My own apartment! I walked into this empty three bedroom place with amazement, There was all the basic furniture, a refrigerator and stove–that’s all I need! I must call and tell mama and Gala where life has taken me! I am here now, I live in Hollywood, to be exact in Beverly Hills 3 blocks from Rodeo Drive, 4 blocks from the Wilshire Hotel where many stars stay, near Beverly Hill Hotel and Bel Air Hotel. There are the beautiful people, going for cocktails and to play Tennis and to meet other people.
Outside my door was a newspaper I could barely understand. But I saw an ad, “Models Wanted, so I wrote down the address and there I went! I am in Jocelyn Ryans studios and the receptionist wanted to sell me a modeling course! This place was more a school than agency So indignantly I get up and head for the door, when a lady in the far office opened the door and said: “Please wait a minute and do come into my office.” Jocelyn offered me a job as the top teacher for her students! I needed a job and money so I said okay, but I never taught before! She said, Your etiquette and manners are perfect, and you walk fantastically! That is what I want you to teach!” Later I trained her other teachers.
When I was leaving I had no idea how to go back to my apartment, but there was another young lady, Cathy, and she said, “Can I give you a lift,?” The Americans seems so kind and graceful, simple like children! She said she was friends with Bob Denver, the star of Gilligan’s Island TV show. On our way she somehow conveyed to me that she had a date with two brothers for dinner, would I like to go? I agreed, and that night a white big Lincoln town car, came for me, with Daud at the wheel and his brother in the back. With my new friend Cathy. Daud opened the door for me in front and I sat next to him. I soon found he was a Muslim, born in Baghdad. I thought, how romantic! I had read “The Arab” and was fascinated by that novel, where the Arab steals the girl and takes her to the desert to a passionate romance! Daud was very attractive, but a little short and kind of round, divorced with a ten year old son Douglas who was away in school someplace, and he did not see his ex wife.
Daud fell in love with me, but being of two different religions ‘ Baba’ the chief of this group of Hollywood Arabs was okay with him loving me, but marriage was not a sure thing. Of course we talked about other Arabs with children born in America and with a very open mind, but marriage was the furthest thing from my mind at that time. So we went out, the four of us, again and again. One night we went to a belly dancing cabaret, very sexy, until the wee hours of the night, with lots of champagne for me and Cathy. Daud (in his way he was a very religious man, he read the Quran all the time in his house) did not drink. But his younger brother Ali did, yes, and so we all wound up at their beautiful newly constructed house in the Hollywood Hills. There was a large Arabic rug in the floor where were making love! Soon he became almost like my shadow, a good person to have as a friend very helpful and generous when a need would arise.
I still had no money to pay the rent, because I hadn’t received my first check yet, but he helped with the rent, and then he helped me to call my sister and invite her to live with me and bring mama too! He took me to interviews and to photographers, and was a good person like a Godsend. Every time I was lonesome or wanted to go out, I just came to one of the houses that he bought and fixed and resold. I always knew where the keys where.
Then I worked in a Boutique as a mistress assistant to pin the dresses on the customers and of course I was fired! But I still taught a few times a week and then later in November when all the family was together, I was teaching almost every day.
Then of course came the one of so many communication with William, when he asked me to go to be with him for few days? Off I ran to Caracas, just like the saying, just whistle and I’ll be there. William was saying yes I will marry you, but after I sell the business (another promise he was making that he didn’t keep). How stupid but I thought that I really loved him. Then I saw Oscar and told him how I missed him and where I lived now, and gave him my address ….
You probably wondering, what was going on in my mind? Did I think I could have as many husbands as I wanted? I read about a place where the woman had a husband for every day!
if I only can explain that to myself? I was supposed to be a decent girl who believed in God , Was I alright? Well, no, I don’t think so. I was a sick puppy in a sick world. I was already an alcoholic, but of course I did not know of such a sickness. Nobody ever told me that I was drinking too much, and I had no parents smart or rich enough to send me to a psychiatrist. I never thought that there was something wrong with me, I was just living life, the way it came, moving with the breeze like a feather, with no rhyme or reason, only enjoying it day by day.
I honestly enjoyed my life back then, just like always, creating my own reality, but the fantasies and dreams were soon evaporating like water on the sand.
I was worn down, so I went to a doctor for Benzedrine so I wouldn’t eat . I thought I was heavy and wanted to lose a miserable five pounds. No one ever told me that I was not going on the right direction…..
Now I had some modeling jobs. One of them was with Johnny Mathis, as the announcer to a big party in Bel Air. When he introduced me he said something like, “I present to you Ludmila, the top High Fashion Model of Hollywood!”
I start going to beauty salons, one of the very famous Paganos, which was later sold to John Peters, the boy friend of Barbra Streisand. Soon an idea came to me – why not tell my sister to become a manicurist; after all she had that beauty salon on Porlamar? So I did, and we started practicing at home. Then she had to get a cosmetology license to work at Paganos where I had introduced her.
So away we went to the city hall to the board of cosmetology ! She would not go unless I took the exam with her! Okay, we did the paperwork and took the exam and of course we flunked! So the person in charge said you can stay and do it again, you have another chance.
We ended up three in the room, after everybody left including the examiner. But when she checked the paper she had put a cardboard template with holes on it, that told her which answers were correct. So, very smart of me I said to Gala, you look at the door to warn us if the lady is coming. I will get that paper and mark our exams and also for this little Italian guy that wanted to work as a beautician. So we sent back after I had copied all the correct answers for all 3 of us, and guess what? We passed!