Circa 1955/56 I went back to New York for a visit that stretched to a year. For 8 months of that time I was manager of a beatnik coffee shop in Greenwich Village called the Cafe Bizarre. In fact I was a beatnik for the duration.
It was only natural for me to seek beatnik related bookings when I returned to Hollywood. After all I had the right clothes, dirty torn levis and T shirts etc. 🙂 I did manage to get booked on a number of beatnik sets mostly in TV series.
Getting booked on Two For The Seesaw was an awesome bonus for me. I loved the set with all the traditional Greenwich Village beatnik artifacts. I felt I had returned to my Village neighborhood.
Robert Mitchum was known for his pranks and brushes with the law mostly related to marijuana. Unlike today, in the 1950s marijuana was illegal with severe consequences. However, in the Village it was the drug of choice among the beatniks.
We worked long days in this scene. It was night already on the last day for this set. We got a break and I went out to get some fresh air. Mitchum was seated on a bench also enjoying the night air with a smoke. I started to walk by and gave him a smiling nod at his smoking. He beckoned me over to sit on the bench and I shared part of his cigarette. 🙂 For the next half hour we had a good time talking beatnik to beatnik along with a couple of extra girls who Mitchum also invited to join us.