Friday, June 02, 2006
mother/daughter/grandmother-4

In the 4th Mother & Daughter & Grandmother photographic essay we have Mitzie Welch, her mother Dude, <>(whose real name was Julia, but everybody called her Dude...), and one of Mitzie's daughters, Julie. A little background here: Of all the family's that I photographed I have known The Welch's the longest...Kenny Welch wrote my first Nightclub Act for me back in 'The Dark Ages'....well, it was a very long time ago...(Soon, I will be revealing just how long ago some of these things I write about actually happened...I have a BIG Birthday coming up on June 27th....and 'clues' are forthcoming starting now....lol).
I met Kenny in early 1954....yes, I was just a baby...well, not a Nanneenaanoo Baby...but I was young...Back 'in the day' Kenny was not yet married to Mitzie, so I met Mitzie just about the same time that Kenny did. They are both such incredibly talented people---Kenny was working with some wonderful people back then when I first met him, and we all met each other and knew each other because he was writing 'Musical Acts' for all of us. Just to give you an idea who you might run into on any given day at his apartment-studio...Carol Burnett was always either just before me or just after me each day...this was of course prior to her great great success...and in fact Kenny was a big part of her great success with a song that he wrote specifically for her club act...(another story for another time...)
And Rosetta LeNoire was another one of Kenny's "victims"...his word, not mine...Rosie is probably best known as the Grandmother on "Family Matters", but she was a Broadway actress and in many films way before that...


I must digress, sort of, for a moment...The year Rosetta turned 80 years old...she was in Los Angeles because she was still doing "Family Matters". So I gave a dinner party one night which was a special musical evening. There is a game that Ken & Mitzie invented years and years ago--a Musical Game--a little difficult to explain but suffice it to say one of the pre-requisites for being invited was that you have to be able to sing and that you know a huge amount of songs. And by the way, this game only works with Kenny at the piano...it is a very exciting game and we all did have a terrific time! And the 'surprise' for Rosie was that we were going to celebrate her 80th Birthday...So, of course Ken & Mitzie were there, and Carol Burnett and Betty Garrett and a few other people. I think these are the only pictures I have of Ken, Mitzi, Betty, Carol & Rosie, all together at one party! It's a terrible photograph I'm sorry to say...but it's all I've got! You can see Rosie and Betty is next to her and Carol is standing behind Betty with her arms crossed...I sure wish I had taken more photo's that night but unfortunately the battery died in my camera, right after this!

Back on track here now....Anyway,

Ken and Mitzie are a most unusual couple in every way. They work together and live together so it's 24/7 for them, and they are as happy as two peas in a pod! Mitzie was a fabulous singer and still is, but where she has had all of her success is writing and producing with Kenny. They worked on the old Carol Burnett show for all the years it was on the air and they were famous for the 'Mini Musicals' that they would write each week and for all the Musical Medley's created for the many fabulous guests that appeared with Carol on her show. (There are a good half-dozen or more Emmy's sitting in there den from that show...). They have been married for 50 years...and they still find each other the most interesting people they know, and that is saying a lot, considering the incredibly interesting people they have worked with...going back to Barbra Streisand....(the famous "Happy Days Are Hear Again" ballad arrangement was done by them)....the people they have worked with reads like a who's who in Show Business...

I remember when Julie was born...Mitz was practically bedridden for the entire nine months...a very difficult pregnancy to say the least...a few years later, they adopted a little baby girl, Mitzie not wanting to take a chance on another pregnancy like the first one and knowing that Julie would not get the attention she would need if Mitzie was bed-ridden once again...Unfortunely their second daughter Gillian, was not in Los Angeles the day I took these pictures...because though she is adopted, the resemblance to both Ken & Mitzie is quite uncanny...Gilly is a very successful singer-songwriter, who lives in Nashville, Tenn...Gilly performs and writes with her partner David Rawlings...they have a number of CD's that are available...To see Gillian perform is a breathtaking experience and one that I have been lucky enough to have before my confinement. If you ever see that Gillian Welch is playing in your town, run as fast as you can because you will have a truly memorable experience.
So...here are Mitzie & Dude. These pictures were taken in the Welch's garden at their then home in Malibu, CA.
(They now live in Encino, CA., in the San Fernando Valley....which is wonderful because it is a lot closer to town than Malibu and in these days of heavy heavy traffic, everyone who knows and loves them is extremely grateful!) Julie Welch lives in Los Angeles and is a graphic designer and an actress and also teaches improvisational comedy. She is a multi-talented young wonan, for sure!


There is something so intimate about all these pictures of these extrordinary mothers and daughters...I am not sure I knew that at the time of taking these pictures but in retrospect--looking at all of them now, years later--they truly do have a very intimate feeling to them...Sad to say, Dude, Mitzie's mom, is gone now. She died about 4 years ago and her last years were not wonderful, I'm sorry to say. But she had a good long life and is sorely missed by her family and those of us who knew and loved her, too.

This is a very close knit family. There is a tremendous amount of respect for one another and the Welch girls are wonderful human beings. Mitzie and Kenny and Julie and Gillian are all very close...the miles have not dimmed their relationship to one another, at all. In point of fact I think given that Gilly lives so far away, I see that they all make a special effort to stay in as close touch as possible...not wanting to miss any of the important moments that family's all share...It is often very hard to be wherever, at times, because the nature of show business is you have to go where the work is...and a job can take you anywhere and everywhere, and usually does...certainly in the case of Ken & Mitzie and Gilly...their work often takes them to far flung places all over the world...

Mitzie and I are the same age...well, to be accurate, I am one month older than her...and it was Mitzie who said to me when we were 29 years old....'Well, you know Nay, (my family all call me Nay and Ken & Mitzie have always called me Nay, too...)...so she said...'Well, you know Nay, it's all over when we turn 30!'...lol!!!.....how wrong she was about that! We have laughed about that and still laugh about that to this day.

I have always loved and admired Ken & Mitzie more than I can say. As a musician/pianist/accompinist, no one can touch Kenny Welch. No one. All of the feeling in this man's heart and soul comes out when he plays that piano...His musical arrangements are the most tasteful and 'musical' of anyone I have ever met, and I've met quite a few incredibly wonderful arrangers. They are both brilliant lyricists as well as brilliant musicians....and, they are so much fun, too. When you get to be a certain age, there may not be too many people that you still know who knew your parents. One of the blessings of my life is that there are still so very many people who have been in my life such a long long time, that they all knew both my parents, and my mother died in 1966! It is very comforting to have these long friendships where you have shared so very many wonderful things together, and of course you've shared many horrible things, too, but all these things make these relationships deep and fine like the fine patina on a piece of sculpture. I am deeply grateful for that, let me tell you.More to come....







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54 Comments:
had this to say:

That last photo is lovely - they look so tender.
Here from Michelle's tonight

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 3:34:00 AM PDT 

Blogger mar
had this to say:

Wonderful, again, Naomi!! I love your MDG serie, even though I don't know these women you describe them so vividly, it is a pleasure to read! No, it's not over when one turns 30 (lol, I learned that some time ago!), it's the very beginning! looking forward to more wonderful women and to your big celebration. Have a happy day!

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 4:16:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Nay.....now that will be your blog name for me.....what wonderful photos and how fun it is to read of your associations from long ago, which remain intact to this day. You are an amazing woman. Please tell Carol Burnett that I am her biggest fan, and I miss her show so much.

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 5:20:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh my gosh! The Gillian Welch?! How cool! My partner loves her music. I'm a newcomer to her sound and think she's awesome. I love reading your blog and discovering the interconnectedness of all these people in the entertainment business. You really need to write a book about your life and the people you've known. Your memories are so warm and insightful. Thanks once again for sharing.

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 6:14:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Another great story with wonderful pictures! I had just posted recently about Carol Burnett over at Jean-Luc's blog... about that hilarious Gone With the Wind spoof on her show, which was my absolute favorite!

These are great MDG photos too...as always!

Here via michele, my dear!

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 8:33:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Again, I found myself totally swept up in your life...what a fascinating life you have led...so glad you have chosen to share it with is. Here via Michele, although I can't "blame" her for my everyday visits here!

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 9:01:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Ok, Naomi.. lets be honest here.. with all the people you know, there's no one that would publish these photos as a book for you????

Gosh, your stories are such fun to read, ...I like them for free but I'd buy the book in a heartbeat!

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 9:54:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Amazing pictures, as always !

Those family pictures look so intimate : stolen moments from their lives...

Michele sent me. Have a great weekend !

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 10:08:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Wonderful! I especially like the photo of Mitzie and Julie sharing a joke - it looks so intimate.....

As ever, wonderful photography, Naomi - and a memory from your heart :-)

Looking forward to the PARTY!!
21 again, my dear?

cq

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 1:28:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

today, michele sent me.

what wonderful friendships you have been blessed with. people who are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside arent always that easy to find. i hope that one day, when i have a few grandkids running around, i will be able to look back on my friends as fondly as you can.

my grandfather told me more than once that you can tell the quality of a person byt the QUALITY of their friends, not the quantity.

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 2:09:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi - I just love reading your blog. I really do. You have the best stories and I get lost in time whenever I read what you've written. You're a great blogger and an even better friend. Someday I am headed out to Cali and I am going to call you! :)

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 2:14:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Another fantastic post in the series, are you sure there is no way we can get this book published ?
All over when you are 30 I think not ! :)

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 2:31:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

How wonderful! My grandmother is also a great-great grandmother and we do those shots frequently.

Here from Michele's.

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 2:33:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Me again!
From Michele's...

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 2:33:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

So much history from a photo...awesome!

I'm so glad things don't end when a person hits 30...I have two months left before I turn that age!!!

I love your photo's!!

happily here from Michele's...

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 3:27:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love your photos!!!

I want to be a photographer :)

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 3:52:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh, it must be the weekend and her I am to say Hi!

What lovely memories you have. And to have a friendship with someone so long. You are very fortunte. They sound like a wonderful family.

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 4:42:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Lovely post. You have such a great way of "talking", it feels like I've met these people!

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 4:46:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful read, Naomi. There's such a special bond between mothers & daughters, and in this case, between husband & wife. I hope Tarzan & I have a relationship similar to your friends. So far, so good.
In the picture with the 3 generations, I noticed the Grandmother & Granddaughter, the look between them. It reminded me of a picture of my daughter & my dad. When I looked at this picture of yours, I thought, "She's the apple of her Grandmother's eye" and vice versa.
Thanks for sharing my sweet friend.

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 6:13:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I just love your photos! Here from Michele's Meet and Greet

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 6:41:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

As always your pictures are beautiful. I loved seeing that birthday party picture with Rosie and Carol and everyone. I love reading your great stories and memories.

Here via Michele!

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 6:41:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful family!

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 7:05:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What wonderful pictures! It makes me want to get pictures of my dad and my son with me.

Here from Michele's

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 9:05:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great post! I always enjoy your entries. I like the new blog look too.

cheers neighbor,

Shane

Friday, June 2, 2006 at 9:44:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Beautiful story, beautifully written and lovely pictures. :)

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 12:22:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Michele sent me to see you, Naomi--Nay is a wee bit too informal for me--and it's good to see you again.

Life is over at 30? Scary thought! I do think of myself as being of advanced year but since I was born the same year as Julie that places you squarely one generation ahead of me. Hmmm.

It's nice that they named their daughter after Mitzie's mother but it's probably a good thing that Julie didn't get the nickname "Dude" as well.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 2:50:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

A wonderful read, Naomi. The pictures and the words were excellent.

Michele sent me here.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 3:26:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Those were lovely photos and infos. Carol Burnett. I still do remember her. We had a show once a long time ago "The Carol Burnett Show". She's a funny lady but when she tries to be sad she really is.
Anyway, I am inviting you to visit my site today. It is a special day for me and would love to have you there.
Have a nice weekend.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 6:13:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hello Naomi! Lovely pictures as usual! I am just wondering why they call her Dude.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 6:25:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Amazing photos and another wonderful series, Naomi!
What lovely memories you have!
All photos are beautiful and very expressive, but I especially like the first one photo. This great series would be publish as a book!

Have a good weekend!

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 8:34:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Your pictures always seem to capture the connections between people. It's a privilege for us to be able to be a part of the experience...makes me wish we had actually been with you when you took the pictures and experienced the magic first-hand.

This is going to inspire me in ways I am only beginning to fully appreciate.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 10:11:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

This is absolutely marvelous, Ms. Old Lady. Thanks.

(I am here from Michele's place.)

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 11:37:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

This is absolutely marvelous, Ms. Old Lady. Thanks.

(I am here from Michele's place.)

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 11:37:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

such lovely women! as usual, naomi, i was enthralled by your story telling. i sure do wish you go ahead and have this published! ;)

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 12:06:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You are spot lighted on Wendy's Whimsies and I came over from there. I absolutely love Carol Burnett and miss her shows. You have so much to write and I enjoy reading it.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 2:32:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I just love your Mother/daughter series!! Just beautiful!!

Reading about your friends is so much fun for me! Carol Burnett, I just love her! Watching her show was one of the highlights of my week! Great lady!

Always a pleasure visiting you my dear!

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 3:03:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Another nice one. I have heard Gillian Welch play--there is a radio show, or used to be one, in New Jersey called Radio Thrift Shop whose proprietress, Laura Cantrell, is a Nashville girl with a degree from Columbia. She did a "legitimate" country music show on Saturdays--I'm sure you understand what I mean by "legitimate," with so much of what's out there now amounting to a Hat Acts and "W" Bund Rallies. Laura has since taken off to perform quite successfully. But she played Gillian's music all the time.

I'm finding it impossible to post photos on Blogger today, by the way. Is it me or them?

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 3:07:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi--
I had to comment again to tell you the securtiy code word I need to type--it's dibshtt.

Ha! Kind of sums up this blog engine we use.

Rick

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 3:09:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

my word, you are Good at this! here from michele

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 4:04:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Sue
had this to say:

You always have such interesting stories and have lives such an interesting life -- I envy you :) Here via michele's today

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 4:39:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great story about your friends!!! Lovely photos too!
It's been a long time since I popped around but I'm back on track and will definitely be popping in more often now.
Love the new look site!

Michele sent me.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 5:00:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great story about your friends!!! Lovely photos too!
It's been a long time since I popped around but I'm back on track and will definitely be popping in more often now.
Love the new look site!

Michele sent me.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 5:00:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

This is absolutely marvelous, Ms. Old Lady. Thanks.

(I'm here from Michele's place.)

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 7:47:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Michele sent me back, Naomi, and I have been thinking about the Carol Burnett Show ever since I first read this one. I really do wish it would come back in syndication.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 9:38:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, what a wonderful post again!! Oh course I have heard of Gillian Welch!! How neat that you know so many people, I mean famous folks that is! I always loved watching Rosetta LeNoire and Carol Burnett. To think you have had them as guests!!

I was born in 1954!

Give Sweetie a kiss for me!

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 9:40:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Great story and beautiful pictures as always. I feel like I keep saying the same thing. But really, these photos deserve to be seen. I'm so glad you are sharing them.

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 10:50:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I have seen your name on Michele a few times... but haven't popped in... so I came on my own tonight :)

I am so enjoying your Mother/daughter/grandmother writings. They are just amazing!! And talk about a who's who... just reading your blog is truly amazing!!!

Now to go see if dh has any of Gillian Welch music... he has just about everything on his computer!!

Saturday, June 3, 2006 at 11:28:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great post. It is so much fun to read thsese stories about people we only know from the entertainment world. Your recollections of them as your friends are wonderful.
When's the big birthday?

Sunday, June 4, 2006 at 3:17:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh, so hearfelt and a glorious post. I enjoy learning so much that I never knew. I adored Carol Burnett and still watch reruns but didn't know of the behind the scenes folks like these songwriters.

IT's so much fun to read history through your eyes- up close and personal! Your recollections are so loving and vivid. Your writing and photograpsh ooze with sincere and down-to-earth love of those so dear to you. It's an incredible gift for you to share this with us.

I hope that some of your dear friends are as playful as you are for your upcoming special BD at the end of this month. I hope you are much healthier than some omissions may cause us to wonder.
(I guessed your age long before now because I like puzzles but age is not a factor in friendship to me: real life nor internet.)

Monday, June 5, 2006 at 4:59:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I had lizards in my laundry room when I lived in Louisiana. I never could figure out how they were getting in, but they about gave me a heart attack everytime I saw them sitting on a pile of towels. Ack! Great pictures!

Monday, June 5, 2006 at 6:00:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I so very much love these stories. What a rich and wonderful life to have been able to share time with tremendously beautiful people. Thank you for sharing a glimpse at it.

Monday, June 5, 2006 at 5:58:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I enjoy these stories so much.
I ever my mom, daughter and I are visiting my brother in South Pasadena, I will contact you and have you take photos of us. :)

Monday, June 5, 2006 at 10:51:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi- just love your mother, daughter grandmother series - thank you for sharing such wonderful memories - you are a delight. Suzann

Tuesday, June 6, 2006 at 6:48:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hope you'll share more of these stories and images. I just love them. Thanks so much! :)

Saturday, June 10, 2006 at 1:32:00 AM PDT 

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