Mary Alice Watson:
In a manner of speaking, Mary was the catalyst that created Rudy.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves here! Let’s step back and get some background before we jump into it. Here is the boring stuff:
Rudy Valentine is an alternate personae of Leoncio Sanchez born in Spanish Harlem NY in the spring of 1947. From the time that he could speak and interact with others, he would tell everyone his name was Leon because he had no patience for people mispronouncing or misspelling his name. His Latino relatives thought that was so cute since Leon is Spanish for lion. They laughed and insisted on addressing him as Junior
This went on thru his formative school years (told ya, boring stuff). Leon was far too timid in school to approach girls as he was always sure he would be rejected. As a form of compensation, he became the stand out clown of any group he interacted with.
Which brings us to the summer of 1962 which Leon spent with his cousins in Lansing Michigan. They spent the summer going to the drive-in, local dances and cruising the streets of Lansing (a 60’s phenomenon which would be prohibitive at today’s gas prices), oddly enough, cruising was a way to meet members of the opposite sex. (Peter, Paul & Mary did a great skit on this ritual in their Live album track for “Car Car”). But I Digress!
The guys introduce me to a girl named Judy with whom they often chatted on the phone. She had a sultry sexy voice and was fun to talk to. The personality on the phone was quite different in person. Well to make a long story short, Judy suggested we come over to her place to help entertain her cousin.. So the guys thought it would be great fun to set me up with the cousin who sounded just like Judy on the phone. Well we arrived at her house and much to our surprise, The cousin looked just as great as she sounded.Ok so moving on, one day we went out to help a friend of theirs, named Mr. Watson. While there, Leon was introduced to his daughter , Mary Alice. From the time their eyes met, a simpering puppy love was born. They spent as much time together as they could.
All too soon it was time for Leon to return home to Brooklyn. Upon his return home, he began to Pine for his puppy love and the period of separation became an insurmountable problem for them. (after all. this was long before cell phones and the long distance charges were astronomical).
By May of 1963 the pressures resulted in the creation of the Rudy Valentine personae a personality (something of a dick) who could take control of his life like Leon could not.
The name Rudy was chosen because of the perceived romantic personality of Rudolph Valentino. However Vallentine was chosen because his cousin had chosen to call himself Johnny Vallentine.
Rudy’s first order of business was to arrange to leave home for Lansing. He disguised himself by dying his hair red, and left for Manhattan where he purchased a ticket for Lansing.
Upon arriving at Mary’s home, Rudy discovered he had fooled no one back home. He was informed that both his aunt and the Lansing Police Department were looking for him. So what was he to do? Rudy did the only thing his budding personality would allow him to do. He called the Lansing police and belligerently told them “I heard you were looking for me! So here I am!”
Within 24 hours of his arrival he was back at the home of his aunt. Not bad, he thought, I got just what I wanted.
For the next month or so, While Rudy attended Eastern High School during the day, he and Mary enjoyed each others company at the Drive-In, the skating rink and the local dances.
But as Rudy became more socially popular, he began to hear suggestions that he could do much better than Mary Watson.
To be continued…..
This is a total rewrite of the first chapter of the Chezzy Chronicles Originally published on February 8, 2011 10 years and one week ago. Partially reconstructed from snippets found on my web backup,
Feedback appreciated, Enjoy and stay tuned for further chapters.