From Chapter 7 - "TKO'd In Paris and London"


    In the top floor studio of Théatre des Champs Elysée, conductor, Ted Dale, was reading through Every Soul is a Circus while Martha and Erick marked their moves.  Erick was fussy about tempos.
    "Ted, that's too fast."  Dale slowed down. "Now it's too slow."
    "Make up your mind, Erick!"
    Erick was prickly and difficult, but Dale's rejoinder was unfair, and Martha's instant attack in front of the whole orchestra was savage.
  "What do you mean make up your mind? How dare you ask Erick to choose between too fast and too slow? If you cannot find the right tempo we will find a conductor who can!"
  Dale looked like he'd been clubbed. Somehow, we made it to opening night.


The photo left, taken in Paris, is typical junk PR, what every hack news photog asked for; the men jumping over the women. For the record, clockwise from top left, me, Bertram Ross, Robert Cohan, Helen McGehee, and Mary Hinkson. 

London PR Shot


Here's the same thing, English Style, taken in the lobby of London's Piccadilly  Theater, the only place we "danced" because  Martha injured her knee opening night in Paris and the tour was cancelled.  Bob Cohan wasn't around so we pressed our company pianist, Cameron McCosh, into action. Left to right, top row: Bertram Ross, me Cameron McCosh. Bottom row: Miriam Cole, Mary Hinkson, Linda Hodes.

from Chapter 7:

    Early afternoon, 40 miles to the Jugenderberg, pedaling easily, I passed a German cyclist. Ten minutes later, he passed me. He looked about my age. I sped up, passed, pumped hard until he was out of sight, then forgot him. Half an hour later he zoomed by. It was a challenge. He was riding a German clunker and although my bike was only a 3-speed, it had a Holdsworth racing frame and I had 2,000 miles of cross-country cycling in me. I kept him in sight for a mile, then bore down, passed, and raced full-out all the way to the Jugenderberg.  
    After checking in, I was directed to an outdoor basin filled with arctic water, and stood wondering how much I wanted to splash over myself when he pulled in straight to the basin. I gestured and he hopped to with blustery energy, scooping up double handfuls to splash over his body.  Then gestured to me. The challenge was still on!  I filled the basin to the brim, climbed in, and sank to my neck in water so cold I couldn't breathe.  I was toweling off when he pointed to a pair of bicyclists entering the gate. "Anglish! You kamerad."
    "Ja." I pointed to myself, said, "American!"  pointed to them, said, "English! English und American. Kamerad!"
    Next morning, I bought sausage, cheese, brötchen, two bananas, and a candy bar.  I still had two packs of American cigarettes, what was left of several cartons brought for gifts and tips.  It was sunny, the road to Luxemburg shaded by columns of leafy trees.  I swung out to pass an elderly woman and a mile on stopped in a field  for lunch.  I was relaxing in the soft grass when she toiled by, saw me, stopped, and uttered what sounded like sad sighs.  I didn't understand a word yet realized she was telling me I'd scared her when I'd passed.  I took out a banana, the candy bar, what was left of the cheese, the two packs of cigarettes and held it toward her. "Bitte, bitte."
    She pointed to the cigarettes. "Pour le monsieur?"
    "Pour vous!" and pressed the items into her hands.  She toiled on down the road.  Presently I got on my bike and soon passed a tiny cottage to see her standing in front among sunflowers taller than she.  As I passed her gaze followed. WW2 ended.

This is Chapter 7 - Click links to other Chapters

Go to:   HOME                                               Chapter 6 - Critics Say
            Chapter 1 - Dance Lessons            Chapter 8 - The Grand Tour
            Chapter 2 - Making Dances            Chapter 9 - Asia 
            Chapter 3 - On Stage!                     Chapter 10 - Dance Master
            Chapter 4 - Martha                           Chapter 11 - A Dancing Fool
            Chapter 5 - Her  Little Crackers     Chapter 12 - Post-Martha Syndrome