Am returned to the citadel of my youth-- yes, it's true, I came here as a twenty-year old, embarrassed at having lost my first(and,as it would turn out, only) job as a writer for the NBC Comedy Development program, as Les Colodny, who had hired me-- Les was an agent at William Morris who often gave the jobs offered for writers to himself-- left for LA with a couple of my compatriots, leaving me very much behind. So I came and became embroiled in what was then 'Young Hollywood,' Tab and Dennis and the very handsome young (this was before he dieted himself into scary scrawny) Tony Perkins, with whom I was infatuated not knowing he was involved with Tab, all of which will be shortly available on your TVs in the Tab Hunter documentary just filmed in NY in which I am a featured dopey player. Tab said in his memoir that he didn't understand how someone so bright(me, I guess) could have been so-- I don't think he said dumb, though I was, because he is very kind. And, by the way, still really handsome, and still really sweet. He was there at the hotel where we filmed with his longtime partner, and told me he didn't believe in gay marriage, that he thought marriage was for a man and a woman, with the intent of having children, which I, personally, think is very illuminated of him, although i hope that opinion doesn't get him in trouble. But I am pretty sick of everybody coming out, as I couldn't care less what most people do in bed as long as I am not in love with them. Which I was with Tony, but who knew? Anyway he was a creative gift to me, as I couldn't write, sing, poem enough to please him, and he was REALLY smart, so a fine early sounding board for my creative self. Tab, too, recorded a song or maybe two of mine, when no one cared how anybody sounded except Elvis. I also knew him when he was staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt, bedding one of two young Mormons from Salt Lake City named Nan and Marianne, the other sacrificing herself with his cousin Gene, as Elvis liked to take care of relatives. An innocent time, actually, hard as it seems to believe now, with everyone going to the Hollywood Ranch Market at midnight for ribs.
All of this radiant in recollection after my visit to the Max Factor Movie Star Museum, failing only to go into Mel's Diner which I managed to do a day or so later, with Armando, the bartender from the Hotel Mosaic, where I stayed all the time and found this apartment a few blocks from since I was so loved and comfortable there and so wanted to be close so I could see old friends, and, not incidentally, swim, the main reason I wanted to be back in LA so I could stay alive for the Good Part. Only to have the rules change the day I went back, which Armando was Hispanically Cavalier enough to try and make up to me for by taking me to a bunch of Goodwills on Saturday to furnish my apartment. (Wish I had gone to them before Target, as it's a lot of the same stuff but infinitely cheaper.) Anyway, we ended up at Mel's and he bought me lunch. A gesture GRANDE. A true Caballero.
I am settled, more or less-- less if you see my apartment, spare as everything is, much to my liking. Zen Gwen it is to be, the decor stylishly dictated by the birthday gift from Jamie, an incredibly smart big tote in beige with a black circle encapsulating a big GD, which I guess is me. Have hung it on the main wall, and done the other walls accordingly, with interesting purses where most would hang paintings. So I am officially a bag lady. The walls are white, the floors cherry wood and newly finished so it's really clean, with one painting over the black Futon from Target, ten deep- throated yellow lilies that I had in the vase I brought from Rochefort-en-Terre when I led a writing workshop there one summer, and didn't want to lose the look of, so painted them.
Trudy quotes somebody great who says "an artist is always beginning." That couldn't have been United Artists, of which her longtime love David Chasman was the head, a he is now in Assisted Living at the mercy of those who have none. Life. She am a puzzle.