A friend once asked me what was the fastest I'd ever driven a car. My answer was 7500 rpm in fifth gear. Race cars don't have speedometers and the car in question was my Ferrari GTO. I was on the way to Las Vegas and my father was riding next to me in the passenger seat. In those days, there were no posted speed limits on Nevada's highways and we were having the time of our lives.
My father and I shared a lot of great times. We spent a month together in Italy once. As I was growing up, he would take me with him into some of the hottest jazz clubs in Los Angeles years before I was of legal age to enter such places. More often than not, we were the only white faces in the crowd but the band members were all on a first-name basis with him. He showed me where to buy the best hot link sausages & sweet potato pies in Los Angeles. We went to Rams games and later Raiders games. Together, we bought and sold cars--he had his and I had mine, but we aided and abetted each other in the enterprise. Sidney was a cool guy. At a cocktail party, he asked a pre-politics Ronald Reagan what he did for a living. How cool is that?
My GTO had a tall final drive. Entering a favorite freeway on-ramp, I would be passing the fastest traffic by the time I shifted out of first gear and second put me into the flashing red lights and siren zone. I suppose someone could do the math to figure out how fast 7500 rpm in fifth might have been on the occasion, but it never occurred to me to bother. What mattered was that my father and I were enjoying an experience that would never be forgotten and that we were both extremely lucky to do so. Another of our shared experiences was that we survived a head-on collision on the Ventura freeway--a rare occurrence by anyone's standards.
Manuel Taboada of the Ferrari Em Portugal blog asked me to sum up in a few words the sensations of driving the GTO. My answer was: Every moment in the GTO was like the first lap at Le Mans. Were I asked to sum up my father, I would have to say that no one who met Sidney is ever likely to forget him.
Yesterday was his birthday and we have been without him for too long. Perhaps that is why these thoughts are with me.
[Thank you to Chad Glass for the sketch of GTO 3987 on the road to 'Vegas]
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
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Examples of Responsive Reactions
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Action/ReAction at Stella Adler
Point of Departure
A Series of ONE...
Stephen and Dragonuk
Stephen Mitchell webinar for Stage 32
Ferrari GTO 3987 at speed by Yan denes
Ray D. Shosay's Journal
Dispatches from a (junior) suite in Paris
Ray D. Shosay's Journal (excerpt)
"Saturday, January 27, 2007
They say you can fool some of the people all of the time. Accordingly, I think we should concentrate on this group initially. We can move on to the people you can only fool some of the time at a later date if we deem it necessary. I hope to hear back from my agent about this as soon as he's out of rehab, as I don't think my messages have been getting through."
Ignorance is Bliss by Stephen Mitchell
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Exerpt from Ignorance is Bliss
"Out of the corner of his eye, Martin saw Martha shift in her seat. She leaned forward, as though something was about to be decided. This caused her breasts to push up against the neckline of her dress in a way that couldn't be fully appreciated out of the corner of one’s eye. So, Martin turned his head to look directly into the abyss of her cleavage. He was vaguely aware that Murray was talking again."
Carrera Panamericana (1950-54)
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Ferrari GTO 3987
Elysée Wednesday: Drive!
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Meeting Enzo Ferrari
I came across this on a late night stroll in Paris near the Louvre.
I bought Bentleys in England and Ferraris & Maseratis in Italy to re-sell in Los Angeles as a teenager. I met Enzo Ferrari, Juan Fangio and Steve McQueen. I 'grew up' on the set of Mission: Impossible and other episodic TV series of the era. For a few years, I owned a Ferrari GTO that is owned by Ralph Lauren today and valued at approximately $52M. I began my film career by writing, producing and directing Montmartre in Paris in French. I founded and ran a repertory company for film & TV for 20 years in Los Angeles. I created a TV series which had fans that included Marlon Brando. I authored the first new acting technique--Action/ReAction--that was not based on Stanislavski's Method. I am currently writing my third novel and shooting my spy thriller Exigence. If you can't make movies, live your life as though you were in one...