I passed Buster Keaton on the way to work this morning. He was standing, hands in pockets, at the corner of Riverview and Keil. It was the young Buster, handsome and still strong enough to pin down the scars that marked his childhood. This was the Buster who, with vaudeville and Arbuckle behind him, had begun making his own mark on Hollywood. This was Neighbors, Cops, and My Wife's Relations; acrobatic gags and stone-faced laughs. This was the silent clown whose wordless antics filled me with wonder.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking; “But Jason, if Buster Keaton died in 1966, how could you possibly have passed him on your way to work this morning?” Look, remember yesterday's journal entry? As you'll recall I had lunch with Alphonse Allais, a French humorist dead since 1905. With that in mind, 1966 hardly seems that big of a stretch now does it? And, as I pointed out yesterday in response to your baseless scepticism, this is my journal and nobody is forcing you to read it!
Now, where was I? Right. I passed Buster on the way to work. Young Buster. The Buster I first met in Seven Chances (and whom I've been chasing ever since). He was standing, as I've already said, hands in pockets, that beloved pork-pie perched atop his neatly coiffed head.
“Hello Buster!” I cried.
Buster waived but did not say a word. He was, after all, a silent film star.
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This is the second in a series of stories I've been playing with. It's not yet been published, but will be part of a small collection of 26 pieces focused on 26 people I admire and whose talents I enjoy. I would love to hear your thoughts!