Some years ago, I was becoming interested in the works of playwright David Mamet. I had recently seen and enjoyed the movie State and Main with, among others, Philip Seymour Hoffman. It reminded me that I had earlier enjoyed House of Games which was also written and directed by David.
At the time, I was working with Michael Chanslor on post production and music for one of my projects and it was during one of our discussions that covered everything from Amos 'n' Andy to Derek and Clive that the subject of David Mamet came up. Michael asked if I'd ever read David's play Oleanna. When I told him that I had not, he offered me his copy of the play to read.
In the following weeks, I made time to read the play and found it very engrossing. I enjoyed it so much that I re-read it a few times knowing that, at some point, I would need to give it back to Michael. If you haven't had the pleasure of this compelling story of a professor and his female student, I highly recommend that you read it.
One afternoon, I was going to visit a friend who was in the hospital in Santa Monica and I stopped at a florist shop on Wilshire Blvd. to buy some flowers. Since the shop was in the vicinity of a few hospitals, it was not surprising that they were busy and their small parking lot was full. As I was idling in the alley behind the shop thinking about where to look next for a place to park, a man waved to me and indicated that he would be leaving momentarily and I could take his space. During the few minutes it took for him to leave, I realized it was none other than David Mamet who had offered me his parking space.
As I waited for David to load his car, I thought how nice it would have been if I had the copy of Oleanna with me relishing Michael's reaction to having his copy returned with an inscription and signature from the author. It was one of those 'Oh, well' moments that could have and should have happened but didn't.
I waved a thanks to David as he drove away and pulled into the vacated space. Getting out of my car, something on the back seat caught my eye. It was Michael's copy of Oleanna.