Yesterday morning I visited my great-grandmother Ida Mayer Cummings’ former home on South Tremaine Avenue in Los Angeles, thanks to the current owner, author Kes Trester, who lives there with her husband and two teenage children.
It was an incredibly moving experience to step across the threshold of a house that was a family home for decades – where Ida and her four children (Ruth, Jack, Mitzi, and Leonard) settled in 1927 when her brother, Louis B. Mayer, moved them over from Saint John, Canada and bought the house.
It would be in this home that Ida would step into her role as a devoted fundraiser, where Mitzi would live until she married in her 30s, and where Leonard (aka “Sonny”) would live until he succumbed to leukemia in his early 40s in 1965.
Just three years later, Ida would die of a heart attack, thus bringing an end to our connection with the house on South Tremaine.
The next family would raise six children there, and eventually would come Kes and her wonderful family, who have lived and thrived there for nearly 18 years. Their parties and celebrations are epic so I’m hoping to gatecrash one in the very near future!
Above are a handful of photos I took, none of which make a lot of sense because I was in a state I can’t really describe. For the first two or three minutes after stepping through the front door, and then standing in the kitchen while Kes made us coffee, I had chills running up and down my body – something I’ve never experienced before. I’ve had chills across my arms, down my spine and so on, but never had chills zinging up and down from my head to my toes!
Thank you again, Kes!
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(Photo thumbnails: 1) Original front door; 2) staircase (I could feel Ida, Mitzi, and Sonny running up and down that staircase repeatedly); 3) the original ‘gravity heater’ control panel; 4) an original chandelier; 5) a little angel that ‘threw’ itself down at Kes’ feet while she stood in her closet and then later showed up at her housekeeper’s house, who was so rattled by that occurrence she rushed it back to South Tremaine; 6) me standing in the mirror in Ida’s closet door – to think she would stand there as she got dressed; 7) a view into the living room; 8 & 9) two of their hilarious dogs who of course followed us into every room and flopped down; 10) myself, Kes and her beautiful daughter.)