The Dude in New York City – Help Me Find Him

In October of 1985, at the age of 21, I went to New York City for four days.

For a South Dakota farm girl, this was a very big deal.

My boyfriend at the time was stationed at an Army base in Maryland. Jeff made all the arrangements. I was so excited. New York City!

His car broke down right on the Jersey/NY border, as we saw the lights of the big city from the turnpike. We had to get the vehicle to a garage for repairs…but that didn’t stop our adventure. Looking back, I’m amazed how calm Jeff was through all of this. Well…he was Army-trained…

We stayed in an old and beautiful hotel in downtown Manhattan. I had my first baklava at a real Greek bakery, and my first escargots (which was like eating pencil erasers with lots of garlic and butter, but the rest of the meal was great!) at a real French restaurant.

We walked up and down 5th Avenue and Broadway for hours. Sadly, the ticket line was too long for an off-Broadway show.  I was mesmerized by the women in long, white designer dresses, one of them playing a harp, upstairs in Bloomingdales. I fell in love with Giorgio Beverly Hills perfume then and there, bought a bottle, and donned my body in only that fragrance – then it’s successor, Red – for over a decade.

Perhaps I was already doused in the orange blossom, bergamot, jasmine, sandalwood and vanilla notes of Giorgio when we saw “The Dude,” as I’m calling him now.

The Dude sported leather, chains, a mohawk, sunglasses and a strut as serious as his cockiness. He should have been scary to me. He kind of was. He looked scary, but he didn’t feel scary. There’s a difference, you know.

I was dying to take his picture. I surreptitiously wrangled the camera so he wouldn’t see it…but he did all the same.

He snapped his head my direction and asked, with a whole lot of voice and a whole lot of attitude, “You wanna take my picture?!”

I, humbly and meekly, nodded and said, “Yes, please, if you don’t mind.”

The Dude turned to the plate glass window to his left, looked at his reflection, flipped his head down over his waist, fluffed his mohawk, flipped back up, put his hands on his hips, and turned to me with a smile. “I’m ready now!”

I clicked.

And I got it.

The Dude had his voice, even if it was just his voice right then during the punk rock era.

I’d love to connect with him again, and let him know how many times I’ve told this story, and what an impact those five minutes had on my life. I wonder if he remembers, too. Pass along this video and join the search for The Dude, will you?


Authentic Performance Voice Lab Sunday August 13th, 2:00- 4:00 at Sacred Money Studios & Prosperity Pie Shoppe! Speak with power and confidence; be remembered and be inspirational. 

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Authentically Yours, Laura