August 23, 2014

Obersturmführer Michael Wittmann

Obersturmführer Michael Wittmann

Afterward, there was no question of going home with the wife, so I ventured to the Palace grill, where to my delight I ran into two very old buddies, Elias Mavroleon and John Sutin, both in their cups and celebrating nothing in particular. Near us stood two beautiful girls in their late teens; as it turned out, they were 18 and 19. I spoke to the 18-year-old and told her I just had my 78th birthday, and that 60 years mean nothing when one is truly in love. She looked nervous but acquiesced to my theory. Well, there’s not much to tell. I ordered the bridal suite to be prepared, ordered champagne and the usual, and announced that love has neither borders nor age limits. Apparently I announced all that rather loudly, and my great friend Andrea, the night concierge, gently escorted me to a car where John Sutin took me home.

End of story, but not quite. Next morning while I was sleeping the sleep of the innocent and those who are in love, the mother of my children received a telephone call from Cookie Springer, a close friend of hers who was married to the son of the German tycoon and publisher. “Do you know what your husband was up to last night?” I hate to think, said the MOMC. “Well, my daughter Zoe rang me early this morning and asked me if I knew a man called Taki. I told her that I knew him very well and that once upon a time he was very attractive and embarrassed me greatly while I was lunching with my grandfather and mother by making pig-like noises and looking at my legs,” said my wife’s friend.  So?, asked the MOMC. “So last night Taki ran after Zoe all night, swearing eternal love and putting all sorts of ideas in her head, but to tell you the truth I think it’s all very funny.” Needless to say, the story went around with the usual remarks about no fool like an old fool, etc., etc., etc.

But what the great John Q. Public didn’t know is that Zoe is the granddaughter of the lady I had met at the grill and had a very brief and innocent romance with 56 years ago. One never knows, but in twenty years or so from now, Zoe might have a daughter and …


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