Friday, May 01, 2009
france-1969 - part 2

When I left off, I was mentioning that pesky tooth problem. I had some anti-biotic with me that my dentist at home had given me and started taking it....Hoping that this would stave off the dreaded problem.....Meanwhile, one of the first places that Daddy and Olga took me to was "The Musee de Picasso" in the old Grimaldi Castle in 'Old Antibes'.....I did not take either of the pictures above...But I chose them because you can see this building in the top picture, from afar....And then closer in the one just above.....I could not get over all the beautiful Museums there in the south of France....We went to the Leger Museum along the way, and The Chagall Museum and later in the week, we went to the Foundation Maeght, which is one of the great great Museums of Modern Art in the world, and in such a gorgeous setting.....! More about that later....Many people stopped by Lou Miradou while I was there...Art and Antique dealers that Daddy knew, Artists, too, and many other people as well...Some lived right there in that part of the world and some were from other parts of the world, like, London, New York, and Los Angeles, etc. It was all very interesting.....A Sculptor named Abel Crechian, who lived there in the area and had done a 'Bust' or 'Head', as it is sometimes known, of my father, came by a couple of times. I have one of these 'Heads' in my home....And a man named Karam who dealt in Ancient Antiques and Ashanti Masks visited, too, in those first couple of days that I was there. "Daddy Joe", as we all called my father, had so very many interests where Art was concerned and many dealers wanted to visit him and sell him paintings and sculptures, etc.I discovered that there was a lot of good shopping in Juan Les Pines an area very close to Lou Miradou....and during that three weeks I bought a lot of summer clothes---things I never saw in Los Angeles, and I bought a lot of little gifts for people, too.....

We ate Breakfast at home, and some lunches, too, as well as a few dinners.....And all of our meals were prepared and served by this really amazing little woman. She was this wonderful cheerful French Women and she worked for Daddy and Olga as their Housekeeper. She cooked and cleaned and was a truly delightful person named Ninni...(pronounced NeeNee).....And I must say, she made a mean Ratatouille and even gave me the Recipe...'Daddy Joe' loved to be playful and fool around with her....And I think she adored him and was very happy working for them. And although she spoke very little English and D.J. spoke no French, at all---They understood one another very very well.....When we weren't up on the outdoor Patio where we would have our Breakfasts, we ate our lunch outside at a small table by the side of the house---near where my room was, which faced the was a lovely setting, to say the least..... This next picture shows Olga's back, sitting at the table, and the View that I could see as I sat at the Lunch Table with them......The "light" is different in the South of France, as I had always heard.....all the great Artists always said that it was, and it is absolutely true.... Not that this picture really captures that....In fact, I had some trouble with my camera for a while there...But, I did the best I could under the circumstances.....Anyway, Ninni was like something out of a book....I just couldn't get over how good humoured she was, no matter what she was doing....Including taking the Garbage down below, to the street! Here is a closer look at this happy happy woman..... I love all the pretty flowers everywhere and though I know they had a Gardener who took care of it all, it always looked un-sculpted, you know? It looked as if everything just took care of itself....Now that is an "art" in itself........Ninni's husband was the "Captain" of a small, but very beautiful Yacht that was docked in Cannes, if memory serves---which it may not..(lol)...But the boat belonged to 'The Begum'....The Begum had been married to the Old Aga Kahn III. Their son Ali Kahn, had been married to the beautiful actress Rita Hayworth, with whom he had a daughter Yasmin....We visited Ninni's husband one afternoon down at the Marina where the Yacht was docked......and it was quite extraordinary.... That is me, lying on the top deck, relaxing in the late afternoon sun....It was so lovely.....These pictures are not the best because this was when I was having trouble with my camera....things are kind of washed-out- looking in some of these pictures.....We had a very good time and it certainly was another world.....Seeing The Begum's Bedroom was pretty amazing....It was so beautifully and simply appointed..... That is Olga in the mirror behind The Begum's vanity....I loved that her Hairbrush and Comb and Hand Mirror were all laid out so neatly......I love that sweet little lamp, too..... And this was the other bed in her stateroom....And, of course, a matching lamp! Then there was another a sitting room of sorts, I guess.... It was not a big boat, by any fact it was quite compact, but, it certainly was very very comfortable, indeed....We didn't see the Galley, but Daddy and Olga and Ninni and I did sit out on the back looking out at the Marina there, and we had a little respite.....Ninni's husband was getting us some cool drinks....I don't have any pictures of him with the boat, I'm afraid...... I don't know how often 'The Begum' used the boat, but it was Ninni's husbands job to keep it ship-shape and ready to go at a moments notice....It was just such a treat for me to get to see this particular aspect of The Riviera....It certainly was another view of what was available to so very many people who lived and/or visited in this part if the world....... And one last picture of me pretending that Yacht was mine......

More To Come........

Links to this post:


had this to say:

Wow. Not many people have lounged on a yacht in The Riviera. Well okay, many people have, but certainly not the majority of people. Thanks for the tale and the pics!

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 2:18:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Solid 9.9 out of ten on the "fabulous babe-o-meter" you are.

As for your photos, I'm afraid they will seal the deal for me to go to Med side of France with the EMBLOS one of these days.


Friday, May 1, 2009 at 6:27:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What a lovely relaxing time you had. I am holding my breath on that tooth though.
Great job the captain had, just being ready for a command. He must have been an neat man if his wife was so good natured.
I remember the stories of Rita and Ali Kahn. she just oozed glamour.
Think it is so wonderful you have a "head" of your father. Three demensional and touchable.
Waiting for the "more to come"

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 12:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What wonderful memories photos are so important they tell so many stories that otherwise could be forgotten. Beautiful to share with us.

Dorothy from grammology

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 4:34:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Another terrific post, Naomi. You looked very much at home on that yacht!

We toured the yacht owned by Mary Hart and her husband some years ago, and it was gorgeous!

All the flowers at your father's home were so beautiful!

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 4:51:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Being on a yacht in the south of France is a wonderful way to pretend, Naomi !

Nini sounds like a delightful person...

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 6:29:00 PM PDT 

Blogger TLP
had this to say:

I hope you realize that you have led a most remarkable and wonderful life!

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 7:55:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I got caught up with your blog, and I enjoyed it so much. I love that you took pics as you entered the airplane and you have a ticket stub from Nice. I'd say that man got loosened up by the booze and then there you were! He thought, "This is my lucky night!" He was hoping for a little high altitude action!


Your father's home was so lovely. It's like a postcard, and I love the landscaping and those brightly colored flowers.
It must have been divine to have meals on that patio, and to meet so many artists and acquaintances of your dad's.
That is a high class yacht! You look totally relaxed and very chic in those poses!!

You really did a LOT of traveling in those few months. I hope this story has a part 3.

My dad is back down at Jason's again, so those three fellows are hanging out together in South Pasadena. Keith was there a few days last week, and he and Taylor got rear ended while sitting at a stop light. The guy rammed into the back of them, then took off. Luckily, they were not injured, nor was Taylor's car damaged. From what they said, the guy who ran into them had some damage to the front of his car, but it wasn't bad enough to keep him from being able to take off from the scene.

I hope all has been well with you this week.

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 7:55:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

The yacht may not have been yours, but it sure was for the moment! You owned that moment. And the memories you created are yours forever. :)

I'm really, really enjoying your sharing of your summer... it does look so lovely there.

Ninni looks like an absolute delight.

So did the antibiotic help with your tooth, or did the delightful Ratatouille recipe do the trick? Also, what exactly is Ratatouille (other than the Disney movie)?

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 7:59:00 PM PDT 

had this to say: this is funny. Last night I was walking the dog and was thinking of going over to a local restaurant. "Just like in France!" I thought.

And then I find you writing of Juan Les Pins. Yes, this is exactly where I was staying. Great area! I remember getting some laundry done for my son who was only 1 at the time. "Laver et S├ęcher, the lady told me as we pantomimed! Great memories, Naomi!
And let's do meet soon! I will come out there!

Friday, May 1, 2009 at 9:10:00 PM PDT 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

Everybody should have a Nini. Your father must have been a wonderful employer and you were so very lucky to have that experience. I really regret not spending time in the museums in the south of France although I did in Paris.
I'm fairly sure the ceiling at L'Opera in Paris was by Chagall but when I lived in Kent there was a tiny church with a Chagall window. The lord of the manor's son had drowned in a boating accident and there was this window with a tiny sailing boat in memory of him.
What fun to swan around on the yacht. I always associate the south of France with Scott and Zelda - such drama and history!
Thanks for sharing the memory.

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 2:07:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

if we could only relive parts of our life as we remember them..:o) wow wouldn't it be wonderful!

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 3:50:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

And one last picture of me pretending that Yacht was mine...... LOL I would have pretended it was mine too!

The inside of that boat is amazing. You could live on it!

I like how Olga is in the mirror of the photo. When I see pictures with a mirror, I always look closely to see what else is going on in the mirror.

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 8:48:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Mar
had this to say:

I need a Ninni, I can live on ratatouille!!
What a wonderful vacation, Naomi, what great memories of a fabulous time at the always chic Cote d'Azur!

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 12:52:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Look at you in all those pics not only acting like you owned the yacht, but the Riviera as well! ;)

What a thrill to have experience France in '69. I love all the beautiful flowers in the garden and Ninni's cheerful personality!

The sculpure's work is wonderful! Wow! Lucky you to still have one of his "heads" in your home!

I wonder what ever happened to that hairbrush, comb and hand mirror. I used to have a similar set in upstate NY (once upon a time) and I have no idea where they went. :(

Once again, thanks for sharing this beautiful time in your life! A great post, Naomi! :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 2:20:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow, Naomi, I'm speechless! Thanks so much for sharing.

And look at your gorgeous smile!

Anyone who thinks that being cheerful and pleasant to everyone around them doesn't count, should take Olga as their example. Here she is, being honored decades later, and having all these strangers fall in love with her.

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 5:58:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oops, Naomi, that was a "brain burp" as my daughters call it. I said Olga in my last comment, and I meant NINNI!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 7:33:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Ninni sounds like a delightful lady and they were lucky to find her! I love all the pretty flowers at your father's home!

You look perfectly relaxed on the yacht! I loved reading this second part of your story about this time in your life. I'm glad you had some medicine for your tooth!

I would love to go to France! I really love that first picture. It looks so lovely!

Hugs to you dear Naomi!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009 at 8:14:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story, Naomi! I hope there is more to come!

Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 7:19:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Naomi....I'm loving your France story.... and I'm thinking you look absolutely at home on that yacht. :)

Bring on part 3!!!!

ps. I loved Nice and fell in love there too with a sexy Aussie. Swoooooon!

Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 4:38:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oooh...very nice. I want to go there for vacation someday.


Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 6:02:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What a glamorous section of the world eh?

I have (yet) to visit the SOuth of France but I know how much my parents have enjoyed it on the couple of times they have stayed. (one day, one day....)

I would have loved to see that boat in person. When we lived in Cairns we'd walk down the marina often and wonder what some of the boats docked looked like on the inside. Then we moved to Abu Dhabi and you should see some of the 'super-boats' docked around here! Just amazing...

Monday, May 4, 2009 at 10:17:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I love your dress. I would wear that today. It's great that your father knew his way around. Being in a foreign country without that one can feel lost. Your life and mine were so different in 1969.

Monday, May 4, 2009 at 3:49:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh, I enjoyed this so much! (as I'm sure you knew I would!)
A couple of questions: Do you recall how long of a flight it was to Paris? I believe you said you flew from LA direct to Paris or maybe you went to NY?
Also.....what did Lou Mirador stand for? Why did your dad name the house that?
The bust of him was truly amazing! Whew...that was talent!
The housekeeper was exactly THAT....a "keeper." LOL She looked delightful.
But you captured it all lounging on that yacht! I loved those photos of you....ah, the grand life, huh? lol
This was super and thanks again for sharing it here. You know I devour your commentary and photos of days gone by!
OH, and by the way....SO true about that light in the south of France. When we were in Sete last October, I just couldn't get over that incredible and different light. Made me wish I were a painter instead of an author.

Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 5:25:00 PM PDT 

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