Nose humor and gangsters… a serendipity tale..

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ose picking is not a popular topic but we all do it, some more gracefully than others. My music teacher, who was also my voice teacher, did it on stage with a tissue. When she sang opera on stage she could transform from being a 40-year-old woman to a youthful angelic being, and just as lovely while waiting for the class to get ready, with her finger up her nose. I watched her put that tissue with a finger way up there and then she pulled it out and acutely looked at it. She was not embarrassed or self-conscious about it either and I thought to myself,

“How does she do that…to pick ones nose and not care? Doesn’t she think about all of us watching her?”

My dad told me a story once. He was on Hollywood Blvd. and a big limousine pulled up alongside his car. They were both waiting at the stop sign when he saw a woman picking her nose in the back of the limousine. I guess in the 1940s not all big limousines had tinted windows. She looked over at Dad and seemed to blush and then she gave him a big smile. It was a youthful Elisabeth Taylor.

Hollywood and Santa Monica was the “cat’s meow” back then for movie stars, gangsters and the common folk. They mingled nicely back then. Things were spread out and people were intimate. Dad said that at some of the night clubs that he went to there were a number of actors and gangsters present. One night he said hello in passing to Bugsy Siegel while in a Santa Monica restaurant. He said his eyes were piercing blue and as cold as ice. I think this was a few days before he was actually found murdered. Maybe he wasn’t killed by the mob for money laundering or for his wheeling and dealing in Vegas; maybe they caught him picking his nose.

Benjamin-'Bugsy'-Siegel

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