Tuesday, May 20, 2014
I'm on page 478 of this John Wayne biography, and on that page I found what I feel sure will be this book's most surprising sentence: "Wayne was living in a large ranch house with a couple of hippie girls he had picked up hitchhiking on the drive to New Mexico." Trust me, nothing in the previous 477 pages prepares you for that sentence. A few pages earlier I had been introduced to "Robert Abplanalp, the Nixon crony who had gotten rich by inventing the aerosol valve." It's funny to think of the Nixon crony who invented the aerosol valve, but most of all it's great because Abplanalp is almost a palindrome and sounds like a last name Jerry Lewis might try to say in a movie. Finally, I have learned that John Wayne wanted to make a movie with Doris Day (many of whose records he owned) and spent the evening after he won his Oscar getting drunk with Richard Burton, who lost. "Very drunk but, in his foul-mouthed way, quite affable," Burton pronounced. Ha ha, what do you have to do to get Richard Burton to call you "very drunk"?