Mercoledi Musicale – Melina Merkouri

Early March of 1967 I was in my first year with Air Canada (my employer for the next 33 years) at Toronto Airport. A clerk in the Operations tower, I worked in a fishbowl perched at the end of a boarding finger reached by a metal spiral staircase. In those days people walked outside to board an airplane, any airplane not just the small propeller ones. One windy afternoon I had struggled down the stairs with an armload of flight plans heading for the terminal. A charter flight from Philadelphia, carrying Melina Merkouri and the cast of the Broadway-bound Illya Darling, was deplaning as I walked towards the terminal.

I don’t recall how it happened but I tripped and 25 flight plans and I fell to the ground in an undignified pile. As I scrambled to collect the plans and my dignity a smoky accented voice asked: Are you okay, darling? Here let me help you. And a ring-laddened hand was proffered. I looked up into the most fascinating face I had ever seen in my young life. The halo of Carmel-coloured hair and a smile the like of which I have never seen again almost blinded me to an incredible pair of sparkling, laughing eyes. It was Merkouri. In a complete daze I know I must have turned a bright red as she helped me up, dusted me off and kissed my cheek. At that moment I was head over heels in love.

In fond memory of that moment, which I had forgotten about until a few days ago, and in celebration of our departure today for Athens here is the devine Melina singing Children Of Piraeus in Never On Sunday the movie that inspired Illya Darling.

Σας αγαπώ, Melina.

12 marzo – San Massimiliano

Author: Willym

A senior with the heart of a young'un

11 thoughts on “Mercoledi Musicale – Melina Merkouri”

  1. Okay. I’m impressed. She was everything that is seems so many celebrities aren’t these days, sexy, smart, classy, I could go on and on. This is making me want to go out and rent “Never On A Sunday” which I haven’t watched in years.

  2. Wow! That’s as good as the Jackie O. wink. And what a totally kind and classy thing to do, helping you up and kissing your cheek. Now I’m in love with her too.

  3. Reblogged this on Willy Or Won't He and commented:

    Over at his blog home Larry Muffin celebrated the great (such an overused word but in this case nothing else would do) actress, activist and politician Melina Mercouri. It brought back a memory from my misspent (well not so much misspent as overspent) youth which I thought I’d reshare. So for Pierre who missed this when I first wrote it in 2008 I give you:

  4. What an incredible memory !! … I just knew Melina’s name and her face from pictures in books and the Internet, but I can see from the video she was very talented… And … I also was a clerk in an Operations Tower (of a French airport) when I was younger, what a coincidence !!! … I hope all is well with you and Larry 🙂

    1. That is a strange coincidence – I lasted 33 years with the airlines (not all as a clerk but it was a start.) All is well here on the Island thank you.

  5. As I reported to Laurent, I have a joyous little poster featuring Melina Mercouri that I got in Χανιά that, with permission, I’d love to send the two of you. Καλό ταξίδι!

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