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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: December 29, 2011

Sitting Next To

We left Hicksville Station at 4:30 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon on our way to see Seminar, a Broadway play on 45th Street at the Golden Theater. Our seats were in the rear-mezzanine, but they offered a great view of the stage.

Sitting next to me was a tall fellow and his date. When we spoke he had this smooth, rich, husky bass voice. It was quite impressive. He laughed at all the right places so I assumed he was well-read and up-to-date.

The play had some funny lines. It was about a seminar being given to budding writers and novelists. They each paid $5,000 to be graded and improved by Alan Rickman, a famous novelist and critic.

Rickman was over-critical and he damaged the feelings of his students. I am presently in writing groups and no one is as nasty as this leader. This group would turn on anybody who behaved badly, without concern for the writer’s ego.

When the show was over and the obligatory standing ovations afforded the cast, I engaged this fellow sitting next to me in conversation. I told him that my wife was a speech specialist and she could tell him where he lived down to the street and building. He laughed and said he did “voiceovers” for films and commercials.

He volunteered his name, “Eisenhauer.” “That’s how President Ike spelled his name before they changed it,” I said.

He said he was a distant relative of Ike’s. We mentioned Kay Summersby, his driver in England during WWII. We also mentioned Mamie and her drinking habits. We parted, but it sure was a nice acquaintance meeting.

On the way out of the theater, we jumped into a bike/taxi rickshaw. Fifteen dollars to Penn Station was the agreed price. The cyclist, Muhammed, was from Tajikistan and was so charming, I tipped him another five dollars.

We were rushed onto the train and the only seats available were the facing set of four seats. These two burly guys were there, with extra large beer cans, as we plopped down next to them. The beers were probably chasers after an evening of vodka imbibing.

The conversation got raunchy (but funny) as we sped to the Hicksville Station. The loud conversation was enjoyed by everyone in our car. We departed with a standing ovation.

Overall, we sat next to a potpourri of interesting people on our Thursday trip to Manhattan.