Meanwhile, I have one more personal memory of the summer of 1952 to share [see my former blog post.] As I have explained, I was spending the summer as a copy boy at the NY Herald Tribune. My girlfriend, and the love of my life, Susie, was in Westport, Connecticut, where her parents had a summer home. Truth to tell, I felt that she was drifting away from me, and in fact, the next Spring, as I was preparing to graduate, she left me for Gordon Hirschhorn, the son of the Canadian uranium king [and later on, the endower of the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.] In a desperate attempt to hold onto her, I splurged big and took Susie to a New York nightclub, The Blue Angel [named, of course, after the nightclub in the immortal 1930 Marlene Dietrich film, Der Blaue Engel.] It didn't work, alas, and it took me another thirty-five years to persuade her to marry me, but that is another story.
The Blue Angel was a fabulously expensive place. The minimum was $5 a person, and since neither of us drank, the only way we could spend that much was by ordering dinner. [My memory is that I dropped $25 that night, but that cannot be right. I didn't have that kind of money]. The great attraction, of course, was the floor show, which consisted of three acts. The opener was a young comedian just starting out, named Orson Bean. His opening joke, as I remember it, was "Hello. I am Orson Bean, Harvard '48. Yale nothing."]
But the stars were two singers -- Eartha Kitt and Josh White. I kid you not. If you are of a certain age, you will understand that this was like having Bob Dylan and Sting on the same card.
That was the only time I have ever gone to a nightclub. When you start out like that, it can only go down hill, right?