Friday, July 11, 2008

My dear friend

This weeks prompt on Sunday Scribblings is 'my oldest friend'

A few years back I ran a theatre restaurant. Every day we entertained the entertainers. A place where the stars of television and film could relax and wind down after an evening treading the boards.

Ask any of my staff and they will tell you who the greatest star was. He wasn't a celebrity in the true sense of the word, but his almost daily presence at the Stage Door Bistro made more of an impression than all of the stars added together.

He was Professor Britten. A man of some seventy years who looked much older due to failing health. When his taxi arrived, there was a rush to be the one to help him across the pavement to our door. There he would stand for a moment, wearing a double breasted Saville Row suit, a floppy bow tie and black and white patent leather shoes. On his head a wide brimmed black Amish hat. In his hand, an ivory topped cane.

Every day he would precariously perch on bar stool from where he would sit and flirt with my girls!

'My dear friend' he would say as I approached. He always called me that.

Sometimes we would take him home. He lived in a small annex in his son's house where he spent his days surrounded by teetering towers of text books and piles of academic papers. His writings helped to teach the children who attended his beloved Montessori schools.

He was a Buddhist. He came to it late in life.

He died too soon - he still had so much to give. The last thing he said to me was 'Goodbye my dear friend'.

He was buried in a cardboard coffin under a tree
.

24 comments:

  1. wow...sounds like he was an interesting man indeed. many a good tales must have been told by him, huh?
    good post keith.....

    oh, and btw, i like your andy warhol profile look....

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  2. he was old, but yet still too young to die?
    sounds like he was a nice guy...

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  3. Now that's the kind of man I would have loved to have met.

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  4. From Writer's Island??????

    One two many wines MY OLD Friend........

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  5. YOU CHEATED
    I Noticed ya changed it........

    Take care mate......

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  6. You create a very vivid idea of this person... makes me wonder what the secret of his magnetism was!

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  7. Great story. I love how a regular guy can impact the world more than a celeb.

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  8. PS--I love your photos! I visited Brighton once. You're lucky to live in such a lovely town!

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  9. ordinary story. extraordinary thoughts! nice one..

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  10. There are people...and there are unforgettable people; they have a special presence or something. Sounds like your old friend was one of the latter kind.

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  11. What an intriguing character is this professor! I am always entranced by personalities like this! beautifully written!

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  12. Some people are unforgettable even in their simplicity.
    They have such a lot of integrity and Character !

    Wonderful post Keith!

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  13. Very intriguing character. Interesting to see which people make an impression.
    Running a theater restaurant sound very interesting as well.

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  14. What a beautiful, respectful, tribute to a wonderful old man ... how kind you are Keith. Well done ;)

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  15. That was terrific. I would like to know someone like that. And you wrote it very eloquently.

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  16. I can see him standing there still by your description. Lovely old bloke.Oldies have something special after a lifetime of learning don't they.
    I laughed at your supermarket story. Very good and possibly a different side to how a woman thinks about a trip to the shop.Maybe we wear our blinkers while there and only see what we need on the shelf.

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  17. What a character! I'd have loved to sit and listen to the tales I'm sure he could tell.

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  18. what a touching story Keith, writen so well!
    I hope u will tell us more about him. so sad.

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  19. My dear friends...it has such a lovely ring to it. Thank you for sharing.

    b

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  20. dear friend indeed.
    You make me wish I knew him.
    Sounds like a wonderful time in your life.

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  21. Oh this is wonderful, sounds like an interesting fellow.

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  22. this gentle friend must have had such a strong personality to have had such an impact - a still water that ran deep - good post!!!

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  23. What a wonderful story. You painted his picture so well I feel like I know him, and I miss him!

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