Wednesday, October 10, 2018


Unfortunately, there are no extant photos of my beloved Anna Wright or my Nana Julie.  These are just stock photos of Harlem in the 1940's.  All my visits to Harlem with Anna meld together in one bright, colorful, exciting time.  Both Nana and Anna were independent working women and made their own decisions.  I don't know what Anna's friends and neighbors thought of the little white girl, but I was with Anna and was therefore accepted and made much of.  If I could go back in time, one of the first places I'd go would be Harlem with Anna at my side.  She knew how to have a good time.  And she was a faithful and loyal friend to my Nana who had had a very hard life.

Harry Conover was a big name in the modeling world in the 40's.  All I really remember is standing around in a big room full of cute kids holding their "glossies" and feeling very hot and bored under the lights and wishing I was in Central Park.  I photographed very well during my first five years and I wish I had my modeling photos or my baby pictures or something, but my mother would never give me any and in later years she stored all the precious family photos in the trunk of her car.
  Which was stolen.
And never recovered.
I am speechless.
The photographer who took this picture* is the gentlemen who urged my beautiful mother to register me at the Conover modeling agency where I would make "Big money."  If I ever made big money, I never saw any of it.  And it was never discussed.  I don't even mind about the money, but I sure would love to have those family pictures.  My three brothers were all beautiful babies.

During this time Nana was taking me on lovely Christmas trips to Radio City Music Hall (I wanted to be a Rockette so bad and only a complete lack of dance talent prevented me.)  We also saw the huge Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and the graceful skaters leaping into the frigid air.  The legs of the girls were always blue with cold but I doubt they felt it; they were transported.

And most important in Nana's eyes was our Christmas visit to see the real Santa Claus at Macy's!  The fly in the ointment every year was the fact that I didn't care for Santa.
In fact, he terrified me and I did 
NOT want to see him.  And every year poor Nana was mortified as I screamed bloody murder. We would have repeated this humiliation for God knows how long, but my parents bought a house in Elmhurst and Mom
had two baby boys in rapid succession.
And I had to leave my beloved New York.

*  Do not ask what the black bars behind this picture are.
I do not know.  There are many mysteries from my storied youth.

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