Sunday, June 10, 2007

No Bull

I once had a friend, a charming fellow who was, in fact, the first Chicano to graduate from Harvard Law School. His name was Enrique, but he Americanized it to "Hank." His wife, Millie, was often in India meditating with the Maharishi, so Hank spent a lot of time with my then-husband and me. He was old enough to be our father, but we all shared a passion for literature and travel.

The day his teenage son got into a wreck and killed his best friend, Hank was having dinner with us. In the aftermath, we all spent many hours trying to help his son cope with his enormous guilt. I pointed out to Hank that it was actually a blessing that his son had sustained a broken leg in the accident because if he had walked away without injury, his guilt would have been even worse. He agreed.

Hank's oldest friend was Anthony Quinn, whom he had known for many years. One night, it was arranged for my husband and me to have dinner in Manhattan with Hank and Quinn. I was thrilled, as Anthony Quinn was one of the actors I most admired. He had captivated me in "Zorba the Greek." At the appointed hour, the three of us arrived at the restaurant and sat down to have a drink while we waited for Quinn. An hour and several drinks later, he still had not made his entrance, so we decided to order dinner.

Halfway through the meal, which was excellent Mexican food, Anthony Quinn arrived with his date, a 19-year old bimbo named Bambi who was prancing like a filly at the starting gate. Quinn, on the other hand, practically crawled to our table, looking utterly exhausted. He downed several drinks but was too drained to eat. The young lady made it clear that she expected to go several more rounds in the sack with Quinn after his obligatory appearance at his friend's dinner party. While I listened to her preen and prattle, Quinn and Hank had a brief conversation in Spanish.

it turned out that the three of us were delegated to give Bambi a ride home, while Quinn slunk away for some restorative R&R. All the way there, she sat in the back seat glowing as she effused over what a "wonderful person" Anthony Quinn was. For years, my husband and I used "Wonderful Person" as code for great lay. Later, Hank told us that Quinn had muttered the phrase that bullfighters use when they want another bullfighter to take their bull.


Anonymous said...

I always adored Anthony Quinn. Its nice to know he was a great lay! You never cease to have a great story. So, what is the line for wanting to be replaced by another bull fighter?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I wish I knew. Really. I can think of so many occasions that would come in handy.

meno said...

I've always liked him too, but what was he doing with a Bambi anyway? That's kind of disappointing.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He was a womanizer. His extramarital affairs were a major factor in the demise of all his marriages.

Tanya Brown said...

ROTFLMAO! Oh, my; this is a great story!

The CEO said...

I have confined my practice for quite a while now, speaking for myself. Anthony Quinn, while a great actor, does/did nothing for my libido.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It was quite an experience. He was truly larger than life.

I just wish I could speak Spanish bullfightese.


My libido was not an issue either, but my mind was certainly engaged.

Josie said...

Hearts, and that phrase is...?

A bimbo named Bambi. Love it. It's too bad you weren't able to have a good visit with Mr. Quinn. What a great story.


heartinsanfrancisco said...


Oh, but it was good. He came in (no pun intended) fatigued, but seemed to have limitless reserves to charm yet another woman.

And he was charming.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Wow, Anthony Quinn! Another idol who really is very human. Great actor nonetheless.

You did not complete your story about Hank's son. Also how does one get Hank from Enrique?

la cubana gringa said...

I'm not entirely sure, but I think I'm a fairly wonderful person.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


There really was no more to that story. It was a horrible time for both families, but Hank's son had a lot of help. His friend was not as lucky.

Hank is a nickname for Henry; Enrique is Henry in Spanish.

La Cubana,

I'm sure you are, too.

Do you happen to know the bullfight expression?

Sundry said...

Great story.

Ian Lidster said...

Aha -- the not so Mighty Quinn. Or, no fool like an old fool revsited. Once in a while I (very happily married) will peruse some sweet young 'thang' with all the right esthetics, and then I think 'naah!' It might work, but not at the frequency either she or I might like.
Anyway, what a neat experience, regardless. I've always liked AQ as an actor, too, and your tale just makes him a little more human.

furiousBall said...

Euphemisms are great aren't they? I always thought he'd be a great guy to have dinner and drinks with. Although most guys think that being a 50 something dude dating 19 year old strumpets is idea, as I've gotten older. I've realized it's freakin' stupid.

Open Grove Claudia said...

What a great story! Especially about Anthony Quinn - a legandary lover of women! He had like 8 wife and at least one million kids (ok wikipedia says 13). I saw him once on Letterman talking about his women and his kids.

I liked his attitude - he felt like he had money, why not give it to his wives, his girlfriends and his children.

jali said...

My favorite Quinn role is as the sweets loving grandpapa in "A Walk In The Clouds".

Great story.

Anonymous said...

You are a story teller, and what amazing stories you have!!!

I too have loved Anthongy Quinn and this is a glorious story, one where he lives almost without talking. He was obviously a man who chewed up life, on screen and off.

So, did Hank take over the bull?

Voyager said...

Great story. I am going to use the expression. It would be great when cornered at a party by a bore, to whisper to my mate "take my bull".

Lee said...

My code for great lay is "take off yer pants." I never won any prizes for subtlety.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It was fun meeting him. He totally filled a room, and a stage.

Thank you for stopping by.


He was quite human, no pretensions at all.

When I got back from L.A. I saw that you have several posts I've missed. I'll be over later, and I like my coffee very blond w/o sugar.


It's stupid if you expect to have a conversation afterward, or to avoid a heart attack.

I think guys like Quinn do it because they can.


I think he had three wives and many mistresses, not to mention one-night popsies. And 13 known kiddies.

Wherever he sat was the head of the table.


The first one I saw him in was La Strada with Giuietta Masina, a marvelous actress who I think was married to Fellini.

She played a mute girl, and even without words, her facial expressions balanced Quinn's over-the-top performance.


Our driving her home was Hank taking his bull.

We took her off his um, hands.


I'm sorry I can't provide the exact Spanish term. I could piece together the words, but I doubt that would be accurate. Unfortunately, I don't know any bullfighters.

I went to the bullfights in Madrid once and was so appalled by the cruelty to the animals, which were magnificent, that I didn't stay for the main event.

The saddest part was after the bull was slain, and they dragged it by horses around the ring preceded by jubilant trumpeters.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Hey, why mince words? They only get lost in the translation.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

What a great story!
Wonderful Person... had me chuckling indeed... isn't it funny the code terms we use. I use a few myself.

And I thought Anthony Quinn was only a great talent on the screen... hee hee... well then...
Perhaps I ought to stretch my imagination a bit.

Are you still friends with Hank? It sounds somehow, in your writing, as though you are not. Time and distance?
I'd love to go meditate with the Maharishi... I'm open next Thursday, perhaps I'll go make a long weekend out of it.

Scarlett and Viaggiatore

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Hank Lopez died some time ago. He was a writer and lawyer, and a very charming and interesting man.

Do you think the Maharishi is still living? I would have liked to go, too.

I have a serious wanderlust, which is mostly unsatisfied.

EsLocura said...

that is a marvelous tale.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Hey, watch those ashes. I mean, thanks, Sweetie.

Robin said...

I'm dating a really wonderful person right now!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Wonderful is as wonderful does.

thailandchani said...

Geez, what is it with these old guys with young women? LOL



heartinsanfrancisco said...


Um. Firm flesh? Mindless adoration? Or perhaps the fact that they don't have to be taken seriously.

But what do I know? I'm a chick.

Michael C said...

Now THAT is a story!! Seriously though, how great are the names Hank and Millie??

heartinsanfrancisco said...


About as good as Lucy and Ethel, I guess.

Sienna said...

Look what I'm almost missing!

This is great reading Hearts...(me and blogger have been at logger-heads)...I'm not up to my usual fancy footwork trapezing around the world.

Zorba the movie I still enjoy.
Zorba was very human...complete with foibles... (always call AQ Zorba).

(The special and wonderful).. Pam.:)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You should have been there. Zorba would have hung Bambi out to dry.

One of my all-time favorite lines in a movie is when he says, "Wife, children, house, the full catastrophe."

kim said...

wayyy funny ...great story :)

Dumdad said...

Zorba the Greek is one of my all-time favourite films. Quinn was absolutely perfect for the role (although he wasn't Greek) and the perfect foil for Alan Bates.
And you met the legend! (Envy waves rushing through the blogosphere).

Sienna said...

Ha ha I have some more rams, working better...

I have this:

It is bullfight terminology...maybe: *Sobresaliente*: meaning substitute matador in case one retires injured ....only a guess. All the terminology is interesting though.


Dan said...


Hilarious! Oh my God! Dinner ... well ... almost dinner, with Anthony Quinn.

So he considered her a bull and needed to have someone else take her down. Great story Heart!

Odat said...

Wow, what a wonderful memory!!!
Thanks for sharing that! Very funny too!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It's great to see you again, even without your seven little friends.


It's one of my favorites, too. He OWNED that movie. And I loved meeting him.


You're awesome. It could be "sobresaliente." I'm going to check out the website and start talking like a bullfighter.


I don't think he considered Bambi a bull - he just knew that only Hank would understand the reference. And he did. We got to take Joy-Girl home.


It was pretty funny at the time, too. I'm glad I thought of it again.

katrice said...

Hilarious! Poor Mr. Quinn. I take it Hank was too much of a gentleman to take the bull by her horns next.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He was, indeed. I do not believe that Hank was a womanizer, despite the fact that his wife was often far away. I never saw any indication of it.

And I think you meant "by her horny."

Wanderlust Scarlett said...


I am sorry to hear about Hank, but glad to see that you keep his memory alive. The friends we've lost are best remembered this way.

I don't know if the Maharishi is still alive.... lets wander in that direction and go find out!


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Liz said...

What a great, memorable experience to have. And it just goes to show that looks can be deceiving! You never know who's a stud and who's not...a 19 year-old named Bambi. Wow, I'm going to have to make my husband read this!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is still living at 96, which is probably nothing for a yogi.

How soon can you be ready?


Maybe they get better with age, like wines?

You think?

Jay said...

I'm always disappointed to hear when bigger than life personalities turn out to be so predictable.

Mystic Wing said...

Damn good story, well told.

Thanks for sharing it.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...


Wow! Good investigating!

I am on my way. We'll stop for ice cream and spend a long weekend in deep philosophical discussions and quiet meditation with him.
I'll grab some post cards while we're there.

96. Think he's still a stud?

~staying on topic here.

Liz ~ No, they do not get better with age. They are just more skilled at hiding it.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

PS - Hearts, in you haven't yet been by to meet Viaggiatore, you may enjoy a quick visit... he's quite a find. There is also a brownie fiasco that will make you giggle.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I wasn't disappointed because I already knew of his proclivities. Such male antics can be amusing when they don't involve me.


Thank you. It was hard to miss with a main character like him.


You'd have to ask Mia Farrow if the Maharishi is still studly.

Your comment to Liz made me giggle. I don't know if you're right, though, as I prefer younger men.

Viaggiatore is quite charming. I'm glad to know he went to a good home.

thethinker said...

Great story (even though I have no idea who Anthony Quinn is).

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He was a marvelous character actor who starred in many of the greatest movies ever made.

He was both before my time and of my time, as his career spanned many years, but way before yours.

CS said...

And then you have to wonder - was he really, or was she simply taken with the fact that he was rich and famous?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


For many women, they are the same. There is no question that Bimbo Bambi was over the moon about having slept with a famous movie star.

The whole thing sounds like a rather empty exercise from both sides, his and hers. But then, what do I know? I've always been a misfit in such matters.

Girl on the Run... said...

I always loved Anthony Quinn too. I love him in a "Walk in the Clouds"! Love his accent as well.

He definately looks like he would be a great lover.....

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He was a fabulous actor and personality. I can't think of anybody who can fill his shoes.

I am not Star Jones said...

wonderful person!

i'm using that!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


If the shoe fits, get it on.