She was born 100 years ago today. Our lives intersected once. I have always been interested by the idea that her origins are nebulous & well... queer: Who was her mother, the woman who she thought was her sister?, mixed race, Ceylonese, Indian, Irish, Tasmanian born? L.A., 1974, I am 20 years old, fearless & not always engaged in reality. I decided to crash the That's Entertainment! premier & post show gala ball. I borrowed a tux from my university's theatre department, drove my 1959 T-Bird (black on black) to Hollywood & indeed crashed the event. I sat at Merle Oberon's table & enjoyed a bit of conversation with the still beautiful, golden age star. She was gracious to me. I stole her place card & invite.
While in preparation for our annual garage sale, the Husband came upon a cigar box of my nostalgic ephemera, bits & tiny pieces from my past: Joel Grey's autograph, a postcard of WCK3 as a dancer, a Valentine, a hand canceled letter from Rutledge, Georgia (circa 1986) from my father Edward Rutledge, photos of past lovers, a love note (circa 1981) from the man that would become my husband, & Merle Oberon's invitation to the That's Entertainment! premier & Gala Ball.