March 13, 2012 by JoBe Cerny
The first time I heard the words, Mitzi Grace, I thought it was a fancy kind of absolution. But, it wasn’t. It was a woman, and she picked me up at the airport in Puerto Rico. I spent less than a half hour of my life with her, but I never forgot her. I was exiting customs in the airport terminal when I first noticed her. The reason I noticed her was that she was holding a card with my name on it: “JoBe”. She was the only person holding a card with my name on it so I was drawn to her. I walked up to her and extended my hand to shake hers. Her hand was very soft and tanned to a golden brown, and it was moist -- too moist. I said my name is: “JoBe”. And she said: “I know! You are a famous American Actor. I am so nervous to meet you. I am Mitzi Grace Martinez Hernandez Rodriguez Gonzales.” I casually slipped my hand in my pocket to try to dry it off. This attractive young woman was dressed to the nines, and she was now sweating more profusely. It was the first time I ever had that kind of effect on a woman. A drop of sweat dripped off the tip of her nose and it landed between her bosoms and traveled downwards to unknown destinations. Then she said: “I am your escort.”
I got my bag, and we were off the hotel. She asked me how I got my name, and I told her my Father’s name was Joe and my Mother’s name was Bea so they named me JoBe. She was so excited to hear the explanation she almost applauded while driving. Then I asked her how she got her name. She said her father was a big fan of American Movies and his two favorite movie stars were Mitzi Gaynor, the dancer, and Grace Kelly, the Princess of Monaco. The four surnames after her first and second names were of the lineage of her family. But, she remained nervous and kept sweating. She told me she was a student and she was an apprentice with the advertising agency that flew me to Puerto Rico. I was going to be staying in Old San Juan at a very first class older hotel that was right on the ocean. When she parked in front of the hotel, I thanked her and said goodbye, but she said: “I am your escort. I am responsible for you. I must take you to your room.” That was a new one for me.
I checked in at the front desk and the manager gave me the key. My agent had negotiated a lot of perks into my contract, and he said to expect everything to be first class. I just had one bag so I picked it up, and I told Mitzi Grace that I could find my way up to my room. But, she insisted she had to come with me because my agent negotiated a number of extras into my contract. So Mitzi Grace and I got into the elevator, and we went up to my room. I put the key in the door and opened it. I had an ocean view, a king size bed, a fruit basket, and chocolates. But the big surprise was yet to come. Mitzi Grace walked up to me and said: “I have one more thing for you.” She opened her purse and handed me a two inch thick envelope filled with cash. She breathed a sigh of relief and said: “I have never had that much cash in my life! I was afraid someone might attack us and take it! It is dangerous to carry that much cash in San Juan!” She shook my hand once more, and then I never saw her, again.
And in case you’re curious, I only spent about $30.00 of my spending money.