Monday, December 08, 2014

Sleeping Habits of Bob

I won't lie to you, this Bob Hope bio is kind of running together now. Everything's a blur. Lots of numbers. Like, how many acres of land Bob bought (10,000). I don't know. On the plus side, Jim Dees sent me this photo of Bob Hope here in town, on the University of Mississippi campus in 1973, with the homecoming queen. Dees said he went to see Hope perform and that an army of cue card men, real pros, zoomed and zipped all around him. Wherever Bob turned his head, there was a cue card! Dees said Bob made a lot of "local" jokes... about the neighboring community of Water Valley, for example. As I knew from the book, Bob always sent "advance men" to town ahead of him so he could personalize his act for a hometown crowd. I did notice that Bob's method for putting himself to sleep was similar to the one Nabokov wrote about, which I also remembered from the memoirs of monk and mystic Thomas Merton. Rosemary Clooney proclaimed Bob's sleeping method to be "very yoga-like." And when I was contemplating "blogging" about that, I thought, "What is wrong with you, Pendarvis?" Yet here we are. Oh, Bob said that he and Doris Day had an affair. And I thought Megan Abbott would like the detail that "publicist Frank Lieberman once saw Hope and [Marilyn] Maxwell check in for a night at a cheap motel decorated with tepees and a neon sign that said SLEEP IN A WIGWAM TONIGHT." And some of the near-death experiences Bob had during World War II were interesting, like Jerry Colonna making brave wisecracks as the plane went down over Alaska.