No “Failure To Communicate” Here!

Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 09:00 AM.

The only actor I ever thought was in the same category as Paul Newman was my older brother. Leon could look the most innocent or the most menacing of anyone I ever saw……..depending on the “occasion”. Daddy would send us down to clean the fence row and Leon, of course, would sit down the minute we were out of sight of the house. David and I were too small to make much of a dent in the weeds. Leon had that built in timer. He’d jump up, grab the sling blade out of my hand, and go to flailing away two seconds before Dad came around the corner to check on us. Dad would be angry that we “hadn’t even made a good start”.

Tears would dwell up in Leon’s eyes. “We’re doing the best we can. Kesley got sick. David almost stepped on a rattlesnake. It’s just hard to do all the work myself and look after two little brothers.” I felt sorry for Leon even as Daddy chastised me for not having a “working tool” in my hand.   

Leon, I think, was the screaming monster from the Black Lagoon in those deep woods behind the swimming pool. We all thought it was him…….but we couldn’t be for dead certain positive. Terry Kennon allowed it didn’t sound human enough to be Leon.  The acting here, if is was acting, was exquisite. Whatever or whoever, be it of this world or some other, was loud, blood curdling and nasty. It sure sent me flying out of those woods on more than one occasion!

The aging milk cow up on the second floor of the high school might have been Leon’s “Academy Moment”. When confronted with both parents, a stunned principal and the chief of police, my brother looked as surprised as Miss Polly Rucker when she encountered the bovine trying to get into her English class. Leon, with the innocence of a new born babe, allowed our old cow “had taken to wandering off”. And she would “sometimes follow us up Stonewall Street”. But he had “no idea” how the cow actually got into the school. He was “completely puzzled” by “the animal’s sudden interest in higher learning”.

He convinced me! And I was holding the side door open when he shoved Bessie into the auditorium.

You talk about acting!


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