In Memory of J.B. Milano
In our Junior year at dear old Myers Park High John Milano fell head over heels in love with Susan White. She was a drama queen and a member of the drama club. John thought it would help his chances with Susan if he joined the drama club. He in turn wanted me to join for moral support. Now I had no desire to be an actor or anything else that demanded so much time. After much pleading and begging I became a member as a stage hand. We stage hands rolled out the props and remove them between scenes along with other assorted jobs.
During rehearsal for the play “A Street Car named Desire” there was a scene where Johns character was sitting in a bar having a drink and pouring out his heart to Stella. When the prop department set up the scene it was my job to place a table and two chairs, and place a bottle of whiskey and a class on the table. The whiskey bottle was suppose to be filled with tea and used in the scene as Johns' character drank and poured out his heart to Desire. I decided to add more drama to the scene by replacing the tea with Southern Comfort that I secured from lets say a college buddy. The lights went down, the curtain opened with John sitting at the table pouring himself a drink and sobbing to Stella. The lines were fowled up and Mr. Femster our Drama teacher screamed NO! No! n ow take it from the start and this time get it right. After a half dozen tries Mr. Femster through in the towel and yanked John off the stage and replaced him with an understudy. The new student poured a drink and blew the line, Mr. Femster had the new understudy try several more times only to see the line muffed over and over again. He let out a litany of adjectives and called off the rehearsal.
As a result of the muffed lines Mr. Femster replaced John with another student and the romance with Susan cooled off and soon the drama department was short two people. One actor and one prop master.