David Bruce: Don’t Fear the Reaper — Heroes, Husbands and Wives, Illnesses and Injuries

Heroes

• On the beach of Daytona Beach, Florida, in March 2011 a woman snatched the purse of Angela Baldwin and took off running. Angela’s two children — 12-year-old Angel Baldwin and 10-year-old Carina Baldwin also took off running — after the purse-snatcher. Angel said, “I kept saying, ‘Give me my mom’s purse back,’ and she kept saying. ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’” Carina followed the woman into a woman’s restroom, and the woman tossed the purse away and then ran away again. Police arrested and charged a woman with grand theft charges soon after. The two children are heroes, but their mother says, “I’m very proud of them, but I did have a stern talk with them never to do this again … next time you call for help!” So what do Angel and Carina want to do when they grow up? They say that they want to go into law enforcement.

Husbands and Wives

• Patricia Morrison played bass in bands such as The Damned, and she noticed a lot of things that most people don’t notice. For example, she noticed that the lead singer of The Damned had “a good behind to look at. Being behind the singer at most of the gigs, you notice things like that.” By the way, she married the lead singer: Dave Vanian. (She says it was love at first sight, but the first sight was before she became the bass player in The Damned.) The person who married them — in Las Vegas — was an Elvis impersonator.

• Husband-and-wife comedy team Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara met because of an agent. Mr. Stiller was outside the agent’s office waiting to be interviewed for a job when he heard a woman scream and run out of the agent’s office. The woman, an attractive redhead (Ms. Meara, of course) told him that the agent had chased her around the room. Mr. Stiller says that he went into the office to confront the agent — and the agent chased him around the room. Neither got the job they “interviewed” for, but both got each other.

• Art Linkletter was a famous daytime TV show host in the mid-20th century. On one of his shows, a woman won a mink stole, and Mr. Linkletter put it around her shoulders and then told her, “Wait until your husband sees you in this. I bet he’ll say you’re beautiful.” The husband was then led onstage, and Mr. Linkletter saw that the man was blind. Fortunately, the husband said exactly the right thing, “You’re absolutely right, Mr. Linkletter. I can see that she is beautiful.”

• Mark Twain enjoying swearing, a habit his wife deplored. One day, Mr. Twain cut himself shaving, and he unleased a steady stream of swear words. His wife, hoping to cure him of his bad habit, in a calm voice repeated every swear word he had shouted. Mr. Twain was unrepentant, merely remarking, “You have the words, my dear, but you don’t know the tune.”

• Vadim Rindin, the husband of Soviet ballerina Galina Ulanova, had a good sense of humor. Before signing a contract written in English, he took off one pair of spectacles and put on another, saying, “These are German spectacles. I think I should wear my English ones for this.”

• Carole Lombard’s second husband was William Powell. On her honeymoon, she sent this telegram to her friends: “NOTHING NEW TO REPORT.”

Illnesses and Injuries

• Art Linkletter was a famous daytime TV show host in the mid-20th century. He once took part in a miracle. He and his wife, Lois, were in Tahiti following a visit to their ranch in Australia when they received a telegram that his wife’s mother, Peg, had suffered a stroke and was unconscious. Of course, they immediately came home, and Mr. Linkletter followed an impulse to hold his mother-in-law’s hand and tell her in a voice of authority, “Peg, I know you can hear me. Lois and I have flown all the way from Australia to tell you about our sheep. Now open your eyes and say hello.” Peg opened her eyes and said, “Hello, Art.” Then she closed her eyes again. This time, Mr. Linkletter said, “Come on, now keep those eyes open. We love you.” She opened her eyes, and this time they stayed open. Mr. Linkletter says, “It was the only miracle I ever witnessed. I was glad it was for my mother-in-law.”

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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