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Thursday, February 01, 2007

INSTANT GENTLEMAN

"My, what a gentleman," a woman said to me when I held a door open for her.

I became a gentleman when I was 5 years old, in one traumatic lesson.

It was at a birthday party. Birthday parties in the 1960s were different from today. The kids wore their Sunday best. The parents would drop us off and return later to pick us up.

This particular party was held at either the Moorestown or Cherry Hill Mall. (This was rare. Back then, birthday parties were usually held at the birthday child's home. There was no such thing as Chuck E. Cheese or organized parties at movie multiplexes or McDonalds.)

There was a small amusement ride at this mall. Four or five little cars rode around on a track. The final activity at this party was that every kid got a turn on the ride. When I was a kid, I loved cars. Loved, loved, loved 'em. My turn was next!

It was near the end of the party, and I hadn't noticed that my dad walked in to take me home. The car ride stopped, and kids started getting out of the cars to make way for the next group of riders. In my excitement, I put my leg into a car before a little girl had a chance to get out of the car. (I can still see her flouncy party dress.)

The next thing I knew, I was being lifted OUT of the car by my collar.

"Don't you know that you were supposed to help that young lady out of the car and make sure that she was OK before you got into the car?" my dad said firmly, one inch from my ear, as he ushered me into the mall parking lot -- toward HIS car. I never did get on that amusement ride. I bawled my eyes out. But I learned my lesson. I became an instant gentleman.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark,
That is an adorable story. Recently a friend recounted her encounter with two young men who let her go into an elevator first. She thanked them and said, "chivalry is not dead." To her they replied,
"no, it's only wounded."
I am also the one who posted the note re: GSC.
I think you also hosted a radio show. Was it with Doug Kirby?
I remember listening to really great music with you, Ken Smith
Curt Frick, Dottie Wilson. Michael Kaplan. Remember Dave Holt? I recall late nights in the Student Center and shooting photos of the exercise equipment and making it look like torture devises. And all the wonderful comics you drew that were so full of detail and remarkable stories.
Anyway, gotta get back to work.

2:29 PM, February 05, 2007  
Anonymous class of 1980 said...

Thanks again, "Anonymous."

That's a line worth stealing, "Chivalry is not dead
. . . only wounded."

GSC in the '70s . . . Can it be that life was so much simpler then? Or has time rewritten every line?

11:06 PM, February 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Touche!

So, did you work on Venue? or Airborne?

12:23 PM, February 06, 2007  
Anonymous class of 1980 said...

Venue AND Airborne.

And thanks for remembering the comic strips, "Anonymous." If you like, I'll send you some more current work in that vein (just shoot an address to me at voger@app.com).

The office here was recently visited by the art director of Heavy Metal circa the '70s and '80s, and we forced him to look at our old Airbornes. Which was really hilarious, because Airborne was always trying to BE Heavy Metal.

11:45 PM, February 08, 2007  

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