ChoklitDaddy saidHad a bit of a crush on Van Cliburn when I was a little boy.
So did I. That was a long time ago and I was in kindergarten. Saw him play and had a definite sexual attraction. Didn't know what sex was or what gay was but felt it. Met him in the 80's when he retired to Fort Worth and bought a beautiful old (for Texas) gothic mansion and moved in with his mother who became his social secretary and hostess at his frequent charity events staged in the mansion. He was a humble, honorable man with a generous spirit and very upbeat aura about him. A bit shy in demeanor and always immaculately dressed. You always felt like he was making an effort to honor you, his guest, and was always more interested in helping you than answering questions about himself or talking about his life. I was Chairman of a free Shakespeare in the Park staging that we did every year, full Equity, which was terribly expensive to mount and because it was free, we had to raise cash donations. He agreed to support us, held a fundraising event in his home, presided over by his mother, and financially and organizationally arranged to have busses pick up school children for a special evening production for the kids. Great man. Very kind. Martina Navritalova joined in and sponsored the same event the next year.
Rest in peace, kind prince.