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The Sahara Connection

24 Mar

Many years ago I remember a conversation I had with a gentlemen who was family, though not blood related- my brothers and I considered him like an uncle, in fact we called him uncle John. He was involved with real estate in NJ where we lived at the time, he also dabbled in places like South Florida and Los Angeles – although never spoken about, we knew there might have been a “Wiseguy” connection; gulp!

He knowing that my father and mother wanted to move to South Florida, offered my parents a wonderful deal in the purchase of a motel that needed much work in the South Florida area known as Hollywood. In taking a leap of faith my parents took the chance and in time with a lot of hard work we made it happen.

Soon after we moved into that south Florida motel, uncle John made one of his visits. He and I were having a conversation when he brought up a real estate transaction he once was involved with in what I believe was in the 1950’s. In it he mentioned one of the players in this deal was none other than our man Flynn, himself! He asked if ever I had heard of him? To his surprise he learned very quickly how EF was my film idol. He proceeded to tell me a story of that transaction real estate that also involved EF; a partnership of a South Florida (North Miami Beach) area resort hotel called the “Sahara”.

In his telling of the story he told me how Errol loved the beaches there and spear fishing, which I knew that this would have been very true, for growing up in those same south Florida beaches, I and most of other teenagers, etc. would also spear fish while either snorkeling or scuba diving. Soon thereafter I followed up with becoming a lifeguard on those same beaches, in fact at another beach resort hotel right down the street from the Sahara. Everyday going to and fro work I would always slow down and look at the Sahara, and think how cool it would have been hanging out there with Errol spear fishing; to have been born a few years earlier, maybe I too could have had the opportunity to have joined him on his yacht, the Zaca, wow! that would have been something.

In any case, uncle John told me stories of how he, Errol and others would hang out while he was at the Sahara indulging in Errol’s pastime, a few drinks. They would pick Errol’s head about his days of Robin Hood or Captain Blood, etc., which according to uncle John, Errol would talk about them yet not with great pleasure. What a shame I used to think, to be so big in life to so many and yet for Errol to regret them in such a way. A few short years later, I in some way too got to understand this; prancing around on Rock and Roll stages, and not really being appreciated for what my real musical capabilities were, for you sort of feel like a cartoon freak as appose to the real hard studies you put in your craft. In saying this, we all know how Errol knew it himself to be better than that of what he was so looked upon; a character in tights and a sword.

I believe the Sahara is still up, but since I have not ventured that way in a good few years, I cant say for sure, nor to what capacity it resembles of old (see pics) – I also remember reading somewhere in one of my many books I have on Errol, maybe it was in “My Wicked Wicked Ways” or some other literature, which makes its mention of his association with that Sahara. Also if I remember correctly, he did not fare well with it soon there after – sounds like another of Errol’s later years in bad investment choices.

To me in some way feel blessed to have someone known close to me who actually knew the king of cinema, Errol Flynn, himself!  and to have heard some very cool stories first hand, and although I would have preferred to have been there myself, I guess this is a second best….

 

— Sergio

 

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  1. David DeWitt

    March 24, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Wonderful posting! I wish I could go take a dip in that beautiful looking pool at the Sahara! First hand stories like this are the best, Sergio. Thanks for sharing and I agree about Flynn’s feelings. He was capable of a lot more than he was recognized for yet he did something in costume pictures that hasn’t been duplicated in modern times. You have to give Johnny Depp some credit for creating a successful pirate character people will always remember but he couldn’t ever play Robin Hood like Flynn. Nobody can. Errol may not have realized how well he did in the role in his lifetime but it was an indelible performance never topped. I imagine anybody would tired of retelling the same things about his movies over and over again so we can understand his reluctance to repeat himself. You were just one step closer to Flynn by connection that most, you lucky guy!

     
    • shangheinz

      March 24, 2016 at 6:40 pm

      sterlinghood.jpg

      Many actors have tried to emulate Errol as Robin Hood. The likes of Kevin Costner, Russel Crowe and Lex Barker came up with the short end of the arrow. Ultimately it was Flynn`s lifestyle that immortalized our Hollywood hero. Thanks Sarge Sergio for that extra dry post and I hope you will share one or two of those up and close anecdotes with us here.

       
  2. Gentleman Tim

    March 24, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Flynntastic, Sergio! Thank you. I drive by what I believe used to be the Sahara (in Sunny Isles) every couple of weeks during season. I never knew the Flynn connection, though. … I’ll try to get some photos, Sergio.

    GREAT!

     
  3. The Zaca

    March 25, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Great post and recollections thank you so much!

     
    • Sergio

      March 25, 2016 at 2:04 am

      your all welcome! Thank you for letting me post…

      @David – I know Johnny Depp very well – in fact we used to share stages together back in the day when we both had a club band in the South Florida area. His band (The kids) never really took off other than local clubbing; in deciding to try and make it in with his band in LA, is when he got discovered. With the help of his first wife’s family connection in knowing the Coppola’s; Nicolas Cage (nephew of Francis Coppola) got his manager or agent can’t remember which to come and see him with his band in a club in LA; stardom was born from there on. He was a real nice kid back then always respected and like me and my brother as musicians, and the band we had then – he would come up on his bicycle to listen to us practice and then take a few lessons from brother the guitarist. As mention he was nice kid – I call him that because he was/is at least ten years younger then we are.
      Anyway, he’s done a great job in those parts of Captain Sparrow, yet I am pretty sure, although we never talked about it, that he was not, nor could ever be Errol the man…

      @Gentleman Tim – sounds like you live in the same areas we did. I plan on moving back, although it will be in Boca Raton this time, now that I am an old fart; LOL!
      Do try and check out the Sahara, and let us know what you see. I plan to go by it once I move back, hopefully next January…

      @shangheinz – do you own that poster? is it an original of its cinema time of ’38?
      I used to go to old grand theater in Miami a few years back with a friend of mine who is also a classic movie buff like myself and see double or triple headers of classics for only a couple of bucks. Once we went to a double header of Errol; Robin Hood and The Sea Hawk.
      There was a poster in the lobby of which was an original. I asked the theater owner if he wanted to sell it to me, but I was unsuccessful; I begged him, but no soap. Man I sure would have love to get my hands on that one he had. I often think about what he did with it after he closed that theater down about a year latter.
      Awesome theater to say the least. It was one from the classic days; Big-big screen, balcony, etc. – those are the ones to see those fantastic movies, as they were meant to be seen. I loved that place, to bad he closed it… anyway, enjoy yours, its awesome!

      @The Zaca, maybe I can try and pick my brain, which does not work as well as it once did, and try to remember some others I experience and/or heard about…

      Until next time matees..,

       
      • David DeWitt

        March 25, 2016 at 2:27 am

        Sergio, thanks for the great reply. I think the only other actor playing Robin Hood that I liked was Sean Connery in Robin and Marion (1976) because it was removed from the original story. No other actor attempting a telling of the original story even comes close …

         
        • Sergio

          March 27, 2016 at 3:08 pm

          @David – I agree with you 100% – he did a wonderful job – to add that I feel pretty confident in saying that he would not have trampled unto all the same grounds as other Robins comparison to Errol’s. To me he’s a wonderful actor, always admired him, even when he was in need to make a living as in his costumed character of 007; like Errol, no one else for me can ever replace 007 James Bond’s Sean Connery version as in the same way we speak of Errol’s swashbuckling costumed characters too. They are both irreplaceable in their roles they left behind on film for us to continue to enjoy forever…

           
          • David DeWitt

            March 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm

            Sergio, Sean Connery fought hard to overcome typecasting to play other kinds of roles. It was a huge hazard if you were known for a particular role or type of role. We know Errol suffered with this problem and most major actors have had to overcome it. But Connery certainly did!

             
      • Gentleman Tim

        March 27, 2016 at 12:01 am

        I was on my way from Boca to Sunny Isles on Thursday afternoon, Sergio – to get some photos and info at the “Sahara Beach Club Condominiums”. Unfortunately, neither Sunny Isles nor surrounding South Florida were very sunny. In fact, I-95 was at a standstill for most of the way by torrential downpours and tornado warnings, so I decided to return another day, likely tomorrow. I’ll report back when I do make it. Thanks again for the great tip. I’ve been doing a series of “Flynn in Florida” posts and knew absolutely nothing about Errol’s connection to The Sahara. So Great!

         
        • Sergio

          March 27, 2016 at 3:49 pm

          @Gentleman Tim – This is so cool in what your doing; “Flynn in Florida” posts.. Have you already posted some? maybe I missed it – would love to view it!

          I feel your pain when you bring up I-95 standstill – it’s the biggest 6 lane highway that needs to consider a Stop Light!
          This is, believe it or not, one of the big reasons I finally moved after 35 years living there, besides over crowding and to fast paced – I loved in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, come mid to late 90’s, I was done! Green acres is the place for me attitude; NC, but after 18 years I have the need to get back to insanity; LOL.. So I am moving back, this time to Boca. LOL!!! Go figure??

          Don’t know how long you’ve been down there but there is a lot of history of little bits and pieces that never made it out into media; people not knowing unless living in it, in such places of Hollywood – Ft Lauderdale and of course Miami. But to be honest, Hollywood has a lot of history that at times outshines the other two grander known places mentioned. Heck even N. Miami had some very cool places and resorts that catered to many Hollywood stars – musicians, etc. – Sunny Isles too, but I have always considered it to be a part of N. Miami too… Like I said there are many stories buried there. You can say that Vegas is second in there saying; “What happens in SoFlo stays in SoFlo” !!
          Happy hunting….

           
          • Gentleman Tim

            March 27, 2016 at 4:33 pm

            Thanks very much for the info and encouragement, Sergio.I-95 is clear at the moment, so I’m on my way now. Can’t write much now, but will try to get back late tonight.

            Here are a couple of posts I did on Flynn in Florida. There are more I’ll try to find and add later, from Miami to Boca to Delray to Palm Beach, and even one about one of his former yachts (Tonga) sinking in St. Pete.

            Flynn Over Miami – And All Around It

            The Fleens in Florida, on the Sirocci

             
  4. Gentleman Tim

    March 28, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Ciao Sergio. I made it to The Sahara, right next to an Armani Resort and Trump Towers. Premier property.

    Even so, the motel has hardly changed since the time of the postcard photo above. Only thing is it looks abandoned from the street, with its lobby completely devoid of any life or furniture. Nothing. Locked up tighter than a drum.

    There was a gated parking lot with cars inside, however, so I traveled thru Trump’s property to the beach – knowing that he wouldn’t mind letting me in free (or is that Bernie?) – and sniped a few photos, some of which I posted at the link below (as I wasn’t sure how to post them here).

    Sergio’s Sahara

    Despite looking empty from the front, every room is occupied, and the beach is full of its mostly golden aged (French-Canadian?) tenants having lots of fun in the sun.

    There was no office staff, or employees of any kind on site that I could see, on site, so I didn’t make the progress I had hoped for in that regard. The tenants I spoke with all knew Errol, but not of his connection to the motel. They all thought that was very cool, however.

    I’ll try to do further digging.

    This was Meyer Lansky’s neighborhood and territory, and some of the nearby similar motels (most all gone now) were evidently built with Mob money and Teamster Union Fund money – or is that redundant? It’s a beautiful and beautifully-located area. I like to drive by “Clapton’s” 461 Ocean Boulevard when I’m down by Sunny Isles, and a place Babe Ruth stayed during his last stay in Florida. So, thanks to you Sergio, I now can see Flynn’s motel, Clapton’s famed beachhouse/studio, and Ruth beach cottage!!! Thank you, Sir Sergio.

     
  5. Gentleman Tim

    March 28, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Ciao Sir Sergio. I made it to The Sahara, right next to an Armani Resort and Trump Towers. Premier property.

    Even so, the motel has hardly changed since the time of the postcard photo above. Only thing is it looks abandoned from the street, with its lobby completely devoid of any life or furniture. Nothing. Locked up tighter than a drum.

    There was a gated parking lot with cars inside, however, so I traveled thru Trump’s property to the beach – knowing that he wouldn’t mind letting me in free (or is that Bernie?) – and sniped a few photos, some of which I posted at the link below (as I wasn’t sure how to post them here).

    Sergio’s Sahara

    Despite looking empty from the front, every room is occupied, and the beach is full of its mostly golden aged (French-Canadian?) tenants having lots of fun in the sun.

    There was no office staff, or employees of any kind on site that I could see, on site, so I didn’t make the progress I had hoped for in that regard. The tenants I spoke with all knew Errol, but not of his connection to the motel. They all thought that was very cool, however.

    I’ll try to do further digging.

    This was Meyer Lansky’s neighborhood and territory, and some of the nearby similar motels (most all gone now) were evidently built with Mob money and Teamster Union Fund money – or is that redundant? It’s a beautiful and beautifully-located area. I like to drive by “Clapton’s” 461 Ocean Boulevard when I’m down by Sunny Isles, and a place Babe Ruth stayed during his last stay in Florida. So, thanks to you Sergio, I now can see Flynn’s motel, Clapton’s famed beachhouse/studio, and Ruth beach cottage!!! Grazie!

     
    • Sergio

      March 28, 2016 at 11:57 pm

      The mob connection is for sure that they loved SoFlo and their investment I’m hopes of making it a new Vegas or easy connection to and fro Cuba’s1950’s involvement.

      Their are other places like Joe Sonkens – Gold Coast Restaurant- See an article I pulled from net so you can get a quick view on it and its connections;
      articles.sun-sentinel.com…

      I worked there when I was young parking cars, and I can tell you first hand, a lot of Mobsters/Wiseguy’s came through this place. They gave me good tips, that was cool thing!
      Also many stars came through when I was there; I remember once when Robert Conrad (Wild-Wild-West TV star) came through and got into a fist fight with a couple of guys testing his toughness – he beat the crap out of them; he really was as though as he said. LOL!

      Also right down the street from it is/was, the Hollywood Beach Hotel – it was said that Capone himself set up the first casino in SoFlo in it.Then In the late 70’s it changed into a Bible college, short lived – it closed due to a scandal with the head cheeseball with some sort young female thing in the college. Eventually it turned back to the Hollywood Beach Hotel – not sure what it is now. This place is directly in front of the Hollywood bridge when you cross over the inner coastal unto A1A, and Sonkens is to the left of it on the inner coastal about one block from it.

      461 Ocean Boulevard (Clapton); I had been there myself right after Clapton record his record…

      Well I am getting away from what this site is meant for originally; Errol Flynn. But if ever you want to pick my head on any of the towns going on’s, let me know, I have many stories from them and my personal connection with some those that ventured through…. Ciao

       
      • shangheinz

        December 27, 2016 at 4:46 pm

        Attention Sunshine Statesmen: there is a new publication out which may shed some shadow on the above mentioned locations- www.org…

         
        • Sergio

          December 29, 2016 at 12:47 pm

          Well, will see what we will see, that’s what we will see, or will we?

           
          • shangheinz

            December 30, 2016 at 12:35 pm

            image-5.jpg

            Sometimes it is better to see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil at all. Few lived to tell the tale.

             
            • Sergio

              December 30, 2016 at 10:47 pm

              Very well put Hoffa-Heinz….

               
      • Gentleman Tim

        January 3, 2017 at 4:36 am

        Can’t speak for the Bible College, Sergio, but the Hollywood Beach Resort is again open for public lodging. Drove by it and 461 Ocean Boulevard today, also stopping in at GG’s, site of your former “Joe’s Gold Coast” employer, with the big tipping wise guys and associates. Everyone who was anyone on the FBI Organized Crime watch list frequented there – from Giaconda to Trafficante to Marcello- and David Ferrie, when he was first flying for Marcello. Ruby worked for nearby casino run by the Lanskys.

        With Gold Coast opening in ’48 or so, there’s a good chance Errol may have rubbed elbows with some infamous ice cold killers while downing some of Joe’s famous ice cold stone crabs.

        The place was packed today, though not exactly mobbed.

        www.browardpalmbeach.com…
        1.jpg

         
        • Sergio

          January 4, 2017 at 1:34 am

          GT you mention someone above that I very likely have had a small period of time with.
          It’s a little long but stay with me on this.
          Yes I know I have a tendency to write long, but that’s me. Anyway, here goes….

          From my teenage years growing up in SoFlo, Hollywood to be exact. I ran across some of these crooked nose famiglia more so than one could imagine. Some just by coincidences; eating in their establishments – shopping in one of their local Italian markets they owed – or visiting a relative and/or someone close too visiting us, and etc….
          A few years later it would be through business associations as my being involved in the music business for many years, you were bound to venture into their pockets somewhere along the line, or should I say, they were into my pockets.
          At most times you had no clue you were doing business with some of those (wise)guys – this was one of many of their so-called “Legitimate Business” : i.e. – recording studios and/or companies, record sales/distribution, radio, TV, concert promotions, concession items sales, advertising, etc. etc. etc..
          Aside from their, at most times, low key as to not knowing other than strictly business men, there were however some not so low key. These sorts assume they were impenetrable, no fear, and did not care who knew what. At those times, they would flashed it like nobody’s business, especially when they were hobnobbing with the so called big entertainers/stars.
          Those flashers types were the ones I did not like being around with too long; made to much noise if you know what I mean? And I wanted no part of that, no mater were the rat-a-tat-tat was going to be coming in from.

          So in all the years I have run into some of them here and there, there are a couple stories that stand out, and one in particular shows my ignorance, being young and dumb! Thank God it turned out ok though, and again it has to do with one you mention above. (keep reading – sigh!)….

          It was very early seventies on New Year’s Eve. I was hired, along with other musicians through an agency for a New Year’s Eve jazz gig at the Hollywood VFW hall. Across from the hall, was what was then, an Italian club.

          Whenever I went out for a smoke during our breaks, I noticed some limos, Cadillac’s, all black ones, looked like funeral reception. I could also see from afar a couple big statue looking suits in front of the Italian club hall doors, and that sort of intrigue me, I don’t know why, but it did – well I’m lying I did know, and it excited me; felt like a movie come to life, and I was to play a part in it. Yeah well a little more so than I wanted for sure, but that will come shortly.

          Soon after the midnight celebrations, we got paid and we were dismissed.

          Off I went with a couple of other guys from that night’s gig across the street to see what was what and hopefully get a couple of drinks.

          As we approached closer to the building we heard what sounded like a big party with some really fun times going on, and since we worked all night, now it was our time to let our hair down and have some fun too.

          So as we walked towards the doors, one of the two behemoth guarding the doors took a step towards us, and asked; “what do you punks want here?” (think NY lower bowery slang)…
          I mentioned we wanted to go in and have some drinks and fun with the others inside – he then told me it was a private party and “Beat it before I smack yous around”.(remember NY slang)…

          Well all of my 5 foot 9 inch’s tall slender 136 LB’s soak and wet of me was not going to take that lying down from some guy that was 12 FT tall and 400 LB’s, no way dude!

          So I walked up again, and as he approached me I noticed a shoulder holster and gun handle partially sticking out of his Italian grey suit. So then I thought I would mention that I was Italian too, you know we are all famiglia, and all was cool, we are all Goohbahs, and by this let us in for a drink – that’s when I found out what it was like to do a backwards somersault over a Cadillac!
          Yes sir I can still see to this day the backhand of what I thought was a semi truck hitting me…ouch!

          So GT here is were your connection of your story comes with mine…..
          Right about the time I was wiping the blood of my lips and nose, and getting back up from the other side of the car, that I notice a short chubby well dressed man in a suit, coming out of the doorway of the Italian club with some other (wise)guy’s.
          He stood there for a minute and asked big Guido or Bruno, whatever that goons name was; what hell was going on? The goon mentioned that I was being rude, and trying to force my way into the New Years Wedding party. The little chubby man looked up at me and started to laugh and then said; “kid you need a drink that bad?” and then laughed some more.
          I told him we had just finished playing a New Year’s Eve gig across the street and all we wanted to do was to toast one drink, since we had not had the opportunity at the time while working.

          He broke his smile and then in a fury told the big goon to get me a drink, now! – we all just stood there for what I thought was forever, and then the goon came out with “a” drink only, and handed it to me. I will never forget that glass looked like a thimble in the goons hand – I lifted that full size glass towards the little chubby man and said Salute!
          As he smiled at me while getting into his limo, he told me to be careful, those guys (Guidos) are not just there looking good…..
          Yeah well I already found that out, the hard way.

          And that hopefully I learned something tonight…..

          Yep! Do exactly what the big goon tells you the first time; leave and don’t come back!

          He then got in the Cadillac’s back seat, and some of the boys drove him away. Which left me standing there with a pretty pissed off Guido, and that was my cue to beat it and beat it quick boy!…..

          A few years latter in talking with some others who were associated with the so-called legitimate side of the entertainment biz.
          They told me that, the person I was referring too was none other than New Orleans boss, known as “The Godfather” – Carlos Marcello…..(gulp!’)

          Well GT how’s that for connecting your dots to mine?

          You know though? Personally I think Carlos Marcello got a big kick out of seeing me get my drink regardless of the big goon’s smack down; it was a sort of David vs Goliath. The big difference was that, that goliath was still alive and standing, so as mentioned, I hurried my feet as fast as I could out of there.

          I wonder what ever happened to that big Guido? Who knows maybe years later he ran a security company and provided crowd control for some of my gigs. LOL….

           
          • Gentleman Tim

            January 4, 2017 at 4:47 am

            WOW, that is Awesome, Sergio/David. Good for you standing up to that Goon/Goliath! (Well, mostly standing up!) I love it.

            I’m a member of the American Legion and on very rare occasion have been the Post on Dixie a few Presidents from the Italian American Club in Hollywood (from Madison to Polk or so, perhaps), so know exactly where you mean.

            … Speaking of mean, Marcello was one mean bastard. Hard to believe he even made it back from the jungles of Central America after Bobby K. had him to die. Turned out to be a terrible, terrible mistake, one which changed the course of history for the worse.

            Errol was in several establishments Marcello owned or came to own, one pictured below. Also pictured below is Carlos with some of his paisanos.

            bartenders-and-patrons-of-the-old-absinthe-house.jpg

            60d844a9c7465060bc98cd0b37a84283.jpg

             
            • Sergio

              January 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

              GT – Seems that we have ventured in the same backgrounds in the area of Hollywood – I grew up in that are, so I know it very well…

              Since you know the area well, and if ever you decide to venture into it one day. Go down Dixie Highway (south) and make a right, heading west, on Monroe ST – at the end of the street (24th Ave) you will find a motel called The Casablanca – I think its still called that. This is the motel I wrote about in this article originally; we owned when we moved to Florida, and the story about uncle John and Errol/Sahara connection. (go to the top an see my mention of it).

              Last I seen (3 years ago) the motel had change some, but the name was still the same. At one time, during the sixties through the early nineties, before my parents sold it, it was pretty nice, along with the area too. amazing what time will do to an area….

              By the way the name of the motel; The Casablanca, was named that way because my family was born in Casablanca and we came over to the US; I was about 8 years of age and we could not speak a lick of English then. We, my brother and I learned real quick. living in the lower east side of New Jersey, we learned being Sicilian was going to be a little tough around the others, being that we were looked upon as dirty guineas, grease balls, WOPs, etc. – So we learned quick – I can relate as to how so many of the Sicilians fell to the bad side of the law such as Carlos,Luciano, Capone, Gambino, etc. – It was tough and you had to make your own break, and it was not easy so they took the easy way out. Its very inviting and very easy to fall into, I’ve seen it way to many of my Italian friends do it. My family and I are Sicilians. My parents from both sides. When growing up early years in Casablanca, Morocco, it was a very cool place during its hay day of the 50’s – 60’s; had some great times.
              Reason I mention Casablanca, etc., besides the motel name connection, is that Carlos Marcello was born in French Tunisia, not far from Casablanca, where I came from – Many Sicilians went over to North Africa areas before the first war looking for work, and that’s how come Casablanca became one of the areas big migration of Sicilians then. I went back many times during the sixties through the eighties, but have not since, I really need to make another trip there again soon… If I remember correctly, Errol like Morocco, and spent a little time there too, is that not right?

              Anyway

               
              • Gentleman Tim

                January 6, 2017 at 4:46 pm

                What a great life story, Sergio! Would make a sensational screenplay. Who to play you?!

                Yup, I bet Errol spent much more time in Morocco than he made known, particularly during his years cruising the Med. Perhaps not as much time as he spent in the El Morocco, but even more intriguingly adventurous!

                 
                • Sergio

                  January 7, 2017 at 5:09 pm

                  GT – Ask about who would play me in a script ? It would none other than the other “Bad Boy of Hollywood”…Steve McQueen.

                  Which brings up another story of mine. Got a minute? ;-)

                  Well this goes back to 1973 and Disney World.
                  It had recently opened a year or so earlier.
                  I and my newly girlfriend traveled early and decided before going in the park to stop over at a nearby Waffle House.
                  I know you travel a lot GT so you probably have made the same observation as I – In NC we have all sorts of churches on every street corner, and in Florida they have Waffle Houses!

                  Anyway, a few minutes prior to entering the Waffle House I was telling my girlfriend how so many people in the past couple years have been saying how much I resembled Steve McQueen the actor. She looked at me and smiled with a sly questionable response of, “Really?”, followed by, laughter. (sigh!)

                  Now she knew even then that in my book of actors, McQueen came second; Flynn has always held the first spot, followed by third Cagney, Garfield, Bogie, and so on.

                  But this claim of my looking like McQueen was not my imagination, it was others saying so.

                  So we get out of my then 1972 VW Bug and go inside the Waffle House. We sit at the bar, and young attractive waitress comes up and ask what wanted to drink, and while holding the pen and pad in her hand, she asked with a dumbfound look; “I am sorry for staring”… looking at my girlfriend for some sort of approval to do so – and then says, “But, are you, you, you know, Steve McQueen?”… Oooooooh man, are you kidding me, this could not have bene written better for a movie, wow! And did that flip the young lady sitting next to me out of her mind!
                  Then the waitress says; “I’m sorry I am not trying to, blah-blah-blah”….. I told her that I was not Steve McQueen. She asked that maybe I was his brother, and/or any other relationship to him? Because I look so much like him…Again I told her, no! But I could not resist in enlightening her with the conversation my girlfriend and I were just having in the car, and how my girlfriend thought it was funny, and disagreed with the other peoples feelings on it.
                  The young waitress enthusiastically, with eyes wide open, said how much she agreed with the other people as to how much I really looked like him.
                  My girlfriend then says, and mind you, as any other good all American young blooded “blond” girlfriend would say, mind you, knowing we both live hundreds of miles away from this destination; “Both of you must have set this up, right?”…
                  Ok? Blonde, and what planet do we live on?

                  Boy what a weekend that turned out to be. I was walking on a cloud as you could imagine, and in no better place then la-la land itself, Disney World…
                  By the way, 44 years later, that blond girlfriend and I are still married.
                  Tell me who could pass up an opportunity like that? Blonds are special people! LOL…
                  Got to admit though, she’s the best person in the world, especailly being ones soul mate through think and thin, putting up with me and my music biz I was in for so many years…

                  Anyway, that’s another little story – I guess the old Flynnster Himself and I, share one real commonality; we both have many stories to tell…

                  Oh by the way, the waitress said she was not willing to take a chance that I was not McQueen and insisted on my autograph before we left, to which I happily rendered, my, ahem! I mean his signature….

                  I wonder how many times that napkin has been sold at auction..

                   
                  • Gentleman Tim

                    January 8, 2017 at 6:34 am

                    Too great, Sergio! You made that Waffle House’ waitress’s world! I remember that time and world very well. I lived on Merritt Island, home of Kennedy Space Center, and my sister was on the cover of Life Magazine that featured the opening of Disney World. And,oh yes, I remember well all those many Waffle Houses. They’re still everywhere, and still stop in occasionally – though no one has very asked me to autograph anything other than a bill for waffles, eggs, and sweet tea!

                    Are you sure you didn’t roll up in a Shelby, Sergio?!

                    By the way, by any chance was this also you??

                    steveatgraumans05.jpg

                    P.S. Congratulations on your 44 years!!! You out did both Flynn and McQueen!! Whenever you and your wife ever get a longing to live this wonderful memory, you may want to serve up breakfast like they do these days at the Waffle House(s) near MickeyWorld, one for each of you:

                    waffle_town.jpg

                    P.S. 2, Sergio. Having watched part of the Hope/Crosby/Lamour classic tonight, it hit me that you could call your autobio “Road from Morocco”.

                     
                    • Sergio

                      January 8, 2017 at 3:30 pm

                      GT – Shelby? No! but we did have same interest in car motor makers; he loved Porches and owned many in his life time.
                      I too loved Porches and owned many in my life, tough mine where made in the lower echelon of the warehouse for VW Beetles……….

                      Cement prints? No again! yet I believe I could have found a few guys I ran into along the way, that would have willingly provided well fitted cement shoes!……..

                      Thank you on the congrats of marriage and for that breakfast advise.
                      But in staying with our Disney house character theme, it would be more in tune, or is that Looney Tunes? no different company, sorry! But anyway, Donald Duck waffles instead; my wife does a great Donald Duck voice impersonation that still cracks me up to this day whenever she does It. Believe it or not that imitation at times saved us a lot of grief in stopping small arguments get out of hand. For if she did the voice in mist of the argument, incontrollable laughter from me would follow and all would be lovely…..

                      Hope and Crosby? Not! Me and Bogie and it would read; Sitting at Ricks, from Casablanca with Love!……

                      www.theerrolflynnblog.com…

                      www.theerrolflynnblog.com…

                      www.theerrolflynnblog.com…

                       
 
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