One of my most admired actors, Jack Lemmon and I met briefly a long time ago while awaiting a taxi in front of a hotel in Dallas. He spoke, “Hello”, and I just stood there in awe. He smiled and got into his taxi and that was that…until sometime in the mid 60’s when my Bryan home telephone rang about 7pm. I answered with the usual, “Hello”, and there was a pause and then the voice said, “Who is THIS!”, I said, “Jim, Who is this?” “Jack”, he said, “What are you doing answering my phone, where is my wife?”. “Well, Jack”, I responded, “I have no idea where you wife is, but mine is right here, ‘ya won’t to speak to her?”. He paused and I said, “you must have misdialed, Jack”. He said,” isn’t this 714-434-0458?” “No, Jack”, you dialed 704 by mistake.” He apologized profusely and by then I thought I recognized his voice, “You must be a long way from home, Jack, this is not the best quality. “I’m not surprised. What’s your name?” “Jim Austin, Jack.” Well, Jim Austin, what a coincedence, right?” We carried on a conversation for a time. He was playing at a theater in Canada and was miserable. He said it wasn’t much of a play and he couldn’t wait to get home. He asked, “Since you’ve been in theater, would you agree to never share my number. I hate to have to change all that.” I agreed and have shared it only once, but that was long after his death, back in 2001. Jack Lemmon seemed to be a kind, respectful gentleman. I though so all along. I must admit that I considered calling for another chat a few times, but since I had given my word, I didn’t do it. I do wonder about his soul and all the other famous souls it has been my opportunity to come in contact. I should have asked. I will probably have to depend on Jesus to defend that omission, donchaknow. Really.
And that’s what I get from My Box of Chocolates. AMEN