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Meeting Strangers

Marlene Geiser

Posted on January 8, 2019 17:55

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Meeting strangers can often change the course of your life. Just keep your eyes open and a surprise may be coming your way.

Have you ever bothered to consider the odd way you have been able to meet strangers?

A long time ago I was standing in front of my old high school, The High School of Performing Arts in New York.  A cute guy drove up on his motorcycle. He was dating one of my girlfriends. I can't remember her name, but his is impossible to forget. It was Marlon Brando, a man who became an icon in the movie world.

Brando was with a skinny fellow who also had similar dreams. His name was Wally Cox. He was no great looker, but I was too busy looking at the hot guy he was with to pay much attention to him.

Some friends and I would go out to a nightclub called 'Bird Land' not far from school. In the old days, no one carded you, and we were served drinks as we sat and watched a panoply of musicians.

You would be shocked at the great musical artists we were privileged to meet. One of them was a Black pianist by the name of Duke Ellington, and another, a saxophonist named Charlie Parker.

If you ask any music lover of jazz, you may discover that both men were to become icons in its history. Naturally, we could only sit there and sip our scotch on the rocks and listen, coming back whenever we could to enjoy the ambiance of the place.

Nothing was closed to young people in those days. I loved Mambo, and would spend many days going to places that played the music. I particularly loved hearing Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez. They'd smile when we passed the music stand dancing with a stranger. When it was time to go, my girlfriends and I would get on the bus and hit the streets of New York heading for home.

I've written about seeing Frank Sinatra before, and at thirteen, I never dreamed how some day I would be playing his music on my computer in a retirement apartment in Las Vegas.

My brain is filled with memories as I write, but it wouldn't be fair if I didn't spend a little time sharing another memory or two.

I met my first husband in the days of early television. He had come to my house with the son of one of my mother's Canasta playing buddies to watch a baseball game. Such things as these were entirely new to most of us. He fell in love with my father, his politics, and subsequently with me.

Oddly enough, I met my present husband in a parking lot some thirty two years ago. I asked him whether he was coming or going. For me, that was not an unusual way to meet a stranger. We New Yorkers are really friendly! Our thirty first anniversary is coming up on January 31st.

Keep your eyes peeled, because a stranger may turn up in your path. It's only a matter of staying aware. 

Marlene Geiser

Posted on January 8, 2019 17:55

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