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 Table Seven

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Doug Blair
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PostSubject: Table Seven   Wed May 22, 2013 5:06 am

Table Seven


She was exceptional, focused, fun and the restaurant patron caught it first or second time in. She would also ask him intelligent questions about the play, the audiences, his leading lady, the slip-ups, the challenge and exhilaration of it all.

It was refreshing to the Great Actor to visit with such a young woman of promise, varied interests and excellent powers of expression. Evidently she was on the verge of a college adventure, and the waiting on tables at Stratford was to be part of the bank-rolling.

He made a practice of sitting at table seven or at least in the vicinity in the hope of securing that waitress. A number of the others were her girlfriends and they did their best to accommodate this budding friendship. Most of them were simply star-struck by the presence of this man, a Canadian, known around the world, handsome and old enough to be their grandfather.

When the Great Actor arrived with press or agents or certain of the other members of the acting company, she knew that it would have to be all business, promptness and accuracy, rather than another chat between soup and salad. He could only wink, smile and continue to pretend that he was keenly interested in the topic of conversation at the table.

But one noon hour in late August he arrived for his usual with just one other man, thirty-sixish and behaving quite comfortably with the thespian.

“Julie* could you come over here for a moment?” (Introductions were made. This was his publicist.) I am instructing Mark* to get all the details on entrance and course selection at your University of choice. He will need your help and the help of your family for this. It would be my distinct privilege and pleasure to cover your expenses for a degree. This restaurant has become a haven of relaxation and relative privacy away from the flashing lights and pushy columnists. And one honest friend to boot. You have made it possible. Would you please agree to this?”

In the final month Julie was in the audience for “Caesar and Cleopatra”**. At all stages of the story her friend could be clearly heard and understood. He was masterful. She loved the adventure, mystery and romance.

January she would start the new semester.



(* fictitious names **Can’t recall whether this was the actual play, but the restaurant, the friendship, the gift…all true, as told to me by the mother of one of the girlfriends. A gold star for Christopher Plummer!)


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