Saturday, June 08, 2013

Slippery When Wet

In addition to being a world class Bullock's salesperson, swimmer, and movie star, Esther Williams also possessed a quite wicked sense of humor. For example, the opening sentence ---not since "Call Me Ishmael"---of her best-selling autiobio was, "Jeff [Chandler], you're far too big for polka dots." That was her response upon seeing, for the first time, her lover Jeff Chandler in cross-dressing attire. Who knew?! Certainly not Esther.

But my favorite Williams tale was recounted in the autiobio of radio/TV personality Henry ("I've Got a Secret") Morgan. In the 1940s, Morgan was stationed in Hollywood as an announcer for the Armed Forces Radio Network. It was then that he befriended Williams. . .already a star.

One afternoon, they were pleasure driving up Pacific Coast Highway and decided to stop in a roadside diner for a snack. The owner of the establishment immediately recognized the star and kept repeating over and again, "No one will ever believe me when I tell them that Esther Williams stopped in. . .No one will ever believe me. . . " And so on and so forth.

Williams and Morgan finished eating and headed for the car at which point, she excused herself to Morgan, turned on her heels and went back in to the place. She was gone for only a beat and quickly returned to the car.

"Why did you go back in?," asked Morgan.

"I flashed him," said Williams, who paused an instant then added, ""I wanted to make sure that no one would ever believe him."

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