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                                                            A Hollywood Story

On February 26, 1966 the publication of "Leonard." The New Yorker. Waiting for Winter. This short story, set in Beverly Hills, is not in the John O'Hara's Hollywood collection, although it's a worthy candidate.

Here are some excerpts:

   Along about half past five on weekday afternoons the girls who worked in the shops and offices would show up at the South Seas, and for the next  four or five hours the joint, as they said then, would be jumping ... Most of the patrons knew each other, if only by sight, and there was always a certain amount of table-hopping during the cocktail hours .... A few marriages had had their origin at the South Seas, but for the most part it was patronized by men and girls who were not bound by marriage, or in any event were not too strict about binding ties....
   The oldest customer of the South Seas, both in terms of patronage and years on earth, was Leonard Dillman, who had stopped in for a drink on the afternoon before the official opening night....
   He would come in at four or four-thirtyish and take his seat at his table, order his first drink of four ounces of whiskey and two of water, and nurse it along with water for the first half hour. After that he would have two ounces of liquor and two of water, which seemed to indicate that his first drink at the South Seas was his first drink of the day....
   There was one girl with a deep voice ... Her name was Geraldine Williams ... She worked as receptionist and appointment secretary at a beauty salon on South Beverly Drive and was separated from her husband.

There's a surprise ending. It's a good read.

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