Guess Jeter Is Coming To Dinner'Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner' is one of those ‘feel good’ movies that has wonderful actors, a real plot, a social statement, nice scenery and, of course, a happy ending. But does it have a happy ending? I wondered out loud at times, what ever happened to the bride and groom.
The story is the boy meets girl story soooo often told by our fiends in Hollywood. Or is it? You see the ‘boy’ in this case is black, and the girl is, you got it – white!! Set in San Francisco in 1967, the height of the civil rights movement here in the USA, it must really hit a nerve in today’s society when the young couple was told that they would be breaking the law in 17 states. That’s a true statement.
The film tells the story of a white Americn girl who has a whirlwind romance with a black American doctor who she met while in Hawaii. They come to her home to San Francisco and invite both sets of parents to meet for dinner, so eveyone can get to know one another.
The girl’s parents were played by Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, acting royalty and a couple both on and off the screen. This would be their final time together and they knew it. Spencer Tracy lived a good but hard life. He was an alcoholic, a heavy smoker and suffered from emphysema. When you look at him in this picture he looks a lot older than 65. He would die only 17 days after the picture completed filming. To the day she died many years after; Katherine Hepburn never saw the completed film. Never. It was just too painful.
The ‘happy couple’ were portrayed by Sidney Poitier and Katherine Hepburn’s’ niece, Katherine Houghton. Mr. Poitier’s character was a doctor and Ms Houghton’s character came from a very well-to-do upper class family.
The film depicts the discomfort of her ‘well-to-do’ parents, and also of Sidney Poitier’s characters father. This charater was a more modest middle class person who was a retired postal carrier, and, with his wife, are also at this dinner as they all try to accept the choice of their son and daughter.
So what happened to them? They got married. Did they have kids? Where did they live? What happened to he kids? Were they happy?
When you look back, what should have been a happy celebration was a terrifying moment, considering the circumstances and the times. A normally joyous occasion marked by the uglieness head of bigatry which rears its ugly head whenever it can.
Yet it all ended up OK. You see, the Doctor and his bride had a family. The raised them well. So well in fact that the son grew up to be a star in his own right. You see, in my minds eye, the romantic in me, the sports guy in me - the son of a black doctor and white free-spirited woman, grew up to be Derek Jeter, Pride of the Yankees, The Captain of The Franchise in all of sports and the spokesman for all of ba
You see, it really did end up Happy.
(A Richie-Rich editor’s note – I typically would not publish the same story in different experience groups but feel that in doing it would be different readers and it is for a positive reason. So you may see this posted a few places).