A gorgeous, dark-haired woman is walking toward me along a canal in Europe. On the other side of the tapered road is a line of two-hundred year old homes. I’m in modern times but the lady walking toward me seems to be from the not-so-distant past. Her high heels are dropping soft footfall clicks on the cobblestone. Her shadow looms large, enveloping the area. I recognize the curvy shape and the attitude in the stroll, even though her face is still unclear. It’s the actress, Ava Gardner.
I’m eager to meet this Hollywood star, even if I’m just dreaming.
She’s been a favorite of mine since having seen THE KILLERS, THE NIGHT OF THE
IGANUA, ON THE BEACH, and THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN. Lately, I’ve
been reading The Secret Conversations.
But how do you talk to a legend? It comes to me … I’ll start with saying that
my wife and I named our daughter after her.
I thumb my fedora up. I relax my hand off Jack Laramie’s
Colt that I brought along. I’m feeling Alan Ladd-ish cool, but my enthusiasm
and ease are short lived. Out of the shadows I see the well-known face for only
a second before she morphs into a zombie. She smiles a wicked I’m-going-to-kill-you
I’m petrified but can’t run. I know the end has arrived.