Character Number Nineteen

liza minnelliAnd then there was Liza Minnelli.

In 1969, I was working with American Cryogenics in Atlanta and we were planning to put together a proposal for Youngstown Sheet and Tube steel company to install a 600 ton per day oxygen plant near their Chicago mill. I had been working with their Purchasing Manager and the Project Manager who would be involved in the study.  I had already got a favorable rapport with both of them and I had, at one time, mentioned that our Chairman lived in Augusta, GA.  With them both being golfers, they immediately asked if he could get them tickets to the Masters Tournament.  When I broached the subject with our Chairman, Pierce Marks, I was amazed when he said it might be possible to actually play the course in the two week period after the Masters, before the club did their annual closing until the following January.  He offered to investigate and I was astounded when he told me we had a date for us to play, not just the Augusta National but also the par three.  We had to be accompanied by a member and we were actually in two foursomes with three members.  This allowed us to have five players and Mr. Marks agreed that it would be he, me, Joe Moyer who was working on the project with me , and the two invited Youngstown players. It was all set up for the first week after the Masters and when I told this to the Youngstown couple they were shocked and we started to make plane and Atlanta hotel reservations. We arranged to have dinner the night before and I would then pick them up at 7 am and drive to Augusta.

When the day came, Joe Moyer and I picked up the two guests at their motel and had a nice dinner. (This has already been described in my “Memory Number Twenty One in my same blog, and I apologize to my Memory readers.)   After dinner, it was clear that the guests wanted to go somewhere to have drinks and we found ourselves at the “Pink Pussy Kat Lounge”.  As we entered, a group was leaving and we got their table right next to the small stage.  An Australian singer/comedian, Peter Allen was performing.  We got our drinks and settled down to listen.  He sang “Waltzing Matilda” the outback, Australian song.  He ended and said, pointing to me, “This bloke knows all the words.”  He asked me, “Do you know the Wallaby song?” and I said I did because it had been on the radio a lot.  He said, “Get up here”, dragging me onto the stage with him.  With his arm around my shoulder we sang the whole, “Tie me kangaroo down sport “ song and got a lot of applause.  He then chatted with the audience, still with his arm around my shoulder.  He then said that his girl-friend was in the audience and she was a singer and had just had her opening in New York.  You probably haven’t heard of her but her mother was Judy Garland and her father is Vincente Minnelli, the Italian Film Director.  Then he said, “Come up here Liza and sing with me and this bloke.”  She did and with her arm over my other shoulder, the three of us sang the chorus and helped him finish his act.  ( Note. Liza married Peter Allen but they were divorced within the year when Liza found Peter liked boys better than girls.)

My friends give me a hard time when I claim to have sung on the stage with Liza Minnelli. But I did.

2 thoughts on “Character Number Nineteen

  1. Really great story. Who would have guessed you were a star performer. PM Sr. was quite a character…..and I really liked the “old devil”.


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