“Mr. Reynolds, is that you?”
An aging Burt Reynolds hunched over a glass of bourbon at a bar somewhere in South Florida.
“Obviously it is–who wants to know?”
“I’m Art Williams, this is my wife Annie.”
“She didn’t believe it was you,” Art smirked.
“See honey, it is Burt Reynolds. I was right.”
“You were right, Mr. Williams. Sorry Annie. Do I win a prize or something?”
Burt reluctantly shook their hands. The bartender watched, amazed. Some people had a lot of nerve.
“It’s a real pleasure to meet you, Sir. Same here,” Annie echoed.
“Could we buy you a drink or something?”
“No, that’s OK. Burt answered. My doctors tell me I’m not supposed to drink. Sometimes a drink just feels right.”
“What are you two up to? Are you from one of those tabloids?”
“No we’re from Ohio, just cruising through on the way to Miami. A friend told us you were from the West Palm area.”
“Is he a lawyer? Do I owe him money? I wasn’t expecting company.”
“No, Fred’s a mechanic. Sorry to bother you, Mr. Reynolds,” Annie apologized.
“For what it’s worth, I loved your role in ‘Evening Shade.'”
“Thanks Annie. You must be among the two-dozen people that still remember the series. There were some good people on that show.”
“I’m originally from Poplar Bluff. One of the characters was named after the owner of a local furniture store,” Annie continued.
“Was the show anything like the real Poplar Bluff? Burt asked.
“In several ways–it was,” Annie answered. “Poplar Bluff has a lot of old Victorian homes. High school football was a big deal.”
“The mentally challenged character, that rode around in the red wagon, reminded me of someone I knew.”
“Mitch delivered papers and ran errands for everybody–except he used a bicycle. Everybody looked out for him.”
“Honey, we better run and leave Mr. Reynolds alone, Annie said. It’s been nice meeting you, Sir,” Art said.
Burt hastily scribbled an autograph on a cocktail napkin, waved goodbye to the happy Midwesterners.
“Good luck and be safe–your friend, Burt Reynolds,” It said and would be treasured forever.