I Never Have Laughed So Hard

July 6, 2017

Well I had 5 girls for dinner and one (I think) Transgender tonight…as he was losing that irridescent green that Male Mallards have……

 

When I went into the kitchen at 6 tonight….the girls were having cocktails on the Picnic Point overlooking the Pond….just chatting away as girls do……one happened to espy me and I guess said to the others “Girls Let’s hit the buffet”……

 

It was kinda scarey as they ALL started to March to the house…it was NOT a waddle they MARCHED …..all I could think was they must all be Lesbians…. I keep thinking I should not  feed them…but then it IS 118 out with a low of only 85

 

And this is a different group of Mallards from two weeks ago…as then there were 5 Males and 1 Female that the other males always pounced on wanting their way…

 

What I don’t understand is WHY any of them are around here….why aren’t they up in British Columbia at Channel Rock…on one of the Cortes Islands…..I mean Wouldn’t it make more sense than all the furs and feathers these girl were wearing in this 110 plus heat….

 

I have been reading Selina Hastings wonderful biography of Evelyn Waugh…and came across how Evelyn would go out “Gumping” (dancing and drinking)…. this is  like 1929 or 1930 in Paris  after he divorced “She-velyn” (they both had the first name of Evelyn)….and was surprised to find out that he “Gumped” with my friend Marcella Gump. Whom I knew through my first lover Paul Millard….

 

She was a wild thing in her youth..her father Abraham Livingston Gump ….. owned Gumps Dept. Store  in SF…..she was almost married twice to a  wealthy French man….but jilted him twice….did briefly marry another wealthy French man….who got upset that she smoked in public as back then it was Wrong for a woman to smoke….

 

When I met Marcella she was married to the wonderful  Lenn Curley a SF TV & Radio Advertising Executive…..who had less money than Marcella…

 

But Marcella was one of these Wonderfully Strong Independent women..I TOTALLY Love….

 

….when she met Evelyn Waugh she was like 20…he was 26 years …when she met me she was like 65 and I was 27….

 

Paul, Lenn, Marcella, and I went out for dinner (in SF) and saw the show Beach Blanket Babylon that had just opened at the Savoy Tivoli….which is still running but at a diff venue….

 

After the show she said Hey Let’s go dancing and led us down to Carol Doda’s show (a strip joint) where we did just that as strippers were doing a show…..(sigh nothing like the late 60’s and 70’s)

 

The next late  morning we were to have “soothers” at Marcella’s and Lenn’s before ambling out for brunch…and a friend from LA was joining us Ruth Ellen Taylor….(and Boys you do NOT call her Ruth)….she was tough as nails…always wore the same poofed out wig that if there EVER was the seldom occasion that she had imbibed too much it might be kind of askew…..as she was ALWAYS in control….(never did find out what happened to Mr Taylor)

 

I Loved Ruth Ellen…as she was always entertaining …knew ALL the major domo’s in any High Profile Restaurant in the US…..

 

She always would start off by inviting a small gathering over to her Fabulously small but chic  apartment in Alfredo de La Vega’s building on the SW corner of Fountain Ave and Crescent Heights in West Hollywood…it is now a landmark and was changed to condo’s…..

 

I’ll never forget but the first time I visited her…and she must have had like 8 people over….her ice bucket became empty…she said Oh Dear Rob…please go get  some more ice cubes… so I went into the kitchen and was kinda shocked she did Not have an ice maker…just plastic wring me trays in an ancient  frig…..  

 

When we got to Spago’s after kissing Emilio many a time we ate…when the bill came…Ruth Ellen said “Ooops I must have left my wallet at home….” (back then it was socially unacceptable to split the dinner bill) so I paid…Ruth Ellen telling me she would pay me back which she never did………

 

But Ruth Ellen joined us at Marcella and Lenn’s….we all entered THEIR private elevator that swooped us up Extremely fast to the hallway for their Penthouse Condo on Nob Hill…..Lenn met us as the door flew open saying “Marcella is feeling kinda poorly and we won’t be joining you for brunch but I have Bloody Mary’s prepared…..”

 

Well we had a batch..when it came time to leave ….we said we wanted to kiss Marcella goodbye…as she was “bedridden”….….so he disappeared into her elegantly plush  suite….came back and said it would be OK

 

When I bent over the bed to kiss her….my nostrils were hit by  these Vodka fumes and my toe got stubbed by the Vodka bottles hidden under the bed…..which made kind of a ruckus….with their clinking noise…..and all I could think “you Wild Lady!!!” as I kissed her …. she smilingly  winked at me…….

 

Lenn showed us to the elevator that zoomed  us down all those floors in a nano second…and as we went to get out ….well Paul went to hit the “Open” button but hit the one that zoomed us BACK  up to the Penthouse….Lenn was still there and we waved and hit the “Lobby” button….. Well we shot back down…..and when Ruth Ellen got up to rapidly exit…I was sitting (this  plush Private  elevator had a sette in it) on the sleeve of her sweater that she had originally casually thrown over her shoulders…well she stumbled and hit the Penthouse button again…well once again we shot up in a nano second….. the doors flew open and Lenn was still there…we apologized…waved once again as we uncontrollably broke into hysterics…..

 

I have Never Laughed so hard and  cried with such wonderful Joy for the Experience…..

3 Responses to “I Never Have Laughed So Hard”

  1. Janet Nelson-Alvarez said

    what absolutely wonderful stories you have, Rob. Thank you (and I do hope you are working on that book!) I submit that the ducks who showed up *were* the same 6 as two weeks ago….they’ve all ‘gendered now…….

  2. adelaidedonnelley said

    I second that! Many books I hope – you’re such an evocative writer – adore the stories!. How sweet that you have such a friendship with the ducks . . . xx Daidie

  3. Jay Gusick said

    I always read your missives with your voice delivering the story in my mind! Lovely memories. What ever happened to Marcella?

    Smooches from Wisconsin! – J

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