Entertaining our readers in this issue of Traveling In Style is a lineup of celebrity writers that includes the inimitable Erma Bombeck, Barnaby Conrad (with comedian Jonathan Winters) and former UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick. And then, well . . . there's the unpredictable ex-newspaperman, Will Fowler, whose late father, the legendary author and screenwriter Gene Fowler, led his family on a grand tour of Egypt and the Middle East back in the '30s, an adventure that Will describes in detail in our lead article. What Will fails to confess, however, is that he fell desperately in love with an Egyptian belly dancer while the Fowlers were camped in the desert outside Cairo. For the 13-year-old Fowler it was unrequited love, for as he sneaked into the dancer's tent, she signaled her guards, who hustled Will unceremoniously back to the Fowler compound.
"I was crushed," Will recalls, "until the next day when I was distracted by a stunning blonde while riding a camel near the Sphinx."
So much for young love.
After graduating from Beverly Hills High School, our erstwhile Lothario drifted over to 20th Century-Fox to become a publicist; later he worked for William Randolph Hearst, wrote for comedian Red Skelton and authored "Young Man From Denver," a best-selling biography about his father.
Currently, Fowler is in the throes of writing another book. But as time moves inexorably ahead, Will confesses that he is haunted by the memory of Kashmir, the belly dancer who spurned his attention that moonlit night years ago near the pyramids. A talented pianist as well as a writer, Fowler has composed an etude that he fantasizes playing for Kashmir some starry evening when he returns to Cairo.
"Can't help myself," he sighs, scratching his bald head. "I'm an incurable old romantic."
Well, Godspeed, Will. We only hope your search for Kashmir will have a happy ending, and that by now she will have dismissed those pesky guards.