Back in the 80’s ….I opened a shop on Sunset (the “chic” Sunset Plaza area that was the original Montgomery family’s ranch)….that is still owned by the Montgomery’s….which reminds me of Banks Montgomery…who at the time had Aids…he had to wear a wig…due to Aids had lost ALL of his hair……he was quite wonderful…..his family is/was VERY Catholic….and their original estate above Sunset – which is rented out…..has a chapel in it….but on his death they would not let his lover/partner attend the funeral…which again makes me think back to when Randolph Hearst died…they would not let Marion Davies (his “mistress”) attend the funeral…heard that she was sedated so she did not make an appearance……(she was a friend of my First lover Paul Millard)

the Montgomery property back in the 30’s ran from what is now Sunset Boulevard down to beyond Beverly Blvd)….

But I opened the shop …with a dear dear friend Elizabeth Nesser…(her sister – Kaye – was Clark Gable’s (Gone With The WInd actor…and yes the new kids have no idea whom he was)……. last wife…..) which we had for 8 years…then had to declare bankruptcy ….due to the economy changing….

I worked for the City of West Hollywood after this …Liz moved to the valley with her boyfriend who cheated on her and had to come back to her as he had epilepsy and his girlfriend would not keep him…..

Liz would not see me as she felt she had lost what looks she had…and did not want me to see her in her heavy asthmatic condition..which just killed me ..(she had to carry an oxygen tank wherever she went)

…we emailed each other every week….and sent each other Christmas and Birthday gifts….until she died two years ago…(I was not invited to the funeral)

Liz was just Larger than Life…I totally loved her …and would have married her if I had not been Gay…though there were like 10 years between us…and she had a boyfriend – after a terrible marriage where her/their daughter…when they were at the beach ran up to Liz and said “Why is Daddy with that woman”..pointing down the beach……

….her husband came from wealth (which Liz never got any of) and was supposedly working that day…..all of his family money went to his mother of course as he had died (another story)….before his Mom……

and then on Peel’s death it went to the daughter Barb…a big Lesbian alcoholic who lost everything on drugs and gambling…which to this day I don’t quite understand…her niece (Liz’s daughter” inherited everything after this but had a breakdown….which as of today I have no idea if she recovered from …..

.the shop was called “Elizabeth’s Staircase”…and we sold antiques, artwork, hand painted child furniture (a customer bought Diana Ross a set for her new born child by the Swedish man Diana married back in the 80’s) we sold linens – antique and d’Porthault ( French VERY expensive)….

at the time we had all the Elite of the Elite in LA/Hollywood…from the “Dynasty” women…both Joan Collins and Linda Evans…the wonderful Lizzie Montgomery…(she use to come in at Christmas time especially so her friend and driver . a wonderful Black guy from New Orleans could have some Christmas rum punch..he drove her in her Bentley….and was one of those people you wanted to talk to forever)

to the singer Vicki Carr, Candy Spelling – the wife of Aaron and mother of Tori…(whom I will never forget her coming into the shop and telling us that Aaron had imported in the middle of the summer SNOW for Tori’s birthday)

the actresses Susanne Pleshette. Ozzie and Sharon Osbourne, Nancy Reagan and her security staff, and separately her daughter Patti ( as they were not speaking then and Patti brought in a few items from her wedding china for a consignment sale)….

both Nancy and Joan were extremely …well I should say they were always looking for a bargain …….

the head of Caesar’s Palace was always a GREAT customer…at Christmas we would wrap elaborate gifts for them ( we were known for our Gift wrap….which was so so time consuming)…Arline Gluck came in one day…she was the wife of the head of Caesar’s Palace….she said to me …” Robby …Can you believe that Beverly Hills Rolls Royce ….would not take my AMEX card to purchase a car…so I had to drive to the valley to buy one for one of our friends/clients….”

we wrapped gifts…(100’s of them) for Caesars’s employees until the economy changed…and Arline told us well management does not want to give the impression that we have money……….

Carol Matthau was probably in terms of the most daily monetary gain our best customer…the only thing was that she HAD to come in after we were closed…she came in on Walter’s Card night…driven by one of her two black maids …in her burgundy Bentley ……we sat on the floor eating hamburgers..Carol…with her SEVERE white makeup…..which she was known for…she looked almost like a Mime about to go on stage…… surrounded by her wonderfully soft Red Leather Vuitton bags (like 4 of them)…or were they Gucci……(sigh)

…she carried her passport and rolls of $100 dollar bills with her….

as she was chewing…with a tomato hanging off her very red lips…. she would say…”No I don’t want to give the bitch that”……pointing at an object…in her pile

she would literally tear the shop apart….and pack things on the floor for Gloria Vanderbilt (Anderson Cooper’s mom)…. Felicia Lemon (Jack’s wife), Maureen Stapleton or Marlon Brando (never will forget for Valentines Day that she bought/created the MOST ridiculous present for him…she bought a little of EVERYTHING and we had it wrapped elaborately…it was so large we had to get 4 men to carry it on a regular size piece of plywood…like a single bed size….and to deliver to his house on Mulholland………he was not home at the time)

we shopped every fall for our Christmas sales in London….searching out antiques…usually “smalls”…

I cannot tell you what fun we had…neither of us had any money so we mortgaged our houses.again …….to pay for the shop….

Liz and I thought so much a like that I could answer her sentences and she mine….

one time we were just sooo worn out from shopping….

(we had been up since 3:30 going to the Bermondsey Market….and from there went to Camden Passage…we tubed everywhere except in the early mornings when the Tube was not running …we had to black cab it……)

anyway we were worn out and bagged down from shopping…so around 4 PM we were going to tube it back to our hotel (The Goring)…near Buckingham Palace………so we blearily got on the tube…..only to find out after 10 minutes we were going in the wrong direction…..so we got off and turned around to go back …which meant walking up and over….not sure of which direction as there were 3 tracks…so we got sort of confused….Liz said ..well we go to the right….and I said NO I think we go to the LEFT…..she said NO I AM sure……it is in THAT direction

so we went HER way….only to find out 5 minutes later we were on the a different train BUT going the SAME wrong direction…..by which time we were practically in the country…

well we got off the train…and I said “Well Amelia???” (meaning Amelia Earhart (sp?) …the solo around the world pilot who got lost and has never been found yet

well Liz started laughing so hard and I started laughing so hard….(she is one of those people whose laughter makes me laugh soo so hard…my mother and my sister Daidie and my dear friend Nabil have that ability)

……she peed herself which made us laugh harder….

and then there was the night we went to the theatre and onto dinner at Boulestin’s – our favorite restaurant in London …we both loved good food and good spirits –

Liz had the MOST beautiful BLUE eyes….that I have ever gazed into ….they were Huge and light diamond blue…they really rivalled Liz Taylor’s…but of a different color….

Clark Gable told her “I wish I had met YOU before I met your sister”…which I can understand as Kaye was a B type actress whose first husband was Adolph Spreckels (sp?) of the sugar fortune back then….Kaye always seemed to be after money…whereas Liz lived from her heart

but that night we went to theatre….Liz wore this sumptuous floor length mink that Kaye had lent her……with her blonde hair and blue eyes…well she was TOTALLY breathtakingly stunning… a Full Figure girl…she KNEW how to dress….to take your eyes to her assets……

we left Boulestin’s LATE…and there were no black cabs running…so we decided to take the bus…again NOT knowing what we were doing…it started to rain…and it rained and rained…we got TOTALLY drenched……..when the bus came we jumped on…(turns out we WERE going in the right direction)….I looked at Liz..who looked like a drowned rat and broke into hysterics as she did when she looked at me….

we got back to the Goring…just as the bar was planning on closing…

Liz said “No NO!!”

we each had a wonderful glass of Port…..putting our feet up on the firerest and warmed ourselves in front of the dwindling embers………..

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