Once upon a time, back in 1985, I was a live-in nanny for two pretty great children in Mill Valley, California, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from my favorite city in the whole world, San Francisco.
On my nights and weekends off, some of the other Marin County nannies and I would head to the beautiful city-by-the-bay to Golden Gate Park and soak up the atmosphere, or walk through the museums, tourist spots, or go shopping or dancing. It was such an exciting cultural city that it was fun just hanging out. Plus, none of us made a lot of money, so hanging out is what we did a lot of.
One such fellow nanny, Kazmin, heard on the radio that on May 22nd, a world movie premier was going to take place in my beloved S.F! And not just any movie, but a Bond movie. A James Bond movie — A View To A Kill, which was filmed there. Holy Thunderball! This was basically in our own backyard — shouldn’t we try to go? Does 007 look good in a tux? Yes! And if that wasn’t enough, the theme song for the movie was sung by one of the hottest bands on MTV, and they, along with the actors, director and producers were going to be there! This was exciting stuff for a nanny who changed diapers and tutored toddlers during the day.
But alas, our hopes were dashed. We had no luck winning tickets to the event on the radio, and we certainly couldn’t afford to pay for tickets (say it isn’t so, Dr. No!), so we had to face up to the fact that we couldn’t go, and we planned to do what we could afford to do: take a walk in San Francisco followed by a cheap meal.
We couldn’t help ourselves--we went to The Palace of Fine Arts where the premiere was to be held just to soak up any atmosphere that might still be wafting in the air. There wasn’t any. There was no one outside. And the only sign of a red carpet event was the red carpet rolled out on the pavement, leading up to the locked front doors. All the celebrities and lucky people with tickets had gone inside Live and let die! Oh well, we sauntered around the building and I said to Kaz, “Let me just try this back door.” I turned the door knob and pulled the door open. We were shaken, but not stirred. A man inside said, “Are you Press?” “Yes we are!” I answered. “Well then, take your seats, the show is about to begin.” We sat down and the lights immediately dimmed. All of a sudden, celebrities marched onto the stage, among them Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Grace Jones, Tanya Roberts, and Duran Duran; the five British heart throbs... (think The Beatles but with highlights, lip gloss and guy liner.) Kazmin and I were beside ourselves!
After the cast introductions, the celebs took their seats... in our row! I leaned forward and took a good, long look at all of them. I thought, there is enough hairspray and mousse on those heads that if someone lit a match, even 007 wouldn’t be able to put out the fire.
The movie started and it was dreadful. Really. It was the worst James Bond film ever made. If you don’t believe me, google it. No matter, it showed beautiful scenes of my beloved San Francisco, and Kazmin and I were on cloud 9 just being there, in the presence of movie and rock stars, and not someone screaming that they didn’t want to take a nap without their binky.
The stars snuck out of the theatre right before the movie ended, presumably to avoid any rotten tomatoes people may have brought with them. When the lights came up, a radio personality approached us and asked what we thought of the event. We gushed, we giggled and gave it a good review. On our drive home, we stopped at a Jack-In-The-Box, ordered tacos and rehashed our big adventure. Our night out cost us about five bucks.
The next day, we were back to being nannies, driving our charges to swimming lessons and play time at the park. The radio station played and replayed our interview on the air. It was a sweet reminder of our grand night out in San Francisco — two nannies and a Bond.