I hear the word “elegance,” and it brings to mind elephants or elements…
Source: Muhammad Mahdi Karim/Wikipedia (GFDL 1.2 License)
I hear the word “elegance” and, for some reason, hotels come to mind. When I traveled a lot, I spent a lot of time in hotels, some elegant, some not quite so elegant. A lot of times in smaller towns, the hotel was kind of run-down, but it was the only place in town, and usually the room was in decent order. It got to the point where, as long as the toilet, shower, TV, and heating/air conditioning unit all worked and the bed was comfortable and bug-free, I was fine. That was true whether it was in a downtown area or out in the boonies somewhere.
There was a time that the company I worked for preferred you stay at the motel down the street, which had been a Rodeway Inn, when you came to Atlanta. Usually you ended up in “the dorm,” a three-story brick building at the back of the property. They usually saved the poolside rooms for better-paying guests. If there weren’t rooms available there, they would put you up at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, which had just been built when I started working there and was really posh. I didn’t care that I was at a fancy hotel. Like I said, if the toilet, shower, TV, and heat and air-conditioning worked, and the bed was comfortable and bug-free, I was happy whether I was at the Rodeway or the Ritz.
I was staying at the Ritz once, and a bunch of us were going to go out for the evening. The elevators all had mirrors in them, so you could see everyone riding with you. I got on the elevator, the doors closed, and who’s standing behind me but Sophia Loren.
I guess she was in Atlanta promoting her line of perfume. Anyway, I did what anyone would do: I turned around and said “Hi!” And she did what anyone would do when someone says “Hi!” to you: she said “Hi!” back. I stoppeed before reaching the lobby, so I got out, turned and said “Bye!” And she said “Bye!” back. My one brush with fame.
Now, you talk about elegance… She was going to a reception and was wearing a long gown, and the two guys with her (probably bodyguards… oh, they said “Hi!” and “Bye!” too) were in tuxedos. She’s as tall as I am when she isn’t wearing heels, so she fairly towered over me, and her bodyguards. But she looked gorgeous, and elegant. The epitome of elegance.