Thursday, March 13, 2008

This Arlington Morning - Part 3

Photogenic. I first experienced a close encounter with that word back in 1967 as a radio-TV college student, when the professor remarked after an on-camera teaching session that he felt my face was "photogenic."

I don't know about that, especially 40 years later, but Steve certainly possessed the good looks to exemplify the word, photogenic. The thing is, Steve loved to model for the camera and to be photographed, and the photos shown here offer a fair representation of his style. Steve always looked great any time of the day or night when I knew him, and he used those looks to his advantage in numerous ways ("Heads would turn" whenever he entered a room, one of his friends told me when I inquired about his life after I learned of his death).

In the mid or late 1970s, then out of the Air Force and in college, Steve learned that famed playwright Tennessee Williams was coming to Houston to watch a performance of one of his early, obscure plays. At the theater, Steve had arrived with a hardcover copy of Williams' autobiography entitled Memoirs, published by Doubleday, and after the play approached Williams for an autograph. Considering Steve's looks, maybe it was predestined that the openly gay Tennessee Williams would gladly sign the book for this photogenic literary fan who cornered and swept him away with immense charm. An autograph session wasn't scheduled until the next day, but Williams accommodated Steve with these words of presumed humor, scrawled inside the book directly underneath its title:

My Biggest Mistake,
(signed) Tennessee Williams

Memoirs, incidentally, is said to have been one of Steve's favorite books, before and after Williams signed it.