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Showing posts from January, 2015

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Have Broom Will Travel [memoir]

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Halloween 1995, Batman and me
My history is littered with Halloween fails. Before I became a mother the question of what I was going to be for Halloween terrified me.


1958:  Halloween on a blazing hot afternoon in Tripoli, Libya. Age 5 All the military brats from Wheelus Air Force base were going to a Halloween party in an airplane hangar just outside Tripoli. Lots of civilian kids—mostly Brits and Yanks—whose parents worked on the base in various capacities were invited which meant my brother and I got to go too. Our dad, who spoke Arabic fluently and had been with British Intelligence during the war, had something to do with managing the PX on the base. My brother went dressed as a hobo, his cheeks smeared grey by my mother with a piece of burnt cork, while his friend, the older boy who lived next door, dressed up as a woman—a pillow stuck down his sweater shaped into clownish balloon-sized breasts and big red sticky lips. I went as Minnie Mouse in a cheap, cellophane-thin, store-bough…

Before twitter there were fan letters: Dear Mr. Redford

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November 12, 1973
Dear Bob Mr. Redford,I just had to write to tell you how hot and sexy talented, I think you are. 
Laura and I bickered over who was more desirable — Robert Redford or Clint Eastwood — with as much fervor as we girls once debated who our favorite Beatle was, Paul or John, George or Ringo. Laura's mother, tiny Corky, curled up in her easy chair with a ciggie and a cup of tea, pronounced both actors 'tall drinks of water'.

This was so long before water became such a desirable commodity that we actually had to buy it by the bottle, back in the seventies when water was still free even in the once desert lands of Los Angeles, that I never quite understood the praise. But yes, Redford could put his shoes under my bed any time, as our mothers might have said, mostly about men whose paths they would likely never cross.

I had it so bad for Robert Redford after seeing The Way We Were; wishing I were Barbara Streisand with her impossibly long elegant hands and nails, bru…

Leaving Home: A Divorce Story [Part Five]

Not all marriages last, mine didn't. Not my first one. Whose fault? It couldn't possibly be mine.

Here’s the fifth installment of my wedding story, you can catch up with what came before here.

Leaving Home: Part Five

I dreamed of a wedding dress that would make me feel like a princess, Grace Kelly style. Not that 'the perfect wedding' in quotation marks was some kind of fantasy I'd been harboring; I wasn't one of those girls who'd been dreaming of her own wedding day for years, who kept a file stuffed with pictures of white rosy bouquets and reception decoration ideas pulled from magazines. I wasn't a total ninny with a secret stash of handmade place cards hidden in the basement, just waiting for the right groom to come along. But I was getting married, and I knew how I wanted to look. I'd been waiting my whole life to turn into Grace Kelly, maybe this was my moment. Sleek and simple, my dream dress was an elegant slip of floor length satin, a gently s…