Memories

Visiting Holly’s Gravesite at Hollywood Forever

Brian and his friend Fr. Jamie St Anthony visit the gravesite of their dear friend, Holly Woodlawn, on the first anniversary of her death, at Hollywood Forever cemetery.

Holly Woodlawn's final resting place at Hollywood Forever cemetery in Los Angeles

Jacqueline Bertrand

Jacqueline Bertrand and Myriam Cyr, with author Olivier ToddJacqueline Bertrand and Myriam Cyr, with author Olivier Todd. February 9, 1998 at the Algonquin Hotel in NY City. In this rare clip from a C-SPAN broadcast, the two actresses both read a scene from their upcoming production of a play by Albert Camus.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Jacqueline during a production of the play Scream at Penguin Rep in 1983. A new work by prolific playwright Arthur Laurents, about a husband and wife in Queens who capture a Nazi war criminal and hold him captive in their beauty parlor. Yitzak was played by actor Norman Howard, and Nessa by Mme. Bertrand, while their Vietnam veteran son Was portrayed by Bruce McDonnell. Jacqueline was simply wonderful as the concentration camp survivor who creates her own version of revenge.

How Capicola Became Gabagool

Orchard Street Little ItalyExcellent article about the Italian slang expressions I grew up hearing and speaking. Since I was 4 years old my dad took me to an Italian barbershop in New City, owned by Napolitanos, and we lived on a street in between 6 Italian households. When I tested my ancestry DNA to discover my mystery great-grandpa was Italian, it all made sense. How Capicola Became Gabagool.

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Holly Woodlawn

Holly Woodlawn’s 69th Birthday

holly-woodlawn-birthday-brian-hamilton-october-26-2015 holly-woodlawn-birthday-cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warhol star Holly Woodlawn (who also appeared in the television series Transparent and non-Warhol films such as Billy’s Hollywood Kiss and Twin Falls Idaho) celebrated her 69th anniversary on October 26, 2015 with friends. She is recovering from treatment for brain and lung cancer. Actor Brian Hamilton, a long-time friend of Holly’s, has posted footage of the event on You Tube.

Skip E. Lowe died September 27, 2014 at age 85

skip-e-lowe

Skip E. Lowe tells the tale of how his poor pooch perished from pesticide poisoning, then Holly Woodlawn shares the story of the unfortunate demise of her neighbor’s two cats. Brian Hamilton is working the camera in this fun-filled limo ride with Margee McGlory, Holly & Skip in Los Angeles, 1997.

Margee McGlory died Oct 15, 2003 at age 77
Holly Woodlawn died Dec 6, 2015 at age 69

If you enjoy the clip below, watch the entire 74 minute video here.

Margee McGlory

My friend William Grosvenor

William Grosvenor, on a trip to Atlantic City, NJ in 1987

William Grosvenor, on a trip to Atlantic City, NJ in 1987

For years I’ve wondered what happened to my friend, William Grosvenor. We waited tables together at Flutie’s South Street Seaport, on Pier 17, in New York City in the late 80s. William lived on the upper West side of Manhattan with his grandmother, whom I had never met. The restaurant where we worked was directly across the East River from the huge illuminated Jehovah’s Witnesses WATCHTOWER sign. His grandmother, whom he described as a large, intimidating woman from the Caribbean, grew tired of their early Sunday morning visits to her door. So, the next time they rang, she grabbed a huge knife from the kitchen drawer and answered screaming, “I told you people never come to my house again!” After that, they never did. William was playful and fun, honest and direct. He told me once that my nose was “so pointy it could pop a balloon!”  I still laugh out loud, remembering that, because … it actually is. We frequently visited our friend, Paul Edward Steckman, the piano player and singer at Flutie’s, after hours at his apartment on 79th and Columbus Avenue, often hanging out drinking, laughing, and storytelling until the wee hours of the morning. We would then head over to H&H Bagels, on Broadway and 80th, to buy a dozen piping-hot and fresh from the oven. One time, William and I left Paul’s together. It was way too late to take the subway, and it was raining, so we each walked over to Broadway to grab a cab. The instant I raised my arm, a taxi pulled over. William said to me, “Honey, you better let me have this one, you know they don’t stop for us.”  In my naïveté, I hadn’t imagined taxis driving past him because he was Black. The next time, we tried an experiment: I waited in the doorway while William waved at several taxis. They just sped on by.

Pier 17, South St. Seaport, 1987the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, 1987 the Economy Motel, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1987

Ronald Reagan was president, Wall Street was jumpin’, the booze and the cash were flowin’. Summertime business was brisk, and we were bringing home a generous amount of tips after each grueling shift.  So, a bunch of us decided to reward ourselves during our time off with a two day trip to Atlantic City. We went by car, but I don’t remember who drove. I’m not much of a gambler, and working so hard for my money made me all the more hesitant to risk losing.

 

William Grosvenor, in foreground, 1987 trip to Atlantic City with waiters from Flutie's

William Grosvenor, in foreground, 1987 trip to Atlantic City with waiters from Flutie’s

Me in front, being a goofball, while William takes the photo. Atlantic City, NJ in 1987

Me in front, being a goofball, while William takes the photo. Waiters from Flutie’s in Atlantic City, NJ in 1987

My vivid memories of that period of my life drew me to look for William once again, now that we have this internet thiing. There was no trace of him anywhere in social media, so I suspected he may no longer be alive. Because, if he were, I know he wouldn’t be hiding, that’s for sure. He wasn’t that kind of guy. The truth can be a double edged sword. According to the Social Security death Index, William passed away November 15, 1996 at the age of 33. Rest in Paradise, William. I will never forget you, my friend.

Tony Nominee, Playwright and Actor David Rogers Passes Away at 85

On opening night of his new play Secondly, in the First Place at Penguin REP, playwright David Rogers gave each of us cast members a personal message, written on his stationery, in an envelope with a penguin decal. After David’s recent passing, I remembered saving the note in a box of special mementos. The note is dated September 24, 1982, just two months after my 18th birthday. David was nominated for a Tony Award in 1981 for this Broadway musical Charlie and Algernon.

(click photo to enlarge)
Secondy, in the First Place

I was a 19 year-old Blonde for Shakespeare

Once a 19 year-old Blonde for Shakespeare… with yellow pumpkin pants, buckled shoes, stockings, and a feathered hat. Twelfth Night, directed by the late Norman Howard — at Elmwood Playhouse.
Once a 19 year-old Blonde for Shakespeare... with yellow pumpkin pants, buckled shoes, stockings, and a feathered hat.

Once a 19 year-old Blonde for Shakespeare.

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