Thursday, October 12, 2017

Schulenberg's Page: New York, Part CXXXI

Text and Illustrations by ©Bob Schulenberg

March, 1968. I met with Cynthia Conroy, a friend from Los Angeles whom I knew through my cousin, Adrienne Albert.  In Los Angeles, Cynthia had been a friend of Vera and Igor Stravinsky, and my cousin’s husband John McClure had worked on over 30 recordings with Stravinsky for Columbia Records.  That’s how I came to know Cynthia.

She told me that she’d just heard that Martin Luther King had led a march in Memphis that had turned so violent that a young African American had been killed and almost 200 people had been arrested!

A few days later, Anne Rieger and I had an evening out and ended up at The Brasserie.
The next day I was invited to a screening of the movie  MASH and learned that during his Address to the Nation, President Johnson had announced that he would not seek re-election!
My brother had written a satiric Minstrel Show starring a blustery cartoon version of LBJ and it was planned as an LP comedy album for Columbia Records.  His close friend, actor Richard Paul, had done a hilarious impersonation of the President — but with the announcement of LBJ dropping out, the project died!
Richard Paul a decade later in Carter Country.
There was an amazing production of Orlando Furioso staged in the streets of the Lower East Side. Orlando Furioso is a 16th-century epic that was dramatized and staged with moving platforms and gigantic puppets moving through the streets!
A scene from Orlando Furioso Illustrated by Gustave Doré, 1877.
I went with LaRue Watts and we noticed how the chaos of Orlando mirrored the chaos of the world around us!     
I learned of an auction at the Manhattan Gallery on Third Avenue near my apartment.  I stopped in to the preview and saw that there were two beautiful mirrored cabinets from the 1930s and I decîded that I would come back and bid on them.
In the meantime, Annie Rieger and I visited her friends, the Castagnolis.  There was talk about the protests and Johnson not running for re-election.
Johnson had talked about ending the war.  Nobody believed it very much.
The next day I received a call that my friends Bob and Joanne Shepard had come to town and were staying at The Algonquin Hotel.  Later, we learned that Martin Luther King had been shot and killed in Memphis!
Contact Bob here.
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