In memory of one of my makers…

DadBabies, that’s Pop, sometime in the late 1940s early 1950s. You know, I’ve mentioned him and my uncle a couple of times on the weblog:

Once upon a time (when I was oh so much younger) I cracked wise to my pop – something about Hollywood being a cesspool, or something equally unpleasant and I’ll give you his unvarnished response.

“Jesus Christ! Everybody thinks people in Hollywood are godless, bottom-feeding philistines who wouldn’t know quality if it kicked them in the ass. Movie making is the single greatest culture of creativity the world has ever known. And! No doubt! The biggest f—ing employer of artists, ever!”


My uncle, who is retired (and very, very aged), used to travel the world. He was a Hollywood Production Designer…

The last movie he worked on was shot in the newly opened ex-United-Soviet-Socialist-Republic.  My! What stories, so Wild West. Drugged and rolled on a train for his wallet, witness to mobster location managers copulating on the hoods of Chaikas and Bentleys, produce laid out in exclusive (invitation only) markets like crown jewels…

And then, there was my favorite: lodged in a hotel in glorious St. Petersburg  (a.k.a. Leningrad) he always peeked into the bar before proceeding into the restaurant. No, my dears, not to spot fellow crew members and friends; but to make sure there was a full contingent of prostitutes seated. Canaries in a coal mine, so to speak. For, when they were absent the restaurant was known to be strafed by machine gun fire, and nobody wants to die head first in a middling plate of “Continental” fare. Nobody.


And, I have a startling admission (and, please do go all Freudian on me) a father and an uncle figure heavily in my novel, juggled and fictionalized, of course, but there you have it.

Cheers, dears! Vickie

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  1. George Kaplan
    May 31, 2013

    I loved this. That is such a great picture of your Dad, what a striking man. It was a real pleasure to read the snippet from the Judy Garland post again – fantastic!
    I’m going to have to read the Mother Russia post now. Both your father and your uncle sound like great, splendidly lively and articulate guys, but then look at their daughter/niece! Hopefully, you won’t think I’ve been studying at Smarm School 🙂
    Oddly and amusingly – or boringly! – I was going to mention the art director/production designer thing a few days ago for a reason that now escapes me – wait…it was the Moon set, that was it 🙂

    • May 31, 2013

      Thank you, Mr. Kaplan!
      My uncle didn’t design the moon… set 😉
      I love my dad’s overcoat and tie – people used to look so dapper.

  2. George Kaplan
    May 31, 2013

    Yes, they did, didn’t they?
    And, I know your uncle didn’t design that set! You are naughty, Ms Vickie 😉

  3. May 31, 2013

    I suppose I could go Freudian on you but it’s too obvious. 😉 I love that picture of your father. Do you have that framed and hanging in your house somewhere. I hope so. He seems to have the same little alluring smile I have seen on your beautiful face. There is a quality that you both possess – I see it, but have no words for it… How wonderful to have such loving men in your life. Is it any wonder that you found a great man in Mr. Lester? That’s how it works. 🙂

    • June 1, 2013

      I did marry someone very like my father, minus the type A traits — I think, now that I’m older maybe that edge was typical of Veterans of WWII?

      • June 1, 2013

        I think that’s a keen observation and very likely.
        I married someone like my father minus all the good characteristics, oh wait, there weren’t any. LOL!

      • June 2, 2013

        You are funny!!! How’s that screenplay/memoir/novel of yours coming along!

  4. June 1, 2013

    What a wonderful photograph! One of those timeless vintage moments captured so well! So handsome—sounds like an incredible man.

  5. June 1, 2013

    In this photograph your Pop looks to me like Jack Kerouac! In fact I thought it was at first. And you know what he hit it out of the park about …” Movie making is the single greatest culture of creativity the world has ever known. And! No doubt! The biggest f—ing employer of artists, ever!”
    I bet I would have liked your Dad!

    • June 2, 2013

      You would have loved my dad 🙂

      • June 2, 2013

        I know that you know that I know that I would! We are very knowledgeable you and I.

  6. June 3, 2013

    That was an excellent quote about Hollywood’s culture of creativity.

    • June 3, 2013

      He was an astute guy 🙂

  7. October 31, 2013

    For a moment I thought- that it was Jack Kerouac done by Andy Warhol. I really did.I dont think Jack would have worn a tie though.

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