Friday, August 30, 2013


For some reason I find myself thinking of Diana Rigg, with whom I enjoyed a brief Almost Friendship when I was doing my graduate work or whatever it was at Oxford one thinking summer.  Can't remember who invited me to the evening where I met her, but we got on famously, as they say, though she was infinitely more famous than I.  I told her I was going to Oxford, and she said "STOP IT!"  I think she said it twice in that husky, veiled voice of hers.  "STOP IT!" she said again, and I was immediately ashamed that I was doing anything as stupid as trying to be an Academic.
    She invited me to come visit her home in London,-- she was married to Sir Archie Somebody, or Lord Archie Something, and as she was still in her beautiful, arrogant shell, playing badminton with him in their back yard, the marriage appeared very happy, though he was later to leave her for somebody a little famous-- I can't remember who-- and not nearly as talented.  I suppose what triggered the memory was the Stargazer Lilies I mounted on either side of my couch, in my bought at Goodwill slender glass vases.  When I went to Diana's house-- I imagine I should refer to her as the Lady Diana she was at the time-- I brought her Stargazer lilies.  As she opened the door for me she burst into deep-throated laughter-- the pods or whatever they are that stick out of them had brushed my face very impressively, and left a dark brown trail.  So she showed me to her little guest bath and I washed my face and had, I'm not clear on it, but I imagine, a very pleasant evening.  Civilized, no doubt.
    I had at the time a passionate agenda, of course, having recently finished THE WOMEN UPSTAIRS, my play about what the wives were doing during Plato's Symposium, and probably imagined, dreamed, fantasied, that she could play the lead, Socrates' wife Xantippe.  It all sounds so improbably high-minded now.  But remember, I was studying at Oxford.
    Anyway, nothing ever came of it.  I must have gone back to San Francisco where I was living at the time, because she came through in a play-- one of those two people things with reading letters-- and I went to see her. And she said "I'm surprised you're still speaking to me."  So I suppose she had never even read it.  But I wasn't angry or even, I don't think, disappointed, though she would have been wonderful, and the play might have just been a thinking woman's triumph.  The moments that never happened-- those are the really big ones when you get to this turn in the road.  But I still feel great affection and admiration for her and hope she is not having a hard time of it, Lord Archie having been a cad and all of us, no matter how glamorous(not me, She) growing older.
    This looking back wistfully, and with a soupcon (there should be a tail on that c) of regret is exacerbated by my reading SILK LADY, my old novel that Warner Books thought would be a great bestseller but it was their first foray into hard covers and they hadn't gotten their hard cover chops yet, so they misfired on a number of levels, and the book didn't happen.  Besides that I had forgotten it almost completely-- i'm not sure, really, exactly how it turns out, I am driven to read it because the walls here are paper-thin, my neighbors apparently have a great deal of time in which to complain, so I can no longer watch TV, under threat of Martial Law.  As I had sent to New York for The Pretenders, imagining that with the success of I'LL EAT YOU LAST, the Bette Midler/Sue Mengers one woman show produced by Graydon Carter with great success, the early adventures of Sue Mengers, who was, until the publication of The Pretenders, my best friend, would be of great interest to the entertainment world and make for a fabulous mini-series.  Sue was, of course, Louise Felder, my heroine, depicted I think pretty accurately and with great affection, but Sue didn't intend for me to be a hit without her having engineered it, so didn't speak to me when it became one.
     Many years later, though, after Don died, she called me to praise and wonder over SILK LADY, in which there appeared the middle-aged Louise, who was Sue, and said "How did you know that about me?" I told her I'd always loved her, which was true, and so imagined how she had changed, grown, crystallized, hardened, whatever, and apparently got it right.  I read this book now with Sue's eyes, wishing I could talk to her, which my adorable neighbor, Katy the Total Innocent, says I can.  At any rate, I remember how the conversation ended, with Sue saying about Don: "And most of all, I remember how much he loved you," then slamming down the phone, leaving me with all my feelings hanging out.  She did so love to be in control.  But I still miss her.  Can't wait to find out how SILK LADY ends, but don't imagine it's happy. Also it has too much sex, which I used to do.  In novels, anyway.
    I don't mean to be making such a foray into my past, but had to put aside WALDEN, which I was reading for the second time, or trying to-- Soooooo wordy, Thoreau must have had nothing but time-- and the only other books I have here are Lucky Me, Sachi, Shirley MacLaine's daughter's heartbroken memoir, not very well written, Tab Hunter's memoir, in which i appear briefly for my own early heartbreak(Tony Perkins) and Edna O'Brien's memoir.  She was the writer I most wanted to be when I was young, August is a Wicked Month having struck me between the eyes and to the core, but this memoir, again, being wordy and a wee too Bog Irish to touch me heart.
    Toby Rafelson took a really good picture of me sitting in front of my keyboard, which I have not yet learned to really play and am a bit afraid of because of the neighbors, but when I saw the picture I thought there should really be a book that could be on the back cover of-- and speculated about writing the next act of The Motherland, what's happened to my family since the end of that novel.  But the spiritualist I met in Pavilions, in between the tomatoes and the prosciutto-- it is LA, after all,-- said I shouldn't write that as it is too dark and would bring me down and my aura is pure white and should stay so so I can make the world a better place.  It is LA, after all.  She was going to come and cleanse my shakra with her crystals, but has since disappeared.  I hope to go to a better place.
   Heidi, my beloved friend, child of my beloved friends, said to make sure I have all my credit cards.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


So having taken the GodlyPlay Training all weekend, -- a way of teaching little kids the Bible, which, you will not be surprised to know I have NEVER read, except in little clumps---I fell into a spiritual tub of butter, as it were, hanging out for the weekend at All Saints church with some truly lovely people-- a few ministers, a number of caring women who wanted to be of service, and a darling young woman who, when I told her I had written a book called THE DAUGHTER OF GOD, where the child of God  (I do not say "Christ") comes back as a woman, held her head in horror and said: "Oh, no! A woman is going to be crucified!"  I promised her it does not come to that-- the book is cheerful and in parts, actually funny, uplifting, and, as I found out from the woman who works out in the Alumnae Office at Bryn Mawr, whose husband is a black Methodist minister-- that he found it "Biblically sound."  That almost put me away, as, having confessed to you I never read it, I am thrilled and somewhat baffled that I actually seemed to know what I'm talking about.
    I have only a little bit of a problem with Christ, as my Grandma, still the most wonderful woman I ever had the good fortune to be connected with, if you don't count my school principals and presidents of Bryn Mawr, all of whom were Great Mother Figures for me, both nurturing and guiding, Grandma, a Hungarian Jew whose father was the Wise Man of Szatmar, according to Family Myth, said "Christ was a Nice Man.. a Good Magician."  So I have always held him in a loving light, and resisted only making him The One, saving that for God, Him/Her Self.  I do believe God is the great Redeemer, except in the world we live in, you have to redeem Yourself.
    That is not easy in Beverly Hills, this Rest Stop for the traveling Spirit.  But with the help of a few Friends I have here, none of them Quakers which I have been at various landmarks of my journey, am taken for grocery shopping, since  I am without a car, a deliberate choice, as I understand what a test the traffic would be for my recently acquired Calm.  But I cannot make my way to a Quaker Meeting.  So I have had to subscribe to the theory that the Kingdom of Heaven is Within.
    Nor am I in easy reach of Jack, my longtime Jewru, as Don called him, a born Jew who said that being that where he lived was like... I don't remember the exact wordage, but it was something like being in a motel in the middle of a desert, which is what Arizona is and was to me the little time I spent in Tucson, one hideous summer while my father was Mayor there... and I was hoping to go to a Daylong retreat with Jack September 4th except it would abrogate my being able to go to a little theatrical presentation here, and getting there and back would be more than difficult, close to impossible, so it's not Meant to Be.  But I still have one good and loved Friend who's a Quaker, now a High Official-- I am noticing what I capitalize, and it's interesting-- and we shall re-connect when I go back to New York.  Where I can of course walk everywhere and use public transportation, so we shall see what unfolds.
    But mostly I need to celebrate being alive, because that is the great gift that each of us is given, and how we unwrap it is our Journey.
    Ah, but the Pulots.  (I capitalize it because my computer, being driven, keeps correcting it and making it 'plots.')  I was worried that I hadn't put in enough gelatin, so added another two packets, and now have pulot Jello.  Interesting, a reddish brown color and not bad to the taste, though I would rather have had the jam.
    But then the choices we make in this life dictate what the dish will turn out to be.  So I would feel very Blessed, yes, I must capitalize that, if I got my Just Desserts.  Sylvia Who? or Who is Sylvia? Which do you prefer?  And will you all come to the Opening Night, if there is one?  Please, God.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Not a complaint, just an assessment, the latest batch of pluots, mispelled in my last Report, as pointed out by the smart and observant Toby Rafelson, has also failed to set after a busy night of batching.  But I am hopeful, and slightly prayerful, my prayers for Amber having been answered(she's out of the hospital, where, my dear Dr. Agre had said to me when I was in: "Let's get you out of here before you catch something,") that if I give it a shot heavenward, when I come back, the pluot jam, probably the last of the season, will have gelled.
      When I speak of coming back, it will be from All Saints church in Beverly hills, where I go today for my training in teaching children 'Godly Play.'  As friends know, I love little children, and there has been a great absence of them in my life of late for reasons I will not go into right now but might write a novel about, having completed(I think) my musical, prior to going back to New York to infuse it with (let us pray) Life.  I am not complete without a project to work on, so am chewing on writing the book I have long avoided, or, at least, avoided since THE MOTHERLAND, my Family saga that came out at exactly the wrong time(Watergate, and Woodward and Bernstein's ALL THE PRESIDENT's MEN was on the same list, so guess which started to sell?)  But having been through a few familial agonies since which I said I wouldn't write about, I am thinking thinking thinking, and maybe maybe maybe.  Philip Roth said "Nothing bad can ever happen to a writer," and I said "That's because he never had children."  But maybe the time has come to deal with my own, and others' pain, in Styronesque fashion, albeit missing the Deep South, and fair-haired women.  I share all this because some of you have expressed interest in the creative process, as am I.  So maybe the unfoldment, a Biblical word or maybe it was in the Spiritual Diary of Yogananda I read every morning, of these unexpected agonies will be of resonance to others, and if not, I will have tried, as with the pluots. I just have to find the creative equivalent of pectin to make it all jell.
    I found my way to All Saints because of beautiful Heidi, the daughter of my best friend at Bryn Mawr, Muggy-- they did have those kinds of names-- the Prettiest Girl in the Class.  I have known and loved Heidi since infancy, since she howled with agony at Don's disappearing as he dove into her parents' pool, probably thinking he was gone, which of course he actually was to be a while later, and for a long time now.  But she grew straight and strong and smart and gifted, becoming an actress of considerable talents I was fortunate to observe both professionally on TV and in my own play, The Women Upstairs, about what the ladies were doing during Plato's Symposium, not exactly light fare but they did it in Beverly Hills when there was a theatre there on Canon, and she was wonderful, eventually setting career to the rear to forge a family of her own.
    But when I came back to LA, I went to her church of a Sunday, and she looked so transcendent and translucent lighting the candles on the altar that I was moved.  So on a recent Sunday, I went to church, sort of the Hippie service that comes later than the rigid one, this one with song(guitars) and art projections on the screen.  And they are having a training for those who want to work with children, so why not?
     That's where I go at 1.  So I must bring this to a speedy close, but not so speedy that the pluots of thought will not jell.  Or is spelled gel?
    I love you all, whoever you are-- I remember a movie with Kim Stanley, where a lonely little girl cried out into the night "Whoever you are, I love you." I feel the same way, I think, about God.  Like many I am not sure, and like almost everyone I know, I can be skeptical.  But there is no reason, knowing for CERTAIN as I do that there has to be something benign behind this whole design, as the astronauts saw when they stood on the moon-- I knew a few of them-- in spite of how messed up the world seems to be.  Even Einstein, (pretty bright, wouldn't you say?) had to concede there was something masterful and inexplicable.
     And as long as you don't allow the idea that it's all pointless, you have to give God a chance.  After all, She may have needs, too.

Monday, August 19, 2013


So my joyful stay in Beverly Hills grows close to an end.  I go back to New York September 10th, to, hopefully, set SYLVIA WHO? in motion.  I finished the last song (I think it is) last night, in the middle of the night, as the movies always depicted songwriters as doing, when there were movies that did not feature robots and violence, and there were actual songwriters, instead of rappers.  This has been the greatest adventure in a life that, looking back on, has provided a number of adventures, many of which involved travel, romance, the hope of romance, sorrow over loss, and a gradual understanding that that is what life is about, learning to deal with loss. Because you cannot have wonderful things happen-- love, success, the elation of True Spirit, without equal portions of agony and loss, and the only thing you can really count on having is Change.
     But there are also PULOTS.  Minor, but as sweet a discovery as it is unexpected.  One of the things that has kept me going in this not easy voyage Westward, coming back to this scene of my sort-of youth, has been the Farmer's Market in Century City, where I have gone every Thursday for flowers and fruit, two of the glories that California offers besides fine(usually) weather as the rest of the planet suffers.  And of course the illusion of peace as the rest of the world explodes.
   Still, it IS Beverly Hills, where if you are lucky enough to have neighbors, they may be friendly.  But if you come back after several years' absence, unless you arrive on a float of publicity and sales to media, it is a struggle to make contact, as one's humanity is not necessarily prized here.  This is a place where a smile and a song count a whole lot less than publicity and credits, and as it will be a while till my latest creative effort flowers, which I have every hope it will, and soon, few are those who care that I am here.  So I have been quite alone, my dogs having died and my children being (don't ask) less than a comfort, my darling husband having left the world a very long time ago, and my being (to my surprise) older.
    SO: ABOUT PULOTS.  They are a new fruit, a hybrid of plums and apricots, about neither of which I have ever felt passionate, or, even, a less heated word, interested. Still when you center yourself, or try to, on the things that keep you going in-between songs and rewrites and connecting with people who seem genuinely interested or kind, it is nourishing, in many senses of the word, to discover something fresh and sweet in Nature, which of course we rarely pay attention to.  So in-between a blossoming friendship with Roberto, who sells flowers on Thursdays in the mart at Century City, and my neighbor Katie, a breath of fresh air, being as close as I have come to a genuine and adorable ingenue outside of a script or a casting office, I have found pulots.  And as in all the loneliness landmarks of my life, graduate school at Stanford, where I cooked for my classmate, Bethie,  from Bryn Mawr's brother-in-law and his roommates, my baking for Aunt Tillie's Health Food store during the ordeal of my lawsuit, and my staving off isolation in San Francisco after Don's death, with jams made from fruits bought on the highway, all lined up atop the shelf in my kitchen, glittering in emerald glass jars, only one of which fell, mercifully, during the earthquake, I have turned to the comfort of my Inner Grandma,-- she was one of the great cooks ever-- and made jams. The best jam you have ever tasted I would say without hesitation, now that I have found pulots.  So send me your addresses and I will get you a jar.
     Not without suffering, though, this ancient but re-acquired way of showing love, which I believe cooking is, as I couldn't find the Sure-Jell needed to make the whole thing solidify, so had to wing it.  Last night I went to sleep with a sense of having failed, as the little jars, from The Container Store, (marked 'Fruchten,' in the curious way that the German language has of making delicious things sound unappetizing) still looked very liquid-y, so I was sure it hadn't worked.  But HOORAH! I woke this morning having put them in the fridge, and they're fine.
   And more important, I finished what feels like the one song that was missing from the show in the late hours of the night.  And beautiful Amber, the darling and sweet-spirited friend I made on first re-aligning my life with Los Angeles, an adorable and gifted young woman whose heart stopped in the middle of a soccer game last week, given CPR by her team-mates till the ambulance got there, is going to be all right, I fervently pray, which I have been moved to do with no trace of doubt or cynicism.   How clear it makes  the fragility of life-- how lucky we are to be alive, and, in the best case scenario, well.
    Taste everything.  Feel it go down.  Live every moment.  And swim if you can find a pool.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Today is the birthday of my stepfather, Saul Schwamm, affectionately know, by those(not an army) who celebrated him, as "Puggy", because of his underbite, which thrust his jaw forward  as though he was ready for an argument, as he often was.  Contentious, combative, original and brilliant, he came into my life as the blessing my parents were less than.
    My mother married him when I was in high school, and because of him, and his generosity, I was able to go to Bryn Mawr, where I had been accepted, when my father, by then, as I remember, the Mayor of Tucson, said the University of Arizona was a better school... doubtless because he wouldn't have to pay for it.  Daddy was all things to all men, if all men were Himself.
   When I scored my great success in Junior Show, having written most of the music and lyrics and played the comedy lead(causing George Segal, the one-day-to-be movie star, albeit briefly, to leap to the apron of the stage for the curtain call and kiss my hands, something that caused a near-swoon on my part at the time, since I had masochistic taste and was infatuated) and Freddy Sadoff, my friend at the Actor's Studio, then the center of theatre excitement, since it harbored the young, inspired, and still thin Marlon Brando, to tell me the theatre needed me, so I should quit college and come to New York. So I told Miss McBride, our wonderful president, who had congratulated my mother the night of the show, saying "This is the most exciting theatrical event since Katharine Hepburn was an undergraduate here," -- followed my mother's saying to me 'Who was that?' as Miss McBride went off into the darkness. "The president of the college," I said.  "Oh," said my mother.  "I thought it was the washerwoman."
    But after what Freddy said, I went to Miss McBride and told her "Shakespeare and Chaucer have given me all they can, and the theatre needs me, so I'm quitting Bryn Mawr."  Without missing a beat, Miss McBride said: "Well, Gwen... try to be back for exams."
   So I went home and told my mother I was quitting college.  "They told me this would happen in the Beauty Parlor!" she shrieked, and locked me in my room.
    I lay there quietly sobbing and reading Tennyson.  Later, Puggy came into my room.
   "It's all right," I said. "I was going to quit because I had no reason to stay.  But now I have a reason: you won't let me leave."
    "No, Gwennie," he said.  "That's not your reason... There's your reason."  He pointed to a painting on the wall.  "All Art will show it self in its time.  Don't rush the calendar."
    Well, I certainly haven't.  The whole span of my life lies between that caution, and the heartening almost-fact that my musical comedy, the center of my aspiration, seems at long long last to be coming to life.
    But then, meantime, I had a few more years of Puggy's kindness and wisdom, before my mother accused him of having an affair with his son's ex-fiancee, so he did, after which me and my mother divorced and he married Kathy... But that is another story, probably a sequel to The Motherland if people still cared about novels, which, sadly, I don't think they do anymore.
   I had a few more glowing moments with him-- there was the night a man landed on the moon, and Puggy, a Wall Street investment banker, waxed poetic and longing for the aspirations he once had.  "The time has long since passed," he said, "when I wondered if I was doing the right thing."  But by then he and his brother, Harvey, had long been "The Bad Boys of Wall Street," having taken an ad in the New York Times the day Roosevelt closed the banks, saying "Business will be conducted as usual in the offices of Schwamm and Co.," so all trading that day had to be done through their company, started when they were blackballed for being Jews.  They made what would have been today a Gatesian/Jobsian fortune in that one day, and were never considered gentlemen again.
   But he had a soul full of love for art-- he had bought Pollock's BLue Unconcious- and the 8-room apartment on Park Avenue that Mom talked herself out of(screamed, actually) was full of wonderful paintings, including the one he pointed to with his aviso to me.  And when he read THE MOTHERLAND, about which Liz Smith said to my mother, "I know it's fiction but Gwen could;t have written it without you for inspiration, to which my mother responded "It made me regret not having committed infanticide," Puggy said, of his fictional depiction: "I don't know why I got off so easy."
    I do.  He was a wonderful man.  Happy Birthday, Puggy.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Party Uncrashed

My mother was a party crasher.   An amazingly animated beauty, with a dazzling smile and a manner that made people feel welcome, towards the end of her life, as a child of the Great Depression, she panicked and blundered her way out of a very successful marriage, (if you didn't mind screaming and the police coming,) and made a number of economically foolish moves, selling a gorgeous 5 room penthouse apartment in the East 60s to the English director Michael Winner for $60,000, and all of her jewels and china and silver, a vast and glorious collection, for a pittance to an auction gallery-- I think it was Parke Bernet. Ending up in a studio at the Hampshire House, with hardly enough closet space for what had been her once splendid wardrobe, most of her suitors being laid to rest, she began crashing parties, looking for love and free hors oeuvres.  When New York honored its two hundred most important citizens, Mom was among them.
    Having never seen her in action, but already inspired into making her the heroine of my blossoming musical, SYLVIA, WHO? I asked if I could go with her and see her in action on one of those occasions.  She went directly up to the head of security and without turning a hair, asked where the VIP section was, and charmed/dazzled/overwhelmed him into all but escorting her into the inner room, where we were seated with Henry and Nancy Kissinger, Claire Booth Luce and Roy Cohn, and the Duke and Duchess of Bedford.
    "My friends can't believe I'm content to live so quietly," Nancy Kissinger said.
    Without missing a beat, my mother said: "My friends feel the same way about me."
    Having been gifted with a remnant of her smile, and a small degree of her fearlessness, I have traveled the world comparatively legitimately, free-lancing as a travel and food writer(who knew? but I did know how to taste, and had had a wondrous adventure on her final outing with Julia Child) for the Wall Street Journal Europe, under the aegis of my great editor Jim Ruane. Vicky King, the brilliant publicist for some of the world's great hotels, called me in Paris, where I had moved for a while, and said "The Wall Street Journal Europe is starting a travel page, and you'd be good at that."
   "I have a great idea for a piece," I said to to Jim on the phone.'Swimming through Europe,' all the hotels with great pools."  "I like it," he said. "Send me a couple of graphs."
   "What is that?" I asked.
   "Paragraphs," he answered.
   And so it began, and continued for a number of years and a lot of exciting places, that welcomed me, expecting, as it was the Wall Street Journal, a Republican in a suit.  So when I showed up the sense of relief was palpable.  I made a lot of great friends, writing what I have to say objectively were pretty lively pieces, in-between a number of novels, and trying to recover from the loss of a wonderful husband, as my children, now grown, went their own way-- to put it mildly.
     Still all good things must come to an end, and when Jim moved on, so did I.  But my travel adventures continued, and fortunately life did, too, bringing us up to today, where, having moved back to Beverly Hills to work on the re-finishing of SYLVIA WHO? I am ensconced in a little apartment behind the Peninsula Hotel, my new favorite place in the world of hotels.
    As gracious as they are top of the line, everyone there has made me feel most welcome.  Still, the other night, when they celebrated being able to have celebrations, having just gotten their license to party on the rooftop terrace, stringing the pool with chandeliers (Can you believe it?) and about to launch a major fete, as I had not been officially invited, I went home. I could hear my mother's ghost admonishing me, telling me to go slip into something glamourous and slip back in.  But I told her as I had not been asked, it would not be seemly, a word I learned the meaning of at Bryn Mawr.
    "How was it?" I asked them the next day.  "Great," they said.  "But we were hoping for about 100 people and only about 60 came."
   WHAT?!!  They were disappointed?  "I would have come," I said.  "But I hadn't been invited."
   "You should have just come," they said.
   So there it is: the great lesson of Life.  The only thing you should regret is what you didn't do.  I am writing a song to that effect for my musical.  I hope you will all come to the opening if/when it happens, whether or not you have to crash.

Friday, August 02, 2013


Found this old piece  today on my computer, as I searched for a novel I wrote many years ago when I was still considered a "hot" novelist, looking for a new agent, and enjoyed a brief friendship with Mary Higgins Clark, who could not have been "hotter," making as she did a consistent and continuing fortune.  "What are your books about?" she asked me, over dinner on Sixth Avenue, at a restaurant I loved that isn't there anymore, as many things aren't, along with what and who I loved,
    "They're all different," I said.
    "Oh, that's a mistake," she said, gently,without missing a beat, having sold a jillion books that were all pretty much the same, a brilliantly successful formula, reassuring to her army of fans.  Then she gave me the name of her agent, Gene Winick, at Macintosh & Otis.
I called him, and because I was still in some kind of happening state, or, more probably, because Mary had sent me, he took me on.  Then he submitted the book to fifteen publishers at once, without a personal approach to any of them.
   It was a novel written from the point of a view of a gay man(not dared at the time) who was probably mad from the beginning but was to go completely insane by the end of it, killing the woman he was living with, who was very like the newly widowed me. He was very like my great first love, Tony Perkins, at least the closeted, tormented part of him, and the book was called SCHERZO.  I hope I have it somewhere, from the days when you still typed and copied on paper.  Because today, too many years late to actually inform me so I might have been careful, I read the piece in Vanity Fair about Harper Lee, and among the dolts and unthinkers she worked with were Gene Winick.  And I suddenly remembered the dead look in his eyes, and the fact that I really hadn't been sure that he even read it.  Only one publisher responded, a naughty woman of the time, whose name I can't remember, but she was a troublemaker and made some for herself. I may remember it later, which I do most of the time now, as facts escape me, even while none of the feelings do.
     And then I remembered clearly how I saw Winick shortly after that, and realized he didn't even really remember who I was.  Which is different from not being able to recall a name,  And then I knew he hadn't even really read my book, and just sent it as to a cattle auction.  Oh, well.
     Here's what I found in my Documents file.
     So it is Sabado de Gloria, as they celebrate it in Mexico where I was one Easter season, when Liza Minnelli was only a little messed up, and I was in Guaymas while she was making Lucky Lady. My children were little and still beautiful and touching, and Don was very much alive, standing up for me, which few have done since. But then, I have learned to stand up for myself, supported by a few wonderful and smart friends and the occasional clearheaded lawyer.
I have returned to Los Angeles to check in with those, as well as the doctors I trust who keep me alive, so far, and to maybe find someplace to live where I will not lose my bearings because I am so cold. This has been the hardest winter of my life, isolated in the midst of a crowded, busy New York City, and a building full of people who mostly avert their eyes, even in the elevator, as though they are fearful you will ask them for something. Like compassion, or, even worse, money.
It is a puzzle, New York, still the capital of the Driven, people busily on their way to Somewhere or Something, not many of them noting where they are. I am no less guilty, having lost my Jack-center, having forgotten how to be peaceful, except by the Boathouse in Central Park, where I can look at the lake and almost remember what it was to rejoice in being still. That has been the setting for my making a few friends, most of them from other countries, where people still dream that New York is the place, and maybe envy me the fact that I live there. Or did.
I am looking for a place to live here so I can do what work I am meant to do, all the while hoping that my fantasy, the reason I stayed in New York, will materialize. And that is, of course, my musical, which I have been working on since before you were born. But I have an advocate, and that encourages me not to think it is a complete dream, so we will see.
There is no point, I don’t think, in giving up a dream, even if, or especially when it seems elusive. When we lose the ability to chase after things, if only in our minds, then the gears of imagination stiffen along with everything else. So I remember how it was that Sabado di Gloria, when the whole world, or at least the exotic part of it, lay before us, and nobody could imagine or conjure or be warned about growing old. There we stood, under the tree, my handsome, strong, tall husband, my darling children, and the member of a local tribe we connected with, who was having his own, mysterious Easter celebration. Those were the days, remember, when I believed in Everything. So I considered it a personal gift from the Powers that Be, (unless they Aren’t) to have
connected with this obviously illuminated local, a Yaqui Indian, which was the tribe that Castaneda, the celebrated mystical writer of the 60s, had connected with, and learned from (unless he was exaggerating, or, Heavens Forefend, making it all up.)
Nothing would ever go wrong again, I was sure, having recently been rescued by my hero, and not having yet encountered a great personal loss, if you didn’t count Roosevelt in the 4th grade. So there we stood, connecting on a super-sensitive and mysterious level. And when it was ending, and the Yaqui was returning to his Yaqui life, he said he would meet us again.
“Where?” I asked.
“Under the tree,” said the Yaqui.
“Under the tree,” echoed Don, smiling, indulgent as always of my

lunatic, mystical bent.
So when the time came, not all that long afterward, when my young

and tall and strong husband died, that’s where we put him.
Ah, but this is the day before the Rising Up. And we have nothing to

fear but fear itself and the little dumb lunatic in Korea. The sun struggles to come out, as Gays don’t have to anymore.
So let us rejoice in the fact that we are alive, at least some of us. A friend told me +Candace Bergen, a very smart woman, said “Growing old is a privilege.” I would have to applaud her.
At least my hands are still in fine shape. And I have made the print larger, in case, you, like me, find it more comfortable. 

    When I went to that church last Sunday, one of the thoughts projected on the screen was "Have the right regrets."
    I don't think there's any point in having any.  The only regrets we maybe should have, since there's no way of changing the past, is to regret the things you didn't even try to do.