Sand & Rock Revelations
However most of the signs, he said, happily pointing them out one by one, assured me of a long and prosperous life.
Well, even though I wasn't buying any of this, I must confess to having had the feeling that Veré sincerely believed in everything he was saying. My mother certainly had no doubts about his sincerity, and at no time did I ever feel that he was ever just putting on a performance purely for the money.
But I've always had a tendency to give people the benefit of the doubt, and have been told I'm overly gullible. In any case, his apparent sincerity failed to make any kind of a believer of me, much to his and my mother's disappointment. But I'd be lying if I said it wasn't fun for just that one afternoon.
Speaking of fun, my mother and I eventually got to be pretty good friends with the Martinsons, occasionally going out to dinner or to some theatrical event with them. As long as they were willing to accept my position on fortune telling and voice lessons, we got along pretty well. But that's not to say we always agreed on everything.
One day we decided to go to a new restaurant called Rand's Roundup. It was sort of a forerunner to the Sizzler, specializing in prime rib and steaks, with an all-you-can-eat salad bar—which was a new concept in those days. But, to our surprise and dismay (my mother's and mine) Veré had smuggled in some Tupperware under his oversized coat, and commenced to pile his plate precariously high at the salad bar.
Then, half of what he took ended up in the plastic containers. Well, my mom and I were always on a tight budget, but it never would have occurred to us to do something like this—so we just declined any further invitations to accompany the Martinsons to Rand's Roundup.
But the most embarrassing thing I can remember happened one night when Veré, my mom and I went to see a play at a "dinner theater" in Hollywood. I can't remember the name of the place or the play, but the show was included with the dinner.
The menu items were a little pricey, but that's how they were able to include the performance at no extra charge.
Saving Money with Neccos
More Adventures with Veré
Well, there would be no all-you-can-eat deal here—so what did Veré do?—he brought food with him so he wouldn't have to order too much. The first item he produced was a package of Necco Wafers.
By the way, do they still make Neccos? I haven't seen them in years, but they used to be a popular candy at the movies, being about the size and shape of a quarter, and they came in a variety of pastel colors.
Well, I was shocked to see him spread out a handful of these tasties on the table just as a waiter was approaching carrying a wine list. I scrambled to scoop them up, hopefully before the waiter spotted them, but one landed on the floor at Veré's feet just as the waiter arrived.
Offering Veré a gracious smile, he said, "I believe you dropped a quarter, sir," and bent over to pick it up. Well, the look the waiter gave us when he found himself retrieving a Necco made me want to crawl into a hole and hide.
But Veré didn't appear to be perturbed at all. He just gave the waiter one of his Liberace smiles, and said, "Thank you so much." And, needless to say, he didn't order any wine.
Well, my mother continued to go out with Veré to dinner and other social events from time to time, but that was the last occasion for me.