Monday, June 29, 2009
after the birthday

It was a wonderful day and the "Ladies Who Lunch" was a lot of fun and we had some laughs and shared some tender moments, too..... And the "Ladies" gave me a very special gift.....but more about that later.....Above is a little tease of what's to come.......Above, these are some flowers sent to me by the wonderful Terri DuLong of Island Writer....She actually calls "Van" here in Hollywood, and he works his magic---I cannot thank her enough----They Were Gorgeous, Beyond Words.....There will be a lot more of them, too......
But......It is going to take me a little while to get all the pictures together.......
I thank you all for your incredibly sweet Birthday Wishes...the generousness of Heart and Spirit from all of you out there in Blogland warms my heart in so very many ways, and I thank you with every fiber in my now older slightly tired-er body......(lol)So, just bear with me while I get all the pictures together....I think you will enjoy them, once I've finally finished up......




More To Come........


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Friday, June 26, 2009
another birthday

So, Saturday, tomorrow, is my Birthday.....There will be a "Ladies Who Lunch" and I am looking forward to that. To be surrounded by these dear loving friends right now during this tender time, means everything to me.....I press on.....
One of the strangest things about this birthday is how old I am.....It just doesn't seem possible that so very many years have gone by.....and sometimes I really do think...where did they go? How can I be 78??? I was just seven, a minute-and-a-half ago.....or eighteen.....or thirty-eight.....and now, I am this old lady...! How the f**k did that happen?

This is a hard Birthday for me too because of the loss of John.....There is nothing to say about this except that my body hurts all over....and it feels like it will never stop.
Part of what is so hard for me is being confined to my home as I am. All the things in my life that brought me out into the world, that kept me engaged in my work---writing, acting, composing, singing, producing, etc., etc.---all the things that kept me involved and engaged and creating----I can no longer participate in. To no longer be able to go to the Theatre, or to readings of plays, or to see films in a theatre.....to not be able to go to a restaurant or a party.....trust me, this is hard and it gets very old, especially after over four years, if you know what I mean. I try to stay as involved as possible, but under the circumstances, well.....Anyway....I'm feeling quite melancholy on this Birthday....and that is just the way it is.....As my old and dear friend Gail, who lives in Palm Springs, said today in a Birthday card, among other things, "...God, life is difficult! But-------Here We Are!!....". And this from a woman who has survived two mastectomy's and is just out of a rehab hospital having broken both her ankles at an age when that is not a good thing to do.....I think of Gail as she was when I first met her....a beautiful young woman in her early 30's---a superb actress---who's career led her into the Producing end of our business, and a very successful producer she was.....that's how I see her now even though we are both hovering here in our mid to late 70's.....

Indeed, Indeed, life is hard----but we press on.And so.....another birthday is here. Another "Ladies Who Lunch". Another 'memory' about to be made......God, I sure wish I felt better!

More To Come........







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Wednesday, June 24, 2009
huh?

Who is this? I mean, what character from what film.....If you know the answer, please do tell me, because I don't have a clue....(From the sublime to the ridiculous...after France, 1969...)

Some months ago when my dear pal Shawn took me out on a "drive around"...We saw this 'character' above. As we came down Orange Drive towards Hollywood Blvd., there he was, walking up the street towards Franklin Avenue, having finished his 'work', for the day. Grauman's Chinese is right there on Hollywood Blvd....and many 'actors' appear out front dressed in costumes---Tourists can have their picture taken with them, for a fee---Amazing, isn't it?.....About eight or so months before, when Shawn took me out for another outing, we passed by The Chinese Theatre---after all, it is my neighborhood theatre----and these two characters below were actually out in front, talking to each other.......Or were they.....? Is Batman punching Spider Man? Well...whatever. The thing is...even though their costumes were not perfect---I mean look at "Spider Man"....... This is certainly not the most perfect Spider Man costume one might have, especially if you were trying to depict Spider Man and wanted people to pay to have their picture taken with you...but....that did not seem to be an issue for the tourists there in front of Grauman's on Hollywood Blvd.......It did not seem to deter them, one bit. I'll be honest with you. This kind of thing was unheard of 'back in the day'. No one dressed up and pretended to be characters from a movie...Or if they did---which they didn't----no one would have even considered paying to have one's picture taken with a nut-case in a costume wandering around Hollywood Boulevard.

Times have changed. These 'actors' are legit and are part of the landscape now---each and every day, 365 days a year....And I guess it is quite lucrative......I read an article about it somewhere, a few months ago....it was quite fascinating......This guy above just looked like an "extra" to me.....someone who was actually filming a movie and had finished work for the day and was walking to his car, parked somewhere up on Orange Drive....Indeed, he had finished work, but he was not in whatever movie he was dressed up for. I must say, I thought his "get-up" was quite extraordinary......Much more complex than that Spider Man guy..... Everything about the costume---including his make-up, was pretty detailed and thorough! And here below, is another 'detail' of his get-up.....This guy was fantastic.He was a real "pro".....! The attention to detail in his costume was awesome! Oh, and by the way....I asked him if he minded me taking some pictures of him as I sat in the passenger side of Shawn's car....He said "no", it was fine, and he immediately perked up into that smiley-scary face. And I didn't cost me anything at all.


Now, could someone please tell me who he is supposed to be...I mean, what character from what movie he has gone to so much trouble to depict? Whoever it is, I'm not familiar with it......

More To Come........


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Saturday, June 20, 2009
farewell france, 1969

This is a picture of The Cote D'Azur.......I didn't take this picture but it covers a lot of the area that I visited so many years ago......I am having a hard time saying goodbye to these "French Trip" posts....and I do have a few more pictures that I had not posted...So, here is my 'farewell to france, 1969'........ Just to remind you where I was....This was the name of my father's house...It was named that when he bought it back in the late 1950's....And here below a few pictures of the house and surrounding environs..... This was another shot I took from the street, showing the entryway...It was not a very imposing entryway or street, as you can see below...... Here is the street in front of the house looking one way---it was the way you approached the house if you were coming towards me and my camera....You can see over on the left, that was the 'entryway' from the previous picture....And then, below, looking in the opposite direction..... Above is what you actually saw as you approached the house....As you can see, it is not a very wide street at this point....(now the entryway is on the right side of that picture above....just to give you a 'context'.....) I walked down the street further in that direction and the street got narrower and narrower....almost like an alley......But it was such a very beautiful alley....the old walls and all the foliage growing....and it truly looked like a 'back alley' of an ancient old hill town, didn't it? I love seeing that blue door waaaay in the distance.....Of course, the thing that made the house so appealing was not the street, but that it was right on The Med....... There was the street below the house, which you cannot see in the picture above. But it was the main road that everyone took to get around The Cap of 'Cap D'antibes' to go to all the other little towns. And though it was quite noisy, especially at night when trying to sleep, you were right there sitting on top of a bluff, overlooking this great beautiful sea....... Above, you can see the roadway that went all around 'The Cap'....This was the view looking towards the Antibes side, it was to the right of the house as you faced The Med....All the homes on the bluff side had their own little places right there on the edge of the water, where you could go in to The Med and swim, or dock a little boat while visiting a home up on the bluff.....But, make no mistake...it was the main road. And there it is below a little closer...... Going back to the so called 'entryway'....here below is a picture of Lou Miradou as you came through that first little gate to the walkway...... My room was on the ground floor on the left of that door right in the middle of the picture, behind the staircase---in fact, that was the door to my room....It was Daddy Joe's office and it had a 'day bed' in it which is where I happily slept.....It was private and I could come and go as I pleased, though I didn't do much of that.....lol. The staircase led up to the little deck above, where we would have breakfast or just sit and talk after a swim, or have drinks before dinner using these personalized paper coasters.....I love the look of the detailing on the side of the stairs, especially because this same detailing is everywhere in the house...... Below, a few pictures of what one saw when you were on that little deck... Above.....looking towards the 'entryway from the little deck.......And below, too..... Then, in this next picture we see Ninni...remember her? She is setting the little table for lunch.....this too, was the view from the little deck on the side of the house...... And then.....below....the view from the third side of the little deck...looking down onto the side where one could look out and see 'The Med'........But being that this was from above looking down onto the ground, you really cannot see much of the water........'The Med' is basically washed out in this picture above...but that is what is beyond in the horizon......And then below, a few more pictures of the garden around the house.... Everywhere you looked it was pretty. The garden was well cared for and yet wasn't so formal that you didn't feel at home..... I loved seeing the beauty of the flowers climbing up the wall here and there.....it was a very magical place in many respects....Comfortable and easy, and relaxed. Daddy and Olga made it possible for me to meet so very many interesting people that I know I would never have met had I not spent those three weeks there in The South Of France.....I found this card below----given to me at a special "luncheon" given by The Zulkahs, at a rather posh place...... If you can read any of the names on this card, besides the printed name----you will see, I had written down the Zulkahs name and Este & Joe Lauder....indeed, THE Este Lauder---I remember she gave me this beautiful little compact that had the Este Lauder perfume scent in it in the form of this sort of waxxy soft stuff---and you put your fingers on it and then dabbed the perfumed soft stuff behind each ear or wherever.....I sat next to a very nice woman who told me her Uncle and Aunt were from Los Angeles and were out on a yacht cruising The Med, right as we spoke. Remember the man who sat next to me on the plane coming from Los Angeles to Paris...the one who wanted me to do something unmentionable to him? It was her Uncle. Talk about a small world. (lol)I took this picture above on one of the first days of my visit. It was in Antibes and I loved that one could tell this was "wash day" for the entire building......I wonder if people there are still hanging their wash on the line as they did almost forty years ago.... I really love this picture of the roof of The Madoura Gallerie....The angle was so very interesting to me and you get a real sense of the age of this wonderful building....And below, one more shot of the interior of the Gallerie, on the day of the reception for Picasso...... And then below, a few more pictures of The Columbe D'Or Hotel.......I loved this place. And I always thought if I ever went back to this area---this is where I would like to stay...... The lovely entryway and patio where one could have a bite of Breakfast or Lunch and enjoy the beautiful Wild Flowers that were sitting in big beautiful terracotta puts all around..... And out by the pool...here below is a picture of Shirl Goedike---the Artist I knew from Los Angeles---with Olga.... Again....this was such a relaxed wonderful place....everyone at ease and just being themselves. No need to "dress up"...the feeling there was that people were very very comfortable in their own skin....I liked that a lot! And this picture below was what I saw after coming out of the Hotel as we began our little walk around St. Paul de Vence..... So much history.....so very different than any place I had ever seen at that time. I love those kids walking up there on the top of that old wall.....St. Paul de Vence----a place that was utterly fascinating. And this picture below---a Bird, sitting on the side of the Hotel....not a great picture I'm sorry to say...but, it is a French Pigeon...... I also love the fact that the building shows it's age. The shutters, too...That there wasn't this need to "doll things up"....What there was, was such a respect for the past and all that the past means right now, in the present.

So, there you have it.....Visiting happier days. Re-visiting memories that are still, in many ways, fresh and new....Not all of them of course, but enough so that I could once again enjoy putting this all together....Having all these pictures and these memento's helped to hold the memories fast and clear......So, one last time....Here are Olga and Daddy...... They had a very good life together...And there is no doubt that Olga made my fathers life so much richer and fuller than it had been in a very long time....She was really responible for bringing me and my siblings back into his life in a closer and more 'real' way....I know her contribution to making this trip so wonderful for me was huge in every way....And because she is only twelve years older than me---we had lots of fun! Villa Lou Miradou was sold about a year later....I don't remember why Daddy wanted to give it up, but after almost 16 years, I think he needed to do other things during the summer months. Daddy and Olga traveled a great deal....they even went to China. I can only say that to have had the opportunity to spend these three weeks with my father and Olga was and still is one of the most memorable times of my life where he was concerned. And of course it was very exciting and fascinating meeting all these truly fantastic people....But, for me, as I have said before, this was the longest period of time I had spent with my father, under the same roof, since I was ten years old and I had just turned 38 that year.....And we never had this kind of time together again.....It is just the way the cards fell. I don't mean I didn't see him---of course I did----but not like this and not when he was so relaxed and at ease, and never for three weeks again.....These were indeed, precious precious days!




More To Come.......





Note: I so wish I had more special trips to write about...it has been a very good thing for me to be working on these posts during this truly terrible time.....What will come next...I don't know. But I thank you all for your lovely comments on this trip---it pleases me no end that you all have enjoyed this journey so very very much, especially because I have had such a great time putting it all together! And I thank you all so very much for your caring understanding during this unbearable loss.....As they say in France, Merci Beaucoup....Very Very Much......




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Tuesday, June 16, 2009
france - 1969 part 11

After we got home from that lovely afternoon at the Picasso's, Olga realized she had left her purse at their house....So she called that evening to try to figure out how she could get her purse back. Well, it turned out that they---The Picasso's----were going to be at The Madoura Gallerie that next afternoon for a 'special' reception for Picasso and as luck would have it, we were going to be there, as well. So they said they would bring Olga's purse with them and we would meet up with them right there at the Gallerie. So, I got to see the Picasso's for a second time that very next day---talk about an unexpected bonus....So the next day we lazed around some and then after a bit of a swim and some lunch............we got dressed and drove to Vallauris to the Madoura Gallerie.....There were quite a few people there because it was, after all, a reception for Picasso. And there was a photographer at this reception...I have no idea where he was from or why he was taking pictures, but he was. Going from left to right.....Mme. Ramie, me, Fran Shapiro---a young woman who worked in the Art Office in Manhattan for Al Lerner who was Daddy Joe's Curator....(She and her sister were visiting France and were staying at The Belle Rive Hotel in Juan-les-Pins....), I don't know who that lady was next to her, but then Daddy was way over on the right......And below....a closer look at Mme. Ramie and me...... Then below....a picture of Picasso and me.....In truth, it was not just of the two of us, but I cropped it so it looks like it is..... It was really a picture of Picasso and me and Daddy Joe....Pretty nice memento, too, I must say...... You can see that cigarette in my right hand if you look
carefully....Amazing to me now that I ever smoked at all.....And as I have said before, it was just a year and a few months later that I stopped smoking for good....So, it has been almost 39 years now that I am now smoke-free...... Above...another close-up of Mme Ramie and me....This too is a picture that I cropped. Here below is the full picture..... Mme. Ramie, me....that same lady that I do not know, and Daddy and Olga....That purse I am carrying was the purse I bought that very first day in Antibes because the strap on my purse had broken----if any of you can remember waaaay back to that very first French Trip Post.....I used this white purse, day in and day out, the entire three weeks I was there....! I love this picture of Daddy Joe, standing in between Picasso and Mme. Ramie.....He is sooooo enjoying himself, isn't he? Here above....Fran Shapiro and Olga, talking to Picasso....I am leaning over doing something---but I'm not sure what----and then Daddy and then another lady who was there but I have no idea who she was......And then, below, this last picture that the photographer took...... Fran, Olga, Picasso, Me, and Daddy Joe.......The Photographer who was snapping away may have been taking pictures for the Madoura's records or for one of the newspapers-----I honestly do not know. But a few weeks later, after I was back home in Los Angeles, Olga sent me some of the pictures that were sent to them by the photographer or Mme. Ramie, of that special reception that afternoon at The Madoura Gallery. They are kind of wonderful pictures because the photographer was a "professional" and though they were candid---he didn't have trouble with the 'light', the way I did, plus....they were all taken inside.....

We spent quite a lot of time there and of course looked at all the Ceramics---this was the same show we had seen a week or so before when I bought the two pieces that I just had to have.....We went outside onto this balcony-type area and lots of people were out there.....I took quite a few pictures that afternoon, too, and of course prayed they would come out.... I don't know who that man is standing next to Picasso....but the young lady in red was Jacqueline's friend, who we had met the day before at their home....Here below another shot of the same group....... I wish I knew who that man is right next to Picasso.....I know they were all French and having a wonderful time conversing.....
And above, there is Suzanne Ramie talking to Picasso....their friendship and partnership in the Ceramics went back to the mid 1940's after Picasso came to visit the factory and fell in love with the creation of ceramics....And, in fact, this is where Picasso first met Jacqueline because she worked for the Ramie's right there at the factory and Gallerie..... Another picture of Picasso, surrounded by lots of people....I very much like taking candid pictures.....In fact, I prefer them actually...So, it didn't bother me that Picasso's back was to the camera.....Then....someone took a picture of me, using my camera I'm grateful to say....Probably Olga...... This was, I believe Mme. Ramie's husband Georges, next to me....they started the Ceramic Factory together, many many years before....and then of course, Mme. Ramie on the other side of me, then Daddy Joe, and then Fran Shapiro....Suzanne Ramie was a lovely gracious woman and I liked her very very much. I think her husband was quite ill at that time and was not spending as much time there at the factory..... This is really the same picture uncropped.....I wanted you to see the full length of what I was wearing.....and the color.....It was the "style" of the day, those wide-bell-bottoms---very very late 1960's..... And one last picture of Picasso and Suzanne Ramie....It was quite something to get a second opportunity to snap a few photographs of Picasso again.....I wish I had been able to get some more, but....I'm happy to have these.....even though the early afternoon light washed out the colors somewhat, but...having whatever I do have is better than having no pictures at all....!




More To Come.......


NOTE: This is probably the last French Trip post....there are a few other pictures and I will see.....I have enjoyed going back to this very wonderful time, especially with the 'present' being not so wonderful.....I thank you all for your lovely comments about these posts and for your emotional support during this very difficult time.........Frankly, I wish I had 100 more pictures to share with you from this most special special trip.....But alas, I don't.


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