Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spectator Reveals the Agonies and Ecstasies

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Spectator Reveals the Agonies and Ecstasies

Article excerpt

Watching craggy, grim-jawed, steely-eyed Charlton Heston deliver

his bellicose rant for guns as new president of the National

Rifle Association, I could not but think back to the time, a

kinder, gentler time, when Heston came to Jacksonville to play in

a celebrity tennis match for a worthy cause.

I've no idea when it was, where it was nor what the cause.

Suffice to say it was a very long time ago and most likely a

good cause.

Heston was a hunk in those days, wearing tennis gear white as

the flash of perfect teeth against the golden tan. Hunk? That's

mostly a '90s word. What did we say 30 years ago, sometime

between the '40s "dreamboat" and '90s'"hunk" to identify a good

looking guy?

Anyway, Heston was definitely a good-looking guy, imperial

even, and when he got sweaty from playing a set of tennis, he

stripped off his shirt to change and the audience ooooooh'd and

ahhhhhhh'd and clapped for the celebrity pecs. Someone bought his

shirt, on the spot, for a lot of money, sweat and all.

It's one of the strangest entertainment events I've ever

attended, and I can't remember now why I attended it. Free tickets?

Every now and then, I wonder if my secret fondness for

Baywatch with all those troubled lifeguards running on the beach

while electronic, faux jazz plays in the background, betrays

diminished cognitive capacity. Then, I remember the celebrity

tennis match, voluntarily applauding the sale of a sweaty shirt.

I am reassured that at least I'm not worse.

You wonder what to do with an heirloom sweaty T-shirt.

Do you wash it and wear it?

Not wash it and exhibit it on the wall of trophies and photos

in the den?

Not wash it and wear it anyway? Aaaargh.

I've been to professional wrestling matches, twice, once long

ago in the armory downtown -- somewhere out Main Street? -- and

once in the Coliseum.

I've been to a mud bogging. Very loud. …

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