Thursday, November 2, 2017

Schulenberg's Page: New York, Part CXXXIII

Text and Illustrations by ©Bob Schulenberg

April, 1968.
Susie Slocum
invited me to a party. She lived in the East 60s not too far from my apartment and arriving, I noticed it was an attractive young group.  As the evening wore on, I also perceived that all of them had known each other since they were young children. It also seemed that they hadn’t been in touch with each other for quite a while and the conversation was uniquely about what had been happening to them and other friends who weren’t there.

I, of course, had nothing to share and no one with whom to talk about anything else! And there was a lot to talk about! The escalation of the war in Vietnam, President Johnson opting to not try for re-election, Martin Luther King’s murder just a few weeks earlier — but no: the only talk was about what “Muffie” or “Bitsie” had been doing during the previous winter.  I’d never felt so out of place — a Californian.

After a few desultory pointless conversations I found a reason to gracefully escape into the Spring night.

The next evening Annie Rieger invited me to accompany her to a dinner at the home of her good friends, Jack and Pat Dube.
"Would you buy a used car from this man?”
This evening was different with a mix of interesting people who were just as attractive.  But at this party, the conversation bubbled about everything from the arts and theater to the war and politics!
I felt that I’d known these people for a while even though I’d just met them.
Sylvia Miles arrived a little later explaining that she’d had an audition for John Schlesinger for a part in his movie, Midnight Cowboy!
She was charming and full of excited enthusiasm.  She had good reason to be excited; she got the part and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress!
Jon Voight and Sylvia Miles in Midnight Cowboy, 1969
Years later she became much better known as a cult celebrity after appearing in Andy Warhol’s film  HEAT, with Joe Dallessandro!
A joke by Wayland Flowers’ puppet Madame was: “Sylvia Miles and Andy Warhol would go to the opening of an envelope!”

But she was with us that night at the Dubes’ dinner party!
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