Newsmax

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Drinking with David Janssen "The Fugitive"

David Janssen 1931-1980
IN THE LATE 1960's-EARLY 1970's I SPENT MY SUMMER MONTHS IN ACAPULCO, MEXICO.  I WAS SINGLE AND TEACHING AMERICAN HISTORY AT LIBERTY HIGH SCHOOL IN AMITE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI.  WAS VERY WILD IN THOSE DAYS AND SPENT AT LEAST TWO MONTHS OF EACH YEAR SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER, MOSTLY IN  ACAPULCO.  MY FIRST TRIP WAS INSPIRED BY THE OLD ELVIS MOVIE "FUN IN ACAPULCO" WHICH CAME OUT IN 1963 AND WAS FILMED IN ACAPULCO AROUND THE OLD "ACAPULCO HILTON".  I KNEW WHEN I FIRST SAW THE FILM THAT ONE DAY I WOULD SWIM IN THAT HILTON POOL WHERE ELVIS WAS.  THUS, MY FIRST TRIP TO THAT CITY IN 1966. SEVERAL YEARS LATER ON ONE OF WHAT WOULD BECOME AN ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE I MET THREE CANADIANS GUYS FROM TORONTO. WE BECAME GOOD FRIENDS AND PLANNED OUR FUTURE TRIPS TO THAT GREAT TOWN. 

TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT, AND IT IS A LONG STORY, ON ONE TRIP WE HAD BEEN SEEING SOME STEWARDESSES WHO WORKED FOR QANTAS AIRLINES.  THEY WOULD OFTEN FLY DOWN FROM SAN FRANCISCO ON THE WEEKEND AND SPEND A FEW DAYS WITH US AT OUR "A"FRAME CABIN ACROSS FROM THE BEACH.  ON A TRIP TO THE AIRPORT TO PICK THE GIRLS UP DAVID, JOHN, EUGENE (MY CANADIAN FRIENDS, AND I WERE SITTING IN THE AIRPORT LOUNGE WAITING FOR THEIR FLIGHT TO COME IN.  I LOOKED AT A SOLITARY MAN SITTING AT THE BAR AND TOLD MY FRIENDS THAT WAS DAVID JANSSEN--THEY DIDN'T THINK SO.  I GOT UP AND WALKED OVER TO THE MAN AND POLITELY ASKED HIM IF HE WAS "DAVID JANSSEN" AND TO MY SURPRISE HE SAID YES, AND INVITED ME TO SIT AND HAVE A DRINK.  WE HAVE SEVERAL OVER ABOUT A 30 MINUTE PERIOD AND THEN PARTED COMPANY.  YES, I DRANK WITH DAVID JANSSEN.  NEXT WEEK WE WERE BACK AT THE AIRPORT SEEING THE GIRLS OFF AND MUCH TO MY SURPRISE TONY CURTIS AND DAVID WERE AT THE BAR. I APPROACHED THE TWO, DAVID REMEMBERED ME, BUT OTHER THAN INTRODUCING ME TO TONY GAVE ME LITTLE TIME. ON OUR RETURN TRIP TO TOWN FROM THE AIRPORT WE STOPPED AT THE PEMEX STATION TO GAS UP AND SAW DAVID AND TONY WITH TWO VERY YOUNG MEXICAN GIRLS GASSING UP THEIR VAN---I KNEW THEN WHY HE DIDN'T HAVE TIME FOR ME AT THE AIRPORT LOUNGE!!! 

STRANGELY OF ALL THE EVENTS ON THE TRIP, INCLUDING THE MANY NIGHTS AT THE "ZONA ROJO" MEETING DAVID JANSSEN AND HAVING THOSE DRINKS WITH "THE FUGITIVE" IS THE ONE THAT STANDS OUT.

For those who are not old enough to remember "The Fugitive" TV series was the most popular of its day from 1963-'67.  The 1993 movie "The Fugitive" with Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones was based entirely on that series from the 1960's.  And in case you may be wondering how a lowly teacher could afford those months in Mexico---the "A-frame" on the beach rented for $300 a month--split 4 ways came out for less than $3 a day for the 4 of us.  Beer was less than 50 centavos when the rate of exchange was 12.5 pecos to a dollar, that comes out to about $.04 cent per beer when purchased at the "Super-Super" their big super market.  And as for the cost of certain unnamed products in the "zona roja" (the red light district) I'll leave that to your imagination! And we always avoided the "tourista" traps, but occasionally did stumble into that dreaded "TOURISTA" better known as "Montezuma's revenge" or to you who are uninformed "diarrhea"!

5 comments:

WomanHonorThyself said...

aw nice walk down memory lane! Have an awesome Sunday my friend~! :-)

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

Also known as the Aztec Two-step. I used to surf Baja from the border to Ensenada in my yute.

Sandee said...

I remember the show every well. I'm 60 so I watched that show. How cool that you got to spend some time with him.

Have a terrific day. :)

Always On Watch said...

When I was a teenager, I had a crush on David Janssen and watched The Fugitive every week.

Janssen's acting well portrayed "the tormented soul." Maybe he was one in real life too?

J. D. Michael Phelps said...

Hello Ron Russell,

WOW, you posted this in October of 2011, and I am just now seeing it! The Power of the Internet!

Dave Janssen was a good friend, I co-authored "DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE" with Ellie Janssen (his first wife), and am now finishing my book, "DAVID JANSSEN-Our Conversations".

The fact that Dave was nice enough to invite you for drink(s) does not surprise me. He was a kind, compassionate man who was interested in PEOPLE. He was a very "ordinary - down-to-earth" man who enjoyed meeting people and learning about their lives.
Wishing you the Happiest Holidays and the best of Health, Happiness and Prosperity for 2014.

Michael Phelps
www.MichaelPhelpsNovels.com