18 May 2014

Anna May Wong (1905-1961)

one of my Facebook friends posts a daily photo of this film legend. she was one of the screen's great beauties. & I met her just a half year before her early death.

it was summer of 1960. I was both cinephile & autograph collector.  I went to Cleveland for the premiere of "Portrait in Black."  local boy Ross Hunter was the producer & he liked to bring Hollywood glamour to his hometown.  so he'd fly in stars for premieres of his lavish productions.

I knew the hotel at which the film contingent was staying. I staked out the lobby with my copy of Daniel Blum's A Pictorial History of the Talkies hoping to add signatures to its pages.

my vigil paid off when the exotic star emerged from the elevator. I approachd her with the big book & made my pitch. she told me she'd sign if I helpd her. she requestd that I lick stamps & affix them to a batch of postcards she'd written. we both seemd pleased with the arrangement.

here's what she wrote while I lickd: 

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