Schulenberg’s Page: The mood in ’73

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Is it too much of a soap opera cliche to fall in love with a good friend’s mother?

October, 1973: Vice President Spiro Agnew, the great supporter and defender of President Nixon and the administration was forced to resign due to a plea of no contest in federal court due to charges of income tax evasion.  So much for his claims of political bias by his so called “liberal left-wing press”!*

*The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal et al.  (Those rabble rousers!)

I wondered what my representative’s husband Perry thought now about “his boy, Agnew” and the illegalities that were becoming public knowledge!  He was still calling Nixon a great patriot and savior of democracy even as the demonstrations of dissent were happening right below his windows!

I finished a deadline late at night and realizing I hadn’t eaten anything since a quick early lunch, I decided to go downtown to Chinatown and Lin’s Garden, which was open 24 hours!

What a convenience New York could sometimes be — a small but important thing making up for the myriad things that were inconvenient!

Meanwhile in the Middle East, Iraq and Jordan sent troops to Israel‘s Golan as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned the Soviet Ambassador that if they send  troops to the Middle East so will the United States!  Would this lead to another World War?

Taking my mind off this, my “french sister” Katia Aubry called me to tell me that Erich van Däniken, the author of the blockbuster 1968 book, Chariots of the Gods, was speaking publicly at Hunter College.

With my recent experience with Silva Mind Control I was experiencing a renewed interest in esoteric ideas.  Katia had always been very spiritual and even able to read people’s auras.  She was the perfect person with whom to go hear van Däniken!

The experience was exciting and further persuaded me that things were changing with new beliefs being at least considered — if not totally accepted.  Was this really the “beginning of The Age of Aquarius,” the ancient belief that periods of time lasting several thousand years and relative to positions in the universe dictated the “mood” of the whole world?

With the problems in Washington and the Middle East, it was a difficult theme to digest. But then again, I’d read another theory that claimed that just before a major change in a society occurred that society reverted back to its most extreme excesses.

Was that happening? What was really happening? Everything seemed to be falling apart everywhere!

On the weekend, still thinking about these things I went to David Columbia’s house in Connecticut where Jane Hawkins and her boyfriend Hank Mantell were also visiting.

Hank had taken Mind Control with me and coming from out of town had stayed in my other apartment across the hall and his psychic experiences mirrored my own.  In fact, after we’d taken the class we stayed up late trying out new Mind Control experiences!

The weekend at David’s in Connecticut would prove to be fun and full of exciting if unprovable ideas about perception and psychic abilities!

In town I met Jane and a friend of hers for lunch at J.G. Melon where we tried to explain to her friend what Mind Control was about and what the weekend had been like.  It had to be taken on faith.

With so much going on I still found time to go out to dinner!

And our friend Ron West’s mother came to New York where Buzzy invited a bunch of us to his apartment for a cocktail party to meet her.  I was flattered to see that he had a large collection of framed prints of my drawings decorating the place.  I was fascinated to see them somewhere other than in my sketchbooks!

Just before going to The Ginger Man to meet Joe Phillips I heard  WBAI-fm announce that Henry Kissinger had been awarded The Nobel Peace Prize as he gives a nod to Nixon’s foreign policy of achieving “a lasting peace.”

WBAI sounded doubtful — so I was guessing we’d have to wait and see!

And I learned that another friend’s mother had come to town — Diane Crover —  who was the mother of Howdy Hoeffding and of whom I was especially fond.  I actually liked her more than I liked her son!

She was super bright and witty with a very easygoing personality.  She also had just enough of an English accent remaining to indicate her origins.  She was brilliantly informed as to international events and was able to clearly enumerate the reasons why The Nobel Peace Prize was inappropriate for Henry Kissinger!

I’d met Howdy in Paris seeing him as an obviously good looking Californian — blonde and tan against the soft grey of Paris.

It turned out that he was even from Los Angeles and a graduate of my own alma mater, UCLA! He told me that he was visiting his parents who were living in Paris while his father was working there.

I was thinking how glamorous that all sounded and later when I knew his mother well I told her about the things Howdy and I had done in Paris and how much fun it would’ve been had she been with us.

She agreed and told me that at that time she’d felt herself a prisoner in her marriage and would stare out of windows looking nostalgically at the beautiful Paris in which she felt so unhappy.  Coming back to the US she had ended the marriage and finally remarried.

I met Diane the following day for a late lunch at Yellowfingers after an earlier appointment at an ad agency and a coffee at a nearby Horn & Hardart.  Diane had gotten tickets for Stephen Sondheim’s latest musical — A Little Night Music, based on Ingmar Bergman’s film, Smiles of a Summer Night — and she had invited me to come along with Howdy and her.

The following night, as we were leaving the theater we were humming the melody of “Send In the Clowns,” which had been sung by Glynis Johns.

Who knew she could sing?

After the theater I invited them to The Monk’s Inn and then to O’Neal Brothers for Irish Coffee.

Is it too much of a soap opera cliche to fall in love with a good friend’s mother?

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