I Know His Face, But That’s About It

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

Morgan Freeman, Morgan Freeman, Morgan Freeman – I’m sorry, I am just making sure I remember his name. I have trouble with names sometimes and I know some of you do too. It is a common problem for us old geezers.

Last night we were watching the Clint Eastwood movie Unforgiven. Gene Hackman is one of the stars and a real poopy-pants. Of course I remembered Gene’s name. I mean I did after I started running through the alphabet and got to the G’s, but there were a few names in the cast that eluded me. It wasn’t much of a problem since I had never heard of them in the first place. Not only that, but some of the characters didn’t have names in the movie.

That happens. When I was in Man of La Mancha I played Pedro, a muleteer; the name Pedro was never used at all. Nobody called ‘Hey Pedro, what’s happening?’ Come to think of it I don’t know why Pedro was even in the show. I don’t remember doing anything important.

In the listings, under Dramatis Personae and just before the Please support our sponsors, in very small letters was Pedro – Jim Foster. Everyone in the audience was looking at their program and whispering ‘Who is the short guy doing absolutely nothing?’ They had a cast party after and I wasn’t invited.

But back to my memory problems – every now and then we meet someone and completely draw a blank on the person’s name even though you have known them for years.

Apparently that kind of memory lapse happens to all of us and it’s nothing to worry about. At least that is the current wisdom according to a guy I was talking to someplace. I can’t remember who he was or where we were and why we were talking about forgetting things, but we were.

Now that I think about it, he didn’t remember my name either so the two of us stood there fumbling, each hoping the other jerk’s name would come to us, which of course it never did. The logical thing would be to say “I’m sorry but I’ve forgotten your name” but we didn’t, and why not? It’s simple, why would you want to look stupid in front of some bozo who can’t even remember your name? I don’t know why I stopped to talk to him in the first place. The next time I see him coming I will cross the street.

What has that to do with Morgan Freeman? Not a thing except I can never remember Morgan’s name either. He is probably one of the greatest, if not The Greatest of all the Hollywood actors, yet every time I see him I have to start running through the alphabet and M is a long way down.

Last night, it happened again. Morgan was in the movie but I couldn’t remember his name. I absolutely refused to cheat and ask Google who were the leads in Unforgiven and that other one, the Sheepshit Resolution. (That doesn’t sound right, you know the movie I mean, the one where he is in prison with that other guy whose name I can’t remember?

I can’t remember why I wanted to know Morgan’s name to begin with but it must have been important, otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed up half the night worrying about it.

Anyway, I was driving up from Barrie this afternoon and suddenly the name ‘Morgan Freeman’ popped into my head. I immediately pulled over and flagged down the next car. When the driver rolled down the window I said “It’s Morgan Freeman.” After I drove away I could see him standing on the side of the road scratching his head.

Another actor whose name has been a real problem for me for years is Alan Rickman. Alan was the Wicked Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves and no one, not even the great Basil Rathbone himself could play a wicked Sheriff like he did in that movie. When he was comforting his deputy after he let Robin get away Alan put his arm around his shoulder saying ‘There, there’ or something like that, then stabbed him. I thought it was hilarious.

I could never remember Alan’s real name either until I remembered I know another Rickman, my friend, John (Hatchet) Ryckman. Different spelling but what the hell. Once I connected them, I now remember Wicked Sheriff Rickman instantly. All I have to do is think of what ex-lacrosse player I know who lives in Forest Home, run through the alphabet to the Hs for Hatchet and within 10 or 20 minutes I have it, John Ryckman. The only problem I have now is I’m afraid to let him get behind me – especially if he’s saying ‘There, there’ and holding a knife.

(Image Supplied)

Rants & Raves

Support Independent Journalism