David Bruce Anecdotes
• Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho makes a lot of money, and early in his life he made a lot of money through writing songs. The first time he made a lot of money, he made it in a hurry. He didn’t have money to eat out or to go to a movie, and when he went to check his bank account, he found that $40,000 had been deposited in it because of his songwriting royalties. One of the first things he did when he started to become famous was to get rid of his old hippie friends and acquire new, exciting friends. This turned out to be a mistake. When he stopped making a lot of money after losing his job at an international record company, his new friends didn’t call him and of course the old friends he had jettisoned didn’t call him, either. Mr. Coelho went on to make new piles of money, but he remembered to make a major effort to keep his old friends.
• When he was growing up, John Waters, later known as the Prince of Puke as a result of directing such cult gross-outs as Pink Flamingos, sometimes had scary friends. Two friends were David Lochary (who constantly changed the color of his long hair) and his girlfriend, Roxanne. Roxanne’s extreme fashions terrified Mr. Waters’ mother, but she said about David, “I like David. He’s the only lady you’ve ever brought home.” Another friend was Pat Moran, whose husband, Maelcum Soul, accepted the fact that she and Mr. Waters, who is gay, are very, very close, and whoever marries Pat gets John as part of the pact. In fact, Mr. Waters says that Mr. Soul “even sends me candy for Valentine’s Day.”
• Author Quentin Crisp used to know a homeless woman called The Countess who lived in a large trunk in a graveyard. She had a change of clothes, a portable stove, and some plates, cups, and saucers, and she used to entertain friends who would sit on broken gravestones. Despite being homeless, her manner was regal, and she liked to entertain invited friends only. If someone were to knock on her trunk without being invited to visit her, she would open the trunk and say, “You have not made an appointment. I am seeing no one today.”
• Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman tended to work with the same 18 people over and over, and he always hired a hostess, who brewed coffee and baked pastries and made the set homey. At Cannes, film director David Lean once compared notes with Mr. Bergman, asking him, “How large a crew do you use?” Mr. Bergman answered, “I always work with 18 friends.” Mr. Lean marveled, “That’s funny. I work with 150 enemies.”
• Dorothy Parker and Elsa Maxwell once lunched with a pretentious man who was determined to put Ms. Maxwell down. The man said that he was a friend of the painter Augustus John, then he said to Ms. Maxwell, “Of course, I don’t suppose you know whom I’m talking about.” Ms. Parker replied, “Oh yes, she does. But they’re such great friends she calls him Augustus Jack.”
• When Dorothy Parker gave a party after moving into a new apartment, her friend the humorist Frank Sullivan gave her a house-warming gift of a package of used coffee grounds, egg shells, and lemon peels, explaining, “There’s nothing like garbage to make a house a home.”
Gays and Lesbians
• In 1983, during Thanksgiving weekend, Catholic parents Casey and Mary Ellen Lopata discovered that their oldest son, Jim, a sophomore in college, was lonely. He told his mother, “Mom, I’m lonely. I’m lonely for another man.” This was how Mary Ellen realized that her son was gay, and she told him that his being gay didn’t matter and that she loved him. He asked, “Then why are you crying?” She replied, “I don’t know.” His father didn’t know what to say to him. He asked, “Are you sure?” and “Can you change?” Then he remained silent, wondering if his oldest son could be gay and still be a Catholic. As it turned out, Casey and Mary Ellen Lopata took a long time — nine years — to be comfortable while being open about having a gay son, but eventually they did become comfortable. In addition, they rejected neither their son nor their religion. In fact, Mary Ellen wrote a book titled Fortunate Families: Catholic Families with Lesbian Daughters and Gay Sons about Catholics learning to be open about having gay children. Together, she and her husband founded a group called Fortunate Families to help Catholic parents with gay children. Casey and Mary Ellen Lopata believe that their family has been fortunate in having a gay son, and they believe that having a gay son has made them better Catholics.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
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