Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Last evening, Donna and I had the pleasure of being invited to the home of Larry & Charlotte Thomas for dinner, along with our friends Joe and Patty Busam, Michael Schlesinger (the guest of honor, making his annual visit to Cincinnati) and Teri Riegler. A longtime VW subscriber, Larry Thomas used to manage Cincinnati's much-missed Movieola repertory theater, still works as a film booker, and, for many years, he's been on the staff at local radio station WGUC-FM, for whose website he writes movie reviews.

Eons ago, back in 1977 to be precise, Larry earned my undying gratitude for giving me -- a total stranger -- a lift when I needed it most. Because we were mutual friends of Mike Schlesinger, he agreed to drive me to a preview screening of Mario Bava's final theatrical release, BEYOND THE DOOR 2 (aka SHOCK), which I was understandably desperate to see. For almost twenty years of the Bava book's incubation, it remained the only Mario Bava film I'd had the pleasure of seeing in an indoor theater. When we were preparing to send Larry his pre-ordered copy of the book, I took great satisfaction in thanking him for that ride in my inscription.

Larry never sent a picture of himself holding the book into this blog, but we took our digital camera to dinner, which allowed Donna to snap the Picture That Never Was for greedy posterity. (That's me, perched like a spider on Larry's shoulder.) The picture turned out well, but, I must say, it comes in a distant second to the delicious Italian meal that we had -- Charlotte's spaghetti, Donna's garlic and bacon-cheese-onion bread, Mike and Teri's salad, and Patty's chocolate and pistachio cannoli. I told Patty that her cannoli should only be served in an opium den-like setting, where people can lie back and zone out as they eat them slowly. They're that sinful. All this, plus two Monster Kids of the Year in the house! (Joe and Mike, who is this year's Rondo Award honoree in this coveted category.) A dandy time was had by all.


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