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Sunday, January 29, 2012
AL LAWRENCE tells a funny story
Herewith from me to Al, we must have had a correspondence going on, then below his response & story:
"do you remember his (Mark Twain's) cousin Cyril Clemens walking up and down Kirkwood Road in our youth? He was still there for many, many years, having died I'd say only within the past 5 years. He was a fixture on North Kirkwood Road where he lived.... " me to Al.
"Hi, Leslie-- Share this if you wish.
Once my pal and fellow '65 grad John Andreas got a speeding ticket. My mother was the court clerk. It seems hard to believe now, but my mom spoke to the judge and worked out a plan in which John wouldn't even have to show up with his parents and would receive only a lecture.
I was sitting in the back of the crowded night court and couldn't take my eyes off Cyril, who was twitching on the polished-wood bench, looking scruffy and clutching a lurid-cover paperback. I remember the title of the book to this day--"Hollywood Lawyer." He had a place marked with this thumb and kept opening the book to study the passage. Cyril was agitated, and couldn't wait for his turn. He jumped up in the middle of another minor case and yelled:
'Your honor, I insist on a change of ven-OO!'
He meant "venue," of course, but he pronounced it "ven-OO," with no "y" sound and the accent on the second syllable. The judge was outraged. He banged his gavel and opened his mouth wide, only to have his top dental plate fall with a clack onto his lower. (I later found out from mom that he had just had new dentures made. A little ironic, since John later became a well known dentist.)
The evening continued with a few more interruptions and reactions, but the judge, despite our anxieties, remembered his agreement and gave John only a stern talking-to.
That's my memory of Cyril. I hope he enjoys his new 'ven-OO'.
Regards, Al Lawrence, '65"