My Encounter with the two and only Jane Russell
by Wrinkled Weasel
Possibly the only thing I miss about London is that you can just bump into some interesting people, and not just celebs either. I once had a fascinating conversation with the sister of Sir Stanley Spencer, the British 20th Century artist. There was just me and her, in a gallery at the Royal Academy. I also remember a burly policeman suddenly opening his arm and catching me, in order to stop me bumping into Her Majesty the Queen, who was in The Strand, apparently making a private visit to her bankers. I did not see her, my mind was elswhere, and a small person got out of a very big black car. I took me a moment to figure out what was going on.
Jane Russell was on a visit to Ronnie Scott's and so was I. That night it featured Anita O'Day and O'Day paid tribute to the star. Russell was a large lady. In fact, in my usual befogged way I stumbled into her in a doorway at the club, narrowly missing a collision with her substantial pointy attributes. I think I said, "Excuse me, Ma'am". Her look of disdain was penetrating and I stepped aside. She must have been in her sixties, but appeared reasonably well-presented.
The world seems to channel itself through singular cultural portals which has the effect of making the world seem small. It is not. What it is is selective. Occasionally there is over-spill, as for example, when an erstwhile interviewee discovered his likeness on the side of a mud hut in Africa, but largely, unless you are famous in some way yourself, this is not going to happen. By and large, the notables of this world inhabit the same rat runs, and unless you move in those places, you will only ever see them on television. Which is a shame, because really, you have no idea how they smell.