my tallulah bankhead* stories

what, you don’t have one?  no matter.  you can use mine, they’re second-hand anyway.

1.  sometime in 197_ i met a catholic priest, probably in his mid-40s.  this in itself would not have been that unusual, as you may know, i attract catholics like bees to pollen–it’s a talent, what can i say?  anyway, father bill (not his real name, but let’s call him that anyway) and i got to talking and he started dishing cardinal cody, the cardinal of the chicago diocese and a notorious _____ man (allegedly, but everyone thought so, not that that makes it true, ahem, but my interlocutor seemed to imply, oh shit, he said it outright…)

one easter in the 1960s the actress tallulah bankhead was in town playing regina in hellman’s “the little foxes” at one of the downtown theaters.  her publicist thought it would be a good idea if she made an appearance at cardinal cody’s high easter mass at holy name cathedral on state street.  miss bankhead acquiesced and dressed to the nines, she was seated in the front of the church on the aisle.

the processional begins and cardinal cody, decked out in all his finest lace and silk raiment starts the long walk down the aisle preceded by acolytes and followed by priests, including father bill.  cody’s swinging a burning censor with its smokey arc back and forth in front of him and as he comes up next to miss bankhead, she honks in her best stage whisper, “darling, i love your dress, but your purse is on fire.”

2.  (did father bill tell me this story as well? idk, but whoever did claimed to have been there.)  at a hollywood party, miss bankhead is enjoying herself immensely until her arch enemy, joan crawford, makes an entrance decked out in a fab gown and bedazzled with glitter in her hair.  they avoid each other for most of the night, but miss crawford kept leaving little piles of glitter wherever she went and pretty soon it was not uncommon to hear, “look where joanie’s been” followed by a few tee-hees and sips of champagne.  all this time, tallulah (dah-link), has been making a little collection of glitter from joanie and when most everyone is comfortably ensconced in the main room, she turns and throws her skirt over head, her pubic hair a-sparkle with glitter and says, “look where joanie’s been!”

that is all.  you may now resume your surfing.

*don’t know who tallulah bankhead is? shame on you.  you may have to relinquish your papers.


3 Responses to “my tallulah bankhead* stories”

  1. 1 M Rinehart
    October 12, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Sorry, got you confused with Patrick Dennis.

  2. 3 Michael carpenter
    December 26, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Cal Schuman told that story hundreds of times in the 1970’s. He always claimed he was friends with Miss Bankhead.

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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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