Walter Mencken 9:21 p.m., Oct. 20
Dig A Hole: Mr. Carol Channing
Two questions I never thought I'd be contemplating when I awoke this morning: "Cheeta was still alive?" and "Carol Channing was married?!"
Yes on both counts (even though for a brief moment the thought that Ms. Channing and Mr. Cheeta were an item had crossed my mind.) Two minutes after having dug a deep hole for Cheeta, news arrives of the death of Harry Kullijian, aka Mr. Carol Channing.
Carol and Harry.
In 2003, 70 years after they attended Aptos Middle School in San Francisco, Kullijian and Channing were wed. He was her first love. According to the L.A. Times, Channing mentioned her old classmate in her autobiography. "“I was so in love with Harry," she wrote, "I couldn’t stop hugging him.”
A friend of the recently widowed Kullijian read the book and urged the former Modesto city councilman to give Channing a call. Two weeks after their reunion, he placed an engagement ring on Channing's finger. The couple exchanged vows three weeks later.
Kullijian passed away Monday at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, after suffering an aneurism in the couple's home. He was one day shy of his 92nd birthday.
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