HELLO AMERICA!—During my first two years as the Public Relations Director of Los Angeles, one of the agents Ron Walers, who was also a makeup artist for films asked if I had been to Europe ever, and I replied that I had. After sharing a few insane stories of our remembered adventures, he asked would I be interested in joining him on his planned trip. I thought about it for a few minutes and suddenly committed to a return journey.
Actually, I had plans to take a vacation in India the following year. The films I had seen through the years as that beautiful magic country, costumed in historical magic at every turn was something I had always dreamed of being a part of: the costumes, music, the architecture, and the extreme courtesy of the people, perfectly touted in an MGM film starring one of my favorite stars, of course. The idea of sharing an experience in this kind of artistic Disneyland atmosphere would be rather special.
On the plane over to London, we met several others from MGM, Warner Bros, and even from Desilu and we all had a blast drinking the best booze I ever had, even though I was definitely not a drinker and only participated when setting up a situation for the Bureau itself. It was even fun having most of the others on the plane join in singing several of the old songs from some of the musicals produced. By the time we arrived at the Airport in London, I had a bit of a headache and insisted that we immediately get to the hotel booked to rest a bit.
It was right in the center of London not far from Buckingham Palace. After a brief rest time, I decided to give my friend Laurence Harvey a call, letting him know we had arrived. He was delighted and immediately arranged some time at the Queen’s Head Restaurant, well known historically. Larry surprised me when Richard Burton showed up, a bit overly talkative, and did more singing than talking; he proved to be a ton of fun and laughs. Between Harvey and Burton, the evening turned out to be one of the most memorable times I had ever had.
Since the 1972 Olympics were being held in Munich, Germany, Ron, and I decided to take advantage of it. Universal Studios purchased several passes for the event and offered two of them to Ron that made the journey to Europe even more inviting. However, when the games were attacked, it affected the whole feeling of the games we all hungered to be a witness to. As a result, Ron insisted we take off for safety, after all, we did not know what might further develop based on all the news flooding the entire world.
So, we decided to take a bus to another part of the country; however, when attempting to leave the city, our bus was stopped and I was approached by the police. They insisted they check my identification; they were extremely rude about it. The bus was tired up for nearly an hour and I was the only passenger they were concerned about. When satisfied that I was a real American, and not what they suspected, they permitted the driver to move on. It was a terrifying experience; I had never experienced having machine guns pointed at my head.