whose lasting impressions  have made  a significant difference in my life.  Some thought my friend to be a mogul…a brilliant businessman whose perpetual creations amassed a fortune in excess of a billion dollars at a time when this measure of success was extremely rare.  It mattered not that his vast holdings were virtually unrivaled…that possession of a major league franchise was a drop in the bucket compared to  his own personal holdings.  My fascination had nothing to do with invitations to visit friends homes…like Bob Hope’s place in Palm Springs…or the multitude of world class entertainers who ate from the palm of his hand.  Bob and I had the chance to catch up and pay homage to our good friend in England many years later…a brief interaction made possible thanks to Brook Shield’s expertise with a video camera.  What I loved most of all about this gentle giant…was that he was truly my friend.  I had been on one occasion at a special celebration and party in a private club I frequented often.  A gentleman I did not know made an effort to introduce himself to me. I was wearing a long tunic style designer blouse…accessorized by a long and stylish necktie.  He said… "hi little fellow…what’s your name" ?  I politely returned the introduction…excused myself  and walked away.  As my normal attire (mini skirts and boots with any kind of top) and ample curves would clearly reveal to anyone…that I am female through and through…I did not know what to make of his comment.  As it turned out…our paths would soon cross again.  Everyone who knew him called him by his last name …and he called me by mine.  He found humor in almost everything I said…and I enjoyed his philosophical attitude that mirrored my number one hero…my grandfather.  Somewhere along the line we picked up the habit of calling one another on a very regular basis.  We would share what the day’s events had been in our respective lives…and on occasion we would end up in the same place at the same time and have lunch together.  Introducing him to other people was not always the best idea…as I seemed to be the only one without idol worship.  One day he called to say he would be out of touch for a month as he was going away on business.  When he returned…I asked how his trip to Oregon went.  He laughed for ten minutes before telling me that he went to the orient…not Oregon…as he owned a chain of hotels there.  He sent me a map showing locations of his hotels…and I sent him  pictures of my life as well.  Countless were the times he offered to help me get a car…or help in any way to make my life as a single Mom a bit easier on me.  I politely declined…explaining it was his friendship that was the most valuable…and that money cannot after all buy happiness.  His own life began with fairly simple roots.  He was a carpenter by trade…and married while still quite young.  His lovely bride was killed in an accident…and it would be many years later before he would marry once again.  His beautiful second wife had medical issues that precluded her from having children…and so the brilliance this hard working and smart thinking man possessed was not to be passed along.  His sister had two boys…long since grown up…but he delighted in the stories I would share about the multitude of silly things that happen when children are thrown into the mix.  Sadly…he died when I was on my honeymoon…and I could not make myself step one foot in any of his casinos or hotels again.  From time to time I have run into mutual friends over the years…and we share stories about some funny thing he said or did.  I lost the map of hotels long ago…but somewhere in my box of memories is an envelope with a return address of a man who gave me words of encouragement when I was down…spoke of humble beginnings that simply grew…shared my life as I shared his…my forever friend… P.O. Box 575 Beverly Hills, CA. 

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