Two men I met

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 22, 2004

Now don’t look for me to list a great many famous and important people. I never had a chance to mingle with the rich and famous. I met some absolutely wonderful people you wouldn’t know. To me they were famous in their way, but rich? No way!

Let’s begin way back when I decided at age 14 I would challenge the well-established Corbett sisters who ran a most successful dance school. I had been a pupil at their school. The sisters knew everybody. One friend of theirs was a millionaire who loaned his gorgeous summer home – pool, horses to ride, the ocean if the pool wasn’t your thing. The sisters selected about five of their pupils who made great progress to go there as a prize for working so hard. Wow! A real millionaire! Naturally I was selected by the sisters one year. Off we went for two weeks to live in a millionaire’s world. I met this unusual person and being a realist, my first words to him were, &uot;Are you really a millionaire or do you just like kids?&uot; He looked startled and replied, &uot;Yes, I am. The Corbett sisters’ people call me Daddy Ready (his last name.) Why don’t you?&uot; This was a man who enjoyed attention. I replied, &uot;I can’t do that, you’re not my dad.&uot;

The two-weeks reward vacation went quickly and let me tell you the rich live differently. I could learn to love it. On leaving day Mr. Ready sought me out to say he’d like to keep an eye on me as he predicted I’d go far. Somehow even at that early age I felt a strange sensation. I guess I was too young to analyze it. Years later thinking of that day I thought, &uot;What a wolf,&uot; I was too young to analyze it. Wish I had another crack at it. Big Daddy Ready would have had a run for his money and gotten little in return, I guarantee it.


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Now, let’s jump to freshmen year at college. Had a course I hated. Good-looking professor, but boring. What a waste the good looks were. I hate waste. So I cut the period beyond passing. I was an A and B. student. Never had a C but was about to get D or F. One day I met the professor in the hall and he said. &uot;Miss Coyne, I have proposition for you.&uot; Can you see me trying to decide what to wear to faculty teas? I was rocked back to earth by, &uot;I shall pass you in this course if you promise never to take another course I teach as long as you’re in this college.&uot; Wow! I got a C. My first and only C. Call it Professor’s Revenge, I did deserve it.

I’ll stop here for now. I pick this up again. I have more.

Florence Arena is a resident of Hillcrest Retirement Center and a regular News-Herald columnist.