|Here he is looking very Marcello Mastrioni-ish|
Joao was married to my ex-husband's sister. I met him in the 1960s when he was working for the U.S. State Department. His job was to squire around important Brazilians who were visiting the U.S. Since he spoke perfect English and knew the country pretty well, this was the perfect job for him. Everytime he came to Los Angeles, he would visit my husband and I. This is before he married Elba, my sister-in-law.
But since he was from Brasil, he was always being lured back. The U.S. was just too big for him. He eventually moved back to Rio and became a journalist (and married Elba). He used to send me really funny letters and photos from his travels.
Here he is interviewing General Westmoreland (that's Joao pushing the microphone forward while he's rolling his eyes). This was taken sometime in the 60s. It was a little before our involvement in the Vietnam war. I'm sure he was being interviewed about the US involvement there, which was being denied at the time. Thus Joao's added comment.
Here he is on a plane interviewing Robert McNamara. It was probably about the same subject - is the U.S. involved or not?
I visited Rio and stayed with him and Elba in 1970. Janice Joplin was in town and Joao interviewed her. We met her and her young Brazilian boyfriend at a carnival party that she had just been kicked out of because no one knew who she was. They thought she was just some disgusting hippie and at that time in Brasil, hippies were persona non grata. She was not happy.
(This was from an article I found on google)
In an interview to TRIP, photographer Ricky and singer Serguei, two of her Brazilian hosts, reveal the glory and embarrassment of one of the greatest singers of all time, whose stay in Brazil went almost unnoticed. She made an obscure performance at a Copacabana hellhole, was kicked out of a hotel and almost arrested at the beach, incidents that caused her to declare to Rolling Stone magazine, after her return: "If you have long hair they'll toss you out and never let you back in again. Cops rape people, set dogs on guys' balls. The best were some nights when I sang with friends at a whorehouse ".
I could go on and on about my most unforgettable character, but I'm trying to keep this short. Joao is still in Rio and still having an interesting life. I'm so fortunate to have had him in my life.
For other stories about meetings with important people click on Sepia Saturday.