“In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the unexplicable.”
>Many, many years ago my friend Eugene O’Neil and I decided we would put in job applications for employment at one of the most exciting entertainment venues in New York City. We put
our applications in at the famed RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL and shortly there after we were both hired as Ushers and being Ushers meant that we would get to see every show and event for free. Eugene and I saw every movie, attended every movie premiere, we saw every
Rock Concert, every R&B Concert, every Jazz and Classical Music Concert, every conceivable show and event you could imagine, Eugene and I got to see for free.
Eugene and I even had the opportunity to go back stage and meet all the stars.
Eugene was really a quiet fellow and stayed mostly to himself, I on the other hand was always interested in meeting the new beautiful girls recently hired by Radio City Music Hall.
Eugene and I did not seek employment at Radio City Music Hall for the money; Ushers were not paid that much. We wanted to work there because of the excitement this famed New York Landmark continued to provide. I must confess, I have never had a job that was more fun and exciting. Every major super star at one time or another would walk through the doors
of Radio City Music Hall, sometimes the stars came to see a show; like the one time I ushered Cary Grant and his very beautiful wife to their seats, there was Muhammad Ali,
James Mason, Roger Moore, Frank Sinatra and Jacqueline Kennedy.
The one super star I loved seating was Michael Jackson, I took Michael Jackson to his seat many, many times. Michael Jackson made a point of going to see all the Black Acts at
Radio City Music Hall. Michael was very, very clever in how he came and went unnoticed by the public at large. Eugene and I would bend over laughing as scores of girls walked past Michael as he stood right in front of them eating popcorn during intermission.
Michael would often have his make-up artist give him a big Afro wig, they put a beard on Michael and to top things off they would hand Michael a pair of Crutches. And Michael being a really good actor would walk around among the public at large and nobody knew.
It is rather strange how fame changes how people treat you. I know first hand how it feels when someone realizes you or someone in your family is famous. Let me tell you what happened to Eugene and me.
One day we were in the lounge for the Ushers we were about to open the Music hall for a big movie premiere and I was fixing Eugene’s tie when a smart ass cracked:
“Hey there, Mr. Eugene O’Neil , YOU wouldn’t happened to be related to Eugene O’Neil, would You?”
Eugene sniffed loudly and said, “Yeah, he’s my grandfather and I’m Eugene O’Neil III.”
Well, the girls nipples all became hard and poked out from their tight fitting uniforms and my heart fell into my stomach because I knew the jig was up for me and Eugene.
Eugene was soon invited to every girl’s home or apartment and every Usher with ambitions of being an actor wanted to be Eugene’s new best friend. Eugene was so inundated with request to come to his home he had to quit working at Radio City Music Hall.
For those who do not know who Eugene O’Neil was let me tell you.
Eugene O’Neil was one of the most important American Playwrights of the 20th century.
He was born in a Broadway hotel room on Times Square on Oct 16, 1888; his father was a very successful Actor. Eugene O’Neil was the winner of the Noble Prize for Literature and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Some scholars claim Eugene O’Neil was one of the greatest
Playwrights in history.
On the day the last day of Eugene O’Neil life as he was dying, he whispered his last words:
“I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room and died in a hotel room.”—Eugene O’Neil
Jekyll Island, Georgia