Thursday, August 29, 2013

and then I invented...

I haven't been to a bar in years. I used to go a lot, not necessarily to drink but that's where a lot of business was conducted in the 70's and 80's. I don't know, but maybe it still is.

It was also where BS reigned supreme.  Get a little alcohol in some people, and you can almost see them ripping off their Clark Kent disguise and becoming Superman or Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, name it before your very eyes. I was always too embarrassed  (for them) to confront their wild imaginative ramblings head on, so I usually just took that turn in the conversation as my Que to head for home.

And, of course, there's always the chance that one of those wild tales is true!  A  CBS TV engineer friend of mine who had retired and  moved to Florida, was telling me about being in a bar when the news came on the TV and the reporter was reminiscing about the Kennedy years and up came the JFK film of his inauguration speech..." ask not what your country can do for you, but ........."

And my friend remarked to the stranger next to him that...."Hey, I shot that film." (Which he had; he was operating the network's number two pool camera that day in 1960.)

Word spread at the bar that the bozo wearing the green jacket claims that he took that film....etc...and he literally got laughed out of the place.

But bars are not the only places where wild stories abound. You can run up on them almost anywhere, even walking down the street.

For years, there were stories of a bizarre looking old lady who would stop strangers on the streets of Hollywood and say, "Would you believe I was once a famous star?"

She finally got arrested a couple of times, not for being a public nuisance, but for shop lifting.

As far as I know, all of those people she accosted basically just ignored her hoping she'd go away.

That's too bad because she could have told them that she was also an inventor
 who, in 1942  secured a patent and gave it to the United States government for a "secret communications System expressly constructed to help in the defeat of Hitler. The patent was for "spread spectrum" devices, which serves as as basis for the technology we use today in cell phones, pagers, wireless Internet, defense satellites and other spread-spectrum devices. She never received a penny for her invention which expired in 1959 and was never used until modern times.

Once known as the most beautiful woman in the world, as she aged she turned to plastic surgery hoping to preserve her beauty but it backfired terribly. 

According to Helen Gent, her biographer, by the age of 50 she was living on benefits, her face so distorted from plastic surgery that her son said she looked like "Frankenstein's monster."

Half her life was a glittering dream,but the second half was a tragic waste.

Rest in Peace Hedy Lamarr.
"The Most Beautiful Woman in the World"