23 November 2019

a century ago

"Male and Female" was released 100 years ago today. so I watchd it this morning. the star is Gloria Swanson. but the first and last person seen on screen is Lila Lee who is utterly captivating of the lovesick maid. her performance is fresh & charming. it lacks the histrionics some see as a hallmark of film acting of that period.

Lila Lee plays a significant role in my life. I was only 14 when I first met her. her sister Peg Tufford was a realtor in Elyria. she'd appeard on Broadway opposite Al Jolson & had a film or two in her past but never had the acclaim of her famous sister. when Lila came to visit I pesterd her abt her career. she was my first link to silent cinema -- which over the decades has held great significance to me.

Lila appears in my work. here she is in "Ely Park":

Lila Lee walks by
history of film on her fragile shoulders

she appears again at the end of Ohio Triangle in a memory from the time my parents invited her to dinner.

I have great affection for Lila. so it was essential that I spend this centennial seeing one of her sweetest performances. one that remains vibrant after a century. & one that people are still enjoying.

Peg gave me this Elmer Fryer portrait of her with Lila. it hangs in my guest bathroom.

at Lila's grave in Elyria

19 November 2019

in my glass

"Children of Grass" is a collection of remarkable portraits of poets by B. A. Van Sise. I'm not in it. however this morning he sent me this photo he took yesterday. that's his reflection in the glass of my niche at Hollywood Forever.

I'm delightd that he took it & sent it to me. & how lovely to see all the lip prints. some friends find it macabre that I've set up my final resting place before that rest begins. however I'm completely enjoying the experience of seeing interaction with strangers. every lip print kisses my soul.