Over the years I have written four letters to The New York Times.Two of them were published which shows that my view points were taken into consideration.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Being a has-been is not bad. Most celebrities see their fame dimished, and, if they were not careful and well advised they also can run into financial difficulties. But there are also many has-been who never-was. I’ve met a lot of these: actors from small obscure theater companies, dancers, art critics from a mediocre neighborhood newspaper. There is nothing wrong with not achieve the utmost goal. But these never-weres come on so strong and are so self-centered that is irritating.


An artwork is not always about a beautiful subject. Artists usually create works about their surroundings and situations which touch them deeply. The Museum of Modern Art in New York will have this year a show about Manet’ s paintings of the execution of Maximilian, the emperor of Mexico who was a puppet of Napoleon III. Therefore art is not supposed to match the color scheme of a room or a couch. Many art lovers pile their precious possessions one in the top of the other without any concern for the surroundings. Art is not supposed to be only sweet.


Let’s face it. It is proper and correct to be clean. But when cleanliness is excessive...it becomes an obsession.There are people that do not have even a live plant in their house because the thought of a dropping leaf would give them a panic attack. Joan Crawford and Marlene Dietrich were famous for their " crazy clean". It was said that Miss Crawford would make her suitors take their shoes to enter...her home. She herself kneeled down...to scrub the floors.
Marlene Dietrich would buy gallons of vinegar which, according to her, was the best cleanser. She would clean the bathrooms of the hotels with vinegar and even use it on herself. I wonder what her many men ( and women) thought of that smell...were they eating a salad dressing?
When I meet people so obsessed with cleanliness I call them " So-and- So Dearest".

Saturday, May 06, 2006


The movie " Capote" touched on only one aspect of the life of Truman Capote, when he was writing " In Cold Blood". The movie did hint at his
mean, sharp tongue. Whatever his remarks were…they were funny, even if often damaging. Here it is what he had to say about Jack Kennedy:
" What I do not understand is why everybody said that the Kennedys were so sexy. I know a lot about c….( explicit)- I've seen an awful lot of them- and if you put all the Kennedys together, you wouldn't have one good one. I used to see Jack when I was staying with Loel and Gloria Guiness in Palm Beach. I had a little guest cottage with its own private beach, and he would come down so he could swim in the nude. He had absolutely nuthing"
Well, I believe Truman. I used to see him at my old gym called " Profile" on East 49th Street. I never saw him working out…perhaps he was just doing " research"...


Some years ago the , Town Hall in New York City presented a lecture series called Legendary Ladies of the Silver Screen
Those ladies were: Bette Davis , Joan Crawford, Sylvia Sidney, Myrna Loy and Lana Turner. The format consisted of movie clips and the the star would answer questions from the audience and the moderator.The ladies were all very discreet, despite some probing questions. For example, when Joan Crawford was asked if she knew the nickname for her ankle-strap shoes, she acknowledge that they were known as ( Come F... Me Shoes) Sylvia Sidney told the audience that in Japan, condons were once known as...Sylvia Sidneys. When Lana Turner was interviewd the audience waited for steamy revelations. However Miss Turner was maddenigly demure and lady-like.The audience was getting restive, hoping to see something more than the Vassar-girl persona Lana was trying to project. Finally, a question came:" If a movie of your life were to be made, who would you like to see play you?" Miss Turner immediately growled " She ain’t been born yet!" The audience cheered.


Does anybody remember Lupe Velez? She was called the " Mexican Spitfire" , a caricature that Hollywood still uses to boost sales tickets to Latin markets.
To tell the truth, I never saw a movie that Lupe Velez made . I studied movies and that’s why I know about all those obscure ladies. A funny-sad story is how Lupe Velez died. When a love affair went wrong, she decided to commit suicide. But she was going to exit like a star...beautifully dressed, coiffed and made- up. She had her butler serve her a " farewell" Mexican dinner...Then she took a fistfull of sleeping pills and lay down on her bed, surrounded by flowers, to die. Unfortunately, the pills and the Mexican dinner did not mix well..and she had to rush to the bathroom. Apparently she tripped and was found dead next day, drowned, with her head in the toilet.