Awesome Larry! Jaws was/is my favorite movie of all time. When I was a kid my entire room was covered in shark paraphernalia. I saw the movie 20+ time and to this day you’d be shocked but I can pretty much recite the movie.Things we remember… Next time I see you I’ll give you a little sampling…
David, I just found out something I didn’t know about you. I knew you were a devout Auburn Tigers fan and the best real estate agents in South Carolina, but I didn’t know you were a Jaws fan. We all have those life moments where we remember where we were when something unexpected happened, like when Former President Kennedy was shot, I was an usher and when the projectionists stopped the movie, closed the curtains and brought up the house lights I had to walk to the center of the auditorium and tell the patrons in the theatre the President had just been shot. On a much lighter side, I remember all too much the first time that shark showed his face. I felt as if I were about to have a heart attack.
Thanks David for sharing!
If those men knew you as I do they would have let you wait outside.
You know me too well! Am glad those men in the room didn’t know I could make magic with a deck of cards. However, I never got to shuffle or stack the deck for the cut, so my gift with cards never came into play. The real question is: if I had the opportunity would I have stacked the deck or played it straight?
Tommy on July 19, 2014 at 10:27 am
Larry, I never stop being amazed at the stories you know from your dealings with these people. These prove that the movie people are just ordinary people like we are. They just dress and talk a little different, but they still act and think like we do.
Lucy on June 22, 2014 at 2:49 pm
I was captivated by this posting! You have an amazing talent for telling a story in a few words. I love reading these. Maybe you should have a trivia game that goes along with the book. It would be a lot of fun for us movie lovers.
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on June 25, 2014 at 5:25 pm.
Thank you, Lucy! That’s a great idea.
Tommy Swaim on June 15, 2014 at 11:11 am
I am sure that your experiences in Hollywood had some good and lasting effects on the people there. Scripture teaches us that it did. Light ALWAYS overrules darkness and you are a great reflection of HIS light.
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on June 15, 2014 at 11:30 am.
Happy Father’s Day, Tommy! So thankful for your friendship and influence in my life. You have always been a second dad to me. Sending much love to you today!
Tracey on June 14, 2014 at 9:42 am
Mentora, this is such a testimony of God’s grace in your lives! Your dad has been a wonderful friend to my dad, and a beautiful example of a loving father to me. Blessings to you both on your upcoming book. I’m so excited for you!
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on June 15, 2014 at 11:27 am. Thank you, Tracey! You and your family have always been such a blessing and encouragement to us.
Tim Ashcraft on June 13, 2014 at 4:30 pm
That’s a beautiful tribute! What a wonderful family you are! My favorite dad movie moment? Field of Dreams, when Ray Kinsella asks his dad if he wants to play catch.
Reply by Larry Vaughn on June 13, 2014 at 4:42 pm
Thanks Tim for your very kind comment. Oh Yea, Field of Dreams was one of Kevin Costner’s best films!
Rex Norris on May 23, 2014 at 1:28 pm
I had a similar experience with Eddie: We screened the first bond movie with Raquel Welch and he didn’t care for it. Said I’m going to let Paramount Theaters have this one. I thought it was great and we did play it in a few spots. You just can’t win ‘em all, even Eddie who I loved working for. Was Freda Goldberg still there when you worked for Eddie?
Reply by Larry Vaughn on May 23, 2014 at 4:49 pm
Rex, Thank you for your comments. You’re right when you say, “You just can’t win em’ all.” I learned a lot from Edie Stern. Eddie was a class act! Frieda retired the day Eddie retired. She was quite a lady.
Stewart Harnell on May 12, 2014 at 10:24 am
Ode to Mentora —
Mentora has a burning flame that all of us defy
it comes out in her laughter, it sparkles in her eyes
Do you know what Mentora’s secret is?
In her heart it lies.
Now, about the blog and Hollywood’s Chosen (great title) Since I’ve known Larry for ages and have enormous admiration and respect for him, please understand whatever I write is totally biased since not having read the book yet — but I’m eagerly waiting to get it. I did read Larry’s first book, an account of his life that took us through his early years – it was riveting and heartwarming replete with an abundance of love, personal reflection and southern charm. I enjoyed the read immensely and know I’ll feel the same about Hollywood’s Chosen. Love, blessings and all the best, Larry and Mentora. By the way, I do know what a “film buyer” is Eddie Stern told me. Forever your friend, Stew Harnell
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on May 12, 2014 at 10:48 am
Wow! Thank you, Stew. You are now at the top of my list for one of my favorite people! You should be a writer. My dad has always spoken of you with such fond memories.
I loved your statement about Eddie Stern. I remember when I was young my dad took me to work with him once a year. Eddie would give me secretarial jobs to do and even paid me for my service. I remember he told me what a film buyer is too! I miss Eddie Stern. Thanks again for your kind remarks. With love, Mentora
Reply by Larry Vaughn on May 12, 2014 at 11:05 am
Hi Stew, Thank you very much for your kind words. You are a class act and a wonderful friend. I miss our years of being together at all those golf outings and theatre owner conventions. When looking at your Cinema Concepts’ website, I am not surprised to see that it is an award winning company; and that is primarily because of your leadership and knowledge of the industry.
Reply by Stewart Harnell on May 12, 2014 at 11:16 am
Thank you Mentora – I was a poet but didn’t know it — glad you liked my blog. Eddie Stern was one of my dearest friends, Two of his sons, Jimmy and recently deceased Bruce both worked for me in Atlanta. I hope to see you and your Dad in the near future – the trip should be easy now that I have a fast jet plane. I’ve got some great stories mostly about Litchfield Theatres, Foster McKissick, Ulmer Eaddy and Jack Jordan – all terrific people and close friends.The annual barbeque at Litchfield by the Sea were fabulous. Foster organized it each year for all the film people. One year someone asked him, “what’s Stew Harnell doing here” to which he responded, “We buy all of our film trailers from Stew” — Ha gottcha !! Love and blessings, Mentora — I’ll do whatever I can to contribute to the success of “Hollywood’s Chosen” stew
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on May 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm
You are an amazing poet, Stew! My dad and I would love a visit from you. You have no excuse now that I know you have a jet plane! Yes, the people at Litchfield Theatres were all wonderful. When Foster flew my parents up for the first time and offered my dad a job there at Litchfield, my mom told my dad she would kill him if he didn’t take the job! I am glad he did, as I loved living at Litchfield by the Sea: it was like living in the world of Scarlett O’Hara as Foster McKissick created a magical place with the finest southern charm at Litchfield. Thanks for all your words of encouragement! With love, Mentora
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on May 12, 2014 at 1:05 pm
Also, so sorry to hear about Eddie Stern’s son, Bruce. Dad told me how you were with him the night before he died. So sorry for his family and their loss.
Reply by Stewart Harnell on May 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm
Mentora — do you have a nick name? From what or where is Mentora derived — knowing your Dad, I would have to say some special, beautiful spiritual theme. As for getting together for a visit – I would love to but I do have a heavy schedule this spring and summer work wise (thanks to Coca Cola) and family events like Baptism’s and birthday’s for my two latest grand children — Sydney Dylan Harnell (2) and Nolan Reed Harnell (10 months), precious little ones, I’ll send pix so you can judge for yourself. We’re heading to LA (where they reside with my son Steve and wife Tracy). Be well, be happy – Your new found pen pal, stew
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on May 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm Everyone calls me Mentora. It’s a family name. I was named after my great grandmother and my aunt. It sounds like you’re staying very busy. I would love to see pictures of your grandchildren. I bet they’re adorable! My personal e-mail address is [email protected] . Let’s stay in touch! Enjoy your time in LA with your family. Love, Mentora
Rex Norris on May 12, 2014 at 8:15 am
Larry: Can’t wait to read your book. I am sure we have a lot in common. I too worked with Eddie Stern for 8 years at Wometco till I left to start my own booking service.Please let us know where and when we can buy your book. Great blog and what a lovely family. Rex
Reply by Larry Vaughn on May 12, 2014 at 10:15 am
Hi Rex, Thank you very much for your kind comments. Those Miami years are some of my fondest memories. Hollywood’s Chosen will be released on September 5th. It will be available everywhere; Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or at your local book store. Can’t wait for you to read it.
Big movie buff on May 10, 2014 at 2:43 pm
Love the Mothers Day tribute! It is obvious Doneata is the true beauty. She looks like the “movie star”, and I am sure she did her own makeup. You know…a natural beauty, really irks me. I cannot leave the house without my “prep” job. Ran out the other morning to take the trash to the garbage truck and didn’t get back home until after lunch…..whew..It was hard crawling out of that garbage truck. Larry, if you chose movies the way you chose your beautiful wife, can’t wait to read the book…
Tracey on May 9, 2014 at 6:54 pm
I have the wonderful privilege of knowing your sweet mom for over two decades. And she is truly beautiful on the inside as much as on the outside. It’s no wonder you are a true beauty too, Mentora. Happy Mother’s Day to you both! (I agree–The Blinde Side is inspirational. Love it!)
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on May 9, 2014 at 8:40 pm
Thank you, Tracey! Happy Mother’s Day to you too! You are such a wonderful mom to your sweet kiddos.
JP on May 7, 2014 at 11:55 am What an incredibly gripping shot! (Charlton Heston racing the chariot.)
Reply by Larry Vaughn on May 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm Thank you for your comment. The chariot race is one of those scenes that once you see it, you will never forget it.
Joe Valvo on April 30, 2014 at 9:55 am
Wow! What a great job Larry & Mentora. I can’t wait to read the new book. Bill’s comments about the warmth that comes from your company couldn’t have been said any better.
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on May 2, 2014 at 11:39 am
Thank you, Joe! We appreciate your friendship.
Mark Schuck on April 25, 2014 at 10:31 pm
It has been so long since I have heard this song. I love it so much-thanks. Great job on the blog!!
Reply by Larry Vaughn on April 26, 2014 at 2:08 pm
Thank you Mark. Great song! I am glad you enjoyed it.
Bill Bartlett on April 25, 2014 at 8:06 am
What a Great Job with this Blog! I am so happy this is bringing you so much joy. I know this wonderful family as Jeff and I have a business relationship. Knowing I am usually traveling for business, Jeff offered me an opportunity to have a home cooked meal at his home with his family.
That was an incredible and generous offer and unheard of in our newly, electronically induced, heads down society. What an incredibly warm reception I received from Larry, Doneata, Jeff, Mentora, and their beautiful and very intelligent daughters.
After the reception, Larry went back to the grill to finish his famous salmon, Doneata and Mentora continued back in the kitchen to finish preparing the meal, and Jeff gave me a tour of the beautiful home he physically built for his family. They could not have made me feel more comfortable.
In this first encounter Larry mostly read a book he seemed to be enjoying and interjected at times when brought into conversation. I believe I did the majority of the speaking as every eye looked directly at mine as if to say, we are so happy we have a new friend please tell us more about yourself. Someone else above stated that this family makes you feel like you are a better person to have been around them. It really is true!
As I was sharing my adventures Larry would be referenced slightly as to having a similar story but it was never shared. At least not on the first dinner. It was the next dinner and several after that I started to learn more and more about Larry and the incredible life he lead. From a struggling, wayward youth to a life of many successes and adventures.
I am sure I have only been privileged to just a bit of his life. I am truly looking forward to the book Mentora and he have put together. If it reflects the stories I have heard it will keep you wanting more.
Congratulations to this very special family and thank you for opening your door and allowing me to get to know you. I have never met an entire family, that in their company, I feel like a better human being because of the warm and loving light that comes naturally from their hearts and souls!
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on April 25, 2014 at 1:03 pm
Bill, you’re too much . . . thank you! You are very gracious, and we appreciate your kind words. We have really enjoyed getting to know you, and we have been the ones who are blessed by your friendship!
Reply by Larry Vaughn on April 26, 2014 at 2:16 pm
Bill, Thank you so very much for your kind words! We are thrilled that you like our blog. And we, like you, can’t wait for our publisher to present us with a copy of Hollywood’s Chosen.
Thomas Swaim on April 17, 2014 at 11:37 pm
Extremely interesting. It really is surprising to get some idea of what actually goes on in the film world. I am always amazed at things my friend Jimmy Anthony aka Anthony James says and things that are in his book.
Reply by Larry Vaughn on April 26, 2014 at 2:20pm Tommy, Hollywood is another world. I am sure Hollywood’s Chosen will be an adventure for you.
Bert Livingston on April 15, 2014 at 7:29 pm
I was thinking…..if Mentora personally thanked everyone who actually bought Hollywood’s Chosen and took them to dinner the book would sell like hot cakes.
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on April 16, 2014 at 12:24 pm
Bert, I’ll be happy to take you out to dinner anytime! I gotta go, though. I’m going to go buy a candle for my window. 🙂
Rebecca on April 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm
How exciting! Looking forward to reading your new blog!
Reply by Mentora Vaughn Gratrix on April 15 at 5:35 pm
Thanks, Becca! Hope you enjoy it.
mptesq on April 14, 2014 at 1:16 pm
Good stuff. Thanks.
Reply by Larry Vaughn on April 14, 2014 at 9:14 pm
Thank you, Mark! We are looking forward to entertaining you.
David Painter on April 14, 2014 at 12:52 pm
This is awesome Larry and Mentora! Really looking forward to it! Larry, I’m sure you could probably write another book about your real estate career here in Greenville. I have an idea for a title…”What?”
Reply by Larry Vaughn on April 14, 2014 at 9:16 pm
Wasn’t “What?” a great moment! There you were the guilty one! And, me, well, they would have never guessed I was behind the “What?” Hope you enjoy our blog! We will try to make it fun.