I Married Ethel Merman
Volume 3 Book 2 Part 8 of
Living in the Bonus Round

Fairfax Ave.
Sunset January 2003
This is what we're leaving.

[ Book 3-1 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] -- [ Book 3-3 ]
January 13-21, 2003.
Jimmy came stumbling into the living room looking like he'd seen a ghost.

"Did you hear who died?" he asked.

"What? Are you talking to me?" I was upstairs with my headphones on working on this piece of music that's driving me nuts.

He said, "Oh, this is a biggie."

I hadn't heard him ask me if I'd heard who died but as soon as he said, "This is a biggie," I knew it was about a death. The first thing Jimmy reads when he gets the paper is the Obits, which he calls "The Irish Sports Page."

He said, "Come and look."

He had his computer open. There on the screen at Playbill.com:

Al Hirschfeld Dead at 99.

To Jimmy, this was the death of a President. A King. A Figure that represented his entire world, the world of theatre in New York City. Jimmy has a letter from Al Hirschfeld which he has framed on our wall. Everyone alive has seen the art of Al Hirschfeld, caricaturist for the New York Times. It's impossible to even imagine a theatre world without Al Hirschfeld.

And that's where we're headed. Back to New York. And I think our plan is rather ingenius. We run for four weeks in this beautiful, slightly faded jewelbox of a city one hour from Niagara Falls, six hours from Manhattan by train. We do two performances in the City  in the middle part of that run.

If people from New York want to see it first, they can take the train to Rochester the weekend of January 30th and see us in front of a live audience in a tiny theatre filled with normal theatre-going public. Or wait until Feb. 11th to see the backer's audition in the City. If that audition starts people talking, it will generate interest for more people to see it when we do it again in the City the following week.

(Are you following this?)

Little Ethiopa along fairfax Ave.
(I mistakenly labeled this area as Jewish because of the
presence -- which is too small to read in this photo --
of a sign that for a Jewish women's group. The Jewish
section of Fairfax is actually north of here.)

LACMA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the gold thing, used to be a department store. If you look to the right, you can see there's a red car mounted over the doorway of the Petersen Car Museum.
Fairfax at Wilshire.

Anyway, in order to get ready for New York, Jimmy had to have a piece of fabric for a costume. It is a very specfic color and for the past few weeks, we have been going nuts hitting every single fabric store in the city. Finally, we're driving home the other night -- up Fairfax -- and over on our left we see "House of a Thousand Fabrics." The logo was clearly from the 50s or 60s.

House of a Thousand Fabrics

I said to him, "A thousand fabrics? I want to count them." So we parked on a side street and approached the building, sample fabric in hand.

Suddenly from out of the doorway came two nuns in gray nun habits. Jimmy said, "It's a sign." We went inside and there on the back wall was a magnificent fancy dress on an Asian maniken. It was the exact color.

An older woman approached us speaking a completely unrecognizable Asian? European? accent and assured us that the color is exactly the same and that she would give us a deal on the fabric. We honestly could not believe they had that color. We had been EVERYWHERE.

Something else we've been doing is preparation for our departure is to take pictures of ourselves with the cats. Readers who hate pictures of other people's pets can freely scroll down. These are for us. We're going to miss them so much!

Lately, we've been calling Steinbeck "Pot Roast"

Okay, time to dig out the warm clothes.

[ Book 3-1 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] -- [ Book 3-3 ]
© 1996-2003 by Steve Schalchlin.
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