Fascinating True Stories From the Flip Side of History

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One Too Many Kisses for Opera Star

On March 7, 1922, it was reported that Rafaelo Diaz, a tenor for the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, had just completed performing at a benefit for handicapped children at the Commodore Ballroom. A group of young, attractive women gathered around him and someone commented about his great complexion.

Opera Singer Rafaelo Diaz
Opera Singer Rafaelo Diaz. Image appeared on page 133 of the March 1944 publication of The Etude magazine.

He said it was from Texas and then Miss Mary McCormick commented that she was also from Texas, so Diaz gave her a kiss. Suddenly, all of the other women were claiming that they were also from Texas, so Diaz proceeded to kiss each of them one-by-one. A tough job, but I guess someone had to do it.

As he kissed the 18th woman, he was suddenly slugged by Dr. Harvey Rosenthal, a wealthy Riverside Drive dentist.  It turns out that number 18 was his wife. 

Diaz was quoted as saying, “There was nothing wrong with it – in the presence of others.  And anyway, if the man wanted to fight, why didn’t he call me outside?”

His injuries were minor and he said that he would not sue.  “The entire unpleasant affair has been forgotten.”

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