Sunday, February 28, 2010
seven things

Ily gave me this Award, and though as many of you know, I am not an "awards" person....this one seemed like maybe it would be a fun thing to do and to pass on.....And here are the things you have to do...Tell seven interesting things about yourself; Post the Award on your site; and be sure to tell who gave it to you; plus, pass it on to some other people......So, I thank you very much, dear Ily, and hopefully I haven't already shared these things with all of you already. One forgets after almost 700 posts....!

So, here goes..........

ONE......I once found a dead body......Many, many, many, many, many, truly many---like almost 61---years ago, my mother and I were traveling through Pennsylvania and West Virginia and Virginia---I had just graduated from High School. Why were we doing this? Well, my mother had rented our home in Great Neck for the summer because she felt she had to, to make some money because my father was not living up to his divorce agreement.....Don't Ask. So we were looking for an inexpensive little cottage or something similar where she and I would spend the summer.

We were outside of Stroudsburg, PA., having traveled all around 'red robin's barn' , as they say, and we were now back in Pennsylvania near Stroudsburg. We had spent the night at a tiny inexpensive rural Hotel. We had not yet found a place to rent. I said to my mother..."What are we going to do if we don't find anything" She said, laughingly..."Well, we will kill ourselves!..". We both laughed, and went down to the desk to check out, having finished our breakfast in the tiny but clean dining room earlier in the morning.

My mother paid the bill and we then walked down the hilly driveway to our car, which was parked in the middle garage of a three car garage which belonged to the Hotel. The first two Garage Doors were down, as they were supposed to be, but the third door was wide open. Being rather curious, I walked past the middle garage where our car was parked, to see what was in that third garage....I looked and there on the floor was a man lying on his side on this blanket which had been laid down very carefully. I saw some blood oozing out over the carefully placed blanket, and I must have made an audible sound of some sort, because my mother came over to see why I had made this gasping sound.
It was clear that he had shot himself in the head. And it was interesting that the H
otel knew who it was immediately, even before they went down there and looked.....He was a permanent guest at the Hotel. He had eaten his breakfast that morning and given everyone their weekly tips and then had gone down to that garage to end his life. A life, from what we were told, that had been very hard and very sad. The image of that man lying on that blanket has stayed with me, needless to say, all these years.

TWO......I never ate breakfast for twelve years......For all of the twelve years I was in Grade School, Junior High, and High School....I never ate anything before I went to school because I was afraid to. Sometime in Kindergarten I threw up and it was so terribly embarrassing...I decided that day, I would not eat breakfast again. So from Monday through Friday, no food passed my lips until lunchtime. School made me very nervous.

THREE........I was an "extra" in a Bing Crosby picture........"Mr. Music" was it's name and it was when I was going to USC for that one semester. Paramount needed Student Extras, and my roommate signed us both up. It was a lot of fun and the very first time I was on a movie set, though our scenes were actually 'on location' at Twentieth Century Fox, because they had a train station on their back lot, and Paramount didn't. I worked for two days and it included meals. This was the best food I had eaten the whole time I was at USC!

FOUR.....I failed three subjects in tenth grade......Nothing much to say about this except I was the first of my siblings to ever fail any subjects in school. It was quite embarrassing, to say the least.....During that Summer, between tenth grade and eleventh grade, I went to summer school and took the two most important subjects again. When I came back and took the tests, I failed both of them, again.

FIVE.....I was in the very first Drivers Training For Girls in my High School......We were an "experiment". If we worked out well, then they would offer this training to all 'the girls' in the eleventh grade the next year and every year after that. We did work out. And I must say it was a great way to learn to drive. It was taught by a person from the DMV so one learned really good driving habits.

SIX.....I played the Viola in our High School Orchestra. I was the only Viola player in the Orchestra which was kind of great, because if I happened to play any wrong notes no one was sitting next to me playing the right notes....And, it is a beautiful instrument. You are mostly playing Harmony, which I absolutely love.....

SEVEN......I have done just about every job you can do in The Theatre. You name it, and I've done it. Acting, Stage Managing, Props, Sound, Lights, Costumes, Singing, Composing, Writing, Directing, Producing, Box Office, Ushering, Dresser To A Star, Intermission Piano Music between scenes, Being an off-stage Cat "meowing", etc., etc., etc. And mostly, I didn't care if I got paid or not---and a lot of the time I didn't get paid. But when you love the Theatre and you want to be a part of it all----you are willing and happy to do anything needed. Of course, there is nothing like being paid for something you adore doing and have such a passion for---now that is a great Bonus!So.....there you have my seven, hopefully, interesting things. Now, I pass this on to Pat, Dianne, Randall, LL Cool Joe, Rachel, Chickie, and Rick at Palm Springs Savant.....Have Fun!




More To Come..........

NOTE: Here is a collector's item. The Original Cast Recording of "SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY" in mint condition, on which yours truly performs.....Here is the link: http://cgi.ebay.com/Spoon-River-Anthology-Original-Cast-LP-WL-Promo-1963_W0QQitemZ230441766615QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20100226?IMSfp=TL100226153013r3065




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Friday, February 26, 2010
low slung

When I saw this dear little doggie, I just had to take a picture of him/her/him(?).....I'd never seen a dog so close to the ground before that wasn't just about to lie down---certainly not one still walking about---or should I say waddling about....lol.....Really Cute, huh? If you ever wondered what the term 'low slung' meant....Here It Is! And here are the two ladies walking him and themselves, on the way to the market up on Santa Monica Blvd., maybe. This was the corner of Melrose and San Vicente Blvd., in West Hollywood......Life on the streets of Los Angeles. Not that different from many other cities......





More To Come.......


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Wednesday, February 24, 2010
the answer

This is what that very unusual rendering comes from. And a number of you were very close if not right on the mark, with your guesses....This "Cachepot" is one of the most Beautiful Blue's I've ever seen....It's a true 'Cobalt Blue'--there is nothing like the richness of Cobolt Blue.....And there were, I believe, five of these pots, all together. Here is the second one.....As you can see it sits on the top of the Mail Box to the left of the entrance to the driveway of this house....Here below is the look from afar! It was late afternoon and the light was going the wrong way....I thought these were kind of pretty gates, but the thing that really intrigued me were these truly beautiful cobalt blue Pots! The other three Pots were on the other side, which had a 'delivery' entrance as well as an exit for the cars that were leaving the driveway of this house so they could get out onto the street...... I didn't spend too much time on the gate itself, though it certainly is attractive....As I said, I was much more interested in the pots and what was in them......But mostly, what was on them. That Blue just knocks me out! As a painter, I absolutely adore the depth of this color. And below, a closer look at the face/head........ The plant that was in this pot looked like this, below...... This plant above was in another pot---in fact, it was to the right of the Exit, just as the one above it was to the right of the Entrance.....The plants in the other three pots were not doing as well as these.....I think it has something to do with their position and the sun...... This one, by the Exit, is in better shape than than the one below that is sitting on top of the Post Box pedestal...to the left of the Entrance.......The plant actually looked like it was struggling for life. And this one below was the fifth Urn, by the Delivery entrance---as you can see, there is a bell to the left of it, and it looks like a speaker so one can identify themselves, like..."UPS, here". There may even have been a camera, but I didn't get out of the car to check that out.As you can see from all these pictures...I fell in love with these Pots or Urns or Cachepot's, not so much because of the decoration, but more because of their size and their color......I'm not really sure how they stay secure to the posts they are on, but I would venture a guess that it is some kind of cement.....I know this: They haven't been stolen so they must be very very secure, and I bet they weigh a ton! One last close-up look at the design........ The design is rather fascinating but the pots themselves, to my eye, are Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful.....!



More To Come...........


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Monday, February 22, 2010
a guessing game

Can you guess what this is and the placement of it? I promise to reveal the answer, next time---and, I promise, it will be in detail! A Hint: This was in Trousdale Estates, once again.





More To Come........


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Friday, February 19, 2010
pan +

Look at this cute toe above! It belongs to this very dear foot, below! And here below is the whole statue.....This is in the front garden on the side of a house in Trousdale Estates.....Charming, beyond words.......! He sits on top of a lot of stone-work---and you can see that there are lights set into that stone-work so that he is lit up at night.....It is 'Pan'! A slightly closer look at this wonderful "character". Pan is from Greek mythology...though I don't think he looked like this nor did he have a flute like this...., though there are some pictures of him with a rather modern looking flute.......but not such modern looking clothes. This depiction of Pan is kind of the Huckleberry Finn version.....No shoes and he looks quite modern in his comfy clothes....... And in this picture above, his Flute looks like it is sort of attached to his nose.....! This is another interesting sculpture that is a part of the many sculptures I saw in my outing with Lee...... In this picture above, you can see that he is surrounded by a lot of foliage---at least from this particular angle. He too looks like he was created by the same people who produced some of the other sculptures in my first post about Trousdale. This was the street that Pan was on and somewhere further up the street was this very different but very interesting sculpture that you see below. It is sitting practically right on the street at the edge of the property..... Above is his Head/Face....and to be honest, I have no idea what or who he is supposed to be.....Below, here is his foot. And below.....a full body shot of this interesting modern piece....And though there is a "box" there---it has no opening for the mail.....Maybe it did have a different top on that box at one time, but from what I can see, there is no mail slot of any kind now. You do see the most interesting things while driving around this particular neighborhood.....I'll be posting some other things seen in Trousdale, next time around. Well, they are interesting to me and I hope they are interesting to you, too.

More To Come.........





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Tuesday, February 16, 2010
an odd stretch

Yes.....this is not a post about exercise....! On one of my 'outings', we went by Theatre West and this "stretch" was sitting out in front of the building next door to Theatre West....I don't know about you, but I had never seen this long a 's-t-r-e-t-c-h limo' before, and a Hummer, to boot...! I have no idea what it was doing there----possibly the driver had stopped to have a bite to eat at the restaurant up the street...... A popular spot with everyone from Theatre West---and incredibly convenient! I have had many a meal there over the years.....OR, maybe the driver had gone into the Market that sits in-between Theatre West and The California Canteen...... Oak-Crest is like the Department Store of Markets----they sell just about everything you can imagine! Including clothes! I could write a whole post about this unique Market....Not fancy in any way, but it has more character than any other market I have ever been in. It is run by a Korean couple and they have always been great to Theatre West members.....So....maybe the driver went in there to buy a very rare bottle of Wine..... There is the "Mrs", no doubt talking to the "Mr." who runs the show there at Oak-Crest.....When we were doing the revival of "Spoon River" back in 2002 and I had to play 6 performances at the beginning of the run...the "Mr." actually came to see the show and every time I went into the market after that, he would imitate what I did in one of the songs---"Cock-A-Doodle-Doo", and he would giggle.....They are very sweet people. I knew the Limo Driver couldn't be at Theatre West because it was deader than a doornail around there---Nothing was going on there in the middle of the afternoon, except possibly some actors rehearsing......Soooooo......I have no idea what this 'stretch' was doing there, but it got me to thinking about other very long stretch limos and I did some research and here below is supposedly the longest stretch limo in the world....! This is one very very very very long limo. They say it holds fifty people....! How it is able to turn corners is beyond me.....Even that Hummer that I saw, which looks short next to this one above---looks very difficult to handle....All I can say is, I'm glad it's not me that has to drive either of them. Here are some more outsize and unusual though strange but wonderful stretch limos...... The Cow Limo made me smile, I must say.....A cute and clever idea and you can see it coming with no trouble whatsoever.....lol! And I thought this was truly fun, too....The Cycle Limo! Don't you wonder who came up with this idea and was then able to actually build it....Very Clever and Very Fun! This is The Excalibur Limo....Very elegant. Very Beautiful. And very unusual, too, and no doubt, incredibly expensive......After seeing the other huge limos, the Excalibur actually looks almost petite....! This is certainly a startling eye catcher above, isn't it? A Pink Hummer Limo.....not as big as the Hummer that I saw, but, you certainly will immediately notice it coming down the Freeway.....I think it is rather pretty, though not exactly subtle....! And above, The Corvette Limo.....Very fetching in Yellow! Too subtle in Black for my taste. I mean, if your going to do it...I say go all the way....! Be colorful! LOL, LOL....This really gave me a good laugh.....Well, it is stretched....lol!And last, but not least.....What do you think about this next one? Do you think it is a practical solution when you have a large family? And it certainly is environmentally sound. No gas needed. And, in fact, no oil or electric either......



More To Come........





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Friday, February 12, 2010
out and about in l.a.

One day last month---January, that is---dear Lee Meriwether came by and brought some lunch and then we went out for a drive.....We were on our way to drop something off at Kim Hamilton's when I saw this Cow sitting on the roof of a small Spanish style building on the north side of Sunset Blvd., just at the beginning of the so called Sunset Strip.....Cute, isn't she.....? It was on the top of an Antique shop, believe it or not.......One sees all sorts of interesting things on Sunset Blvd......For instance..... This maze of Ads and Cars.....Sunset was a nightmare that day. Construction. Cutting down three lanes going West, to just one! Talk about gridlock! But there is a lot going on in this picture above....too much, if you ask me.... Here is the lovely Lee as we started out driving down my hill. We had no definite plan as to where we were going other than towards Beverly Hills and, on the way there, to bring Kim this package.....She lives on a street that is just off of The Strip--at the top of another hill.........There are lots of Hills here in Los Angeles. And it's one of the things I like so much about it. Here is the lovely Kim, standing outside her home.....And below, a sweet picture of Kim and Lee together..... It was a beautiful day....warm and sunny. Right there, they were standing in some dappled sun and I was sitting in the car when I took this shot.....Two Beautiful Women----inside and out! Then, we were on our way down the Hill to Sunset Blvd., once again. It occurred to me it might be fun to drive up into Trousdale Estates----a kind of very high end 'tract home' housing development that was created by Paul Trousdale right above Sunset Blvd., at the beginning of Beverly Hills.....It is this very very expensive "development" which began in the late 1950's and really took off in the 1960's. The land had at one time belonged to The Doheny Estate.....It is a huge Hill that Mr. Trousdale cut into, making sure that each parcel would have a beautiful view......And, pretty much most of the homes have Views of the city.....He made sure of this by having a law or rule that no home could be built higher than one story.....So, it is filled with what is known here as Mid-Century Style Architecture. And because Lee and I were out and about, I thought it might be fun to see Ross Hunter and Jacque Mapes old house. Ross and Jacque were two wonderful 'Gentlemen'. True Gentlemen in every way, and in everything that word used to mean----a dying breed I'm afraid. I liked them both very very much. Ross was a great film Producer who's films are too numerous to mention---look him up on IMDB....Jacque was his partner in business and his partner in life, too, for over 40 years. And I first met them when they became a part of S.T.A.G.E., as Co-Chairs. This is the AIDS Benefit that I was associated with for 20 years. Both Ross and Jacque are gone now, Ross dying first of Cancer. And their beautiful home in Trousdale was sold soon after Jacque passed on from Heart Disease, some years later....... I couldn't really get a great picture of it because it is mostly hidden by lovely trees and foliage.....A little closer, below...... I don't recall the Gate, but then, it was never closed when I was there. I think when they expected people, they just left it open. It is the first time I have seen the house since both Ross and Jacque are gone. It brought up a lot of memories to see the house, once again.

Lee and I drove around quite a bit just looking at the homes on the streets up there and then Lee noticed something that was quite amazing. A very special Post Box. This was quite incredible! I had to get some pictures of this really unusual and special Post Box.....Here below, a little closer...... The whole idea of it was so clever and cute---this little boy relaxing in a tree stump writing a letter, or maybe just writing in the book itself---That was hard to tell....This decorative Sculpture was beautifully made. In it's way---a work of art! And above.....an even closer look. The detail of this sculpture was really quite wonderful....There are even some words written on the side of the book as you can see below. This picture below was taken on a different day and the light was not the same, but....you can see some of the words written in the book, especially if you click on the photo to make it bigger.......We then noticed some other Post Box "art works" on this street, like this dear little person below.....Children seemed to be quite popular in the Post Box theme on this street up in Trousdale, and, as it turned out, on some of the other streets as well........
This one was a painted stone little person, and truly charming in a very different way than that first one....And again, beautifully rendered.... A very sweet face, don't you think? Both of these sculptures made for very unique Post Boxes.....This street seemed to have some other interesting decorative sculptures on it, as well. There was this guy below, in front of another house down the street from those two Post Box sculptures..... It was a Hitchhiker! Amazing. He was metal of some kind...I don't know what kind, but he was painted or I should say, he had a very subtle patina. The color of his pants is different than his shirt, for instance..... This picture above was taken on a different day. Shawn took me out on this day and we found some other interesting statuary, as well. If you are observant you can see that the flowers in the Flower Bed down there on the left side are different....I liked the angle of this picture because you can see his feet, too..... I found the detail of all these sculptural 'art' pieces quite extraordinary....The folds in his pants, for instance, and his belt and his cap. And below, here's a closer look at his face. It's a very nice face, isn't it? He looks like somebody and I cannot think who....Maybe it is someone I know or knew. Does he look familiar to any of you?

Now, look at this little person below. This was on a different street.....I love that he is reading a Post Card as he sits by the Post Box---Shawn said there was a little dog at his feet, but I couldn't see it from my side of the car---I'll have to get back up there and capture the whole 'geshtalt'......Again, a child is depicted...I did wonder if all of these different metal decorative sculptures were produced by the same company....There is a similarity to the look of the faces. The detail of this little boys hair is fun and beautifully rendered, too....And below, another decorative Post Box. This is again, a young boy who is a Caddy---though he looks somewhat older than the other children depicted....With this Post Box, one might conclude that the people who own this house are avid Golfers...... And below, a closer look at this cute young lad....... In fact, this boy looks like the son of The Hitchhiker, doesn't he? I mean look at his face! And now take another look at The Hitchhiker....... Well, they look a lot alike to me....Especially around the mouth.....

There are some other interesting things that I photographed in this area known as Trousdale and next time I will share some of these unusual things with you......

And.....Wishing each and every one of you a very Happy Valentines Day. May your day be celebrated with lots of people that you love and all those who love you too, and be sure to eat lots of Chocolate Kisses.......!








More To Come.........


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