Saturday, June 17, 2006
less is more....

So here I am again with more memory's and more pictures of my life, in preperation for my coming Birthday...I want to thank you all for your very wonderful responses and comments to these daily walks through my life leading up to this 75th Birthday on June 27th... Okay. This was the "cover" picture for Theatre West's 24th Anniversary Invitation, 1986, when we honored Carroll O'Connor, who had been a l-o-n-g time member of TW. So, from left to right...kneeling is the dear wonderful Betty Garrett and behind her is Phil Abbott a very underated actor who was a wonderfully productive member of TW until his death eight years ago...next to him is Tom Ritter, (the late John Ritter's brother), and a man very active with United Cerebal Palsey as was Phil...and next to Tom, the lovely and talented Bridget Hanley...wonderful actress and dedicated Theatre West member still...Carroll---our honoree and then me---with very long bushy hair---and then the wonderful Paul Winfield, another long time TW member...and then the very very dear and wonderfully talented Lee Meriwether---another long time TW Member...and kneeling in front of her our then very talented Artistic Director, Clyde Ventura...and last but not least, Connie Sawyer--who is either 93 or 94...! (I cannot remeber even though I was at her 90th Birthday Party...!) And still a working actress and a wonderfully active presence in Theatre West...Phil, Carroll, Paul and Clyde have all passed on now...but they were all very much alive the day we took this photograph. And here I am with my darling friend and colleague the truly amazingly talented Tom Skerritt. This was the following year, 1987, when Theatre West had it's 25th Anniversary and we honored Betty G....Tom and I spent a lot of time working together at Theatre West in the mid to late 60's. I produced a really wonderful play that he had written at TW in 1968 that had an amazing cast...not the least of which was Richard Dreyfuss...I love Tom with all my heart and am so happy that he has had and continues to have a truly wonderful career!

Jumping around in time as I am 'wont' to do...here is a photograph from 1935. It is my brother Gordon and me at 'sleep away' camp.(I don't know who the young man is---but he was a counselor...that, I do remember). If you have ever been on the fence about sending your young children to camp for the summer, let me assure you that this would be and is, a HUGE mistake. It was an incredible trauma for me to be away from my parents at four years old. Trust me, this a a no-no. That is much too young to be sent away from home...a lot of wetting of the bed took place because I was so soooo scared. So on top of everything else about being sent away, there was the humilation of everyone at camp knowing that I wet the bed. Enough said.

This next photo I have posted before, back in November. This was June 27th, 1993...The Lygon Arms, Broadway, United Kingdom.

The fabulous trip where six of us went to The Cotswolds for the day and we created a memory that none of us will ever ever forget! That year my Birthday fell on a Sunday and it worked out perfectly because Betty G. was there in London playing a club called Pizza On The Park, and many of us had flown over to see her do her one-woman show, once again. The Cotswolds was "The Bonus" for us and that is what I had wanted to do on my Birthday....go to this beautiful area of England and it did not dissapoint one little bit....

And here is another Birthday Celebration...1938 or 39...I think.

We were at The Farm. My parents had built a really wonderful house near a small town in Pennsylvania called Newfoundland...up on a hill. And it was a working farm with Cows and Chickens, etc. We spent the summers there for around four years... until my parents seperated and that summer, 1942, we were sent to 'sleep away' camp, once again...don't ask...more wetting of the bed, at 10 years old! I don't think I had ever conciously been so unhappy in my life than I was during those years---and that summer in particular---between almost dying and my parents break-up...Oy Vey...these things do take their toll on children. Here is a photograph of two different bunks that were joined together by a hallway. All of us who are standing are from my bunk and I am standing right next to our counselor Buddy, (the tall young woman way over to the right)----I'm right next to her.

Let's go to a happier time...Here is a photograph of Hal Lynch, my fellow "Folk Singer" and myself when 'Spoon River' was being taped as a CBS Special in the summer of 1967... This was one of many publicity photo's that were taken of the cast. There were only six of us just as there were when we had done the show on Broadway, but only four of the six were 'original cast' members. It's a long a painful story, but Betty G. was not in it nor was Robert Elston. Instead, CBS decided to replace Elston with a 'name', so they got Jason Robards. Betty was not even asked to be in it. As I said, a painful story but she was very philosophical about it and the young woman that they cast in her role was not very good to my way of thinking. That was a 'fall' I had on...my hair had never been that long in my whole entire life. But it certainly was appropriate for this show and it was kind of fun to wear, too. There we are: Hal Lynch, Jason, me up above, the young woman who's name I just cannot conjure up at the moment, Joyce V.P., and Charles (Chuck) Aidman who adapted it and directed the show as well as being in it, plus...writing lyrics to my music.

More will be forthcoming....






***A bit of information about the coming party.....Along with the wonderful staff that Craziequeen has so graciously allowed me to borrow, (Walt and Clara), I will have two other staff, as well. And I'd like you to meet them now. This is Blair...he is an amazing Butler that offered to 'work the party' when I told him it was a "Virtual" party....he is getting on in years you know, (but then who among us isn't?) but he is known here in Hollywood as THE man to have serving at your party's. So Blair it is! And this young lady is Melinda. And though she is rather clumsy, she really needed the job and because she is an actress who is trying to make it here in Hollywood I thought it might be nice for her and she will be surrounded by Walt & Clara and Blair...Melinda has other attributes as I am sure some of you gentleman will find out...Remember 12:01am June 27th to 10:00am June 28th...fun and frivolity will abound...Do Come!







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40 Comments:
had this to say:

Ooh how fun. I will HAVE to attend the party!! And the sleep away camp thing.. I loved camp but I can certainly see how that could traumatize a youngster at only 4 years old. You poor thing!!

Here from Michele's

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 2:04:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I think I have just lost my last comment.... sorry

It has been lovely looking at all your pictures. What a lot of wonderful people you have been involved with.

Spending the whole of summer away from home is not a tradition we have in this country. I am sure it was very traumatic for you to do this at such a young age.

look after yourself

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 2:35:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

interesting blog here...It got me addicted on reading it.. Keep it up.. leave me some comment too at my blog InvernoKL wanna have ur words on it.. :p take care, xian

ps: an early happy birthday wish!!! have fun!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 2:39:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow, I just found you from the comments on Michelle's blog and liked your name so thought I'd pop by. I love your concept for your blog! Brilliant! When my mother had her 50th birthday, I contacted her long lost friends and relatives to send me random photos of her life and made an album for her. She cried and cried. It was really sweet to see all these memories put together by people she didn't know I could find. Have a fabulous birthday and I will try to come to your party!

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 3:01:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

In the "WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!" department, sleepover camp at 4 years old? Crazy! Not using Betty Garrett in the TV-version of "Spoon River Anthology?" Insane! I wonder what CBS executive was responsible for that world-class mistake. Do you think it had anything at all to do with Larry's much earlier experience with HUAC?

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 4:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

More great pictures!!..
I did the camp thing but my first time I was 10.. not real happy either, but i did like it the next year.

you just have such great photo's! I wish i had more of my younger years...ah well..

(gosh, Paul Winfield had such a great speaking voice! ..and a good actor..)

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 5:19:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You have a brilliant way of cutting through the years and zeroing in on the lessons of the lives we've led thus far. I can't help but think that this should somehow be bound in a book and published.

Your entries are highlights of my week.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 5:22:00 AM PDT 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

I have been following all your great posts in preparation for your bday, I wanted you to know that blogger didn't let me comment yesterday so I left wordless...which you know it is not my style. Lovely way of sharing your pictures, this is so much fun! have a lovely saturday.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 5:40:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a blog!! I just spent 20 minutes reading and skimming through your entries in your first page and WOW! What an interesting amazing life! I'll be back for more...

Thanks for stopping by mine today. *waves*

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 6:49:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Once again, I've enjoyed every moment of your post today. As for summer camp...glad I never had to go. I can easily understand that it's just not for many kids.
The Cotswolds? The Lygon Arms? WOW! Talk about a step back in time for me! Hubby and I stayed there for 4 days in 1985. It was fabulous! I have some great photos and we were booked into the "Great Room" there and Peter was the night porter. I see another blog coming from me on this memory. I'm sure you can tell how MUCH I'm enjoying coming here every day to read your blog and I'm so excited about your upcoming party.
By the way....you sure did travel in some very trendy circles!
http://www.islandwriter.net

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 6:50:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great pleasure to see your diary post! So moving and lovely memories and photos! Like Fizzy, here in Brazil is not a tradition spending the whole of summer away from home. I can understand your anxiety and fear. Lovely little girl!
Reading your memories I see what a lot of great people you have been too close. What a thrilling and excite life, Naomi! Your life and memories are part of the Theater, Music and Show's History! My dear, you must to write a book!!! You have all those memories, the photos, the well-written text! Would be great!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 6:55:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Again wonderful pictures and memories. When I was a wee child, the first few times that I went away to camp, my mom was actually involved with the camp so she was there with me.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 7:18:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Heh, you look cute in that last photo with the mullet hairdo :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 7:44:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

OMIGOD! OMIGOD! OMIGOD!

You know Tom Skerritt?????

I mean.......Tom??????

[gurgle]

geez, I have been madly in love with him for years. Viper in Top Gun, Drum in Steel Magnolias, and the magically dour Jimmy Brock in Picket Fences....

OMIGOD!!!!!

[grins shyly]

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 7:53:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

[coughs]

[regains posture]

I went to camp at 9, and had my elder siblings to rely on. I loved it, but then - it wasn't home! :-)

Glad to see Walt and Clara are settling in ok. I'm sure Blair, Melinda and they will work well together :-)
Although I would keep Melinda and Clara apart if you can - bad examples and all that. Clara is still working off her bad behaviour with cyberkitten at my last party!

cq

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 7:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

These posts are so much fun! Keep them coming :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 9:58:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

what a wonderful look at your life, thank you for sharing. I will try to stop in for your party. Visiting from Michele's.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 10:22:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Holy Guacamole!!! You have lived such a full life. I know my blog at my 75th birthday won't be nearly so interesting. I live in my head too much.

Happy Weekend! Try to stay cool! Made it here with a stop at Michele's because I kept typing in the wrong address.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 11:25:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a fun post to read! I love Tom Skerritt...nice to know that he's a nice real person too.

I agree about sleep away camp for young children. All of my Jewish friends were sent to camp VERY early and few have good memories of it. One friend woke up to find himself floating on his air mattress in the middle of a lake! He was so traumatized he didn't tell his parents what happened until he was in his 20s. (all they knew was that he wanted to come home and wouldn't say why.)

I cracked up at the mention of your "fall". My sister had one of those!!

I'm excited to come to the party...please do remind me as it gets closer!

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 11:41:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Sent away for the WHOLE summer? No wonder you were traumatized!
I'm sorry about the unhappy times in your childhood, but you certainly went on to make something of yourself. Such interesting and creative things you've don, it's amazing!

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 12:43:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow, you've certainly led a full life so far and I bet there's plenty more to come :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 12:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I'M HERE FROM VALERIE JUST WANTED TO WISH YOU HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! TO ME ITS THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF MY YEAR. SO I FEEL ITS IMPORTANT TO WISH EVERYONE A HAPPY DAY. OVERNIGHT CAMP SCARES THE POOP OUT OF ME, BUT AS A SURVIVER OF 17 YEARS OF DAY CAMP.....I DON'T KNOW HOW I'D WOULD HAVE EVER GOTTEN ALONG WITH OUT IT. I MADE SO MANY LIFE LONG FRIENDS........BUT HEY THERE WERE TRAMMA'S TOO. SMILE!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 2:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You've certainly gotten around girl. Tom Skerritt is still hot as a firecracker in my book. One of my all time favorite actors.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 2:46:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Happy Birthday!!! This is wonderful to remember. I think as we start packing the house, I will be doing a lot of the remembering thing!!!

Stopping by via Michele this afternoon to say Hello!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 2:56:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Dahlink! [air kisses] mwah! mwah!

You have inspired my Person Post today :-)

And I'm gonna be ready and raring to go for the party, and no more fainting, promise!

cq

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 3:06:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Your "who's who's" list is amazing! I have always enjoyed Tom Skerritt and to know that he is as pleasant in person as he seems on screen is refreshing!

Now sleep away camp at age 4 is just too much....sorry!!! I went to my first camp at age 12! I can't imagine sending a 4 year old! Holy cow!

These pictures and stories are amazing Naomi, I look forward to coming over everyday!

*hugs*

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 3:38:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi. Me again.

I was slowly scrolling through some of your posts just now, enthralled at the level of detail that you put into each one.

I don't think most folks appreciate how much time and energy you put into this process. It's as if every time you post, you're building an intricate view of a world many of us have only been able to imagine from afar.

I appreciate how much time it must take to painstakingly piece the pictures together and wrap your words around them. Each one has got to be a major project for you.

I don't have anything earth-shattering to share. I just wanted to thank you for putting your heart and soul into these. They're magical.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 4:09:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Here from Michele's tonight, but even though I haven't said much lately, I have been lurking.

Happy upcoming 75. And I like the new design a great deal. I always thought your blog was a bit too unique for oneof the off the shelf templates.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 5:45:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

my mother in law is 77, almost 78, and she has never ever ever used the internet or probably even seen it and would have no idea how to use it and a blog? ha! never. i think you're awesome and i love reading about your life.

my kids are 5 and 3. i would NEVER send them away to camp! oh my god! they're BABIES!

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 5:52:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful trip to 'travel with you through time'. I am just sad about your experience with the camps...
Looking forward to your big party :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 6:49:00 PM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

It's a shame that your parents made you go to camp so young. My camp experiences were much later and they were really fun. All were only a week, not this two month thing some kids do and there were so many things to do and friends to meet that there was no time for being homesick.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 8:13:00 PM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

Hello, I was just here but this time Michele sent me. I agree with Carmi, you put so much time and extra effort into your posts. They are marvelous. How is Sweetie? Feeling a bit neglected since it is your birthday month, I bet.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 8:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It's kind of interesting, in that picture of all the girls at camp, the one where you're next to the tall one on the right? None of the camp goers who are standing (except the counselors on the end) look very happy at all. I wonder why that is.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 9:22:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Camp-----you are completely correct. My parents sent me to camp when I was about 7 and it was some of the worst weeks of my life. I have always promised that I would never send my children to camp.

Tom Skerritt!! From Steel Magnolias??? How awesome that you know him!

I am counting down the days until the party!

Saturday, June 17, 2006 at 11:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

My goodness, I would never imagined you are to be 75. In all my readings of your blog, and your posts to mine, you seem younger.

How exciting! I hope the big party is a great blast, you deserve the time of a lifetime.

I personally loved the folk singer photo with the other gentleman. You've had a wonderful life, to be envied by many.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOON...

Sunday, June 18, 2006 at 12:22:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Great post again. (You probably get tired of hearing that from me). It's so true though. Your amazing life and the people you know, it's very exciting and you tell it so well and share the greatest pictures to tie it all together. Just great Noami!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006 at 12:26:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Michele sent me over, Naomi. Happy almost birthday!

I know that sleep-away camp for me would have been a mistake for a good many years. Maybe by the time I was 10 it would be okay. Maybe. My ex-wife went to them all her life though and she loved it. Things like that are so dependent on personality.

I found it interesting that of the 10 people in your 24th year picture (Carroll O'Connor) 5 were women and 5 men. And all the women are alive and 4 of the men have died. And the one survivor has a brother who died young. Scary stuff!

Like you, Naomi, and several of the commentators, I love Tom Skerritt's work. There's something about him...

Sunday, June 18, 2006 at 7:52:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Only 4 years old and at sleep away camp? Even at 10 that'd be tough! One of my clients not long ago was running the idea of her 8 y.o. being sent to one this summer. Her husband thought it'd be great. She had a bad feeling. I agreed and said there's plenty of time as they get older. Until then, I didn't realize kids as young as 8 even went. And now, I see FOUR year olds? No way would my kiddos have gone. Trauma!

Oh, and as far as Tom Skerritt, I agree with the others. :)

A book, Naomi. You need to write a book!

Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 12:52:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Well, Naomi, I’m making some headway here! What an interesting life. Really! I especially think it’s great how you hit your stride in music when and where you did. What a time to be on Broadway! What an entree into a wonderful and largely lost world! I’ll be back for more. Rick

Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 8:39:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

(And I agree w/Carmi. You put so much into each post. Thanks!)

Friday, June 23, 2006 at 3:10:00 AM PDT 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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