Mind you, I am much better now than I was years ago. At a younger age, I could barely muster up my courage to let sound come out of my mouth. If it did, it was a strangled, pathetic, “eep.”
Of course that is still a lot better than the more demonstrative version of nonverbal output which would sound something like, “BWWWAAAAHH!”
Nowadays I can manage much better, allowing actual words to form in a hearty, “Oh, ha, ha, yes, thanks, thanks, yes, oh, so good, so good, oh, heh, heh, yes, yes, nice to meet me, too….er, nice to meet YOU too, ha, ha, ha!”
Ken likes to tell the story about Tennessee Williams (yes, the famous playwright) phoning our house, my picking up the phone and hearing him say, “This is Tennessee Williams. Is Ken there?” I gurgled. No actual words came out. Unable to speak. Speechless. Mr. Williams was in Vancouver working on rewrites of a play being produced by the Vancouver Playhouse where Ken had daily contact with him. I met him only once – at a party held to welcome him. I gurgled. I so much wanted to tell the man that “Glass Menagerie” had meant everything to me as a kid in grade ten grasping for the first time that we are meant to identify with characters in a play or a novel. It meant that I aced English all through high school, went on to earn a BA in Literature and acquired a life-long love of theatre. I said none of that. I seem to recall shaking his hand and saying, “eep.”
So this week, I was actually pretty proud of myself. I had a lovely, adult conversation with the mother of someone very famous. I was seated next to this charming woman at a dinner party honoring family and some of the participants in the production of “Tenderly: the Rosemary Clooney Story,” a world premiere that opened this week at the Victoria Theatre, where Ken is president and CEO. My seatmate was Nina Clooney, wife of Nick Clooney, Rosemary’s brother. They live near Cincinnati. Mr. Clooney is a well-known, beloved broadcaster in our region. They are also George’s parents.
Now, I’m not really someone who goes goofy over celebrities. I don’t follow Hollywood gossip. I have no idea who is married to whom or who is breaking up with whomever else. I really can’t even tell the difference between those talented, handsome boys, Brad, Matt and Leonardo. But, when it comes to George Clooney? Well, he does stand in a class of his own when it comes to handsome and talented, doesn’t he?
Ken doesn’t think that it’s likely that George will be coming to Dayton to see the play about his Aunt Rosemary. Busy schedule, what with the Oscars this weekend and all.
But I‘ve been practicing what I will say to him if he does.