Posted by vp19 on 2013.06.30 at 07:19
Current mood: jealous
Well, at least that’s what I would have titled the following story. A lucky guy gets a chance to date Carole Lombard…something that for millions of American men in 1935 would have been akin to hitting the jackpot. Isn’t that the angle?
Not for the overwhelmingly feminine readership of The New Movie Magazine. It’s the “and spent only…” that resonates with them; after all, if a movie star can have a satisfactory night out on a minimal budget, shouldn’t a mere mortal lass be able to do likewise with her beau?
That explains why Lombard isn’t in the story’s title, which happens to be…
…the comparatively generic “$10 Is a Lot of Money.”
I don’t know much about the author, John Casey (other than that I envy him), but I’m guessing this date took place in early 1935, when Carole headed east for a little while:
So here was the itinerary: From Lombard’s home base at the Waldorf-Astoria, she and Casey took a crosstown bus to Radio City Music Hall…
…where they saw (or chatted through) George Arliss in “The Iron Duke,” which premiered at Radio City in late January 1935:
From there, it was downtown on the Sixth Avenue El, demolished in 1940 after the Sixth Avenue IND subway line had effectively taken its place…
…to Eighth Avenue and a Greenwich Village spot called The Barn. There, they danced, enjoyed the country-oriented floor show, and the proprietor had Carole paint a message on its wall; she wrote, “$10 Is a Lot of Money.” (So that explains the title!)
They strolled over to the Washington Square arch…
…and after counting their money, boarded an uptown Fifth Avenue bus (something you can’t do anymore, as Fifth Avenue soon was converted into a one-way street heading downtown). They got off near the Plaza Hotel at the southern edge of Central Park, where they hopped onto a hansom cab (what could be more romantic?), although the driver didn’t recognize Lombard, which was fine with her…
…and wound up at Tavern-On-The-Green, a Central Park landmark. (I took a date there many years ago, and it’s nice to think I have something in common with Carole.)
The cabbie, in a generous mood (and perhaps inspired by the ale Lombard provided, not to mention sugar cubes for the horse) gave them a free ride to Lexington Avenue and East 50th Street…right on the corner where the Waldorf-Astoria was located. That was a break, because all they had left of their $10 was a mere seven cents.
Carole told him, “Thanks for the most fun I’ve had since I don’t remember when.”
All in all, a delightful date, one Casey said proved average people can “have fun on $10 or even less.” You will, however, notice that nowhere in the story does he say anything about stealing a kiss from Carole or anything to that effect. Either Casey doesn’t kiss and tell, or he has an awfully low libido for someone squiring Lombard.
But it’s good that Carole enjoyed her inexpensive sojourn in Manhattan; perhaps part of it was in the back of her mind later that year when she rode a bus on a fictional Fifth Avenue with Fred MacMurray in “Hands Across The Table.”