Well, now that I've sufficiently depressed myself...here is a photograph of my three best friends from my school days...all of whom were born in June.... Circa 1960.....Me, with cigarette in hand of course, Flo Chinitz, who's birthday was June 4th; Ann Hoffman, who's birthday is June 16th, (today), and my oldest friend in the whole world outside of my family--Alice Sakin, who I have know since we were both five (5) years old, who's birthday was yesterday, June 15th...ALL four of us, 75 years old...it doesn't seem possible...parenthetically, I began smoking with Alice...when we were 15 years old...none of us smokes anymore, I'm glad to say...
Here we are-Alice & Me, in 1986...Alice and her husband Harold were visiting here in Los Angeles at the time, which they would do periodically.... This was taken outside their Hotel...I spoke with her yesterday and it's just as if we spoke the day before...these friendships of long standing are so rich with history and true caring...Think about this: I've known Alice for 70 years! She knows all my warts...all my family problems...all my triumphs and we've shared much tragedy, too, over these 70 years and still...we laugh and feel this closeness that you cannot explain, that needs no words. I think , no, I know...she was the first friend I ever loved and I still do, and I'm happy to say, the feeling is mutual...I wish these kinds of long friendships for all of you out there in the Blogesphere...
And this next one was taken back in 1948 I think...I don't know what we were doing, but we were 'horsing around' the way teenagers used to do...a silly snapshot, but it is part of our history... Jumping ahead in time...below is a 'publicity' photo of me in the days when I began working nightclubs as a singer...I am not sure such places exist anymore...I mean the kind of clubs one played back then...they were local to each area and the usual set-up of 'talent' was the MC/Comedian, the Singer, and the "Exotic" Dancer...otherwise known as 'the stripper'...and if they had an "exotic" dancer, that dancer would be The Headliner...the person who went on last in the 'top' spot. Not every club I worked had an "Exotic" Dancer, but a lot of them did. Here is the photo that I would bring with me to be posted somewhere in the club... I worked in a lot of these 'toilets' as we called them back then...they were pretty rank...but I was glad to get the work, and it was good experience though very very hard...back then, clubs could and would stay open till 4am in New York...yes! So you might be doing a show at two in the morning...the so called dressing rooms were pretty horrible....sometimes they would be a storage room for the soft drinks with a mirror propped up...or the Dressing Room might be a tiny tiny room in the basement, which you shared with the "Exotic" Dancer...and btw, all the girls--we were called girls back then--were really nice! It was about earning a living whatever way you could for all the 'exotic' dancers I met. My favorite one billed herself as "Whirling Janet From Another Planet".
And jumping ahead in time, once again...here is a photo at another Art Opening....Ankrum Gallery, 1971. A very important man in my life...and the woman leaning over? An amazing woman named Samella Lewis. Artist, Art Historian and pioneer for Black Artists at a time when when no one was championing Black Artists. She was the first person of color hired by The Los Angeles County Museum of Art that was not a a Janitor or Security Guard! She had an important position there but even so they gave her an office in the basement. This was towards the end of the 60's.
Moving right along...
Here is a photograph of a Mosaic Table I made in the mid 50's...it was pretty big...36" Round, and the design was my own...I had been doing a lot of color paintings---watercolors on paper---drawing these geometric designs and using the colors Red, White and Yellow. I decided to make a table using a design like those color paintings and I used Black, Red, White & Gray Tiles....I made it as a gift for my Shrink, at that time! I wish I had a photo that was in color....but, I'm just glad I have any kind of a picture of it at all!
More will be forthcoming...
****Just a little reminder about my "Virtual" Birthday Party starting at 12:01 am on June 27th and going strong till around 10am on June 28th....Please do come and partake of the food and drink and fun! And remember, you can go anywhere and do anything using your imagination!***
I'm going to bookmark your "birthday series" becasue it's been such a good read!
(If blogger posts this, I will eat my hat! I've been trying to comment for 2 days!)
Those are fantastic pictures. I would love to hear more about your singing days. There are still a few cabarets left in New York, but they are mostly a novelty. And none have strippers anymore.
Naomi - yesterday and today's posts are wonderful. Joyful, poignant, honest and interesting. Thank you for having the courage to share your life with us. I too have a very old friend, over 40 years now and we are o so close. Those friendships are golden. I look forward to more posts and send my love across the miles to you.
They are all wonderful shots. You must have a closet full of photos. I enjoyed reading your post again.
You are so talented Naomi. I love the table you made! Very nice pictures of you. Going down this memory lane must bring back so many memories and emotions for you.
So sweet of you to do this! Looking forward to the party!! I sure don't want to miss it. I don't get invited to parties very much at all!! So what a treat!!
I love that table - just incredible! :)
Just last weekend I got to see my best friend from childhood again. I was thinking how long it had been and came up with 13 years. I haven't seen her since my grandmothers funeral. She has two grown children and grandchildren. She lost a husband to cancer but now has found new love. She is the same sweet loving spirit I knew when I was nine. Yes those childhood friendships are some of the best.
I love reading about you. There are so many things I want to say about each individual picture, I'd have to write a blog about it! I have a best friend for 30 years now; I just can't imagine how wonderful it must be to have one for 70.
I loved reading your posts and looking at your pictures.
I can't wait to check in every day for the newest installment. I'm also going to bookmark the series---I think it's fabulous.
The pictures add so much. I don't have a single picture of myself as a child. Not sure if any were every taken. Actually I doubt it. I don't remember ever having photos of anybody in our family. The kids have never seen any, that's for sure. So sad.
Can't wait for the party, darling Miss Naomi.
Thanks for the amazing peek into your life.
I wish I had that many photo's of me growing up - but I've always been FAR too camera shy.
I love this series, and you look really great in that one when you were singing in the late evening clubs! (not that you don't in the others, you know what I mean,:-))
Here from Micheles this time.
Great photos, Naomi!
I love reading about your life, your experiences, your career and your dear friends. The photograph of your three best friends from your school days is just wonderful!
Love also your 'publicity' photo!
And I would love to know more about your singing days!
I am looking forward to see more photos and to hear more about your memories!
Have a great weekend!
I love reading about your life and seeing the pictures that go along with it.
And might I say that publiciity photo is amazing. You look like a pinup girl!!
Love the pictures and the friends. It makes me think I should devote a post to my oldest and dearest friend. She was and is one of those people who possessed great wisdom and a fine character even from a very young age. She's an old soul. I've only known her for 30 years, nothing compared to 70, but my goodness, what a blessing to have good friends for a lifetime. Lovely post, thanks for sharing.
Naomi, you are a storyteller extraordinaire! I too value childhood friendships. My dearest ones are my cousin (9 months older than me) and my college roommate (1 month older). Here from Michele's.
OK, I love the last picture! Email me. I want to know if you knew my cousin and his wife. They were in the business and I have a sneaky suspicion you do.
Michele sent me this time, but I was already here twice today! LOL
I just love your photos and the stories behind them. Your publicity photo is gorgeous! The photo with your school friends is really special. Imagine, all having June birthdays in the same year. What are the odds?
This is a great post and some excellent pictures and story-telling.
I love the night club shot! Do you have any recordings of your singing too? It would be great to hear a song!
Oops and Michele sent me!
What a great post. And fantastic pictures. You've led a very interesting life...
Here via Michele today.
WOW, what a knockout, love your promo shot!! Woo Hoo!
Loving these posts!!!
Wow!! 75 years old!! Brilliant. My mum is 60 and hasn't touched a computer in her life... I wish she would and then she could 'meet' amazing people like you!
PS> Michele sent me but I've been here many times before!
How fun! I love the pictures and the stories that go with them!
Here from Michele's today, but I drop by on my own usually!
Gosh, I'm enjoying this so much. I feel like I'm walking beside you...going back in time. LOVE the nightclub photo. You were stunning. And I love the commentaries you share about what it was like to be a strugging singer back then.
And Alice...how special. I have an "Alice" in my life too. Friends since high school...only 40 years though. So I applaude you and Alice for 70 years of friendship. That's remarkable. See you here tomorrow.
What a truly fantastic post! How remarkable! 70 year friendships!!! When I think about my friends that I've known for over 10 years I feel we've known each other for ages. I hope we hit a 70 year milestone much as you have.
I will definitley be around for your virtual birthday.
Hi Naomi.. hmmm, you were a singer when it meant singers had to have real voices!! I would have loved to hear you sing. What was your favorite song to sing??
I too was in the "music biz" but only for a really short time ... and trust me, I didn't sing! .. I was a drummer in a band.
I really can relate to having life-long girlfriends and had even posted about how long myself, mom and grandma have had our best friend. You can check it out here:
Love those pictures! Keep 'em coming!
Wow, cool photos. :) I like these posts.
Hi from Michele's!
Thank you so much for sharing!! I'm in awe.. I always enjoy your posts and experiences..
You are gorgeous!
My parents had a coffee table something like that, square and definitely not as intricate, but they had made it when they first got married. Must have been a very hip 50's style.
Those were nice photos. I didn't notice your hair loss. To me you still look beautiful, hair or no hair. No matter what the saying goes....our hair is our crowning glory....but for me you can be beautiful with or without hair. You may have a beautiful hair but still can have an ugly face isn't it? From the pictures you have shown since a tot....your beauty radiates.
I really can't tell you enough how much I enjoy these posts. I love all the photos you share and the stories behind them. I am so happy that your life got better and better after your childhood. I know life was not easy for you, but you made a living doing what you enjoyed. You used your many talents and are still using them today. You are touching my life, and I thank you for that!!
I'd like to steal that table from that shrink! It really is beautiful.
Keep the stories coming. I'm hooked!
Look for me at your party. I will be wearing a top hat.
Some awesome pictures of you. Thank you so much for sharing.
Congrats on your silver medal. It is ready for 'pick-up' at My Lighter Side.
Thank you for playing in the training camp.
I am loving these peeks into your photo album.
It is wonderful you actually have so many pictures of your childhood.So many people your age don't have many.
I will be back tomorrow :)
BTW if you get a chance come and answer my "Emmy" questions lol.
Good things definitely happen in June. Treasured friendships from childhood always seem to spawn the happiest of memories.
Each entry is more enthralling than the last. Keep 'em coming...(pretty please)
That shot of you in the dark dress is awesome. Beautiful! I love that glam look. I've been gone several days, but I'm now caught up with my browsing at your place.... ;)
I love, love, love reading these. So much catching up for me to do after being away a few days! You're very blessed to still have a friend you've had since childhood. :)
And the mosaic table is great (I love mosaic).
Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
Location: Los Angeles, California