Lauren Bacall: Goodbye to a Glorious Gal

The world lost a wonderful woman with the passing of the great Lauren Bacall.

We’ve told the story before, but what the heck: We’ve always felt a certain connection to Ms. Bacall because we were neighbors for a few months when we first moved to New York City straight out of college.

We initially got settled here after the move from Oklahoma City by subletting an apartment from a pal for the summer; it was a small office, really, that wasn’t intended (or zoned) to be a residence. One room, plus an entryway, a closet and a good-sized bathroom, but no kitchen (we ate a lot of peanut butter that summer).

But we didn’t care because it was located on 72nd Street, just east of Columbus Avenue, which anyone familiar with Manhattan knows is just down the street from the Dakota, storied digs of the rich and famous and home to Bogie‘s best gal.

We never spotted her on the street (don’t think we weren’t keeping a constant eye out), but we mailed her a picture postcard of one of her classic Hollywood headshots and she sent it back to us, autographed (see above).

That was a grand day.

We also stood in line at the TKTS booth to get cheap tickets to her triumphant run in Woman of the Year on Broadway. We waited after the show for her to emerge, and when she did, she passed no more than a two or three feet from us. We didn’t get to speak to her, alas, but it was a kick just to be that close. We were brand new to NYC, after all, and as devoted movie buffs, she was like royalty to us.

She was quite a dame and we’re sorry to see her go, but we’re grateful that she had such a good, long run.

Rest in peace, Ms. Bacall, and thanks.

Happy Birthday, Lauren Bacall!

The great Lauren Bacall turns 89 years young today.

We feel a connection to her because our first apartment—a sublet where we lived just a few months—was just down the block from The Dakota, where Ms. Bacall has long resided. We were thrilled at the mere proximity to her, so we sent her a postcard on which she was pictured in her youthful, smoky prime, and she was kind enough to send it back—autographed, as we’d requested.

A few months later, we waited in line to spend money we didn’t have on a discount ticket via the Times Square TKTS booth to see her on Broadway in Woman of the Year. Truth be told, we don’t recall that much about the show, but we vividly recall Ms. Bacall passing by us as we waited by the Palace Theatre‘s stage door (actually, we seem to recall the actors departed via the front door), so close we could have reached out and touched her (we resisted).

Bacall’s plenty swell in her own right, of course, but newbie to New York that we were, we couldn’t quite believe we were standing so close to the widow of our beloved Humphrey Bogart.

We’re awfully glad she’s still going strong, and we hope she has a stupendous birthday. We encourage all Cladrite Radio readers to whistle “Happy Birthday” in her honor. You know how to whistle, don’t you? You just put your lips together and blow.