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News that the investigation has been reopened into Natalie Wood’s death recalls what might have been.
 
As a young man, I had a serious case of the hots for Natalie. Some years later, around 1981 or so, she was in the Triangle filming “Brainstorm,” which would be her last movie.
 
Governor Hunt, then in his second term, was a relentless promoter of North Carolina for film-making. He planned a breakfast at the Mansion for the cast, which included Cliff Robertson (JFK in “PT 109”) and Christopher Walken (“more cowbell”).
 
I sprang into action. I went to Hunt and told him my feelings toward Natalie. He smiled: “Let me take care of it.”
 
Sure enough, I got an invitation to the breakfast. And the Governor arranged for me to sit beside her.
 
Not that my memory is all that sharp or anything, but she wore black slacks, black boots and a tight red sweater. She was surprisingly tiny, maybe about five-two, but still larger than life.
 
She was friendly, I was mesmerized by her brown eyes, and we chatted about – well, I don’t remember. I am reasonably certain that I didn’t do anything to embarrass myself or the Governor.
 
Then we parted. Had she only recognized the opportunity before her, she never would have been on that boat that dark night.
 
Instead, our ships passed in the morning.

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