It took some doing but I hope I have been successful in getting Coach Johnson, Wayne and the rest of the crew back on schedule.
It took more doing than I originally thought. I sent Lee, er, Prof. Marvin, over to talk to with them but he quickly fell under the same spell as the others. Who knew that pictures of them in their younger days could cause them to drop so deeply into nostalgia and melancholy? I was totally unprepared for that. I thought for sure that Lee, er, Prof. Marvin, was immune because (to me at least) he looks good at any age but I guess he and the other men seemed to think their best days were behind them in those halycon days of movie-making.
After about the third day of hearing nothing, I wandered over to the field to see for myself what was going on. They were in the dug-out with a laptop hooked into the College's new-fangled Wifi network and all going on and on about what young bucks they had been, ad nauseum.
Well, as far as I am concerned a promise is promise and they had promised you that they would help you with the holiday decorations. Imagine my surprise when Coach Wayne told me "little sister, you best go home, this is for men only" like they were some kind of boy's club!
Well, I have to admit I was mad. Fiery eye mad as Nurse O'Hara would say. But I was at a loss as to what to do next.
There I was, sitting on a stool at Charlies, when Western Studies Prof. Harry Carey came in. He sat next to me and tried to make small talk. He must have seen the tears in my eyes though I am not sure how in the low lighting. Makes no never mind as he told the bartender, Harvey, to set up to scotch and sodas. His face was so kind and his voice was so gentle that I soon found myself pouring out the whole sad story to him.
To my surprise, he listened quietly and kept ordering drinks (my kind of guy). By the time I had managed to reduce his handkerchief to a wet mess and two (or was it three??) scotch and sodas later, he had gotten the story out of me.
As we both know, Prof. Carey is an old-fashioned gentleman and he promised to handle the situation himself. Since his handkerchief was a knotted, wet mess, he wiped my eyes with the cocktail napkin and told me not to worry. His face was so kind and his voice so gentle , I believed him.
From what I have been told by a completely apologetic and admonished Lee, er, Prof. Marvin, the next day Prof. Carey went over to the gym after classes were over. Again, the usual suspects were gathered around that blasted laptop and visiting some place called the Silver Screen Oasis where posters were going gaga over them in their younger days.
They were so engrossed that no one paid any attention to Prof. Carey. He cleared his throat to no avail.
Suddenly, without any notice, he kicked the computer off of Coach Johnson's lap. Before Coach Johnson and the others could react, Prof. Carey barked for them to leave it where it sat in a puddle on the ground. (Those cowboy boots he wears must be deadly).
He then began to talk to them in a manner that got their attention. He reminded them that, yes, remembering their younger days as young men was fine but that the Code of the West that they all claimed to live by was more important than any walk down memory lane. He reminded them that when they give their word it matters and it should never be given lightly and it should never be overlooked.
He also reminded them that their word was their bond and anyone who didn't take that bond seriously should pack their gear and leave the campus because that type wasn't welcome here. He reminded them that they teach that code every day to impressionable students. And if they, the so-called Coaches and Professors (in Lee's, er, Prof. Marvin's case), didn't take that Code seriously than how could they expect their students to follow the Code.
Lastly, he reminded them that by abandoning the Code would begin a slippery slope slide that would leave the Code shattered beyond recognition and with no one believing in it or believing in a time when a Man's Word was His Bond and when a Commitment meant Something.
By the time he was done, (or so I am told), all the Coaches and Prof. Martin were chagrined, embarrassed and red-faced. To his credit, Coach Johnson admitted that they had gotten carried away with the old days and their younger selves. You will be glad to know that he told all of them that while those days were fun and the adulation was fantastic, if it meant losing you, he would have to draw a line. They all held their breath waiting for him to decide. He wasted no time in telling them that the past needed to stay in the past and that his life with you (and his commitments to you) were more important than all the walks down memory lane.
Coach Wayne was said to be feeling particular bad about all the behavior and was said to last be seen heading towards Nurse O'Hara's to make apologies and amends.
Coach MacLaglen was seen reaching for, what else, the bottle and promised Prof. Carey that he would reform. "I've never been much of a good-lookin' man, ya see, Cap'n, but I did enjoy seein' how much fun we had back in the day." From what I've heard, he and Prof. Carey finished off the bottle and had a heck of a good time doing so. There was a great deal of singing involved.
As I understand it, they will all be around in the morning to apologize in person to you and to decorate not only Liberty V. Hall but anything else you need decorating. I believe a giant fir is being delivered for your front window and I am told, they will decorate that too.
As for Arthur Hunnicut, I have conferred with Prof. James (call me Jimmy) Stewart and he has been in contact with the wayward Hunicutt. He will be in the recording studio on Monday morning.
I suspect we will owe Prof. Stewart but he is one of the few around this campus that I don't mean being in debt to.
As for MacMurray and Stanwyck, they have been incredibly non-committal to the point of aggravating the usually unflappable Mrs. Carey, Sr. Olive has reached out to Millie Natwick, Thelma Ritter and Eve Arden, all of the Home Ec department, to help in the planning of the party. I am also told that "Cuddles" Sakall will be in the kitchen as well.
She says to tell that "loudmouth Coach Bond to remember that it's not the reach of his voice that matters but the tone of what he has to say."
Music Professor Bing Crosby and Dance Professor Fred Astaire have promised that Mr. Kaye and the Haynes Sisters will be here for the Christmas program.
Prof. Carey says to please let him know if anyone does not follow through on their jobs. He will be glad to take them to task for it.
In the meantime, Lee, er Prof. Martin, is out on the front porch with a lovely nightcap of Grand Marnier on the rocks and an apology on his lips for being such a dunderhead.
I do hope Coach Johnson is in a similar situation on your porch.
Keep me in the loop as your decorating and Christmas plans progress!
Film Restoration Department
Lynn in Sherman Oaks
"Film is history. With every foot of film lost, we lose a link to our culture, to the world around us, to each other and to ourselves."
"For me, John Wayne has only become more impressive over time." Marty Scorsese
Avatar-Bob's Big Boy-Toluca Lake, designed in 1948 by Wayne McAllister, still in business.