PAUL BRYAN'S JOURNAL
From the diary about this episode:
Saturday, June 11
At qualifying today I tried to stay out of the way or be a flunky to whomsoever needed me. The whole scene was chaotic, and this time, it was Clive whose nerves were on edge, and Pete who was staying cool.
If he'd been my hero when I was a kid, my idol when he became a professional racer, and has kept growing in stature as I've had the chance to drive with him, observing Pete on this big stage is turning him into a god for me.
The more I know about the challenges and ultra-demanding nature of what is at stake, the more impressive he is.
We qualified tenth, and all things considered, against the big boys, it was a super result. But the forecast for tomorrow sounds like we should be piloting an ark rather than Formula 1 car.
Spa - en route to Florida
Sunday, June 12
Cannot believe what I witnessed today. Maybe it was the unusual environment of the street circuit in Monte Carlo and having so many friends around, but somehow, I took all the attrition of the Monaco Grand Prix in my stride.
What happened today is almost more than I can come to terms with. Not wanting to be in the way, I'd asked Clive where he thought I should watch the race, and he suggested Masta Kink, which he called the most dangerous place in motor racing.
Nevertheless, could I have ever expected what happened next? The race had barely started when cars started spinning off in front of me, one hitting a telephone pole, and then careening into a couple buildings.
It was Jackie Stewart, and I ran to the crash scene where fuel was gushing from the overturned vehicle, lodged in the basement of an out house, Jackie pinned underneath.
By the time I got there, it looked like he might drown in gasoline, but it had actually all poured out. No less dangerous, as the fuel could have ignited with the least spark.
We had a devil of a time getting him out. It took a half hour, and he was badly injured and in pain. Bob Bondurant and Graham Hill had both crashed at Masta too, and were more help than all the stewards at finally getting him loose.
Again and again I am reminded of the value and importance of exacting knowledge and experience when it comes to every aspect of this sport.
Helped lift Jackie onto the stretcher, gently as I could manage, and he looked up at me and said, “you're Armand's friend,” then passed out.
Pete hadn't made it to the second lap, but neither had half the field, and once Jackie was off to the hospital, I made my way back to the Mastin crew as they were putting away their gear, neither Clive nor Pete in sight.
While helping with the donkey work, I kept an eye on the five remaining cars that ran a procession to the checkered flag under a green one, and also got a chance to become better acquainted with our technical team.
They're mostly British or Italian, but one, Jack Wynter, is from Louisiana, and we had a great time talking about the fishing he did on a lake near his home.
Pete was already packed and ready to leave for France when I got back to the hotel. No one had parties in mind after the disaster Spa had been.
We talked about our getting a proper test driver, and Pete repeated that, with Clive around, the position was really honorary, with a streak of opportunity for my enjoyment, and suggested that I should at least stay in the job for the next race.
So, now I am making my way to Florida for a couple days of sunshine and relaxation before Le Mans.
Monday, June 13
June had taken me over to the bungalow the Bradleys set aside for me, saying that she hoped that everything was there to make my stay comfortable.
I was thinking she referred to bowls of fruit and fluffy towels, but what she really meant was what was propped up in the chaise longue in the living room - one Dr. Kathryn Pierce.
It was all so unexpected that it was June I ended up hugging in glee, but she quickly slipped away. After the hell of San Francisco and the drowning sensation of Spa, I am just going to give myself up to whatever's going here.
Tuesday, June 14
Kate had been immersed in astronomy books from the Bradley library, and I'd almost forgotten that this subject and physics had been her major when she started at Smith.
After a talk, I'm now asking myself why I got so caught up in San Francisco. In actual fact, aside from upsetting Joe, nothing of consequence happened, save for my burgeoning interest in the work of the clinic.
Kate suggested a couple basic science textbooks, and we drove into Palm Beach to buy them. She also thinks it wise to send Joe a carefully worded letter to explain why I couldn't buy the policy from him.
How she's soothed my nerves over the entire incident, but it's disappointing Kate doesn't feel up to going to Le Mans. Hobbling around without much stress now, she's certain to be at Reims.
Wednesday, June 15
Never realized that it would be possible to spring back mentally and physically after only three days in the sun, but am actually feeling terrific, enjoying my new books and the incredible library.
There's also a room here which is a virtual international news stand, with periodicals from all over the world arriving throughout the day, Florida papers included, and in one of them was a very disturbing news item
The brief report stated that comedian Willy Hatch had been arrested on a morals charge, and my recent experience with Lisa, some of the things I've seen written about Pete, and the way the sports press has even twisted some of my own words got me in a lively discussion with Kate.
Venturing the possibility that Willy had been set up. Kate said that being in the public eye always made one a target. She seemed to be speaking personally, but then quickly changed the subject back to Willy.
How many memories came rolling back when I told her about him and the great nights spent at the hungry i. The Gateway Singers, The Kingston Trio, Mort Saul, Willy and Bill Cosby. Kate had missed all that, but told me that Cosby is acting now, and in a great TV series called I Spy.
When I thought about the dozens of other great artists I was privileged to see at the i, it also brought to mind the girls I went there with, women who touched my life so intimately, and yet ….. they seem like shadows next to the vividness of Katie who agreed that, as Willy's former lawyer, I should go see him tomorrow.
en route to Paris
Thursday, June 16
Driving to see Willy I remembered what a kick it had been, turning from fan to lawyer when he had his own late-night show on local TV. But when it was cancelled, he somehow disappeared, only sending me a postcard once in a while.
After a couple years, I heard nothing, and tried to reach Willy if I'd see a notice of him appearing somewhere, but never got any answer.
That things might not have been going too well for him seemed more than evident, but a morals charge was a different kind of problem than no longer being a headliner on the main nightclub circuit.
When I saw him in the jail house, Willy insisted that he didn't even know the underage girl he was supposed to have had consensual relations with, and that the charge was simply based on some jokes about the town that a few of the burgers resented.
I got him out on bail, along with a room for us at the local hotel. There was certainly a lot of animosity towards Willy, and a young kid on a bike harassed us all the way to the hotel.
Less than two hours from Palm Beach, and I'd stepped into a totally different world. As Willy seemed very fatigued, I got him to lie down and rest while I checked out the girl.
She'd been sent away, and for my pains, her father threatened me with an axe, but this place was definitely not one to file an assault complaint against a fireman.
With no medical examination to accompany the allegation, the charge was definitely looking as fishy as Willy indicated, the deputy as much as saying the arrest was the town's way of “taking care of” trouble-makers.
When I got back to the hotel Willy was still clowning around the way he did in jail, but already there was just something I couldn't pin down, something in his eyes that worried me.
He claimed his wife was getting someone to look after their kids, and would be arriving shortly. I told him that would help his case, as would going back to work at the bar to show his innocence, but he seemed afraid.
To put on a show like Willy's, you have to be fearless, and his attitude seemed difficult to fathom - so unlike him. But I still wasn't seeing the obvious - despite the tears and clinging behavior Willy was displaying.
Managed to build up his confidence enough to go to the bar and ask to be taken on again. While reasonable, the owner also expressed FEAR that his customers would react against his re-hiring Willy.
When I tried the “it would be Communist not to fly the All-American flag that a person is innocent until proven guilty,” we won him over, and Willy was hired to be back on his stage at seven - at the same salary (but half what Willy had told me he was making).
Yet he wasn't happy. Willy's look, when I told him to take the car back to the hotel, reminded me a little of Dena Fuller when she came down from the slopes after Johnny's crash, but I was certain this fear thing had nothing to do with my friend, rather was endemic in this place, and he'd just picked it up.
The bar owner's take on the town's attitude was that it had been thriving before the Second World War, but after, the population had more than halved. People were sensitive about their town being knocked the way Willy poked fun at anywhere he played.
The bar owner drove me back to the hotel, and I found Willy packing - planning to jump the bail I'd posted. When I reminded him that his wife would be here shortly, he said they were divorced for three years, and hadn't even spoken in the meantime.
I was starting to wonder if he was telling me the truth about the girl, but he swore he'd been honest with me, and then her father and the sheriff burst in, looking for her.
The father threatened to kill Willy IF there was anything going on with his daughter, putting the ribbons on my theory that the whole charge was trumped up, and I figured we were home and dry to get a petition for dismissal accepted the next day.
Rang the Bradleys to organize a Florida lawyer who could take over the case in the morning, but when I informed Willy, he seemed to think that was a good reason not to do the planned show.
All the while my near certainty that the charge was false had been countered by a suspicion that Willy somehow wasn't being fully honest with me.
It all came out when I was approached in the bar parking lot by the girl herself, declaring that she knew Willy to be in love with her, and was hoping to run off with him. Not just a fantasy, she gave me proof that she'd been in our hotel room while I was out.
She explained that when she first approached Willy, he'd let her watch the show from back stage, and she then started visiting him regularly in his dressing room, only to be discovered by her father - the establishment's relief bartender.
That was the cause of the arrest warrant, even though the father knew that nothing had happened between the pair. He'd even stashed her away at his sister's to make sure that the truth wouldn't come out.
The girl was now convinced that Willy was going to run off with her, and would propose marriage on the bus, after which she'd send a letter to the sheriff, declaring the falseness of the statutory rape charge.
I could understand where these notions of Willy's devotion came from. He'd told her she was the nicest thing to happen to him in three years, and it was clear that he was feeling desperate for someone to care about him.
He'd even showed signs of that with me, and the girl said that Willy had attempted suicide twice. When he came on to do the 7 pm show, Willy bombed horribly.
Though there was a big crowd there to see what was going to happen, no one laughed at anything, and eventually, Willy cracked, and actually grabbed one of the female patrons by the throat.
He was then physically attacked, and a virtual melee ensued, but the sheriff cleared the hall, and an ambulance was called for Willy who'd gone catatonic, and was unreachable.
I had ignored all the symptoms of a breakdown, but Willy's was obviously serious, and I'd been dealing with his symptoms the way I thought best, without any real understanding.
But I've learned a big lesson for life, and if I only start using it next week, that will be a good thing. Convinced that the girl's father had lied to him after a talk with her, the sheriff dropped all charges against Willy, but I told him to put the lawyer coming tomorrow in the picture, and have him make sure Willy gets all necessary care.
He drove me from the hospital to the nearby airport where I was able to get a shuttle well in time for the Miami flight to Paris.
Should anything ever come from this, I want to make sure I've set all the details down, and will send this to Marcella to type up. That pill I took is starting to work, and now all I want is sleep.
When Paul reads in a newspaper that a comic he first met at San Francisco's hungry i has been jailed on a morals charge, he goes to visit the man for whom he acted as lawyer when Willy Hatch had his own TV show.
Sheriff Hinkleman informs Paul that the comic is charged with statutory rape for having had consensual sex with a girl under age 18, but he doesn't even know the girl's age.
They haven't met for six years, and though he clowns around constantly with Paul, Willy's career has been one continuous downward spiral since their last meeting. The comedian says that he never answered Paul's calls out of embarrassment. And when he describes the way he failed in the big nightclubs, and things went from bad to worse, Willy begins to cry.
As for the accusations against him locally, he tells Paul that he never even met the girl, and the trumped up charges are the result of insulting jokes he made about the town in his show.
The sheriff calls the visit to an end, but Paul is able to bail Willy out, and when they leave, a local boy on a bicycle goes shouting down the street that everyone should beware - especially young women - now that Willy Hatch is out of jail.
He follows their car all the way to a local hotel, calling out over and over that Willy is a dirty old man, and continues to harass the comedian right up to the entrance steps of the hotel where the youngster managed to draw a small crowd.
After settling Willy in the hotel, Paul goes to the home of Mary Jo, the girl with whom Willy was supposed to have relations. Her father, Roy Potter, is unfriendly, and says that he's sent his daughter out of town. When Paul begins asking him questions, he knocks him down, then comes out wielding a fireman's axe, and Paul leaves.
At the sheriff's office, he asks for a copy of a doctor's report on Mary Jo, and discovers that she was never examined. The deputy even goes as far as indicating that they “took care of” Willy Hatch as they did any other trouble makers in town.
Paul goes back to the hotel, and Willy clowns around, taking a long time to let him into their room, then giving him a football tackle. When Paul gets up off the floor to close the door, Willy thinks he may be leaving him. Paul asks when Willy's wife will be arriving, and he replies that she's making arrangements for someone to look after their children. Willy says that he's afraid of the people in the town, and Paul tells him that he's done nothing wrong, and shouldn't let them intimidate him, and a good way would be to go back to working at the Poop Deck where he had the problems with the audience that led to the false charges.
Paul says it would be great legal strategy to show that Willy is innocent, and though the comic expresses fear, they go to see Darrell Decker, owner of the Poop Deck. Decker is friendly, but a few patrons in the bar are the opposite, one purposely spilling drink on Willy. Concerned about how his patrons would take the idea of Willy on his stage, Decker is uncertain about re-employing him, but Paul says only a Communist would refute the American principle that a man is innocent until proven guilty. He agrees, and asks Willy to go on that night for the same fee as before, one that is half what Willy had told Paul he was making.
Though Willy is unhappy leaving on his own, Paul gives him the keys to his car, and tells him to go back to the hotel and rest, while he has another beer and chat with Decker who tells Paul that people were enjoying Willy's act until he started to make fun of them.
With great sincerity Decker explains to him that the town's population had gone from 40,000 to 17,000, and the citizens were naturally sensitive about the failings that had caused their community to fade, and didn't thinks his jokes about them were funny.
When Willy gets to the hotel, Mary Jo is waiting for him on the staircase, having escaped from her aunt's home.
It turns out that she and Willy were acquainted after all, and she tells him how greatly she's been missing him, and that she wants to talk to him. He's wary about being seen with her in the hall, and he lets her into his room.
After their chat Decker drives Paul to the hotel, leaving the place to his bartender, none other than Mary Jo's father, a widower who lost his son in Viet Nam.
Paul finds Willy packing to jump bail and leave the town. When Paul reminds him that Trudy is coming, Willy admits that his wife divorced him three years earlier, and they haven't spoken in the meantime.
Paul asks if he was also lying about Mary Jo, and when Willy says he wasn't, Paul says that's all that matters. As he is telling Willy that it would be idiotic to lie to him as his lawyer, the sheriff and Mary Jo's father burst in. Roy Potter attacks Willy, and Paul pulls him away, the sheriff telling Mary Jo's father to leave things to the law.
Sheriff Hinkleman looks in the closet, and then asks where Mary Jo is. Paul and Willy deny she is there.
The sheriff then notices the suitcase, and looks inside. Though Paul claims it's his, the sheriff recognizes it from the jail, and warns Willy about skipping bail.
He suggests going back to the Potter home to look for Mary Jo, but her father tells Willy that if he finds out there's something between him and his daughter, he declares that he'll kill Willy.
Paul counters, and asks what Potter means by “if” there is something between them, adding that statutory rape doesn't leave any room for ifs, but the father just leaves.
Jubilant, Paul goes to Willy saying that the father as much as admitted the comedian's innocence, and that he'll file a motion for dismissal of the case the following day. Willy suggests that he then won't have to keep the appearance at the Poop Deck, but Paul asserts that he must - to prove to the town and to himself what Willy Hatch is made of.
In the parking lot of the club that night Paul is approached by Mary Jo who wants to get a message to Willy. She makes reference to a sweater of Paul's to prove she was in their hotel room, and informs him that she and the comic were in love, but had to keep it secret because of the difference in their ages.
She admits that Willy didn't tell her that he loved her, but says that he asked her to elope with him. Mary Jo says that she met Willy the first afternoon he was in town, and he let her watch his show from backstage, after which she went to his dressing room.
After that, the teenager explains, she saw him every night until her father caught the pair, and angry that she was in a man's room made Sheriff Hinkleman arrest Willy, even though he knew that nothing physical had happened between them.
Though she wanted to tell people that Willy was innocent, Mary Jo tells Paul that her father hid her at aunt's home where she couldn't. Her plan was to send the sheriff a letter from New York, where she now expects to go with Willy, believing that he will propose on the bus.
Paul asks her why she thinks that Willy is in love with her, and she answers that he told her that she was pretty and sweet, and that she could be an actress, if she applied herself.
She adds that Willy told her she was the nicest thing to happen to him in three years.
Paul says that he's sure that Willy likes her, but Mary Jo interrupts, and insists that Willy loves her, adding that they would talk for hours, and that he didn't want her to leave him.
She then tells Paul that Willy earlier tried to commit suicide twice - because no one laughed at his show. Mary Jo said that she always laughed at his jokes and antics, and Willy had said that it was the first real laughing he'd heard in 20,000 miles.
When Willy comes on stage that night, no one laughs at his jokes, and he takes umbrage, and goes into the audience, individually questioning patrons as to why they're not laughing.
Finally, he grabs one woman, and hollers, “laugh!”
Others in the audience pull him off, and he attacks them back, but is eventually driven to the floor.
The sheriff clears the crowd, and Paul goes to Willy. Mary Jo screams, but when her father says that he'll take her home, the sheriff intervenes, and insists on driving the girl there himself.
As Paul bends over him Willy raises his head, and lets out a terrible roar.
After that he doesn't communicate at all.
Paul tells Decker that he should have known that Willy was having a breakdown, citing the crying, the fear of being left alone and the lies, adding that he ignored all the evidence, instead of giving him what he needed most - rest.
“You have to help friends on their terms, not on yours,” Paul says gravely, as the sheriff appears.
He says that he's spoken to Mary Jo, and the case against Willy has been dropped.
Notes & Comments:
Well-paced and interesting episode with a few morals thrown in.
Director of Photography
William Margulies A.S.C.
Howard E. Johnson
Robert F. Shugrue
John McCartey &
Robert C. Bradfield
Earl Crain Jr.
Color by Technicolor
Editorial Dept. Head
Costume by Burton Miller
Assistant to Producer