Me, the ghost of the future past

Knowing what I know about my family, the good and the bad – thanks to the books, old newspaper articles, the fragments of overheard conversations or stories told to me – I still ache to be in that photo. Oh, how I love this photo and wish for all the tea in China that I … Continue reading Me, the ghost of the future past

To bury a son…

"Instead, Leonard took his last breath with no more to give and no more to get." In this photo, joy meets agony... This is a portrait of my great-uncle Leonard "Sonny" M. Cummings who died at just 44 years old in 1965. My oldest son looks exactly like him. Not a little bit like him. … Continue reading To bury a son…

Mitzi Joins the MGM Star Factory

Oh, that smile... My grandmother Mitzi is probably in her early 20s in this photo and appears to be signing in at MGM's employee entrance. From the smile, and with a photo to document the occasion, she may very well be doing this for the first time. There's naturally a fine line between nepotism and … Continue reading Mitzi Joins the MGM Star Factory

Louis B Mayer’s BFF – his sister, Ida

Louis B Mayer's BFF his sister Ida

My great-grandmother Ida Mayer Cummings was Louis B Mayer's sister and best friend. They were the middle children of five - Yetta, Ida, LB, Gerald and Ruben. Louis B Mayer's legacy was MGM, AMPAS, the Oscars, the MPAA and other major achievements. What is not as known is that his sister was the same mover and shaker in fundraising, and to this day an event she founded (the same year as LB founded the Academy Awards) is still a fixture in Los Angeles today. She was also the mother of four children, one of whom, Jack Cummings, went on to be a film producer in his own right.