David Bruce: The Funniest People in Neighborhoods — Couples, Dance

Couples

• Hugh Porter went through many girlfriends. One of his long-distance girlfriends, who didn’t know that she had stopped being one of his girlfriends, telegraphed him, “Why don’t you write?” Because Hugh was attending college, he sent back this telegram: “I am married to my Alma Mater.” A few weeks passed, then a package arrived for him. The package contained a set of six silver teaspoons, and a note: “Best wishes to you and Alma for your happiness.”

• Even Hollywood celebrities have boyfriend trouble. Freddie Prinze, Jr., the boyfriend of Sarah Michelle Gellar, with whom he starred in the Scoobie Doo movies, was constantly late to his dates with her because he found it difficult to follow directions. To help solve that problem, she bought him a detailed map of Los Angeles. (By the way, they got married.)

• Eleanor of Aquitaine picked lice from the hair of her lover and put it in a locket that she wore around her neck. Because she was royalty — the wife of King Louis VII of France — the women in her court imitated her and so she started a trend.

• New Yorker cartoonist Alice Harvey loved roller-skating. In fact, when she received a big check from The New Yorker, she ordered built a circular sidewalk in her backyard just so she and her husband could roller-skate.

Dance

• When ballerina Chan Hon Goh was a little girl, she took classes at her parents’ dance school. One day, after class, when she was 13 years old, her parents began to talk about the accomplishments of some of the students in her classes. Feeling ignored, young Chan said, crying, “I was in all of those classes today, too. You never even notice. I don’t know what the other girls have got that I don’t. I try just as hard. How come you never correct me or praise me like you do the others?” Your father was surprised by her outburst, but he promised her, “If you really want to be a dancer, then I will work with you. I will watch you and correct you. Everything I can, I will do. From now on, I will take care of you.” Both Chan and her father kept their word: she worked hard, and he corrected her. The hard work paid off — Chan became a prima ballerina with the National Ballet of Canada.

• When the ballet Rodeo opened, it was a smash hit with the audience applauding for 22 curtain calls. Even the musicians in the orchestra pit were giving a standing ovation — a sure sign of success. Agnes de Mille, who choreographed the ballet and danced the part of the Cowgirl, was responsible for much of the ballet’s success. An unsung hero was her mother, Anna, who supported Agnes through years of struggle. Asked if she was proud of her daughter after Rodeo had opened, Anna replied that she had always been proud of her daughter, including during the times when Agnes could find no one to give her work in dance.

• When Alicia Martinez was attending ballet school in Cuba, the school suffered from a lack of male ballet dancers. Therefore, young Alicia asked her brother to round up a group of his friends and make them dance with her, promising them that she would teach them wonderful new exercises that would make them great athletes. One of the boys her brother rounded up was Fernando Alonso, whom Alicia later married.

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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