Sorry to hear that Zsa Zsa Gabor passed away yesterday. She was 99. I had one encounter with her back in 1969. I recount it in my book, THE ME GENERATION...BY ME (GROWING UP IN THE '60s (which would make a WONDERFUL Christmas gift. Hint hint. You can order it here.), but I thought in honor of Miss Gabor (who was a Mrs. nine times), I would share it today. This was when I was an undergrad at UCLA.
Taking Italian “Pass/Fail” allowed me to barely pass and satisfy the language requirement. But I still speak it worse than the waiters at the Olive Garden. I was not enjoying Psychology so I thought I’d transfer into the Television/Film department. They told me I needed to submit a film or television program that I had made. I said, “Uh, isn’t that what I’m supposed to have AFTER I graduate and after you’ve taught me how to do that?”
Transfer request denied.
Still, I took a lot of television and film courses anyway.
There was an extra-curricular TV talk show that aired closed-circuit in the dorms. I volunteered to be a gofer. I’d like to say I gravitated towards television because I wanted to expand my horizons, but the truth is the assistant director was the heiress of a major national furniture chain and I had a major crush on her. I so wanted to sleep with her and get a discount on a new dinette set. Alas, "the store was closed" on both accounts.
One of my assignments was to pick up the guests if they didn’t wish to drive themselves. First up was Zsa Zsa Gabor. She was an actress/personality known more for her nine marriages than her stellar film work. She was one of the Gabor sisters (Eva and Magda being the others of course). Her movies were, uh... never mind, just think of Zsa Zsa Gabor as a 50-year-old Hungarian Kim Kardashian. She was appalled that I showed up in a Ford Mustang – like UCLA was going to send a stretch limo for Zsa Zsa Gabor.
We’re driving along in silence. Me in the front and she in the back as if she were in a limo. All I needed was the little hat. Finally, I decided to make a little conversation. I asked her what I should do about the furniture heiress. “Vell, get a new car, darlink,” was her first suggestion. I don’t recall her other tips (probably buy her expensive silverware); I just recall thinking how absurd this was that I was getting love advice from Zsa Zsa Gabor.