He a Poe Boy, Like Us, And We Liked Him
Frank and my sister and I would go to the movies in Pomona, too. New films of the time with special movie house effects ... horror flicks like "The Tingler" (and spiders would descend from the ceiling and tickle the heads of some audience members) or another that at a critical frightening moment ,,,, a coffin on the right hand side of the screen would suddenly light up and the lid would be thrown back to reveal a skeleton inside, spooky! But not stopping there, another would have a ghoul light up in the same area and the frightening apparition with long gray hair would sail out on near invisible wires and travel all the way up the right aisle before being pulled up into balcony. Wow!
Of course for all the movies involving flying saucers or alien beings, I would recognize many faces from my science classes. The one that particularly scared me as a kid was when an alien was nearly run over by some people in a car who slammed on the brakes and the humans crashed into the windshield. But the alien had flitted down an embankment to escape the oncoming car. And immediately a motorcycle policeman nearly had an accident avoiding this car wreck and I believe he rolled down the hill. The policeman watched the alien walk towards the car to examine the victims. The cop was alarmed and pulled his gun, the alien saw him, and BLASTED HIM! Then, the alien to cover his tracks, had long hammers come out of his fingers and he falsified evidence, his finger hammers rat-a-tat-tat put a dent in the car's fender, so that it would appear the people in the car had hit the policeman while he was on his motorcycle, so he would remain undetected. THEY WERE SMARTER THAN US!
One film Frank and my sister and I went to see was the new gothic thriller, "House of Usher
", that was fresh out of Hollywood. Brought to life on the screen by "The Screen's Foremost Delineator of the Draculean" ..... Vincent Price! "The master hand of the macabre creates its masterpiece". By that line they meant, though they did not say, Edgar Allen Poe. What a great film! I decided to join the Mark Damon National Fan Club. And Frank would hear about all my adventures with that, too.
Like the meeting of the Hollywood Chapter of the Mark Damon National Fan Club I was invited to, even though I didn't live in Hollywood, I received an invitation and I was beside myself! Mark Damon himself, it was implied, would be there! And I could take a GUEST! Remember the Brownie (now a Girl Scout) whose mother had all the American Heritage magazines? The one who played the cello and had fuzzy black hair just like Nancy in the comic strips? I decided to ask her to come with me to this event and she got her mother's permission! Now came the hard part. I had to get a ride for us both. So I geared up and asked my father and the answer was "no!"
But eventually ... my parents were reluctant to leave us off at the door once we arrived at a rather posh tiled Spanish style home somewhere in the greater vicinity of Hollywood. They were concerned for our well being. And my father even accompanied us to the door as we rang the bell to be certain these Hollywood people could be trusted. Then he drove off with my mother and my sister.
A lovely home and we were cordially greeted and sat on fine upholstered furniture. I was seated on the couch next to my friend as we listened to the President of the Mark Damon National Fan Club speak with us a bit and answer any questions we might have about Mark's career. She offered us refreshments, an assortment of baked goods and cookies which were delicious and tastefully presented.
As the evening wore on and we nibbled our munchies, I had a question: "Is Mark going to be here?"
She wasn't sure.
When a knock sounded at the big oak door, and a gentleman entered. The lady in charge of the meeting was so gracious in welcoming him, "I'm so glad you could come," said she, "We've been expecting you." She announced his arrival to the room in a formal manner as she introduced him to us. In a flowery way, she revealed his proper name, and a long East Indian name he had. His first name was Sabu.
He stood during the introduction, nicely dressed in a suit, and much older than the people in the room. He carried himself in a rather elegant manner. And I was wondering about this. He smiled through his introduction and was still smiling as he came to sit next to me on the couch. I kept turning to glance at him and his face looked familiar, and ....
this was Sabu the Elephant Boy! Honest to God! Mark would send him in his stead to personal appearances and parties he didn't care to attend in Hollywood.
So the meeting ended, and Mark Damon per se never showed up that evening. My parents picked us up at the appointed hour. I admit I was disappointed and somewhat miffed that Mark didn't show up. And we girls were dead silent in the backseat. My mother turned to ask from the front seat, her curiosity again. There was a mood emanating from the back seat.
"Did you girls have a good time?"
The next question, she was a bit star struck herself, "Did you meet Mark Damon?"
We were silent nearly the whole way home, my young friend nearly as stunned by the experience as I.
When we got home, my sister shared, "You should have heard them after they dropped you off. They acted like you were going to be sold into white slavery." Well, that made me laugh a bit, but I was still ... you know.
Frank immensely enjoyed hearing about this episode of my life.