WHENCE I CAME
by Anton Wills-Eve
<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/local-flavor/”>Local Flavor</a>
on ‘word prompt’ about where I came from.
WHENCE I CAME
My father and mother were fourteen thousand miles apart, give or take the odd furlong, when they first heard about each other. He was eight years younger and she was reputed to be looking for a third husband, preferably a toy boy, and was impatient that she should captivate someone suitable before the war broke out, as all expected. This was in September 1938. She happened to be lounging by the pool of her Thames side mansion in Buckinghamshire opposite Windsor, give or take the odd furlong.
She was very attractive, one of the highest paid female entertainers in Britain, and her colleagues and cronies, one did not have friends in the theatre and film world in England in those days, all placed bets on which current up and coming matinee idol would suit her taste. She was reading the back page of an Australian newspaper, which a fellow thespian had dropped in her lap out of spite, and she was intrigued by the photograph of a young dentist who had recently qualified to practise his science, and even won a scholarship to go to England and start his career there. She drew a red circle round his name and dropped the paper on the outdoor coffee table where she envisaged alleviating her boredom later that evening.
By chance that same day a young, newly qualified dentist, in Brisbane, Australia, happened to see an advertisement for a new film about to take Australia by storm, or tornado or whatever things take Australia by, and was overcome at once by an attack of paroxsyzmal atrial fibrulation which continued throughout the voyage to England, six weeks on a boat via the Suez Canal.
As happy fate would have it he was walking down Piccadilly shortly after his arrival in London, one never walks up this thoroughfare though for the life of me I have no idea why not, when who should he bump into but the film star of his dreams.
“You!” She heart throbbed at him, – you know like mad; really hammed it up.
“You,”he replied, for Australians are a race of few words and soon, he hoped, to be of fewer teeth.
Well a week later before the glitter of Fleet Street cameramen and columnists they were wed amid unalloyed joy and the whole of the west End was in raptures. Thirteen months later they had a daughter, an absolute cherub who was just a weeny bit too young to star in a war picture, but fifteen months after that they had a son. He was a child of immense charisma and obvious talent, even at that age, so I am told. And who am I to dispute this tribute for that little boy was I.
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Is this a true story, Anton? If so, it is amazing. I love “meet-cutes!!!!” I must admit I’m an incurable romantic. Thanks for the story, true or not, although I have an inkling it is true. Judy
Well spotted,Judy,it is one of only two posts on word press that is 100% true. I must add that mum was in need of a third husband because the first two died on her.The other true family story on my ideas that you could look up is ‘the night my mother met a saint in her pyjamas’. Our whole family story from my birth in May 1942 to today would make a great book but my sister and I have vetoed it as there is too much tragedy.But my life has been one extended anomaly from birth to now; quite a lot is manipulated into a lot of stories but with the names changed. Probably the best known of my relatives to people in the US was Walter Cronkite,my god father, who died a couple of years ago. He and his wife were living with us when I was born. He and dad were very close friends until dad died of a coronary in the summer of 1973. But I’m afraid it’s a case of no names, no pack drill in all family stories – except for the one I mentioned above. But just a taster of the sort of world I was brought up in; I have an uncle and aunt with stars on the sidewalk in Hollywood, and the leading university in Scotland has post graduate students doing post doctorate courses on the family’s influence on drama and the world of entertainment from 1900 to 1980. I am happy to help but refuse to unlock any family skeletons. Like you I am an incurable romantic and it does help getting through life. If you are always looking for people and things you can love then the sad bits become so much more bearable. Helps if you have a sense of humour too:) Take care. Anton