NAME DROPPING IN
by Max Reif
from "THE WHIM" *
The other night, I was at dinner in Myrtle Beach with Kitty and Jane and the subject of how Baba-lovers go out of their way so often to use the names of Baba "celebrities" came up. Bob Dreyfuss and I had talked about it once when I'd lived in California. I remember we'd been out surfing with Rick, and as Rick was running by us with his board, he overheard us and said, 'Somebody ought'a write something about that.'
I don't generally do something just because one or two people suggest it, but damned if the same subject didn't come up when I was having dinner with Pete in London on my way back from my last trip to India. Tim Busfield happened to be in town too, and we had all gone out to Ronnie Scott's, and I think it was Ronnie Lane who brought it up this time. Pete's secretary, Nicole, was taking notes on our discussion and I have them right here in front of me.
Just as we were about to start dessert, who should drop by but Don and Delia, and they joined us. There was a hearty feeling of solidarity as I looked around the table at my friend's faces. Everybody knew somebody needed to speak out about this insidious community malady and soon. But still, I hesitated, waiting for a sign from Baba that I was indeed the one He wished to speak through on this matter.
I wrote a draft of this letter just for fun and informally tried it out at a Myrtle Beach party (what a party!) on Bob and Jane. They told me Darwin had told them just the day before, 'I wish Max would do an essay on name dropping. But what really clinched my sending this was the young mother who came by with her baby as I was reading. The baby smiled, and I have it on good authority that in his last life he was Jean Adriel ...