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Revson tapes all day Saturday.
Saturday evening a girl named Claudia calls. Would Peter come to Balboa Island for dinner if she bought? Thank you, Claudia, but no two-hour round trip tonight; too tired. An hour later Claudia is in Redondo Beach with two friends, Armenian girls from Fresno, just out of college, very young, still with that awkwardness that can occasionally be most appealing but is usually not. Acne and laryngitis and compulsive talking about Norman Rockwell being an idol; dreadful stuff. Revson is charm itself. Leaning back, puffing on a Montecristo, he listens attentively to every word, makes the right inquiries at the right times, beguiles, flatters; in general, acts as though he were with the three most fascinating women in the universe. At dinner's end the girls walk out of the restaurant about an inch beneath the ceiling. Revson pays the check with pleasure.
On Sunday evening, after a day away, I return exhausted to the Revson apartment. In the bathroom assigned to me I reach in the dark for my Dopp Kit to get my toothbrush and discover a dainty Gucci bag instead. Uh huh.
On Monday morning, with some work left to do and a 10:35 plane to catch, I go out and buy a couple of sausage-and-cheese omelets from the Saroyanesque restaurant next door. Back in the apartment I yell to the sleeping loft that it's time to get up. In about five minutes down floats an absolute vision: small; long clean blonde hair; exquisitely groomed; dressed so that it is hard to tell if she's Italian or French or Finnish. The lady comes into the living room and makes it her job to put me at ease. I am a welcome guest in her Alpine chalet. She is feminine, educated, a deferential hostess, a Harvard graduate and a citizen of Italy, where she is doing research for her doctoral thesis.
O.K. One tipsy stranger, three sorority girls and a gentle-lady from Verona.
REVSON: Listen, this only happens very rarely. My life is really dull the rest of the time.
MANDEL: Nonsense, Revson. I've been standing around for eight months now, remember?
MANDEL: If a Grand Prix driver is worth anything at all, other than being an extremely quick entertainer, it is as a man who is living out our dreams. His life is a magic round of first-class flights, commuter hops in chartered jets, dazzling women, legendary hotels with magnificent wine cellars and people crowding in from all sides pressing money into his hands.
This is true. It is indeed the way a Grand Prix driver lives. He also lives with boredom, terror, fatigue and danger.
The young fans understand the drivers. They take them for life models, to the distress of many who would rather they looked to wealthy quarterbacks or Establishment lawyers. The young know that race cars and drivers—particularly Grand Prix cars and drivers—are the visible edges of an ubiquitous facet of American life. Consider: