Kathie Returns

When I was a boy, I used to take the NFT bus from Kenmore to downtown Buffalo, N.Y., on Saturdays to go to the movies. And often, my friend Russell and I would stop at a used book store, I think it was on Chippewa, and look through a box of movie stills and lobby cards. It was there that I probably purchased the one above, from The Student Prince (1954), of Kathie the barmaid who captures the heart of the prince, who is incognito as a student in order to pick up the common touch, which he has lacked until then. Kathie serves him a beer and suddenly he begins to sing, with the voice of Mario Lanza, “Drink, Drink, Drink,” a song I still love. And this photo, which represents much of what is good in life, some would say almost all, was a part of my collection for many years. I framed it when I was in college, and it hung in my room at the Delt house, over my “bar,” setting the tone for revelry and song.

But at some point, the picture and I became unglued. I went off into the military, moved 11 times in 10 years, and the photo became only a memory. Until last year, when I had a spasm of sadness over its disappearance, and it occurred to me that like most things in this life, it might be found on eBay. I put in a saved search, and started getting emails every time “Ann Blyth” (who played Kathie) (beautifully) and “Student Prince” cropped up together. After about five months of daily notifications, the exact photo came up, and in a week, we were reunited. I am very happy that Kathie is home again, just as I remember her.

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