Y'all know I am given to writing long, thoughtful, wrestling-with-big-questions blog posts --- what my friend and fellow cookbook writer / memoirist Ronni Lundy called "blongs" (as in "blog" plus "long"). But you can teach an old dragon new tricks. This is a quickie.
Every time I hear the coverage about Polanski's extradition on a 30 year-old charge (which, I just learned on NPR, even the then-13 girl, now 45-year-old woman, has asked be dropped, saying she long since gotten over it) I remember the incident I'm about to tell and start laughing.
I figure since most of the readers of "nothing is wasted on the writer" already know a little about Maurice from this last post, I could pass it on, a P.S. on that irrepressible man, whose DNA and craziness I am proud to carry...
(Though he was primarily a show-business biographer, Maurice did occasionally write on food, travel, wine, and spirits. An article her wrote for Playboy, on absinthe, has just been posted: it was written in 1971 and was the last piece he wrote on alcohol before he sobered up. He kept the original of the accompanying illustration to the article, which I've reproduced below, in his L.A. living room: a bottle with a skull inside, behind bars).
But, to MZ & Roman P.
"So I'm at this Hollywood party," says Maurice, this would have been some time in the late 70's. "And suddenly this guy cuts across the room and strides over to me, very purposefully. And I see it's Roman Polanski. And he sticks out his hand, and gives a little half-bow, and says, 'I am Polanski.' I figure he had to have me confused with someone else."
"What did you say?" I asked.
"What could I say?" said Maurice, with one of his exaggerated shrugs. "I stuck out my hand, and shook his, and said, 'I am Zolotow.' "