No matter what, I can't write about the African Queen, without writing my Katherine Hepburn story, and wish that I was a little older to really appreciate what was happening.
It was a summer way back in the day, sometime after the release of "On Golden Pond" because I remember seeing that, and all I remember about it was a canoe going into a rock, and Kate was in it. We had seen it, because my mom was working as a secretary to the former Mayor of beautiful West Hartford, Mr. Grant. I could probably refer to him by his full name now, but I never knew it, just that his name was Mr. Grant, so he'll forever be embroidered in my memory as such.
Mr. Grant married into the Hepburn family, a sister. Funny how this story gets foggier every year, but I'm pretty sure that's the root of how I enter this story. Both the Kate, and Mr. Grant each had beach houses along a peninsula in Connecticut known as Fenwick. I will probably never get to stay in such a rich place ever again. Our family vacation a couple times, was "dog/house sitting" Mr. Grant's beach house, which was just a few houses down a beach away from Kate's, which naturally was the very last on the peninsula.
My family decided to go for a walk one morning down the beach, and against my parents wishes my brother and I rushed ahead, passing private property after private property. When we got near Kate's house (and yes, I'm trying to be as marvelous as possible by saying Kate), my mom's toned changed. It was one thing to cut over fellow richies private property on the beach, but my mom didn't want us to drag Kate out.
My mom had done some secretarial work for her as well, and heard horror stories of how he rude she was to people. I don't wanna sit here and bad mouth her, but let's just say, she was a movie star, and wanted to be treated as such deep into her old age. Naturally, seeing she was my mom's work acquaintance, damage could be done here. Unfortunately for momasahn, bro and I were already well through Kate's property.
Now, next thing I know, we were called back. I wasn't sure if Old Lady Hepburn (is that better?) was out to yell at us or what, but the way I've always told the story, is that she came out to yell at us, but then recognized my mom, and became quite friendly. She invited our family into a tour of her slanting beach house. The foundation was crooked, as the house was slowing sinking in on one side.
My only other memory of the happening, is that we were in this room, where she had all these movie props, and as my story goes, she sat down in a chair that was from "The African Queen" and the chair broke, and their was an alarmed hush, while me being a kid, laughed at a standard rule of comedy (old lady falling off a chair). She was fine, and I believe even laughed it off herself.
Today, I'm sure that story isn't exactly 100% accurate, but I will vouch for the slanty shanty, and her falling off a chair, I remember those 2 distinctly. After watching "The African Queen" though, I really didn't see any special chair, but it really could've been any chair so who knows.