BUBBLING, RIB-TICKLING COMEDY" (New York Times) of Neil Simon to Michigan's Twin Cities (Benton Harbor and St. Joseph) under the direction of Mr. Robert Curran (RIP)?
It was the utterly scandalous depiction of me helping A BLACK GIRL (Angela Hawkins, the actress playing my love interest in the show) WITH HER COAT! It's only by virtue of a miracle that she didn't get pregnant, the miracle of "that is not how babies are made".
Let me be clear: it was a big thing to one person in my family, my grandfather. My grandfather, a gentle, meek and mild man who called me "pal", bought me nature books for Christmas and renewed my Ranger Rick subscription for my birthday present every year, flipped his ever-lovin' shit over this picture. It couldn't have helped that the paper botched the captions, mixing up the names of who was in which photo, meaning
Happily, the whole controversy died a quick-and-painful death when grandpa's first and best idea was to call my dad, demanding that he call the paper and have them issue a retraction and a formal apology on behalf of the Brooks
The whole thing floored me. Of course, I was happy that dad had my back, even if it was because it was at least 50% motivated by an opportunity to jam up his pops. But how could such a sweet and sensitive man like my grandfather (he was the first man I ever saw cry, when my grandma passed away about eight years prior to this) pull such a dick move? Oh grandpa.
I seem to remember that he did actually attend one of the performances, which was probably not an enjoyable experience for him, as not only did I as Victor Velasco help the shit out of Angela as Ethel Banks put her coat on, but I did so while firing off some of Neil Simon's sauciest 1963 innuendo. But he butched up, swallowed what he needed to swallow, overcame his prejudice and came out to support his grandson. So maybe he learned a valuable lesson from the whole thing.
Probably not, but maybe.
Anywho, this is another part of my upbringing and part of the reason I see things a little differently than some people in my specific demographic.