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    The Shirt Off Your Back

    Many of my most treasured clothing items have come from people who were actually wearing them at the time. I specifically remember a navy blue rugby shirt that I got off a fellow actor in Los Angeles when we were both having yard sales.

    I asked him how his sale was going and he told me, “so, so.”

    I then said I’d like to buy the shirt off his back and he whipped it off and gave it to me.

    You never know when someone, out of the blue, will do you a favor.

    This reminds me of a time when I was bartending in Los Angeles for a wrap party for the Flintstones movie. John Goodman starred as Fred Flintstone and he was the main attraction at the wrap party.

    I was still walking with a cane and able to maneuver behind the bar with difficulty without my cane. John noticed this and saw me struggling to re-stock the beer cooler.

    He asked me if I was a struggling actress, and why I was having such a difficult time getting around. I told him I had a “bad back” to which he responded with a wry smile and hopped behind the bar to restock the cooler for me.

    Before he went back into the crowd, he asked me if he could give me a bit of advice. I said, “Sure.”

    He put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Whatever your real problem is, try to get out of the rat-race of this acting business and take care of you. These people out here in this industry are sharks.”

    It wasn’t long after that that I was unable to maneuver around the bar and I gave my notice. I probably worked a year more than I should have but I wasn’t willing to give in.

    I have about ten other shirts in my closet people have given me. I have a story and great memories when I wear each one. So if you want to clean out your closet, I’m your girl for hand-me-downs! Of course, I do have to like the shirt…

    Have a happy new year!


    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com