Monday, June 16, 2014

Rodeo Drive Concours

Here are the photos I took from the Rodeo Drive Concours held on June 15th, 2014.

You can read about the event here

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day

Tomorrow is Father's Day. I want to remember my father, who was a Captain and Master Mariner in the Merchant Marine.

My Father was apparently known as one of those "wild" Pease boys in my hometown in Massachusetts. Of course in those days I suppose that being "wild" could mean parting your hair a half inch to the left or wearing a red tie on Thursday.

I do know that he saw my mother (who was several years older) driving through town in her Ninety-Eight convertible and decided that she was the woman he would marry, He wooed and won her and in a short period of time they were married. My mother used to joke that the whole town used to think that she went from being a suspected lesbian to being a tramp, since courtship and marriage were so quick. She quipped that they thought she had to get married, but she kept her legs closed for three years just to keep mouths closed and to postpone my older brothers birth.

Dad had a goofy sense of humor; not above pulling his partial forward to make a punchline. He also had an unshakable sense of family. We moved his stepfather into our house and we all thought of him as our "Grampy" until his death, as we had with my uncle for whom I am named.

Our living situation was not standard: Dad worked for months on his ship, and then had months off. I actually found this to be kind of cool; Yes, he'd be gone for periods and in the pre-FaceBook days we'd sometimes celebrate Christmas via Polaroids and trans-continental phone lines that seemed like you were under 300 feet of water.

But when he was back, he was back 100%

In summer we'd take long drives in the beach wagon, stopping at the Dairy Bar for a soft serve for all of us, even Jackie the dog, who always went with his butt against the front seat center armrest and nose in the AC vent. That is, until the farts kicked in and Jackie would make a beeline for the third row with a canine look of "don't hate me"

The thing I remember about my father is that he had an open heart. He took his stepfather into his heart and home and gave me the gift of knowing my "Grampy." I distinctly remembering him saying that  he wouldn't care if one of us came home with a mate who was "black, white or sky-blue-pink."

The worst part of him dying when I was so young was that I never really got to know him. I remember him as a figure or a force- the laughter, hiding in his jacket when watching a scary movie, his infrequent  anger when I was being a devil child (and oh baby, I could be and still can…)

Dad, I wish we'd met..

Photo is Dad receiving an award from the Secretary of Transportation (the Gallant Ship award) for his role in rescuing sailors from a sinking (I think) Swiss freighter in the 60's when he was on the Cotton State. 

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Star Sightings

Having worked retail in both New York and Beverly Hills (well, years ago) I've had quite a few run ins with people who were stars, or thought they were. I'm not going to go through the boring "this person was an a$$hole" ones since that doesn't float my boat, but there are a few of them that I remember since they were such a delight.

The first one was when I worked at Dean and Deluca back in the 80's. Oh we'd get stars in there all the time- I remember Richard Gere looking very American Gigolo coming in and posing by the pasta. Beautiful, but short. I used to smoke back then, and would duck out in my white shirt and apron even in the dead of winter for a nicotine-fueled mental health break from stocking shelves. At the time Katharine Hepburn was filming a movie called "Grace Quigley" directed by Anthony Harvey, who apparently lived above us on Prince Street. Hepburn had made several appearances at the store, but this one time I was smoking on the stoop as she arrived. I didn't want to intrude on her so I sort of went into New Yorker "you're famous so I don't see you mode." She looked at me with her arms full of packages and asked if I would yell up to "Tony" since the buzzer seemed to be broken. I did as she asked and then she very gently told me that it was freezing outside and I was "red as a beet," and that since I was standing there as a well brought up young man I should hold her parcel until Tony came and collected them. She was of course perfectly correct; I held the packages.

Later I worked at a gourmet store near Bloomingdale's. I brought the place, filled with jaded New Yorkers to an absolute halt by announcing I had seen Garbo. Out at lunch walking around I had seen her- a striking older woman who reacted to my look of surprise and recognition with a look that read "please don't react and please don't approach."

I didn't.

Kitty Carlisle Hart came into that store once and flirted so outrageously I considered converting..

In Beverly Hills I worked at Rizzoli when they had a store at Two Rodeo and there were are few stand-outs. Betsy Bloomingdale was one of the nicest, most approachable people we had as customers. Jackie Collins was a staff favorite- she'd come to sign her latest Full Frontal Jackie: Limo, Publicist, Hair. But so nice to everyone we looked forward to seeing her. On off days she'd pop in in a ponytail and sweats looking not a minute over 30 to chat about the new fiction and buy.

One day this absolutely gorgeous woman came in and bought a ton of stuff. I knew I'd seen her somewhere but couldn't figure it out where. She could read my face that I knew her and was giving me the most teasing (in the most innocent way) looks. Finally she gave her Amex: Pamela Hensley! Princess Ardala in the flesh!

Sharon Gless and I chatted about CC Brown's chocolate sauce. Personally, I think that anyone who likes to eat likes to do other things as well. From the gleam in her eye, any man who's spending time with Sharon is having a great time..

I particularly remember talking with Molly Ringwald. I was manning the register and we had a vivacious chat about the book "The Rules." which corporate forced us to carry and put by the register. I considered the book swill as did she and we had rather a time discussing it.

I'll close this with the time I waited on Faye Dunaway. I was working in West Hollywood as a waiter and was covering a breakfast ship for someone who called in sick. Ms. Dunaway has a reputation of being "difficult" as an actress. I can only say that as someone who served her breakfast, she was friendly, undemanding and left a good tip.

So Faye is okay in my book.