Came close one Summer...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Came close one Summer...

Howard Andrew 'Andy' Williams (1927-2012)

...it had to be 1958... and I came within a whisker of meeting Andy Williams, who passed away this week following a 14-month fight against urothelial cancer.

It was during the time in my life when I was "car-crazy" and noticed everything about every car around as I toured about in my otherwise nondescript light green 1953 Ford. There was one metallic blue 1958 Chevy Impala convertable which I regu­larly saw around the Village and always caught my attention.

One afternoon I pulled up near Eckart's to get a root beer and watched the Impala come down Mill Road and make a U-turn into the space next to me in front of Six Corners Liquors, narrowly missing scraping my driver's side door.

As we each got out I realized that the other driver was the popular baritone, and felt compelled to make some sort of utterance.

"Hit me light, I dent easily," was the best I could manage, to which he responded with a dazzling, twinkle-eyed smile, "I'll remember that."

(It was my first celebrity interaction since running into Canadian bandleader Percy Faith on the streets of Man­hattan the previous Christmas holiday.)

I didn't stick around to see what he emerged with from Frank Bouvet's spirits shop, but what struck me was how dimin­u­tive Williams was... probably no more than 5'6"... and how enormous his head was in relation to his body.

Never found out where he was staying or even if that was his own car, but that was the Summer CBS launched "The Chevy Showroom Starring Andy Williams," so it was al­most certainly a perquisite.

Comments

1. RIRNY said...

Andy Williams was one of my all-time favorites! What a wonderful voice. I used to love watching his Christmas show! They don't make them like that anymore!

'Fraid I outgrew Andy Williams, Perry Como and the like when I got away from the ol' B&W 14" TV set and started hitting Alan Freed Rock 'n' Roll Stage Shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn and later the jazz clubs downtown.
Dean

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