Back in the eighties I was selling Scotch all over the Americas.
One of my distributors was based in Miami and we played golf and did business every time I visited Florida. MB was a solid guy – gregarious, flamboyant but a really good guy.
He was pretty wealthy and even though he had a beautiful house in Miami, adjacent to one of the houses owned by Julio Iglesias, he also owned a “smallish” 5-bedroom villa in Marbella in the south of Spain.
He had two attractive daughters who would come and pick me up at the airport in a nice wee black Porsche – But I never mixed my personal life with my professional life and all we ever did together was to have nice meals and a few drinks in South Beach. MB always asked me about the girls and I always said to him they were far too good for me. He loved that sort of stuff.
MB used to always tell me about his close friendship with Sean Connery (one of my boyhood heroes) and how they were neighbours in Marbella. I never quite believed him – if anything he may know him but he could never be close friends with 007, could he?
A few years later, I had changed companies, but I still kept in contact with MB. I was working in Spain and was based in Madrid but used to visit our factory in Málaga on a regular basis. Out of the blue, Sandy, MB’s better half called me and said, “Hey John what are you doing this weekend? We are having a surprise 60th birthday party for MB and we would love you to come down. I swiftly arranged a team meeting at our Malaga factory and drove down for the meeting and on to the party.
Sandy called me at my Málaga office and said, “John the kids are not here, so if you want to stay over at our place there is no problem.”
“Great!” I said. “I hope to be down about 5pm!”
“Excellent,” she said, “we will start at 6pm but it will go on until late.”
I got to MBs place just after 5pm – Sandy opened the side door and said come in in MB is at the club and is due back in half an hour. But go through to the lounge as one of your friends is there on his own.
I knew a few of MBs friends and this was no real surprise but when I went out to the s terrace, I was totally gob smacked.
It was Sean Connery, on his own with a Vodka and tonic in his hand.
He came over and said, “Hi John, I have heard so much about you….”
We proceeded to have a chat for about 90 minutes about the world in general, about Spain, about Scotland and whole variety of subjects. He was a very nice guy and totally normal. Strangely we didn’t talk about the fairer sex – he was on his own as I was and Sandy was floating about.
Anyway, MB arrived and the party started and went on until the small hours. I interacted a few times at the bar with Sean and couldn’t believe how normal he was.
Five years later, I got another call from Sandy. “Hey John another surprise party. Its Mb’s 65th birthday on Saturday. Can you come down? “
‘You bet!” I said. “Will my pal Sean be there?”
“Of Course!”, exclaimed Sandra.
There had been a few changes in my life in the five years that had passed since the last party. I had got married to the first Mrs. Glasgow John but was still travelling the world selling booze to anyone who wanted to buy from me.
I told my ex-wife, “This weekend you will meet Sean Connery.”
She didn’t believe me….
Anyway, the party this time was in MB’s golf club about 40kms from my own house so we drove down.
We parked the car in the golf club car park and grabbed our jackets to go into the clubhouse.
Then I heard someone shout, “Hey John! How are you?”
It was of course, my mate Sean!
He was getting out his car with his wife, Micheline. I was shocked when he introduced her. She was small and wrinkled …. I was not impressed. The guy who could have been with any woman had married a wee girl who had taken too much sun in her life and was wrinkled.
Inside the club house, I was even more stunned. Sean came up to me and said, “My wife doesn’t let me drink, so can you get me a couple of Vodka and Tonics and leave them on your table. “
“No problem, big man,” I said.
My hero was seriously hen pecked and controlled by his wife who seemed a really nasty piece of work.
I asked Sandra about her and she said, “Don’t say anymore ….”
Marshall passed on not long after this party – a very sudden illness took him from us.
I still talk once a year to Sandra and her daughters.
I still see Sean and his wife in the glossy magazines but I haven’t seen him since then.
He sold his house in Spain and I came down here to Argentina.