RIP Diahann

I typically don’t start by remembering someone who has passed away, but Diahann Carroll was anything but typical.  Just the spelling of her name let you know that she was different (a wise and powerful friend always pronounces it with three syllables – Di-ah-hann).  Out of the many memories I have with her, I’d like to share one special anecdote.  I wasn’t yet living in LA, but I was visiting and decided to go to the movies alone.  There were only a few people in front of me to buy a ticket in Century City, but then I spied Diahann quietly go to the end of this long line.  I had just spent time with her in Boston a few weeks earlier, so I caught her attention and surreptitiously slipped her in line ahead of me.  She thanked me, adding that the manager of the cinema said she could always ask for him and not wait in line.  But, she added, “I don’t do things like that”.

I asked what she was there to see.  “My daughter is in school in New York and she said I had to see The Joy Luck Club because it’s about mothers and daughters.  So, I brought my mother to see it,” and pointed to the lovely Mrs. Johnson, who was sitting nearby on a bench.  We got up to the window and Diahann bought her ticket.  Then she turned to me – “I never asked – what are you seeing?”  Well, I was planned on seeing The Real McCoy – don’t feel bad if you don’t remember this Kim Basinger/Val Kilmer stinker.  I certainly couldn’t admit to Diahann that I was going to see this piece of trash.  Plus, I smelled an opportunity.  I, too, got a ticket for The Joy Luck Club.  Diahann was delighted.  “How great we ran into each other – now we can all see it together.”  And that, dear readers, is how I shared a beautiful mother/daughter moment with Diahann Carroll…and her mother.  Rest in peace.

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