How I Wish We Could Catch Memories In A Butterfly Net

October 11, 2018

a note I sent the Amazing Nicky Haslam…(Google him)


Dear Nicky,

When I opened the letter box this afternoon…your Wonderful note fell out

Robert and I DID see you on the 13th at the Pheasantry…with Wonderful Joel and Tony (whom I had not seen in 15 years at least)….

WHAT a show you put on…you had us ALL in tears as you brought back so many Wonderful Memories….you sang All Of our Favorite romantic songs that Ignited so Many Wonderful love affairs…..the scent, the smell …that first kiss

Robert broke into tears almost after you appeared on stage as you look exactly like his First Lover….of many years ago…he recently  lost his husband (another man) of 35 plus years ….so we thought he was weeping for Richard…but to find out later that he was at Barry’s bedside as he died many many years ago when Robert  was married to a woman

Life is Soo Wonderful….and yes we do share the fact that our lovers had the same lover in common…Speed Lamkin….Paul always talked about Marguerite….Speed’s sister….whom I gather married Mark Littman …one of the Queen’s barrister’s…is she still among us….Margueritte taught Elizabeth Taylor her southern drawl for “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” I believe….

My first lover (I have had 7 until I realized it was Not for me) Paul Millard….well when I met him I was blown away as I was new to the gay life at the age of 23…..not like you who popped out of the womb looking for guys….. but Paul had a REAL chandelier with candles (as opposed to my parents who had an electric one)….over his dining table….against the opposite  wall was the Dali painting “Gala’s Shoes”….which were a pair of ballet slippers….Edward James…the supposed bastard of Edward VII….had lent him…along with many another priceless paintings…..Leonor Fini… Pavel Tchelitchew etc…

Edward use to come to LA…step into a helicopter at LAX and buzz Paul’s wonderful home in West Hollywood throwing roses out before he landed at the neighboring flat roofed drug store….

Paul’s Wonderful Black housekeeper…Miss Clara…. would hear the helicopter and say “Mr Millard …there is that Crazy Mr James”….(Eddie use to cover everything in white tissue paper that he put in a refrigerator)

Paul owned a block of property….Estelle Winwood (your wonderful character actress) lived next door to us….and MAN was she a hoot….she would often forget about street cleaning days and how one had to move their car to the other side before getting a ticket…well this one day she awoke with a start … realizing she had not moved her car …threw  her floor length mink over her nude body…put her Ruby Red lipstick on..lit a cigarette which she put in her Ebony cigarette holder….barefoot and with her “frownies” (that held your face back …took away your lines) ventured out in the mist to move her Caddie ….

I will NEVER forget one night Paul and I took her to the musical popular at the time…”No No Nanette”.and at intermission  the 3 of us did “High Kicks”….down the staircase to the bar of the Ahmanson Theatre (LA)….and Wow…she had Gorgeous Legs!!!!…I think she was 92 at the time…..

Paul owned   this block of flats  on Norma Place in West Hollywood the dressing room of the movie (silent) stars Norma and Constance Talmadge….we lived in Norma’s room…and over on Keith Avenue…was their screen stage….which became Tony Duquette’s Studio…I know you knew him and his talentedly shy wife “Beegle”….did you ever go their ranch above Malibu…or their house on Dawn Ridge in Beverly Hills…..

Oh I could go on and bore you…like Chris Isherwood…use to lie in the space below the back seat as Don Bachardy would drive him over to our flat for dinner….as he was terrified of Bachardy’s driving

I will Drag Robert if he is willing to see you next year…but we will not be there until September when London Design Week is in bloom…..speaking of which did you see the sculpture “Head Above Water”….on one of  the piers on the Southbank…well we just stumbled onto it…and the Wonderful Sculptor Steuart Padwick who has suffered from such mental illness….the sculpture is to promote an Awareness of the stigma that has been put on Mental Health

With Love and Admiration!!!


And how I wish we could catch our memories in a butterfly net…..

2 Responses to “How I Wish We Could Catch Memories In A Butterfly Net”

  1. Joel Pellington said

    Wonderful very touching and cathartic all my love Joel x

  2. Jay Gusick said

    I LOVE this one. Reading your stream of consciousness memories of your early days in Hollywood is like slowly eating the most delicious box of bon bons!

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