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Brando, a Personal Recollection

Cutting short
idle chatter
of polite conversation
of hypocrisy
in a small California town
about to be eaten
by barbarian bikers.

What are you rebelling against?
What have you got?

***

Brando died yesterday. He was 80. Judy and I met him in Iowa in 1975 during the trial of two Native Americans for killing two FBI agents. Their lawyer Bill Kunstler was having a 50th birthday party in Cedar Rapids. We were living
with Bill and Margie.

A supportive Brando showed up. He was amazing. He responded to changing situations by acting like different characters he had played on the screen. He was Stanley Kawolski one moment, then Fletcher Christian and finally the Godfather. Our personal highlight was when we told him the tale of FBI agents putting a homing device under the rear bumper of our car and he immediately began imitating an FBI agent putting a homing device on our car. A memorable private performance from the master.

STEW ALBERT runs the Yippie Reading Room. His memoir, Who the Hell is STEW ALBERT?, is just out from Red Hen Press. He can be reached at: stewa@aol.com

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