Saturday, September 02, 2017

Olivia de Havilland

Olivia de Havilland

I don’t know much about
Olivia de Havilland.
Now 101 years old, she
resides in Paris, France.
She was a Hollywood star
and made movies from the 1930s
to the 1970s. She had affairs
with Howard Hughes and
James Stewart, and campaigned
for Franklin Delano Roosevelt
in 1944. She made dozens of movies,
married twice and had children.
But what you may not know
is that Olivia de Havilland
once rode in an elevator with my
mother at Robinson’s department
store, a high end store of the day,
in Los Angeles when my
mother was a “skinny” young
teen, to use her words.
It must have been the late
1930s or early 40s we figured
as we sat around the dining room
table telling stories on the evening
before her 92nd birthday. All of us
siblings will be in town.
Mother was visiting her
Aunt Gertrude who worked in the
fabric department designing
drapery for Hollywood stars
and regular folk.
Olivia was wearing
a royal blue suite and a
“pill box” hat, mother said.
I didn't know what a "pill box" hat was,
but it was explained to me.
Mother also shared another teenage
story of visiting her cousin Charlainde
in LA. Mother lived in San Jose at the time.
She and Charlainde went to a dance
sponsored by a local celebrity
for visiting troops during
the early years of WWII.
The dance was at a Hollywood mansion.
Mother would have been 18 or 19.
She danced with one soldier all
evening long and heard his many stories.
He was “very handsome,” she said.
And finally, mother told the story of
flying above Hollywood in a
Goodyear blimp. The cabin was
like a small bus. "We saw mansions, swimming
pools, and tennis courts,” she said.
I will let mother know today
that Olivia is still living.


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