The boring places where obsessions are born

"At some point, while I was still on the article's first page, the young man hopped into the doctor's office. I kept reading. He would need stitches for sure. The receptionist kept typing. It occurred to me this would be the perfect gig to write your novel. Answer the phone, greet the sick and wounded, … Continue reading The boring places where obsessions are born

Mitzi on the set of David Copperfield

As a child my step-father read a number of classics to me, including David Copperfield. I also watched the old movie on several occasions. I was not only a totally G-rated kid (Mr Rogers' biggest fan) I was particularly fond of the old B&W movies. They were safe, beautifully made, the stories always ended on … Continue reading Mitzi on the set of David Copperfield

A Room So Powerful…

This is one of the oddest photos in the collection. Clearly, Louis B Mayer is chairing a meeting, but which one? And who is the amazing mustachioed man? The boardroom table, with its incredibly polished surface, mirrors these men of power. In fact, through some freak of lighting, the table reflects them in an even … Continue reading A Room So Powerful…

Now Showing! The Mitochondrial Candidate

As I think about these descendants of mine - far into the unknown future - I can almost feel myself fade and flicker like a faulty hologram. Why is it that so few of us know anything about our families past two or three generations? I am lucky enough to have a fairly well documented … Continue reading Now Showing! The Mitochondrial Candidate

Jean “Baby” Harlow. Dead at 26.

"It doesn't matter what degree of talent she possesses ... nobody ever starved possessing what she's got." Variety Magazine's review of Jean Harlow in the 1930's Howard Hughes' film Hell's Angels. This is a tough one because the more I stared at this photo and then researched it, the more convinced I became that it … Continue reading Jean “Baby” Harlow. Dead at 26.

Irene Mayer Selznick – first producer of A Street Car Named Desire

As I watch the Tony Awards at home in Sydney, Australia on a rainy, stormy day - as always from a distance to those major events that my family was involved in - I am inspired to post this series of photos of my cousin Irene Mayer Selznick with her sister Edie. Edie and Irene … Continue reading Irene Mayer Selznick – first producer of A Street Car Named Desire

To Shirley Temple with “Appreciation and Affection”

In 1934 they knew they had the biggest and the tiniest star on their hands... At five years old she was making $1,250 a week. At first glance, this is a photo of a beloved child star being presented with a "Resolution of Appreciation and Affection" by my great-grandmother Ida Mayer Cummings on behalf of … Continue reading To Shirley Temple with “Appreciation and Affection”

What I Will Look Like in 40 Years

"She was driven, passionate and unstoppable. It is uncanny to me how alike she and LB were in sheer determination..." It dawned on me recently as I looked at photos of my grandmother Mitzi and my great-grandmother Ida Mayer Cummings that I was looking at me in a few decades. The resemblances are uncanny in … Continue reading What I Will Look Like in 40 Years

Mitzi Transformed by Wizard of Oz Make-up Artist Jack Dawn

I am fascinated by amber that contains a trapped primordial insect inside. One moment it is minding its own business on a tree, the next, it is captured in a rolling drop of sticky sap. A millenia later we can hold this same moment in time as fossilized amber in our hands. For me, my … Continue reading Mitzi Transformed by Wizard of Oz Make-up Artist Jack Dawn

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