My mother is a very accomplished, intelligent, & serious woman, but she always has had a sly interest in show biz & celebrity gossip. She told me the details & intricate ins & outs of the Elizabeth Taylor + Eddie Fisher + Debbie Reynolds divorces & marriages when I was just 5 years old. I appreciated that she explained that one to me. I remember well, being 12 years old & my mother giving me the low down on the infamous “party of the century”- Truman Capote's Black & White Ball.
The now legendary Black & White Masked Ball was a bash that Truman Capote threw at Manhattan's Plaza Hotel on Nov. 28, 1966. The guest of honor was Katharine Graham, president of the Washington Post, but no one had any illusions; the purpose of this gala was to celebrate the host, a serious writer, but also a serious celebrity. There had never been much doubt about the celebrity part, from the moment that he styled himself as a male nymphet for his 1st novel's jacket photo; Capote had shown a rare talent for self promotion.
Frank & Mia arrive at the Black & White Ball
What had been in doubt were his literary accomplishments. As he entered his forties, the once promising young writer had produced only a few slim volumes of exquisitely written fiction & journalism. But recently In Cold Blood, a masterpiece in a new genre- the non-fiction novel & a milestone in popular culture, had buried his skeptics, & it was time to celebrate. Capote's plan was to mix & match people: titled aristocrats with intellectuals with ordinary folk from the rural Kansas county where the In Cold Blood murders had occurred. But in this respect, the party seems to have failed. Jack Dunphy, Capotes lover: "I've never seen such ghettoizing in all my life. No group mixed with another group." As for the excluded, on the cover of the next Esquire, under the title "We wouldn't have comeeven if you had invited us, Truman Capote" was a photo of a surly looking group comprising Kim Novak, Tony Curtis, Pat Brown, Ed Sullivan, Pierre Salinger, Lynn Redgrave & Casey Stengel.
Capote by Mapplethorpe
Capote by Irving Penn
From the moment my mother told me about the Black & White Ball, I became fascinated by Truman Capote (at 5’3’’ he was dubbed the Tiny Terror) & I went on to read everything by & about him. I was fascinated by his distinctive, high-pitched voice & odd vocal mannerisms, his offbeat manner of dress & his fabulous stories when he would appear on TV talk shows. I have everything he has written, plus biographies, diaries & books of letters. He is a member of a handful of authors that make up the club: Stephen’s Favorite Writers. He had a long standing rivalry with another of my favorites- Gore Vidal. Their rivalry prompted another member of my club- Tennessee Williams to complain: "You would think they were running neck &neck for some fabulous gold prize." I own a first edition paperback of Breakfast At Tiffany’s. I love all his work, but my very favorite is A Christmas Memory. During the holidays I always re-read it, & I set a copy out, as part of a Christmas tableau, on a table as a holiday ritual.
Capote died in LA in1984. He was 59 years old when he died of Liver Cancer & multiple drug intoxication". He died at the home of his old friend Joanne Carson, ex-wife of Johnny Carson, on whose program Capote had been a frequent guest. He was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in LA, leaving behind his longtime companion, writer- Jack Dunphy. Dunphy died in 1992, & in 1994 both his & Capote's ashes were scattered at Crooked Pond, on Long Island, where the couple had maintained a property with individual houses for many years. Capote also had a home in Palm Springs, a condo in Switzerland that was mostly occupied by Dunphy seasonally, and a primary residence at the UN Plaza in NYC. Capote's will provided that after Dunphy's death a literary trust would be established, sustained by revenues from Capote's works, to fund various literary prizes and grants including the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism in Memory of Newton Arvin, commemorating not only Capote but also his friend good friend Newton Arvin, a Smith College professor & critic, who lost his job after his homosexuality was exposed.
If you are not familiar with Capote try Capote: A Biography by Gerald Clarke, or Bennett Miller's 2005 film- Capote, which was nominated for 5 Academy Awards. Philip Seymore Hoffman's performance as Capote earned him many awards, including: a BAFT, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, an Independent Spirit Award & the Oscar for Best Actor. Covering much of the same story is the film- Infamous (2006), with Toby Jones as Capote & the Harper Lee, of Miss Sandra Bullock & is an adaptation o Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career (1997) by George Plimpton.
“Other bands wanted to wreck hotel rooms, Roxy Music wanted to redecorate them.”
I have been a fan for more than 40 years, I only saw him in concert only once, in the mid-1980s, & I found Bryan Ferry to be one long, tall, cool drink of water. From Virginia Plain in 1971 to Tender Is The Night from last year's album- Olympia, Ferry has been a favorite of everyone at Post Apocalyptic Bohemia.
Ferry has maintained his status as one of the coolest guys with his suave personal style & smooth crooning, with seemingly little effort. His tastes in all things are refined: beautiful women, fine art, fashion & design.
Ferry has enjoyed longtime partnering with clothing designer Antony Price of London’s King’s Road, together they created Ferry’s signature image & look & his love for beautiful spaces.
Perhaps best remembered for his soulful keyboard pop covers of classic songs like Smoke Gets In Your Eyes & Dylan's A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, Ferry’s traditionalist singing style is the perfect counterpoint for Roxy Music’s experimental art rock experimentation.
Ferry's satin, smooth, space-age cabaret style with Roxy Music is incredible: Love Is the Drug, More Than This, Slave To Love, Don't Stop The Dance, Is You Love Strong Enough, Kiss & Tell. Ferry has devoted much of his solo work to tender re-workings of songs varying from Soul, Rock & Standards from the 1920s-1960s, including an album of all Dylan covers. His succulent voice possesses a powerful seductiveness that is difficult to resist. For those of us at Post Apocalyptic Bohemia, he is all that. Ferry turns 66 years old today.
He would have turned 113 today. I can’t imagine what Brooklyn's own George Gershwin could have produced if had not died at 38 years old. In his short life he produced a huge catalogue of theatre & popular songs that are among the best ever composed. He worked with several lyricists, but it was his life long collaboration with his brother Ira that are, for me, the cream of American theatre music: Swanee, The Man I Love, Embraceable You, But Not For Me, I've Got A Crush On You, Our Love Is Her To Stay, Somebody Loves Me, & Fascinatin' Rhythm. The brothers went to Hollywood & made musical films like Shall We Dance, which included such hits as Let’s Call the Whole ThingOff & They Can’t Take That Away From Me. The brothers were often associated with the work of Fred Astair, on Broadway & in Hollywood.
When he was 25 years old, his jazz-influenced Rhapsody in Blue premiered in New York’s Aeolian Hall at the concert, “An Experiment in Music.” The audience included Jascha Heifitz, Leopold Stokowski, Serge Rachmaninov, & Igor Stravinsky. Gershwin followed this success with his orchestral work PianoConcerto in F, Rhapsody No. 2 & An American in Paris.
Serious music critics were often at a loss as to where to place Gershwin’s classical music in the standard orchestral works. In 1935 he presented an opera- Porgy & Bess in Boston with only moderate success. It is now recognized as one of the most loved works of American opera & is included in the repertoire of the major opera companies around the world. A new production, with a re-worked libretto by Suzan-Lori Parks, is slated to open in December on Broadway with Audra McDonald. Porgy & Bess contains such memorable songs as It Ain’t Necessarily So,I Loves You, Porgy, & Summertime.
Gershwin planned a string quartet, a ballet & another opera, but these pieces were never written. At the age of 38, he died of a brain tumor. Today he remains one of America’s most beloved popular musicians.
More than 74 years after his death, rumors are still rampant that George Gershwin was a closeted gay man. Michael Feinstein, who got his professional start as archivist for Gershwin’s brother, Ira, says he never could establish George’s sexual orientation.
Feinsein: “So many people have claimed he was gay. There is no definitive proof that George Gershwin was gay. For people to say he was gay is bad reportage. He might have been, from my point of view, he so sexually confused in a certain way that he was unable to form a lasting relationship. Lyricist Irving Caesar,who co-wrote Swanee with Gershwin, did say in an interview that George Gershwin was homosexual. But, he could have been bisexual or asexual.”
My favorite Gershwin song (I think it is a very perfect song, really):SomeoneTo Watch Over Me. But what version? It has been covered by everyone from Ella to Pink, even talented Amy Winehouse does a stand-up job on this rather difficult tune. Men do it also; I dig Frank Sinatra's take on it. I did it for audtions for a while in the 1980s without changing the pronouns. But, I think I like Linda Ronstadt & Nelson Riddle's the best:
Pedro Almodóvar is one of cinema’s considerably celebrated contemporary filmmakers, & I, for one, am looking forward to his latest creation- The Skin ILive In/La Piel Que Habito. The just released film is a first for the Spanish auteur, delving into the twisted world of horror thriller. It has Antonio Banderas teaming up with the man who gave him his spotlight.
After watching filmmakers play it safe, sticking to specific movie genres,but with Almodovar & I imagine that this will live up to the standards expected from the man. It is terrific that the film stars Antonio Banderas. The once hot & talented world megastar has let himself go a bit, with too many bad movies; sometimes it is fantastic for a fallen star to go back to where it all started & kick it again.
I am a fan of the films of Pedro Almodóvar, but I came late to his career in appreciating him, & picking up on how exciting & original his work as a director & screenwriter could be .My first film by him was Women On The Verge Of ANervous Breakdown. I was won over by his use of the conventions of melodrama & using elements of pop culture, popular songs, irreverent humor, strong colors & over the top décor. Desire, passion, family & identity are among Almodóvar’s most prevalent themes. My favorite Almodóvar films, so far, are 2002’s Talk To Her & Bad Education in 2004. He is the very definition of auteur.
At the 2003 Oscars, he used his winner's speech to protest the war in Iraq, dedicating his Best Screenplay award for Talk to Her to “those who are raising their voices in favor of peace, human rights, democracy & international legality.”
Almodóvar remains committed to portraying & celebrating homosexual relationships in all their complexity. Defined by their sexual orientation yet not restrained by it, his gay characters are more passionate & complicated than the Hollywood stereotypes of hysterical sidekick, sensitive best friend, or hairdresser.
Almodóvar is a champion of the mistreated & marginalized in modern cinema. It’s a role he excels in, though he’s wary of being typecast because of his sexuality. Almodóvar: “No one talks about the heterosexual President of the United States, so why should they call me a gay director?” By pushing boundaries & ripping clichés, he’s brought clout to the gay cause & helped Spain become a more tolerant & liberal nation after decades of repression & fascism.
Stephen (sitting at his work table & gazing lovingly at The Husband in his studio): "Husband, you need to start closing closet doors & putting lids & tops on things, especially pens! & you have your clothing represented throughout the house."
The Husband:"Don't! Do- not- go- there! My list is stronger than your list. I will take you down!"
Stephen: "I will post your worst habits on my somewhat popular blog."
The Husband: "You will not do that. Don't you have political aspirations? Do you think your readers would like to know about the time that you took______, & then when you were ____, you put the ____ in the_____? "
Stephen: "Honey, I am returning the top to all our marking pens. Thank you for just being you!"
He came into our lives in a blistering blaze with the salacious swagger of a porn star, because he used to be, well… a porn star.
RCK plopped into our lives on Memorial Day weekend, the very start of the summer of 2007. Summer 2007 was pitched perfectly. Each day brought temperatures in the high 80s, incandescent afternoon sun in the cerulean sky reflected back on the slate colored Willamette & Columbia Rivers. The 3 of us would spend every free afternoon naked on the beach at Sauvie Island. The Husband was mahogany by Labor Day, & even my redhead PSF 70 skin turned the color of toast. Our trio would sun, read, walk on the beach, sip vodka lemonade & smoke some pot. We would return to town in the evening to nap in the Boys’ Fort before going bar hopping at night.
Our relationship with RCK ended as the summer of 2007 ended, on Labor Day weekend & it ended badly. A terrible riff developed between RCK & The Husband & because I always have my husband’s back, I took his position. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Through the years RCK would call me or email me asking for a get together, but I never seemed to find the time & eventually he informed me that I just wasn’t a good enough friend to continue, news to me since I had understood that we were quitsville.
RCK had met a new friend after our days together. This friend's name is Crystal Methamphetamine & she is a real bitch. RCK eventually lost his job, his home, his much loved Cadillac, his motorcycle & all his friends. He contacted me a year ago begging me to meet him somewhere, insisting that he needed to see me.
At a café in my neighborhood, RCK told the tale of loosing it all, sleeping in parks & under bridges, nights in jail, a suicide attempt & having to give away his beloved feline Henry. I can be a tough cookie, but the part about giving his cat away made me cry. I gave him $50 & explained if the weather was frightful, as it can be in Portland, he could sleep at Post Apocalyptic Bohemia.
The Husband, who has the sense of charity of a nun, went further & allowed RCK to shower & do his laundry at our home. The Husband made RCK his project & took to giving him rides to appointments & treatments. He helped RCK acquire a small subsidized apartment & moved him in. RCK got Henry back & all seemed to be hopeful for just a moment.
RCK's misfortune managed to somehow continue as he lost the apartment, his laptop was stolen, his cell phone disappeared, along with any promise of confidence or hopefulness.
The Husband fixed a really sweet little bedroom for RCK in our basement, against my wishes. RCK & Henry moved in this spring. It all went better than I would have ever assumed. RCK insisted that he was clean & was tested weekly.
He would leave in the evening & sometimes not reappear for days. Yet, RCK was kind to the dogs & he cleaned the house like no one ever had. When he was present he cleaned daily, including waxing the cork floors in the kitchen, Murphy’s soap on the hardwoods, the bathroom sparkled, the ceilings de-cobwebbed; he even washed & disinfected the garbage cans. He washed, dried & folded our laundry nearly every day that he was at the house. It was not really a surprise, when RCK had a home it was spic & span spotless. I was uneasy, but could hardly be unhappy with his residency.
Poor Henry had to live in the basement because Junior the dog desires to kill him. Henry will sometimes sit on the landing & Junior will smell him & whine & growl on the other side of the basement door. We would keep the dogs inside & allow Henry to be in the back garden & in the Boys’ Fort. He loves to be with us & sit in the sun. Henry is at least 16 years old. He is a very primordial, perspicacious, prudent & peaceful pussy.
RCK traveled to another city in the Willamette Valley on a late August evening. He did something bad. Very Bad. He is now an inmate at a county jail awaiting trial. He will most likely go to prison. I can't imagine how frightened he is right now.
Henry is still with us, still in the basement. I sat with him in the Boys' Fort on this perfect first day of autumn. He purred. Junior sat in the window, wounded by attention paid to his feline nemesis.
Before Larry Dog left us on Sunday, we had 2 months of actually having 3 dogs & a cat at Post apocalyptic Bohemia. I remain surprised we were not tapped for Animal Hoarders on TLC.
Earlier this week I had stopped for a slice & a whiskey at my local Italian joint & also sitting at the bar were 2 very cute baby queers. I couldn’t help take note of them: hot, young, tattooed, oblivious, enjoying their beers & dinner. I listened as the redhead told the bartender that the couple was celebrating the official enactment of the repeal of DADT. I was impressed. I had given up on young gay people acknowledging the historic struggles of gay people. As I left, I made mention of their comments & told them that I was pleased that they cared about the end of the horrible & horrifying Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy & that my husband was a Vietnam era veteran. The pair were attractive, amiable & assured. A certain contrast to my own world weariness, worry & woe.
It was a beautiful, warm day on September 22, 1975, in San Francisco. He didn't ask for fame, didn't even want it. Oliver "Billy" Sipple just happened to be standing right next to Sara Jane Moore, the wannabe assassin, as she raised a gun & aimed it at President Gerald R. Ford outside the St. Francis Hotel.
Sipple, a former Marine & Vietnam vet, saw the gun out of the corner of his eye. He grabbed Moore's arm as she fired & saved a president's life. Afterward, he told people anybody would have done the same. He saved Ford's life. Moore’s first shot missed Ford's head by a mere 6 inches. Oliver Sipple just happened to be there, & his life would be ruined for it.
He refused to call himself a hero & was a very private person trying to live below the radar in San Francisco's Gay Community. He was involved with Gay activist events, but kept his personal life personal & did not want his sexuality disclosed.
Sipple was celebrated as a hero. He was the Vietnam vet that saved a president’s life. He attempted to elude notoriety, but someone passed San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen a tip that Sipple was gay & a close associate of Harvey Milk, a candidate for San Francisco city supervisor & one of the first openly gay candidates for public office.
The gay rights movement was taking its first few baby steps. Writer Randy Shilts wrote in The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life & Times of Harvey Milk: “Milk wanted Sipple's homosexuality made public. For once we can show that gays do heroic things."
Milk may have been responsible for Sipple's life being public fodder for the press. News reports mentioned that he was gay even though Sipple had not yet come out to his family. His mother disowned him & he filed a $15 million dollar invasion of privacy lawsuit against the newspapers that outed him. Sipple was convinced that the press was motivated by anti-gay sentiment. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed in 1984 after 5 years, but the legal & ethical issues it raised are still being discussed to this day.
His parents in Detroit were tracked down & teased about their gay son. George Sipple, his older brother: "There were a lot of times he wished he had never saved the president's life, for all the anguish it caused him. He only said it when he was drinking. He said life would have been so much simpler if he hadn't have done it."
George Sipple says that he, his father & another brother, who all worked for GM, were met with taunts & jokes at the factory. Sipple’s mother was harassed by neighbors. The family became estranged.
George Sipple: “He told me he wasn't interested in suing the papers for saying that he was gay. He was interested in suing for the right that he could be gay, that it was his lifestyle & that it was nothing wrong."
Because of the stress brought on by his notoriety, Sipple's health deteriorated. From Vietnam, Sipple suffered emotional problems, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, & he received treatment at a VA hospital. In Vietnam, he had been wounded & hospitalized; then his hospital was bombed. In San Francisco, he spent the 4th of Julys at the VA hospital, away from the sounds of firecrackers & explosions.
Sipple began to drink heavily. His bar friends rallied round the local hero, giving him rides home when he couldn't drive. Sipple returned the generosity by buying rounds of drinks, especially when he received his disability checks.
Presidential letters are usually treasured by those who receive them, citizens that have their own piece of history. But the letter received by Sipple was a memento of bitterness & disappointment: "I want you to know how much I appreciated your selfless actions last Monday. GeraldFord."
George Sipple: “My brother always felt Ford could have at least shook his hand or at least stood up someplace & had him appear with him & congratulate him, thank him"
Sipple was found dead in his bed in 1989 with a half-gallon bottle of bourbon at his side. He had been dead for 2 weeks. He had died of pneumonia. His family collected his stuff from San Francisco, including a framed letter from President Ford that he had hung on the wall of his apartment. President Ford sent a note of condolence to the family.
How astonishingly gay was the cast of Bewitched: Paul Lynde Dick Sargent, AgnesMoorehead, plus the star of the series- Elizabeth Montgomery, a supporter of gay rights before it was cool.
American TV audiences of the 1960s remember Maurice Evans as Samantha's father, Maurice (the character was originally named Victor when he was introduced), on Bewitched. I knew, of course, but most viewers were most likely unaware of Evans' stellar Shakespearean resume. Evans insisted that his first name was pronounced the same as the name 'Morris'. It was ironic then that his Bewitched character's stance that it be pronounced: 'Maw-REESE'.
Evans first appeared on the stage in 1926 and joined the Old Vic Company in 1934, playing Hamlet, Richard II & Iago. His first appearance on Broadway was in Romeo & Juliet opposite Katharine Cornell in 1936, but he made his biggest impact in Shakespeare's Richard II, a production whose unexpected success was the surprise of the 1937 theatre season & allowed Evans to play Hamlet in 1938, the first time that the play was performed in it’s entirety in NYC , Falstaff in Henry IV, Part I (1939), Macbeth (1941), & Malvolio in Twelfth Night (1942) opposite Helen Hayes as Viola.
During WW 2 arrived, he was in charge of an Army Entertainment Section in the Central Pacific & played his famous 'G.I. version' of Hamlet that cut the text of the play to make Prince Hamlet more appealing to the troops, an interpretation so popular that he took it to Broadway in 1945. Evans specialized in the works of Shaw, notably as John Tanner in Man & Superman & as King Magnus in The Apple Cart. He was also a successful Broadway producer of productions in which he did not appear.
As of 2006, Evans was a true pioneer, having appeared in more American TV productions of Shakespeare than any other actor. Evans brought his Shakespeare productions to Broadway many times, playing Hamlet in 4 separate productions for a total of 283 performances, a Broadway record.
My favorite Evans role is as Rosemary's friend Hutch in the 1968’s Rosemary's Baby.
In my research I was not able to find out much about his lovers. Possibly, like other British actors of his generation, he would have prefered working class blokes & rough trade.In his later years, Evans lived a great deal of his life in the USA. In his last years, he returned to Britain. It does seem that Evan's former lover & business manager- David 'Taffy' Barlow, made last days all the more comfortable by hiring young rent boys to strip down & lie in the bed with him. This quite shocked some of hisdeathbed visitors. Evans died of cancer in East Sussex, at 87 years old.
"Remember if people talk behind your back... it only means you are 2 steps ahead."
Her novel- Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Café was the beach book in the summer of 1987 & the Husband & I both really took to it & passed it around to friends. It remained a favorite for a very long time. Before this book, I knew Fannie Flagg mostly as a funny fixture on game shows of the 1970s panels including The Match Game (occupying the lower right hand seat next to regular panelist Richard Dawson).
Flagg began writing & producing TV specials at age 19 & went on to be an actress & a writer in television, films, & the theatre. Her acting credits include the Broadway production of The BestLittle Whorehouse in Texas, the films- Some of My Best Friends Are..., FiveEasy Pieces, Stay Hungry, Grease, & Crazy in Alabama. During the 1960s & 1970s, Flagg did standup , & recorded 2 comedy albums that included many parodies of Southern ladies including- Martha Mitchell & Lady Bird Johnson. During the 1960s, Fannie Flagg hosted a morning show on WBRC TV in Montgomery, Alabama.
Flagg wrote the screenplay based on her most popular novel which became the film- Fried Green Tomatoes. The 1991 movie gained her an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Fried Green Tomatoes starred Jessica Tandy, Kathy Bates, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary Louise Parker, & Cicely Tyson. The Husband & I caught it on cable this summer & enjoyed it as much as in previous viewings. The film really stands the test of time, even if Flagg did remove a substantial portion of the lesbian content in the book Fried GreenTomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe in order to make the film FriedGreen Tomatoes more commercially viable. Too bad, the novel is very gay & still very heartfelt.
Flagg is openly gay, & was once the partner of writer Rita Mae Brown, who outed her in the press after the breakup. As if being a lesbian wasn’t tough enough, like me, Flagg is profoundly dyslexic. Flagg: “I am severely dyslexic & couldn't spell, still can't spell. So I was discouraged from writing &embarrassed” Her promising writing career was put on hold for much of the 1970s, but Flagg overcame her fear & completed several novels & screenplays.
Here are 2 little tid-bits: 1. At one time Flagg was linked in the press, & was in some reports said to be married, to actor Dick Sargent. They appeared as a couple on the 1970s game show- Tattletales, which featured celebrities & their spouses. Host Bert Convy would introduce them as "Dick Sargent & hislady, Fannie Flagg." Sargent was himself gay & eventually came out before his death in 1994. 2. Her birth name was Patricia Neal, but when she tried to use her real name, the acting unions informed her that some other bitch had the name.
Flagg divides her time between homes in California & Alabama. She turns 67 on this day.
The Husband's Vegan Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe Ingredients: 3 medium, firm green tomatoes 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup oat milk 2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs or cornmeal 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt and pepper. Let tomato slices stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place flour, milk, eggs, & bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes. 2. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Dip tomato slices in milk, then flour, then bread crumbs. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 4-6 minutes on each side or until brown. As you cook the rest of the tomatoes, add olive oil as needed. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
She was born Greta Lovisa Gustafson in Stockholm on this day in 1905. She was lured to Hollywood by Louis B Mayer, who was impressed with her work in the Swedish film- Gösta Berlings Saga, which was directed by her mentor, the flambouantly gay- Mauritz Stiller, who gave her the name Greta Garbo.
She knew how to make an exit. After 20 years in films & one of the world’s biggest stars ever, she walked away from acting & public life when she was just 36. She lived in NYC in virtual seclusion for 50 years, refusing all interviews & photographs, & emerging from her apartment only when protected from public view by big hats & sunglasses.
She made 14 silent films, with a face that was perfect for the expressions of the style of acting & for black & white films (she never made a color film). She made the transition to talkies, a move that ruined many screen careers, with no problem at all. Garbo’s beautiful husky, accented voice was a compliment to her unworldly beauty & she gave more complex performances in her talking films.
She played a world weary, washed-up ballerina in Grand Hotel at 26 years old. She gave what I think is her best performance, charming, funny & full of self parody, in Ninotchka. She had an affair with co-star John Gilbert, but left him at the alter on their wedding day. Garbo had affairs with women also, including well-known liasons with actress Louise Brooks, writer Mercedes de Acosta, & with Marlene Dietrich. She was very close friends with 2 gay men- Cecil Beaton & George Cukor.
Garbo pointed out that character in Grand Hotel never uttered the famous- “I want to be alone”, but rather- “I want to be let alone”… a big difference & seemingly true for her life off screen as well.
"The story of my life is about back entrances, side doors, secret elevators & other ways of getting in & out of places so that people won't bother me”
I thought I had left it behind, but you can take the Musical Theatre Queen out of The Post Apocalyptic Bohemain. but it just leaves you with a puddle of Musical Theatre Queen to mop up.
Stephen Flaherty is best known as the Tony Award winning composer of the Broadway musical Ragtime. His other music for Broadway includes the scores for: the terrific Once On This Island, Seussical, My Favorite Year, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life, the lovely A Man of No Importance, DessaRose, Lucky Stiff & Loving Repeating: A musical of Gertrude Stein, adapted from the works of Ms. Stein by Frank Galati.
Flaherty composed the score for the animated filmAnastasia, receiving 2 Academy Award nominations & 2 Golden Golden Globe nominations.
His concert work includes With Voices Raised (Boston Pops commission, Carnegie Hall performance), Ragtime Symphonic Suite (Hollywood Bowl Orchestra), as well as commisions from Carnegie Hall and The Guggenheim Museum in NYC.
As a performer, he made his Carnegie Hall in April 2007 with the NY Pops Orchestra, debuting a new song with the singer Anika Noni Rose. His numerous awards as a composer include the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Los Angeles Critics Circle, Chicago's Joseph Jefferson & Britain's Olivier Award. He has been nominated for a Grammy 3 times. He has been collaborating with lyricist/librettist Lynn Ahrens for over 2 decades. Their latest musical, The Glorious Ones, will receive its New York premiere this fall at Lincoln Center Theatre.
It is a heartbreaking, crushing sensation to schedule your dog's death, but that is what we had to do. One could think that I would be somewhat hardened by experience, having had to schedule the endings of 2 other dogs before him. Only Butch (1992-2007) went suddenly. It was a blessing. The horror of scheduling Larry's demise was that everything was a "last": his last Thursday, his last Friday, his last full day, his final "last call for potty", his last cookie.
Larry, like so many animals & people in our lives, was an orphan. To be fair, Larry was much loved by his original family, who decided to give him up because he was nipping at the toddler. Jack Russell Terriers, cute though they may be, are not the best dog for a household with children. They do not have the patience of a Lab or Golden Retriever, having their tails pulled & being rode like a pony.
Larry's first family were distraught over the choice of giving him, but relieved that he was going to a terrier keen couple who would provide him with a loving home with lots of walks & lots of cookies. Larry would be our 4th terrier.
Larry was the Eric Cartman of canines (I hope you understand the South Park reference): entitled, perpetually petulant, food obsessed & sassy. He would actually grumble under his breath as he walked across the room. Larry was as tenacious as any terrier I have encountered. We were initially timorous at his ultra-terrier comportment, often stubborn & selfish. His original family stopped to visit him once after had been with us 3 years, & we were shocked that he behaved as an angel dog in their presence. When they left he immediately started to swear under his doggy breath: "god damn it, ggggrrr... give me a cookie & let's get back to the business of making me fulfilled, you gay daddies!"
Larry was not an affectionate dog, but he had his tender moments. He was very sweet on The Husband & The Husband would start each day with about 15 minutes of tummy & ear rubs & kisses with him, but soon Larry would have enough & he would give a huff of exasperation, saying to us: "I hate this mushy stuff. If you truly love me, you would give a caboodle of cookies!"
Lulu is our 6th dog in our 32 years as a couple. I surmise what it must be like to have several children. You love them all, but you love them differently. Larry was very different in personality & presence from the other 5 dogs: Overweight, hairy, spoiled, outspoken, lazy, & foul-mouthed. I know what you must be thinking... Larry seemed to be the perfect dog match for me. Junior is thin, sensitive & damaged by his past, making him an excellent match for The Husband. But Larry was very loved by me, especially loved by The Husband & amusing to our circle of friends.
Like those before him, we had the doctor come to our house so that his last moments would not be in a sterile, brightly lit room. He was in the home that he loved to be in (Larry was loath to go outside, if he could be inside on a pillow). His daddies had been crying for days. The past 8 weeks, Larry's hind legs no longer worked. We would carry him outside to pee. He would go about the house dragging his hind end, using his front legs only. He looked like a big dust mop. At the end Larry was often not able to let us know that he needed to go out & we were left to deal with his "accidents" for several months.
Why do I feel the need to still convince myself that we are doing the right thing? Why is my heart so broken?
Good-bye, Larry Dog. You were loved. I will always think of you, you will not be forgotten. Give your buddy Butch (dog # 3) a butt sniff when you cross over to the other side. He has been waiting for you.
Butch is in the background
Before he got too old, Larry liked to be king of the hill & sat atop the furniture.
His best friend was The Husband. Here is reminding Larry to wear sunscreen while tanning.
I am a mid-20th century gay man still trying to get a handle on how to live life with meaning. I live in Portland Oregon with my husband/partner of 32+ years & the terriers: Lulu & Junior.
As an actor I have been in over 150 full stage productions, 12 films/TV, over 50 commercials & voice overs.
Our home & garden in Seattle (1981-2001) were published several times & were featured in a "coffee table" book- Flea Market Decorating by Meredith Press. That garden was on the Seattle Art Museum's Tour Of Artists' Gardens in 1999.
We moved to Portland in a fit of middle age anxiety in 2001.
We spend our time & money working on our house & garden in a working class bungalow, in a working class neighborhood.
The old-ball-& chain & I are thought to be a little nutty. ME:
cocktail drinker, tree hugger & seeker.
Kinsey 6, Myers-Briggs ENFJ, Capricorn/Snake