The extent of the past few days:
rain and thunderstorms, power outage, tuna sandwiches, cats chasing mouse, rain and thunderstorms, ham sandwiches, cats chasing lizard, rain, power outage, thunder, wasps chasing me, grilled cheese sandwiches, me chasing cats, back pain.
Sandwiches are on the menu. And baked potatoes. To hell with cooking.
Pssssst! Wanna buy some cats?
Drastic change of subject
Anybody who reads my blog regularly (all three of you) knows that when I moved from Texas to Tennessee the movers "lost" many of my most cherished possessions - including all of the diaries and journals that I wrote when I lived in California. Approximately twenty-five hard bound volumes, painstakingly handwritten and meticulously detailed - covering every aspect of my private and professional life. Along with the journals were many letters, photographs, and momentos.
With the loss of these things, my entire 30 years in California seem to have been expunged. Priceless, tangible evidence of my past is gone forever. To say that I am completely destroyed by this loss would be a vast understatement. I still have many sleepless nights over it.
Yesterday I found a small wooden box from Hungary that had belonged to my paternal grandmother. In it were some forgotten "treasures" which I had put there many (many) years ago.
Finding remnants of my past - no matter how small or insignificant - is extremely important to me.
I found personal letters from Olivia de Havilland, Joan Rivers, James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, Van Cliburn, Ethel Kennedy, and others. I also found a long-lost letter from writer Gertrude Zeth Brooks, who was a family friend of my parents and a friend of Jackie Kennedy.
Along with the antique box, I also found the photo of Mae West that I mentioned in my blog post The Two That Got Away (see sidebar).
Here are some of the items that I discovered in the Hungarian box:
a photo of me probably taken the day I was born. I was doing a primal scream at the thought of my future
I'll bet you never knew that I was once a member of the America Film Institute. I was nominated for membership during the time that I was writing a lot of articles about Hollywood for motion picture magazines.
Two of the patches that I used to wear on my old Army jacket which I bought at the downtown L.A. Army Surplus store. I was 20 years old.
A few random ticket stubs from concerts at the L.A. Music Center (the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where I once "crashed" the Oscars). Also a momento from the Brown Derby restaurant. There were two of them in L.A. and I usually went to the one on Wilshire.
A matchbook from the notorious Drake Theater on Melrose, which I went to frequently and where I was caught in a midnight raid (also had a fling with one of the dancers)
Business card from the Circus of Books, which I used to frequent and which I think is still in existence. This is where I was behind the building in a car with a naked actor and the police came (I jumped out and escaped). I mentioned the incident in one of my blog posts, but can't remember which.
Matchbook from the extinct Green Cafe on San Vicente, which yields a lot of memories - and where I saw Cher, Sal Mineo, Ann-Margret, and many porn stars. I'll write about it in my next post (maybe).
Mae West sent me this photo and a letter, after I talked to her long-time live-in companion Paul Novak.
Letters and things, mostly from people whom I've met - including Perry King (anybody remember him??), Shelley Winters, Ethel Kennedy, Joan Rivers, James Stewart, Lillian Gish, Van Cliburn, Patty Duke, Olivia de Havilland, Lucille Ball, etc.
Unfortunately, many of my best Hollywood momentos are lost, but I'm happy to have what I discovered in the box.