Chance…Luck…Fate…??

November 2, 2016

Looking back over 70 years I often wonder….
 
meeting Tricia Nixon at Horace Mann..in 2nd grade……
 
she invited me to the White House…to swim (well our mothers did)…I still have the White House pass somewhere….
 
her father filled in that indoor pool when he became President to make it his Press Room..
 
 
going to a party with my Uncle Sumner…whom I ADORED…as he was such a Fabulous Raconteur…was Gay…..could tell a story when I was 8 and it got better as I aged…..
 
we went to a house in the Hollywood hills…Avery Van Arthur…another wonderful character…his mother was a B actress back in Ziegfeld’s days…well she was blind…so he had to dress her and put her makeup on…
 
one Always Knew what kind of a mood he was in…when Miss Dotie appeared at a party
 
..by her make-up …
 
as if it was  “Fright Nite”…you Knew Avery was NOT feeling on the  top of his game..and this is back in the day when we all wore ties and jackets to parties in the evening….and the women wore long gowns
 
but that is the night young naive me….met Paul Millard a B actor for MGM…he was Gorgeous…tho older…I always preferred older men…..
 
Judy Garland had asked him to marry him in his mirrored  Beekman Place flat in NYC….when he told her he was Gay and could not…she smashed all of the mirrors 
 
I moved in with him a few weeks after meeting him…and this was just after  I had graduated from college..moved West from Minnesota…had a flat in Hollywood for two weeks….
 
he was Just amazing when I look back…had been a friend/lover of Edward James…supposedly one of the bastards of Edward the VII…(King of the UK 1901-1910)…..
 
Edward was immensely wealthy….and eccentric…as Paul’s maid Miss Clara told me:  …”he use to fly over Mr Millard’s apartment building in West Hollywood…and THROW Rose  petals out…Mr Rob he was Crazy”
 
….Edward then would land his helicopter illegally on the Rexall Drug Store at La Cienega and Beverly…and then have a limo pick him up….
 
I never met Edward…
 
the first night I went over for a date to Paul’s apartment…he owned the building in WEHO…on Norma Place….(8952-8956 1/2)….it had originally been the dressing room for  the  silent film actresses Norma and Constance Talmadge…Norma’s room was what was Paul’s apartment…the middle apartment was their dining room…and on the far side was her sisters Constance’s room…and above them in the room (it is like an A roofed  building)…was her wealthy husband/owner of “Norma Talmadge Film Corporation”….Joseph M Schenk’s office…
 
after I rang the  bell and was admitted by Miss Clara…
 
 I was just flabbergasted…by a REAL candlelit crystal chandelier… as my parent had one that was electrified…and kind of pathetic….
 
and then Paul’s apartment….well there were so many original paintings…Dali…Tchelichew…Leonore Fini….all worth millions….that Mr Edward had lent him….
 
the bombay chest that his  good friend Ava Astaire loaned him that had belonged to her Aunt Adelle Astaire….
 
Paul took me to the party Ava threw after she wed her first husband…Carl Bosterman (sp?) (someone said Fred fainted as they drove off)…who was more effeminate than most women….at her house…Carl was wearing a leather suede jacket…you know the kind with LOTS of  fringes dangling down….(something Never worn by Westerners but worn by Gay men back then…I wanted one)
 
 
I gave a birthday  party for my Uncle’s last partner …Rita/Jim….and my dear friend Nacho…it was 2 weeks ago last Saturday..
 
well he called me the next Tuesday to thank me…
 
he was found that Saturday collapsed on his bathroom floor…with newspapers of 3 days old outside his door
 
my dear friends Nabil and Jeff could not attend my party due to being in Italy….so they had called Jimmy/Rita to take him out that Saturday…..for his birthday…
 
had they NOT had that date…his house cleaner would not have discovered him until Tuesday
 
by which time he would have been dead…………….
 
so Tell me is it Chance…Luck..or Fate
(thanks to Nabil and Jeffs date with him …..Jim is recovering in a Nursing Home in Silverlake)

2 Responses to “Chance…Luck…Fate…??”

  1. Richard said

    Oh My God, sorry to hear about Ms Rita–is he all right??? Wonderful story and I do hope that there is a happy ending for Jim. Loved your story and it always fascinates me of the life that you have lived, as a small boy for a small town I am most envious. Keep telling us the tales, they are wonderful. Also a great party for two great friends and we thank you. R&R

  2. jana said

    thank heaven he was found. Whether fate or luck, no matter. I hope he’ll be quite all right. Please do keep telling the tales. I’m so glad to have found your fascinating blog and I am hoping that you are proceeding with writing a book.

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