Friday, October 25, 2019. Sunny and 66 degrees yesterday mid-afternoon in New York. A little sunshine does wonders for our disposition.
Yesterday, October 24th was a milestone, a very important date in my life. I was married on that day to Sheila, fifty-five years ago. The number astounds this kid. (We were divorced in ‘73 although that date is parenthetical). Whenever I pass by St. Thomas More, or the Cos Club where the reception was held, I think of that date; the beginning of my life. Three weeks ago, Sheila and I saw each other for a long breakfast at The Mansion, a luncheonette just around the corner from my apartment. We had a wonderful time — at least I did — not unlike a lot of wonderful times in those years we had when we were together.
More of the week. Wednesday, I had lunch at Michael’s (Vegetable Japchae; Sweet Potato Noodles, my new favorite. You can get it with Bulgogi Hanger Steak, or Chicken, or Salmon — $14).
I was having lunch with Blair Sabol who is on her annual visit to her old stomping ground — Noo Yawk and the northeast. You’ll be reading about it one of these days, no doubt.
I don’t know her full schedule but she was scheduled to see “Tina” — the Broadway musical about the life of Tina Turner last night. We’ll get the full report once Blair’s settled into home-sweet-home (Scottsdale) after the Noo Yawk voyage.
However, next weekend we’re going to be running a piece Blair wrote for Esquire in May 1975 (add-em-up: 44 years ago) called “I Was an Ikette for a Night.” Seriously. She tells how that came about, and then she gives you a blow-by-blow of what It and That Life was like, and what it was about.
All recounted in Blair’s frank and uninhibited style. We’re running it on a weekend because it is a “read” and with photos; all fascinating, sometimes funny, sometimes grim, and something to think about. Rock ‘n’ Roll. Tina — the lady herself — was an amazing woman in many ways.
Back at the lunch table. We were joined by Patricia Bosworth, the author, who is an old friend of Blair’s. The two worked together at the Village Voice and New York magazine and there was a very pleasant off-hand reverie about the people they worked with — admiration, respect.
I’d met Ms. Bosworth before, in passing. I knew about her work as author — acclaimed biographer of Montgomery Clift, Jane Fonda, Marlon Brando, and Diane Arbus — all of whom she knew and wrote about as real people rather than movie stars and legends.
Earlier in her life Patricia, or Patty as her friends know her, was an actress. Her father, Bartley Crum, was a famous Hollywood lawyer mid-20th century. He was, for example, Montgomery Clift’s lawyer. He became famous to the general public in the 1950s when he was hired as lawyer for the “Hollywood Ten” – a familiar but now-forgotten political outrage that occurred in this country back then.
When Patty began pursuing her career as an actress, her father advised her to change her name from Crum suggesting that if she ever got a bad review, it might affect a critic to write about the “crumb crumb” performance of Patricia Crum. So taking her father’s sage advice, the daughter took her middle name, her mother’s maiden name: Bosworth.
She grew up in San Francisco but also as a child lived briefly here in New York (and attended Chapin, the girls’ school just across the avenue from me). She went to Sarah Lawrence after which she worked as a fashion model and studied at Actors Studio under Lee Strasberg, and appeared in several Broadway shows including “Mary, Mary” and “Inherit the Wind” toured in “The Glass Menagerie” with Helen Hayes, and worked regularly in TV.
She left the stage in the early 1960s when she took up the pen and wrote several pieces focusing on Broadway for New York magazine and went on to become an editor at McCall’s, managing editor at Harper’s Bazaar,” then exec editor of Viva, Bob Guccione’s into (erotic) women’s magazines. During that time she also reviewed books for the New York Times as well as art pieces for them as well as Time/Life. She was later an editor at Mirabella, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. She’s also written two memoirs – “Anything Your Little Heart Desires: An American Family Story,” and “The Men In My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan.”
Besides all that, she has been a faculty member of Columbia University School of Journalism, as well as Barnard College. At lunch she was telling us about a script she’s completed on the dramatic relationship of Paul Robeson with J. Edgar Hoover.
I report all of these details about our lunch partner because she’s got the energy of a woman a quarter of her age. At 86 (she has the same birthday as Streisand – although a few years – not that many – her senior) she is working non-stop as well as dating an older man (they love traveling the world together); he’s 95. And aside from the brief reminiscing at table between Patty and Blair, the non-stop conversation was about now; today (Wednesday).