Actually reality is stranger, stronger and more exciting than any fiction, so just kept reading: this is a true story!
To describe the fantastic gaiety, joy and happiness of everyone invited to the Onda Nueva festival is almost impossible. The air was so thick with excitement and electrifying energy, especially to hear all the new arrangements that Aldemaro invented to fit into the composers songs; it resulted in a magic rhythm, which is still used today, Manzaneros, and others heard their music like never before, “Esta Noche vi LLover”, “Somos Novios” — These songs’ melodies came alive with his arrangements.
I received a call from “La Hacienda La Vega”, a large piece of land in the middle of Caracas: a long row of palm trees as you entered this beautiful antique iron gate, to follow about half of mile into this incredible mansion. The garage was in other building contained several Roll Royces and other rare cars. Of course we came by taxi, my husband Jack Millman and I invited at the request of Reinaldo Herrera and Mimi, two bring with us if was possible also Peter Graves and his wife Joan, his lovely wife Mimi amazed me, she was in her 70s but looking fantastic and was taking classes in Russian (I don’t know why I thought that? it was incredible at her age , how unusually fantastic I thought since Russian is a very difficult language. But now that I am in her age bracket it seems so natural, after all I take classes event of Tango now and Yoga and other studies), but comparing those moments and feelings now with me, it seems that’s not seems so unnatural that now I can understand very well).
So we entered this enormous living room surrounded by French antique furniture of the Empire Napoleonic era; orchids in vases were everywhere, but of course, I forget to mention that as we drove in, the Palm trees were full of orchids in bloom waving in the breeze lazily, inviting us in. From the entrance stood the most elegant tall charming blue blood Señor Reinaldo Herrera, with his gold and black cigarette holder on his hand, made by Dunhill of course!. He greeted us charmingly and escorted us to the entrance of this bright salon, full of memories and of history off very famous people of royal blood and political office from all over the world. The pictures on the mantels were of Rodolfo Valentino , Venezuelan presidents since the time of Simon Bolivar’s up today.. Then sitting on this soft big sofas, that were extremely comfortably ,after couple cocktails served by very expert personnel in formal livery, and some small talk, we were escorted to this fabulous formal dining room in terracotta colors with this curtains in orange with yellow and blue very heavy velvet plush curtains the crystals shine brilliantly and the center pice full of orchids ( since that time and up two now, they still my favorite flowers.)
There we were with the all Herrera family, Reinaldo Sr. and Jr. and Mimi (his wife) and the other son Luis Felipe who I had the pleasure of knowing a long time ago, from Alejandros Penthouse and of course us! It was an excellent dinner with many courses, including the famous typical Venezuelan bread Arepas– (let me tell you, I like them, really hot just out of the oven or grill, they are made of corn like the mexican tortillas but they look like hamburgers round thick and puffy made of white corn very soft and moist inside, (I particularly love them by opening in half, then put butter and Venezuelan white home made cheese and a big slice of avocado, you have to try it, its a tasty delightful experience).
After dinner, we went to a another room where there was a grand piano, and we were served champagne with dessert for the lady’s and cognac and cigars for the gentlemen.
This was not all, as we were ready to ask for a taxi, Reinaldo ask me aside and said please take the Rolls Royce for your entire stay in Caracas, and of course if you wish take my chauffeur too! Of course, if you prefer here are the keys to the Bentley! Well, I decided that with all that drinking I preferred a chauffeur, so we went out to a private key club after proper farewells and there I did some heavy drinking. I had too many scotch and sodas, my favorite drink at that time, and went on to drink all night, Johnny Walker Black or Chivas Regal, with lots of scotch and a splash of soda, Peter was a good drinking partner and his wife did not spill any either, Jack was not a very good drinking partner, he did not enjoy drinking.