Where Are The Curtains

September 2, 2014

I spent another delicious weekend with my friends in Palm Springs…..something I hope everyone could experience……

What I love about it is that 90% of them are my vintage…..and Gay

though we did not grow up together….and only met recently…….

we have as Agnes Gooch said in Auntie Mame….”Have Lived”……

through the years where Gays were hated as we were NOT part of the norm..

and the AIDS epidemic…

.I worked at the Garden District restaurant during the early years……that my Uncle backed his lover Nicky Niclhols in…..

and I can tell you that ALL of the help that was not Mexican….and straight …well they are POOF all gone….many a year ago…….

funny I had a dream of Don Estes (the Major domo (?)) …a week ago…which when I awoke the nest day…..shocked me as I had forgotten his name years ago…and his chubby lover Peter ..

.and of Bobby VanderJaght….who though a tad slow (mentally)……. was drop dead gorgeous and supposedly had a huge dick….(we were all in our early 20’s back then)…I did so admire him……..

thought of Dick Scalzo…a waiter born in Milwaukee…he had a terrible skin condition ….and was not comfortable with his own self…and would come in many a day …coming down from some drug his lover and he shared…the night before……..

I thought of Frieda..(who was too ugly for most to sleep with….so died of diabetes)….

she had such a DELICIOUS scathing wit…..and would scorch anyone who crossed her or any of her friends….

.he WAS the BEST drag queen EVER…back in the day…..ran something called the “Gay Girls Riding Club”

(the GGRC)….. and organized boozey bus trips down to the bull fights in Tia Juana (sp?….

just imagine 40 some drunk queens arriving to watch a bull fight…to motor back together and arrive back at the Garden District way after the bewitching hour……..(sigh!!!)

Frieda also took over the Hollywood Palladium (her sponsor was Ray Oagie (sp?))….and put on the BEST drag show once a year….near Halloween…where she mc’d it…….(this is in the late 80’s )

All of these friends of mine are dead now………

Ron, Ralph and I went to a wonderful party at Tom and Jon’s marvelous house on Sunday….

I was talking to the Fabulous Robert…..about the “Old Days”….he and Richard had just come back from a cruise on the Elba River…..he was saying that the once in the life time cruise that they took was probably 20 years ago on Marjorie Merriweather Post’s ‘s yacht…”The Sea Cloud”….that was built for her by her husband EF Hutton……it was the Largest yacht at the time……and is still sailing…..

He and Richard had a state room with a marble mantled fireplace in it…(as he said imagine a yacht built of wood with fireplaces)…..their marbled bath was beyond compare……staff….white gloved dinners ……etc etc……

they “dressed” for dinner …meaning black tie and tails…it was a carry on from the Downton Abbey days we were raised in….that did not last too long after the late 70’s

it was the way my mother and Aunt Mimi dressed at Aunt Mary’s summer house “Forest Lodge”….in their high school years…..I mean it was just normal…..even after I came along…one always had to wear a coat and tie for dinner at Forest Lodge……

we mused about what a difference travelling was back then…..I remember J J Hills’s private car on the Great Northern Railroad that he founded …my mother’s father was the Secretary Treasurer of it…back in those wild days….and would be allowed to borrow JJ’s car when ever he wanted to travel…..

I mean they had REAL fire-stoked kitchen grills……waiters in white coats…white gloves on

(man seems I have a thing for white gloves….won’t go into my Mother’s above the elbow white opera gloves…for a gay kid…it was THE ULTIMATE…sorry for digressing)

men wore suits…women wore hats with half veils…and yes WHITE gloves…their stole of foxes….. wrestling and snapping at their tails…..draped around their pearl encircled necks….(sorry…this is sounding a bit TOO entitled…we had not much money compared to Marjorie Merriweather)….

It was soo delicious to ruminate with Robert…..

and it is so nice for this old Gay kid…to meet people who experienced life like he did…..

as for years and years he thought he was totally weird….different…..

well I AM…and have been lucky enough to have had a VERY unusual Life so far…..(sigh!!)

the last night I was in Palm Springs….Wonderful Ron who had put up with Ralph and me……

we were sitting outside at his Fabulous house..next to the pool……..looking at the Half Moon….and the star bedazzled firmament……

we were talking of our VERY early years at school…..

Ron said how he was shown the room where Home Ec was done..with all their wonderful ovens….

and then was abruptly moved to the room he was to be in…the WOOD Working Room…..he said “But I WANT to work in the room with ovens..and learn how to cook..”

This made Ralph and I say how we both had to do “Wood working” also…

The First project in both cases…to build a “bird house”……..

Ralph said that the instructor slapped a crudely made bird house on his desk……saying “THIS is what I want YOU to try and make”….

Ralph looked at it for less than a second …

and said….

“But…..

Where are the Curtains??????”

3 Responses to “Where Are The Curtains”

  1. Jeff Slater said

    Oh my gosh, Rob. I remember the days of flying when you actually had to dress-up when flying: sport coat and tie. Nowadays it seems that people just roll out-of-bed, put on their sweats, (if they even make an effort to get-out of their pajamas), don’t even comb their hair (let alone their children’s hair.) And they all arrive at the airport in flip-flops and with Hello Kitty luggage. Why is it then that I’m the one who always ends-up with a center seat???

  2. Dave said

    Lovely! I would think that Ralph would be more concerned about the lamps! He has fabulous lamps!

  3. Richard said

    Well Robby, what can I say, LOVED the article. Robert’s best friend Jaynie says that today it is “the grateful unwashed” that travel–we always look out of place as we wear a blazer, etc to travel. Thanks for such a great piece. See you soon back in the desert. R&R

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