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I was luckier then some. You see, I was
literally raised on Broadway,
around the theatre district.........
I had a burning desire from a very early
age, to perform.
Being raised around the theatre district, gave me unique
But wait a moment, I'm getting way ahead of myself.
get back to the early days when pretend,
was still pretend.
I was a young child when my dad bought
home a dog
for my brother, Richard, or "itchie", as my little sister
him in those days. I really loved to play with Lady,
that's what we called
her, Lady. One day, while playing with Lady,
I was disobeying my mom by
going up to the roof to play,
something she had always told me was a no,
We were playing catch, when the ball, having been thrown
a little too
hard, headed over, and off the roof,
with faithful Lady hot on it's trail.
My young heart welled up in my throat as
I saw Lady
disappear over the ledge. With that terrible vision indelible
in my brain,
I ran to see what I could, and saw where she had landed on
five floors below. Lady wasn't moving! I began to shake, and
I ran down all six floors, nary touching a step, out to the street,
When I reached the backstage alley
entrance, of a theatre
that I was very familiar with, I ran towards the
rear of the alley
and as I approached the stairs that would take me
where Lady landed on the roof adjacent to the theatre,
I vaguely remember
seeing the stage manager, Al,
who always conveniently looked the other
allowing me to sneak into the theatre,
when the theatre was empty of
so one little girl could pretend, and have the pleasure
her heart out on a stage that was so big,
she sometimes got lost on it.
But Al saw that I had other things on my
mind this day,
and I was crying, something Al had never seen me do before.
Al apparently wanted to reach the roof before I did
and took a short cut
through the theatre, and as he raced
to his destination, someone else in
was soon following close behind. When I came within a leap
reaching Lady, I found my feet off the ground ok,
but I was not in
control. A man had grabbed me in mid flight
and would not let go as I
struggled ( kicking )
and crying that I needed to help my dog.
This calm stranger said, that she,
meaning Lady, who was not moving,
was seriously hurt and might strike out
in pain, and that it was
too dangerous to go near her. Well I was always a
and I would have none of it. I told him Lady wouldn't
that I was her friend and she needed me, and then I blurted
between heavy duty tears, the story of how it was my fault
came to be in her predicament,
and that my mom was going to kill me
because I had disobeyed her.
This calm stranger said, if I put you
down will you promise
not to go over to Lady and wait for the vet to get
I said yes, and I meant it at the time. But as he gently placed me
Lady let out a whimper, causing me to react and dash onto the roof
so I could be with her, and this calm stranger, close behind.
As I touched
Lady she kissed my face, and with that,
all who had gathered,
there were now several actors, etc, who had broken away
from rehearsals to
come out and see what all the commotion was about,
and had also watched as
the drama unfolded )
well, all of them did something very odd, something
that a young child
couldn't begin to understand at the time,
they didn't know Lady.
Why were they crying?
By now this nice man was also consoling
Lady, as well as me,
and he decided it was safe to pick her up and see to
that her injuries were tended to. She was taken to a vet by cab,
someone from the theater who had volunteered.
I didn't know it at the
time, but someone
had also called my mom at her job, and she arrived
Lady and the cab were pulling away. I'm not sure
what had this disobedient
child more scared;
My mom, who was sure to kill me,
or the pain in my
heart for Lady.
The calm stranger was talking to my mom
and she was smiling. Boy! Was I relieved to see a smile on
since I was still sure she was going to kill me when we got
Mom came over to me and said Lady was going to be fine,
and we would
go see her tomorrow. She then told me that the nice man
had asked her to
go easy on me, and she promised she would,
since they both agreed, I had
been punished enough
by Lady's terrible accident.
Mom said, "Mr. Fonda, was very
Story by that little
girl, Barbara Costello