Tuesday, July 01, 2008
we celebrated!

This was a truly special special Birthday Lunch, this year. A couple of things made it so....the Menu I chose---Eggs Benedict....(Betty was thrilled because it was her Breakfast....lol).....One of the reasons I chose Eggs Benedict for my Birthday Lunch was that this so-much-loved-by-me dish is something I never get to have anymore---not being able to go out in the world for Brunch on a Sunday or a Holiday.....Then, as you can see above----I made up some special little Gift Bags with some silly fun things in them for each of us...I will show more of all that later.....and then, there was that spectacular Flower Arrangement from dear Terri, created by the incredibly gifted Van, of "The Conservatory".... Here it is above....one more time....(I personally cannot see enough of this....It is just the prettiest thing I've ever laid eyes on, truly truly.....Thank You, once again dear Terri and dear Van of "The Conservatory"......)

But, the thing that really made this year's Birthday Celebration extra EXTRA special was having the wonderful and beloved Joyce Van Patten here for our lunch---she having just arrived back in Los Angeles from Manhattan.....Joycee, Betty and I have spent so very many years sharing each others Birthdays.....And we've shared many many other special occasions as well----both personal and professional---many of these were life changing occasions---Openings and Closings; Births and Deaths, etc.----starting back in 1962-63. The three of us became so very close while doing "Spoon River".First at our original tiny 'Theatre West' theatre, then at UCLA and 'The Theatre Group'---Sharing a Dressing Room will really make you close (lol)....And then, on to Broadway....The picture above was taken backstage between a Matinee and Evening performance on Broadway, so we all still had our 'stage makeup' on....Joycee's make-up had become rather Kabuki-like...lol...though I believe when she saw this snapshot, she went back to a more traditional color..... Well, it was a truly rare happening that "Spoon River"; And that we all shared it together, cemented our friendship in indescribable ways....And everyone here on Friday, the 27th, was so very happy to see Joycee, too---she is much loved, by all.....So her being here on Friday was a great gift to us all, but especially to me and to Betty! Here is another picture below of the three of us taken many years later, sometime in the late 1980's, at some special Theatre West Fund Raising gathering...... And one more trip down 'Memory Lane'....the picture below was taken at a big Academy Award Party, in the early or mid '90's...where Betty was Honored....You may recognize some of the other people in this picture, too....There is something about Theatre People....Actors-Performers....we share so many experiences and many overlapping projects, too...And all of us at the Birthday Lunch have Theatre West in common....And we all owe that---Theatre West, that is---to Joyce. Yes, indeed! It was originally her idea. She implemented the beginnings of it all and though she is not there anymore---that is the place where all of us first met---(All except Annie Guilbert and I, Jacquie and Joyce, And Jacquie and I...We actually met before Theatre West, but it was at Theatre West that we got close.)
So here we were, (In a slightly different angled shot) Joyce and Betty and me; Annie Guilbert, Jacquie Scott, Kim Hamilton, Dianne Travis, Bridget Hanley and dear Seemah Wilder, (this is not the order of people in the picture above.....), celebrating another Birthday together. And the wonderful Lee Meriwether is off working---in Atlanta and then on to New York to do 'The Today Show'...(I think on July 1st or 4th....) or she would have been here, too. And Lee was in that "Spoon River" Dressing Room at UCLA, as well....She was understudying all three of us there. And if she had not been pregnant with her daughter Kyle that summer of 1963, she would have come to Broadway along with the rest of us, too.....
And here is a fantastic thing: All these women are still working in their chosen profession. Betty had just finished shooting a film the day before my Birthday; Jacquie is always involved in a play somewhere, and Dianne, Betty, Bridget and Seemah are going to be doing another play together at Theatre West----Noel Coward's, "Waiting In The Wings", early this fall....Joyce is here in L.A. to work and Kim, too. I love this about our profession....the only reason people retire is if they truly cannot work anymore due to Health Issues, or if they just decide, it's enough! Annie just came back from New York, having done a film that Joyce was up for, too.....So, there is always so much to share; about work, and play, and family, and you name it! And lots of reminiscing, as well. All these women have such rich "history's", and there is always much laughter!
I know I am rambling on a bit here, but I just had such a wonderfully overwhelming feeling of love for all these women. How they each have enriched my life in so very many ways......These friendships are so precious and must be nurtured and cared for and enjoyed every chance we get! I urge you all to take great care of the friendships you have---especially the long-time-long-term friendships.....these shared history's are so deeply meaningful and they become more-so as the years go on. So, this was the setting for the glorious "Ladies Who Lunch" afternoon!The beautiful dear Kim arrived first....always on time....and looking gorgeous too....Who would believe that this woman is a Great Grandmother...Well indeed, she is! Then dear Dianne was next..... Both Dianne and Kim have been good and dear friends of mine since 1968.....(That is 40 years.....My Lordy....) Theatre West was the catalyst and like-mindedness of heart and soul, the glue, I think. Then JVP arrived----another person who is always on time.....Joyce is one of the most disciplined people I know, when it comes to being on time and her work, too. I think that comes from being a child actress and learning the importance of this in the theatre as well as film, early on..... Then, dear Jacquie arrived...... Another very disciplined actress and someone who is always on time, too.....Jacquie and I met in the Fall of 1961, through a mutual friend, John Erman....later, Jacquie came into Theatre West....again, that special place of professionalism and friendships....Next to arrive here at my home were Betty and Bridget...... Bridget had driven Betty and so they arrived together, though Betty came in before Bridget because Bridget was parking..... I just love that there are so very many over-lapping parts to all of our friendships...The personal and the professional. We have all worked on stage together at one time or another and the social aspect of our friendships carry over into the professional in ways that are like a fine Patina on a piece of sculpture---difficult to put into words, really, but, there is no question these friendshps are an invaluable additive to the professional side of our lives that we often share...... The last two to arrive were Annie G., who was driving, and dear Seemah.....Both of whom have acted in plays of mine---Annie winning an acting Award from L.A. Weekly, for "The Start Of The Blues", and deservedly so, I must say.... We were already at 'the table' when they got here having driven together because they both live on The West Side in Pacific Palisades....It is funny, too, because Seemah is never on time and Annie gets lost every time she comes here (lol) Go figure, and yet, professionally, they are both very much 'on time'. That little Pink Bear in Seemah's hand was one of the 'goodies' in the fun 'gift' bag I had made up for each person..... I just thought they were the cutest softest little bears I had ever seen....All in the prettiest pastel colors. And everyone knows how much I love Teddy Bears..... Is he cute, or what? Everyone seemed to just fall in love with these little bears and that made me very happy! They all loved their 'magic' Wands, too! These very cute wands were in the shape of a Star, which seemed very appropriate to me for these wonderful ladies----each one, a "star" in my eyes and in the eyes of many other people, too..... Here is a somewhat closer look at one of The Wands.... That little yellow button when pushed, created a blinking light. And everyone kept touching another persons head with their Wand...like dear Billie Burke who played The Good Witch in "The Wizard Of Oz".....It was really very dear.....No matter our age, we are all still children, at heart.

There is a lot more and so there will be a "Part 2"....which means as I always say at the end of each post.....


More To Come.......











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46 Comments:
had this to say:

I cannot tell you enough how much I enjoy these posts. I love seeing your friends and hearing all about your/their past and present lives in the theatre. I SO miss it.

The magic wands are fabulous!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 1:17:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Bud
had this to say:

A beautiful party with your beautiful friends. I wish many more for you.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 2:10:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

you ladies just have way too much fun! What great pictures! I love the teddy bears and magic wands! Ohhh if they would only work!

I am sorry Lee missed your party but glad she is on the east coast! She will be doing an autograph show here in NJ July 12th and I hope to go see her! If I get there I will surely tell her that she missed a really good party!! hehe

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 3:48:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Happy Happy Birthday Naomi!!

I loved your birthday post - and Eggs Benedict are my favourite!!!

What amazing friends you have - truly, you are so blessed to have these people who obviously care so much about you.

Love the party favours - and Holly has one of those wands, aren't they so supercool!!!

Cheers!
Linda :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 4:05:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, all of you look well and happy - which is all one needs, right? I love the menu choice; eggs benedict has been my favorite thing to eat for years, although I don't have it much nowadays. I love the fun things in the goody bags. I know you all had fun and enjoyed each other's company. Another great birthday party - and I hope you have many, many more together.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 5:23:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Great party, lovely decorations, good friends -- sounds like the perfect day. I'm glad you had fun.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 5:50:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh the pictures were worth waiting for, but alas, no pictures of YOU, the birthday girl! Couldn't one of the girls get a shot of you? LOL

Great gift bags too, love the bears and the wands!

Looking forward to part 2, with hopefully pictures of YOU!

I'm so glad you had a great day,
Love, Anne

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 8:00:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, may your happiness amidst your friends continue to know no bounds. You are very rich, indeed!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 8:53:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What beautiful photos of a group of lovely women and a celebration of a life and friendship. You are rich indeed to have that many women in your life with such a shared history.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 9:43:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Sounds like a lovely birthday celebration! Isn't it great having such friends?! Those bears are too cute!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 9:54:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great party! Eggs Benedict! Now that's good food!

the little bears are adorable...glad you had a great day...looking forward to hearing more!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 10:33:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great bunch of friends you have. To be friends for so many years, that is just wonderful!

I only have one very long-time friend like that, but it is such a special relationship, when you know someone for such a long time, isn't it? More like sisters.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 10:52:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

ooh, the Ladies Wot Lunch!! [big grin]

Sounds like a good time was had by all - how good that JVP made it :-) And, of course, dear Betty and Kim, Seemah and all the other Ladies :-)

I love seeing you with your 'gang' having fun - and it really does look fun!

Excellent teddy bearss - how cute!

If you're still recovering from Lunching, then you might enjoy the video on my blog - don't laugh too hard though :-)

cq

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 12:00:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow, Naomi! This looks like the perfect birthday celebration! I think it's sweet of you to make your pals souvenir gift bags! Look at the big smiles on their faces when they find adorable pastel teddy bears inside!

I love these photos, the colors, the flowers, the friendship. I'm so glad you had your Eggs Benedict! They're my favorite, too!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 2:59:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh you are all so lucky to be able to share in each others lives, just wonderful!! And how good of you to surprise each of your guests with those little bags with v. v. cute bears in them?

Looking forward to reading Part II.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 3:14:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Lyn M.
had this to say:

I so admire this group of ladies whose friendships span decades of precious moments shared together. How much sweeter than this Birthday gathering can lifes blessings be?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 3:27:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

These posts are amongst my all time favourites ( yeah for NZ spelling lol)
Now I KNOW we are related, Eggs Benedict is what Mark makes for me nearly every Mothers Day and on my birthday !!
It has become almost a tradition now. I also had them at the Renaissance one morning for breakfast just before we came to see you !
Joyce looks great, I was learning lists the other day and I totally forgot she used to be George Clooneys MIL ! I was learning a list of his movies and it was on his imdb page haha.
Looking forward to part 2 after.
Off to my big adventure for the day soon !

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 3:59:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

So much fun!
I like how you told a bit about each lady, and I could just feel the spirit of reunion that must have been there.
Even grownups like goody bags!!!!
I suppose you'll show your cake next post.
I hope it was chocolate!!

:-)

I wish you a very happy holiday weekend.
I bet you will be able to see a lot of fireworks from your back porch and out your gorgeous picture windows.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 4:42:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You set quite a table! Gifts and friends and whatnot....What treasures!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 4:43:00 PM PDT 

Blogger VV
had this to say:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NAOMI!!!! Oh, thank you so much for posting all these beautiful pictures. It's such a joy to peak into your life, see all your wonderful friends who have been with you for so many years. You brought such a brightness to my day. My birthday is tomorrow, but I don't think I'll find the time to blog. Too busy lately. *sigh* It looks like you had a wonderful day, and I'm so glad. You're such a dear lady and deserve all the happiness you can get.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 6:01:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

So. Much. FUN!

I love reading about your parties, Naomi, and I love seeing the pictures of your friends. How blessed you are to have had such lovely friends for so long!!

Love the wands and the teddy bears too.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 6:02:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I was out of blogging for quite a while... looks like I'm back at just the right time to wish you a somewhat belated happy birthday.

It seems like an excellent time was had by all, and I imagine your photos barely captured half the good times had by all.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 7:09:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I loved and enjoyed seeing your Birthday post, Naomi! What a lovely friends you have! I loved those gift bags with cutest little bears... and the pretty magic wands with a star! Loved all photos, too! Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic party!
Many hugs my dear!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 7:37:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It looks like you had the best of times, probably had a lot of talking, laughing and catching up to do! So beautiful, all of you!

:D

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 at 11:32:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What better gift than friends? May all you gals share many more. You certainly haved gifted us unknowns, many times over with your craft.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 3:53:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You are truly blessed hon to have such a great bunch of friends & moreso, that your friendship has stood the 'great' test of time. Bless you & may you have many more happy days :-)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 3:54:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The wands and teddy bears were fantastic ideas...I love them. I am so glad you had so many friends to celebrate your special day with you!

Have a fabulous 4th- I'll probably be off line for a bit!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 6:49:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I wish you could celebrate my birthday with Naomi, all your birthday celebrations seemed so much fun and filled with joy and laughter and the effort put into celebrating and appreciating each other, this is wonderful :D

Thank you once again for sharing Naomi

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 8:37:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You all look so happy and lovely! I'm glad that a good time was had. You deserve it!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 8:43:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Happy Birthday! from me also....I have to say , your posts are a gift to all of us...I love reading about your life ..the fact that its intermingled with celebrities that we all know and love, gives it some piquant..but I think what really makes them special is seeing how down to earth you are. It is what I appreciate the most. I just loved all the photos of your friends and adore the silly gift bags!! The wands totally rock lol!
All of you are such lovely woman...to be a fly on the wall when u all get together lol....the things u must talk about lol...like any group of woman...the things we say would make toes curl lol...
I look forward to seeing part 2...and many more yrs to come.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 10:08:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a great party!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 10:28:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a wonderful birthday, Naomi! I'm so glad. And so happy for you that Joyce could be there. :)
Looking forward to part 2.
I love Eggs Benedict. :)
~S :)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 12:23:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Dear Naomi - again Happy Birthday on your 27th of June.

Being a blog friend for some years now, I so much remember your BD post and this was a great one too. To me it is so great to see how lovely you are celebrated with all this lovely people and your so worth it!

I'm glad you had such a wonderful day and wanna thank you so much for sharing with all the details and lovely pictures with us!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 3:42:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a beautiful bunch of women! Go girl power!

You know, I'm thinking that the next soiree I organize I'm going to make up some goodie bags.

Wonderful pictures Naomi. I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself.

take care.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 at 8:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

People always say, "Oh, how I'd love to be a fly on the wall!" But I really, really, would have loved to have been a fly on the wall that day!

Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 12:03:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

A belated but very sincere "Happy Birthday" wish to you. What a joy to be surrounded by so many close personal friends. I can see the caring affection for one another shining in everyone's eyes and especially for you, I'm sure.

Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 3:05:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi- what a special day! I feel like I was right there with you, enjoying the bithday lunch with you all. (JVP looks wonderful by the way). You really know how to host a teriffic party!

Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 7:07:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Hi Naomi thank you so much for sharing the special moments in your life with the rest of us. Gota tell you, I love the blue crystal goblets on your table setting. The royal blue is one of my favorites. A few years ago, my mom sent to me, a very expensive bowl. I used it for chips at a party, and told her she gave me heck, because I did not realize what exactually it was she had given me. My thoughts are what's the point if you can not use it or share its beauty, with others.:)Looks very similar to pattern, that I have. Friends and Family is what life is about. Seems that you have been blessed. Have a Great 4th. I will be mowing the yard, maybe in the evening see fireworks. They are calling for rain here. Have a nice weekend. Pat from NY.

Thursday, July 3, 2008 at 7:42:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi, isn't it great that all of you can get together and just have a good time. You are very lucky to have such good friends. I love magic wands. I also love Eggs Benedict.....yummmm.

Well, once again, Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful, quiet, fourth.

Friday, July 4, 2008 at 12:21:00 AM PDT 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

It's a great credit to you all and especially you - who I suspect is the catalyst - that you all are still friends and can enjoy each other's company. It looked like it lived up to what we expect now of Naomi's parties - good fun, good cheer and mutual affection. I'm sure they leave feeling at least a decade younger. May you have many more.xoxoxo

Friday, July 4, 2008 at 2:00:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a special Birthday lunch! There must be no better way to celebrate than with such close friends and you are so fortunate to have so many special friends in your life. As ever I get such a feeling of warm comaraderie from your narrative and I love the pictures, especially the first one of you all. You all look so happy and jouyful. I am so glad you had a wonderful time :)

Friday, July 4, 2008 at 10:06:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Happy Birthday! It looks as if you had a great celebration! Eggs Benedict too! Yum.

Best, rashbre

Friday, July 4, 2008 at 12:54:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I JUST had this conversation with a co-worker on Friday:

Me: I never really cared for THE NANNY, but the woman who played the grandmother was really funny.

Her: She was on Dick Van Dyke. She played Mrs. Halper.

Me: I think that was Helper.

(Debate over what the name was until I looked it up.)

Her: Helper is such as weird last name.

Me: As opposed to what, PETRIE?

Anyway, happy birthday again.

Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 5:21:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Oh, this was SO much fun.....being there (virtually) with you on your birthday.
You do have a magnificent circle of female friends. I've always marveled at that and after so many events now (and your sharing) I almost feel like I know them. What a special birthday lunch for you, Naomi and you are so deserving of it. Loved the menu and those gift bags were so nice.
And YOU! My goodness, you're truly ageless! You look SUPER, Naomi! Are you sure you're not fibbing to us about turning 77? (smile)
And I'm so glad you're continuing to enjoy the flowers I sent from Van.
All the best to you,
Terri
http://www.islandwriter.net

Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 10:24:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Stu
had this to say:

Hi, apparently you knew my grandfather, Oscar Schisgall. I never got to meet him, but if it's possible, can we find a time to talk? Thank you.

Monday, April 27, 2009 at 9:41:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Stu
had this to say:

Hi, in case you didn't get my comments, please feel free sending me an e-mail. I'm Oscar Schisgall's grandson, and I'd love to speak with you about him.

Monday, April 27, 2009 at 9:45:00 PM PDT 

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