I met Raquel Welch at the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco almost 50 years ago when the American Cancer Society presented her with an award. Before she entered the ballroom, so many fans crowded around her in the foyer that they mobbed her. Incredibly, this world-renown star had no entourage or security. She showed up unescorted to the event. Seeing her predicament, I took her arm, told her to follow me, and I led her into the safety of the then-empty ballroom where she was to be honored at a tribute banquet. Later that evening, when she saw me, she rewarded my gallantry with this signed photo, possession of which made me the envy of every other guy I knew in 1975--and probably now.
On that night many decades ago, I had expected to encounter an Amazon. I was surprised to find her both petite and shy; I was not surprised to find her a woman of almost indescribable beauty. Moreover, she was very gracious. This delightful woman charmed a smitten teenage photographer long ago, and that charm remains as he remembers her upon her passing today at age 82. Rest in peace.