“If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does,
it must be by what he gives.”
A Favor for a Friend
One of our neighbors, when I was a kid was Henry Silva, above right with fellow Rat Packers, Sammy, Frank, Dean and Peter in the original Ocean’s 11. Henry made several movies with these guys and had a successful film career playing the bad guy in dozens more.
I remember being a little bit afraid the first time I met him, because he looked every bit the villain he so convincingly played in the movies. But as we got to know him, he and his wife Ruth became good friends of my parents and the kids on our street grew to like him a lot.
You could always hear Henry coming home from work. He drove a white-on-black 1967 Porsche 911s. Making the turn onto our street in low gear created the high rpm sound of a Porsche’s that could be heard all through the neighborhood.
So, when I was about nineteen, I decided I ought to do Henry a favor as he always had been so kind to me. I suggested to him that, when he was out of town filming, his car’s battery might run low and the fluids might become a little sluggish. And I offered to take his car out occasionally, to “exercise” it and wash it weekly.
Henry said yes!
I was so ecstatic I could hardly see straight. And when Henry was gone on his next shoot, I was gone down the road in that beautiful 911s. Not quite like Ferris Bueller in the Ferrari…but close.
I have often thought back to those days and that great favor from a great friend and Henry’s faith in allowing me the privilege of driving his awesome 911s.