"The Day I Spilled Coffee on John Wayne" by Jo Blaylock

I must have been all of 19 years young and working at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Radio/TV station KTBC (now known as KLBJ) in Austin, Texas. The year was around 1958 and I was a Radio/TV student at the University of Texas. My job was to write commercials part time at the station while I attended college.

One day the local “big time” comedian called me on the phone and invited me to have coffee with him and another co-worker. We were housed in the Driscoll Hotel and so the coffee shop downstairs was the local hangout for us.

I gladly went to the coffee shop and saw my friends sitting in the booth and a very tall man sitting across from them with his back to me. They had ordered my coffee for me and as I slid in next to the visitor, I turned to give my name and there sat the movie actor John Wayne.

Well, here it comes! I gave a short screech and my arm flew out and threw my coffee cup into his lap. Of course we both jumped out of the booth and as I stood looking at his belt buckle, as I am 5 feet tall and he, well he is a very long, tall cowboy said “That’s ok Ma’am.”

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