Almost ten years ago, I had the privilege of joining a cast of the nipped, tucked and plucked for an evening of fawning gratitude to Michael Douglas.
I so don't belong to this set, but I had an "in." I sucked in my tummy, put on a slinky black dress, and pretended to belong.
There we were in the lobby of San Francisco's City Hall, when a publicist ran up to me and Cranky and whispered, "No one is talking to Karl Malden!"
Cookiecrumb and Co. to the rescue.
He was marvelous! And his wife, Mona... Well, I fantasized that we were going to be BFFs.
We chatted. Turns out Malden's Serbian uncle left Chicago and moved to San Francisco, the day before the Great Earthquake. He returned home the next day. Damn ground won't hold still!
Karl looked up the grand marble staircase in City Hall, recalling his days on "The Streets of San Francisco."
He said, "God, I can't tell you how tired I got of running up those stairs, take after take." And he was in his 60s during the filming of the show. Jeez.
I really didn't know how old he was as we stood there getting to know one another.
All of a sudden, though, the conversation came to a halt. Karl looked briefly flustered, and patted his pockets.
He fished out a little plastic card, pulled something out of his ear, and transferred a fresh battery to his hearing aid.
The conversation resumed.
It was a very nice evening.
Oh, and the photo. There are at least a thousand pears on the tree in our backyard, ready to start jumping within weeks. Yay, I think.