Back to 1972 for a bit: At the end of May, there was an attempt by Republican operatives to break into the national headquarters of the Democratic Party’s national headquarters in the Watergate Complex in Washington DC. One of the operatives, G. Gordon Liddy, had suggested that there might have been evidence there that Cuba had possibly sent funds to the Democrats.
A few days later, Saddam Hussein, the vice chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council of Iraq, seized Iraqi oil from international interests. And in Vietnam the war continued with the US citizens learning about the napalming of villages suspected of supporting the Vietcong!
It aroused more protests with the police becoming more insistent on trying to keep things peaceful — but in turn, using more violent measures to attempt to control protesters!
I continued to follow what the action was in the streets but I still had deadlines and my only way of knowing what was really happening was still WBAI-fm radio with their on-the-spot counter cultural reporting! The major news sources would appear to have been invaded or at least influenced by the information offices of the government and in the long run appeared to be, at best, inexact. And, at worst, propagandizing!
I took a break to meet Deidi von Schaewen and Hedda Johnson at Once Upon A Stove.
Deidi was an art director for a Food & Wine magazine for whom I’d done an illustration. Later she moved to Paris and became a celebrated international architectural photographer. Hedda was also an illustrator married to illustrator, Doug Johnson.
I was invited to Bobby Waddell‘s where Elizabeth “Tibby” Caraman was also as we were going to a performance of The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. Elizabeth was related to Dick Waddell, Bobby’s husband who ran The Waddell (Art) Gallery.
The evening was as spectacular as ever ending with Judith Jamison and her celebrated performance in the unforgettable “Wade In the Water” from their ballet Revelations!
Lynette Logan was an art director in the agency that I first worked at at the agency headed by Paul Bartel’s father who’d offered me the job and moved me to New York. She realized that I’d had no experience in any aspect of advertising and being the friend of the boss’s son everyone just left me alone! I had a big office and nothing to do!
She was very kind and understanding and included me in some of her jobs; we became good friends and now, she and her husband, Harry were moving to France.
I went to their apartment on the Upper West Side overlooking the Hudson River. The apartment was so large and they had so much furniture and so many personal objects that I wondered what it would be like when they got to France! I finally met Lynette’s daughter, Laurie, about whom I’d heard so many stories for so many years.
Another of those coincidences. I was at a dinner party many years later after I’d moved back to Los Angeles. My hostess introduced me to a close friend of hers and it turned out that she was the daughter of Peter Daniel who was Barbra Streisand’s first accompanist whom I knew quite well. In fact I had “met” this young woman during the early ’60s when she was just a toddler! As we were marveling over this coincidental reunion, I was introduced to another guest, a middle-aged woman who heard us speaking about New York.
“My sister lived in New York,” she offered. When she asked what I did there I told her I’d been an illustrator working with magazines and advertising agencies. “So interesting,” she said. “My sister worked in advertising as an art director.” I asked her which agency thinking I might have worked with her. “West, Weir & Bartel,” she said. “Her name is Lynette Logan”!
B O I N G !
What are the chances of meeting two people unknown to each other but both being friends of mine? And in a city a continent away from where the friendships started? Our poor hostess just sat there feeling suddenly a bit like an outsider at her own party in her own home!
Again, it was my friend Penny Bianchi’s phrase: “It’s a big world but we have landed on a small beach in that big world!”
I had met a man named David Chimay who had a project with his partner, John Adamo. They were proposing a book about the adventures of a little dog named Irene. Somehow it was going to be connected to the revival of the 1919 musical Irene which would be the inaugural production of the new Minskoff Theater and it would be starring Debbie Reynolds.
They had connected with the widow of the author James Montgomery of the original play Irene and also the book of the original 1919 production.
They were hoping to get her endorsement and they wanted me to do the illustrations.
I arranged a lunch for them to meet my friend Stuart Duncan who, along with Edgar Lansbury, had originally produced Godspell!
I can’t remember now how they would have been able to help each other but it did turn out to be a pleasant lunch.
John Adamo was performing with a group at a club called Channel VII and Stu and I went to hear them.
I have to assume it was a successful evening although I’m not sure that I know what success it was — it was at least successful enjoying John’s music and if something even better came up afterwards I’ll share it.
Whatever it was!