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Archive for the ‘Narcotics’ Category

That Saturday, after gambling until very late, for a change I lost some of may Bolivares, maybe because?– no,  I  am sure,  that the reason I is, I was  getting tire of playing with these guys, they were bad players and did not even knew the rank of cards well. So I drank and drank until I drank almost the hole of a litter bottle of rum by myself. There were several of than,  Saturday’s nights were  like this, ( thats not a surprise to any of you readers that know me).

Ludmila has been whit Peter in scary situations like THE ONDA NUEVA festival

Whit Peter Graves in Onda Nueva Festival in Caracas we had to confront almost Jail whit the mafia union to hired there grow of cameraman, in Onda Nueva festival that the close I ever became in prison ” (before this )…………….

Sunday I was tired but very excited: “I’m going out, out,!” Even if just to go to a Church  that is not mine, (Roman Catholic and I am Eastern Orthodox, you understand the difference?)+ I will see the streets and places; I was thinking that today there was also chance to talk  with Dona Magdalena and her husband the Jefe of this place,  and who knows what else es he? and of course beside being an: lawyer, lets not forget that, so let’s acknowledge that,  in fact he the and has wife may will be my ticket to ride out of here.

They arrived in a new black Cadillac parking  in front of the detention house main doors, Charlie call me out, escorting me too the car: “portate bien” he whispered in my ear.  We wink to each other with an smile.

(God bless  Dona Magdalena and her husband and her husband, at  times I think in retrospect it may have been her nagging her husband to set me free; she became my angel).

" In this photo, I was before in jail but was only a theater play"

” In this photo, I was before in jail but was only a theater play”

I was  dressed with my indian black dress and I did my long hair  on a Grace Kelly bun twist, nice and simple but elegant, very light lipstick very presentable  for Church ,  of course I still had my make up with me, being a model, what do you expect? not overly made up, just very presentable as I said before  for Church.

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I  notice that , I must say one thing,  that  in different civilisations women from tropical or latin countries tend to overdo their make up going to church, and the young dressed unprohibited for Church where I came from, of course that was my upbringing from my adored mama.

The smell of this new Cadillac reminded me of the good life, that I all of the sudden became too much, memories came back to my mind, my beloved William dancing in the private clubs, sunbathing in the Tamanaco pool, eating in great elegant restaurants, drinking out of crystal classes, real cloth napkins, etc,. men lighting may cigarettes, pulling my chair, opening the doors, where is all this gone? This was so rough, almost cruel, have to go back, I  miss it!.

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Oh yes I missed that life, seeing my mother dress  up for Church,or going to a Russian Ball. All this was spinning  in my mind,  I felt  so weak in my present  nightmare. When is it going to be over?  I want get out of this situation and out of Maracaibo! It is a long and incredible story!

In Church on my knees I prayed and prayed and my tears just roll on by themselves; I could not stop them! Why  am I here?

There was an answer, but I did not know that yet, I was a alcoholic and I did no know at, and  that was that.

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All was quiet again in the evening, everyone went to their homes. I did not see Senor Rodriguez or Senorita Pepita that day,  just the two cops, policemen sitting at the table and talking and drinking something.  I noticed they had a deck of cards and I thought: this is getting exciting, maybe I can win some money so I can get that  Wayuu dress I want. I have very few Bolívares, so I have to be very good, or they have to be very bad!

Ludmila before the arrest

Ludmila before the arrest

Ola Officer Pedro! He responded, Señora? Is Pepe okay? Sientese. Thank you,  I will.  Then came Carlos,   now there three card players with Juan there. I said, “So now we are four is good for playing poker no? “

Pepe agreed, “Si señora, you take the dice and tirelos to see who deals!”  Bueno, I picked up the dice and rolled them fast and I had the biggest number, double six, so I dealt the cards. Juan pulled a bottle of rum out of the bag he had with him (a mochila) and passed it around discretely, while Pepe made sure to give me a glass too.

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An empty sardine can was our ashtray, and we smoked and played for hours  I was tired and nervous that  if I won too much they would get pissed off at me , so I said I was tired and needed to go to bed. I had made some extra Bolívares that I did no have before! Well, we sure did finish the bottle that night; and to my surprise they were very much the gentlemen and did not say nothing outrageous or crude, simply saying goodnight. Pepe only said, “Señora be prepared- that  there may be  lot of noise tonight, this is Saturday and there will be a lot of rum and aguardiente (these is the local cheap alcoholic beverage)  and ” muchos accidentes. ” I could only imagine what he meant, but I said, “I understand, okay?  Buenas noches,  gracias” and I went off the bed with my winnings.

Anatoly awaiting Ludmila in Canaima

Anatoly awaiting Ludmila in Canaima

But as soon I was sound asleep on my comfy  but dirty hammock, (have to wash it tomorrow),  the noise started up: drunk people with bandages still in:

after they were attended to by the medics; I don’t know what they were doing there, but they were making  lots of racket.

When it cooled off a little and everyone was back where  they were supposed  to be, Pepe knocked on my door and said,  “I have a surprise for you!” He handed me this little black bundle of fur– My kitten! “He was  right by the main street door, you want him?”   Si , si!   Back on my hammock I had the sweetest sleep in a long time,  with this little thing purring into my ears, it sounded just like a lullaby!!!!

And the week went in and out, and it was next Saturday. By then I hand a Wayee Indian black dress with the winnings of my gambling every night, a party accompanied always by rum or aguardiente or sometimes cheap vodka.

This is the third week in this reten (holding place jail), with some medical nurse por mainer things ,  the series once of course stay in hospitals, not here,.   After they  area will,  then they bring them here.

I still hadn’t heard or seen a familiar face and to tell the true I really did not worried  or care I hand booze,  cigarettes , gambling and thats all I care at the moment.

Saturday  before they close the milk giving and all paper worked in all this accidentes , people either went home some and others not  ,The secretary Pepita came to my room, my I came on , of course,( is your  place I  thought to myself,) They worked until 11 in Saturdays and invited me to the office of Licenciado Rodriguez, which by now was familiar to me, with me almost being a working person here for free. “Si Senor, at your service,” I said.  “Please sit down. Are they treating you good?” So. of course Senor Licenciado si!”  I called you in,  for this reason; my wife asked me  to ask you if you would like to go to the Cathedral tomorrow, where? is  Sunday  and is going to be a good service? We would be happy to take you, in our custody of course.”  “Yes yes ( thank your God) yes  if that is possible?  I would love to go with your charming wife and yourself, Senor Licenciado!”

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Book Scans Two0002

“Yes, I guess, yes,” said Maria, “but you cannot leave this office or go outside. You must just stay in that corner, so no one will see you. But I must put you back inside there at 5am because the other jailer is coming to relieve me and I will not be back until this evening. Hopefully you will be O.K.” What did she mean by hopefully? Well I couldn’t think, I just sat on the floor and tried to rest between her desk and the corner wall, away from the rotten, broken door left open all the time. So I could hear the noises of the giant square cell outside and the women cursing and laughing and screaming at each other with words that I had never heard before (and I heard plenty of curse words since childhood! They even expelled me from one school that my sister tried to put me in, because those were the first words I learned when we arrived in Venezuela). O my dear God, help me!…. but the night went by amazingly fast.

5 am: “hey, let’s go, let’s go!” My jailer walked out only a couple of meters from where we were, and I was following her very hesitantly. Then she opened that giant iron gate door, pushing the women away and telling them to back off. “Go in!”  “In there?” “Go!”  and she almost pushed me. I was carrying my poetry book of Khalil Gibran against my chest, clutching it for dear life, when they all surrounded me and I barely got to the first bed I saw and just sat there, with them all around me. One of them was walking towards us screaming “Let her breath mariconas (fagots)!” They just backed off a little, and this one came up and grabbed my book. “What is this?” I humbly but forcefully said, “That is dried flowers that I picked up hitchhiking from Mexico to here.” “What? Ha ha ha ha!” All of them laughed,  but she just stood there and said to the others, “Let her be.”  Looking at my book she said, “This is not Spanish,” and  I said, “No it is Ingles.”  “And you read Ingles?” she asked. “Yes, si”

The cockroaches were still flying everywhere, it was getting later, and the morning wanted to come in, even into this pocilga (pigsty). The smell was horrendous and the rats, well, they could not care less for these humans. I put my feet under me in yoga position and did not move. One of them brought a beat up steel cup, very dirty in my opinion, with water, and said  “Drink this and relax you are going to be okay.” “What?” “The men are gone.” What did she mean by saying the men are gone? Oh my God!

Tad picking Tomatoes through our trip

Tad picking Tomatoes through our trip

After a while, I don’t know how long, some jailers brought in coffee that tasted like pee water, and I had a chance to say “Please may I speak to an officer?” Yes, one was just here. “Si, please can I call again the American Consulate?” No need, the officer said, “they called last night and someone from the Consulado will be here this morning.”  “What time can I ask?” “Who knows? later…”

So I went back to my bunk, and they all still were there sitting on my bunk, all talking at the same time, and many if not all of them were scratching their heads. My head was spinning, because I was powerless over the situation for the first time in my life. All I could think was, a drink would be very welcome now, to soothe this pain!

There were some ugly faces and there were some sweet faces, and faces with cuts through their cheeks, some women with one eye, some limping, some had their arm in a cast– but they all had lice in their hair! Oh God! No! I have long hair, and it was in a ponytail, I thought, I must roll my hair around my head, to not get these lice or hair mites!

The hours went by miserably, slowly, and very disgusting, but I will not go into that at this point, everything I saw in there I will leave it for my book…

About noon the American Consul arrived, but he did not even speak to me. They just went straight to some office, with several people, and I could barely see them through the iron gate. In about 15 minutes or so, no more, they left without me. Why? I was about to cry or scream or do something crazy, when the head jailer came in with two others and opened the gate and said “Follow me, Ludmila Millman.” That was my last name from my marriage to Jack. Oh God, what now? I could not believe hearing my own name. So now I am out? (wishful thinking!) There was a police car and a black van, and the Jefe said “Get in!”

My dear God, what now?

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We sat in that scary immigration office at the border of Venezuela and Colombia.  Finally, after many hours of interrogation, we convinced them that we were just having fun cruising around the world.

Went to The horse Track, had fun wonn some money

Went to The horse Track, won some money

Using all my charm, and showing them my phone book, I persuaded them that I only needed to call the Herrera or Boulton families, or my political friend Rafael with a penthouse in Maracaibo. Although having so many influential friends, including my brother Anatoly who lived on Canaima, I really did not know who to call!  In this horrible moment, I decided to call Jack, my ex-husband, and I had Jack call other friends I had introduced him to at the Onda Nueva International Music Festival.

Finally, after all of the information I gave them, they realized that I was a Venezuelan citizen and resident and pretty well known celebrity from shows, and that my friend with me was just my lover, a harmless young American.

At that time, money was pouring from the U.S. to Venezuela, through the companies that General Marcos Pérez Jiménez had set up in deals many years before, and which were still in business. In other words we needed a friend to come driving to the border to pick us up and vouch that I was who I said I was, and that Tad was okay also.

This is were we are flying to Anatoly Island, from Maracaibo

This is where we are flying to, Anatoly Island, from Maracaibo

Boy oh boy, I was not a happy customer while we were in that hole full of rats in unbearable heat! I was drinking whatever I could find there! I found a little bodega, a hole with a piece of wood or old door for a counter, some fruits and veggies and some rum. And there, in this dusty place, stood one single bottle of “El Cacique King of Venezuela” rum, which I spotted immediately, remembering my wild social life in Caracas where that expensive rum flowed like water at the tables of the nuevo (new) rich people. But it cost more than we wanted to pay. We had no money to spare because we hadn’t reached our destination yet!

So I found a very inexpensive rum and Tad bought a bottle of wine to give to our friends when they arrived, as a gift. Well, I was oblivious by the time they arrived. While all the kissing, hugging, and introducing went on. I just said, “Let’s get out of here, we’ll talk in the van on our way to Maracaibo.” So it was goodbye, adios and gracias, let’s go. Finally we were on the other side of the border, so far so good. I was so happy and drunk and I started singing!

Rafael had come with his girlfriend and another lady that seemed to be an official, maybe an immigration secretary, and she was the one that signed for us and did all the paperwork at the border, before we could cruise on down the road.

I slept the entire ride to Maracaibo, well, to be honest I passed out, and woke up when I heard Tad say “Did we arrive? Is this your home?”  “Yes!” three voices sounded off.

I can tell you that the heat of Maracaibo is uniquely hot! I had been there many times with Walter, and then with Tony Aguilar on a tour with him singing and me promoting the Kent cigarettes that paid for the tour. We spent a few crazy days there at this condo of Rafael. We had fun; they were smoking marijuana everywhere we went, and I was snorting cocaine and drinking as much as I could. I am not so proud of the time we spent there. I was promiscuous and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

The time came to say goodbye and so we went off to the aeropuerto of Maracaibo. When we arrived there, we still had a few minutes to spare before boarding. Tad had a joint of marijuana he wanted to smoke before going on the plane. So we went out and sat in a semi-private area outside. I had been collecting some pot seeds as a hobby, and putting them in a silver little box that Walter gave me for cocaine. I was going to plant them somewhere. Sounded good and why not on the island, or better yet at my home in Los Angeles, in my own garden!

Then we heard the flight being announced, so Tad quickly put out the roach. Not wanting to waste it, I told him not to throw it away and put this barely a third of a joint, in my safari pants which had many pockets. We put it in a different pocket from my little silver box.

Walking to our line to board the flight, Tad went in front and passed me. It was my turn, and as I stepped up, this fantastic female officer, with a lesbian smile that seemed much too nice to me, started frisking me– she was touching me a little more than necessary I thought to myself! Then, when she touched the pocket with the little box, it must have been her curiosity, she stopped and touched it again almost like grabbing my calf muscle! I remembered what was in it and blurted out, “Oh shit!”

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We walked a few minutes down the little trail where there was no one around us, but there was a big tree in the tropical jungle providing shade, so I said “Let’s have a drink.”  “From where?” said Tad, “there’s nothing here no tiendas.” Well it just so happened that I had a bottle of rum and some cookies. So we sat on a limb of a tree near the entrance of a small river, where there were many places for little boats to get in and unload their merchandise. We were too tired and hungry to be concerned about anything but getting to Medellin for a hotel, rest and relaxation, after all this ordeal.

The sun was up and getting warmer, the tropical humidity was going to be very high from the shores now. We still had to walk through this unknown land, when finally we saw a real road! “Hey look at this, we are getting close!” Then we walked to what now became a highway with cars going and coming, so we hitched a ride too Medellin. What a beautiful city! We went to the first hotel that seemed okay, even if it was not classy, and we took a room. By that point, we did not care.

After sleeping and resting for a few hours, then getting ready to see the city and exchange some money, Tad asked me, “where first?” I said, “the bank I think.” So we went to the Bank to exchange money. There was music everywhere already playing in the early afternoon, with people dancing on the streets. It seemed that happiness prevailed everywhere.

Which bank, I don’t remember, but the exchange rate was not as good as we expected. So we went outside to see if any of the guys by the door who were approaching the people that entered the bank, to see if maybe they would have a better exchange rate, and they did. We proceeded to exchange the dollars Tad had to change.

Border Colombia and Venezuela waiting for Help S.O.S. .from

Border of Colombia and Venezuela 

Tad counted the money that the guy gave him, then I counted the money and gave it back to Tad. He counted it again and then the Columbian guy took the money from Tad and counted it again in front of us, then gave us the change money back correct. Everything was correct, and we went satisfied with the exchange of the money, happy, to the hotel to pay our bill.

But when we sat down and counted the money again, surprise! “What?!” Tad said with a loud voice. The whole amount was half of what it was supposed to be! We counted it once, twice, a third and fourth time. No, no, no good!  We had been fucked.

All of this contributed to my university; I know some fantastic people are saying that they went to the university of life. Many famous millionaires and other amazing people were educated that way, but I had the heart of a gentle gazelle, which was soon turning into a Cossack Warrior, awakening that nomad in me, including the drinking part.

We had certainly been taken by these Colombian con-men, for all that money, which thankfully did not stop Tad  from taking us out to dance and see a little of the nightlife in Medellin.

Oil in Maracaibo, Venezuela

Oil in Maracaibo, Venezuela

We stayed in Medellin for a couple of days, and on the third day we ventured off to continue our journey to Venezuela then reached the route to Maracaibo.

We went through an incredibly beautiful jungle, with houses along the route, little huts of vendors of tropical fruit and the smell of mangos, bananas, and ananas (pineapples) like delightful flowers. We spent another couple of days enjoying the Colombian countryside from Medellin to the border with Venezuela, and from Maracaibo we were to fly to Canaima. Maracaibo is located in the Lago de Maracaibo, Estado (state) Zulia, Venezuela, which is the largest lake in all of Venezuela and one of the largest places for oil extraction. The temperature is over 100 degrees fahrenheit everyday and only slightly cooler at night.

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During the great fish dinner, which was just enough for everybody, and as a matter of fact very well done by the chef of the Hotel, with the food, wine and conversation going on, Tad was just staring at me across the table and couldn’t take his eyes off me. My associate was not feeling that great, so he paid the bill or signed for it, and retired to the room. Some of us proceeded to go out and sit by the tables outside, where many a time Liz Taylor and Richard Burton would sit to drink.

Ludmila in Bora Bora with Jack

Ludmila in Bora Bora with Jack

Some people went to discos or to another bar by the sea, but we sat there talking and holding hands. He said come with me hitchhiking through Central America down to Venezuela! We’ll see your brother in the jungle and then I will be on my way to the corrida de toros in Pamplona, since I promised my friends I would be there this year. Then we’ll see each other when I am back in L.A or if you want to come with me to Spain. Boy oh boy I was not aware how far into the alcohol I was? Of course anything seems possible under Mr. Buzz.

It was not easy to say goodbye to my future partner, of course not any more than a business partner, but as of the moment I told him I was going to Central America and to Venezuela to see my brother. He knew better by then, what was really going on. With him I had a horrible situation; he almost did not want to give me back my passport, since he paid the hotel and flight and meals. I did not explain nada to him except that I was not coming back to L.A. with him, and that I was going to Yelapa. So I left him there with no remorse.

Cuernavaca whit friends and Tad

Cuernavaca with friends and Tad

Tad and I went on our merry-go-round, into the next town by the beach on the other side of Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa. In those years there were no roads or any way to go to this place, except by horse, mule or by boat. That was how the provisions arrived there, all the food and water. As we approached the place we saw its indescribable beauty, so unique, with high mountains coated in lush green jungle, and cliffs dropping into the sea. There were no beaches except where we arrived in the boat. We walked up and up the little dirt road full of palms trees and jungle shrubs after we got out of the boat. I remember that Octavio, my Chilean friend, had a wife living there with her new husband. So she was there and invited us to her gorgeous tall and spacious palapa. There was an incredible boutique of very fine things that the rich tourists  went crazy for! Tad met Ruth and she welcomed us, then offered us a drink– well, not any drink but one especially made for her by the indians in the mountain tops, real Mezcal that was so smooth and delicious. I asked for refills of course, a second and a third one. Tad was okay with one drink, but not me!

We found a cabana in the rocky area almost touching the water, where it was possible to get in the water carefully. We stayed there for three nights and it was fun. I drank all the time, and he read all the time, and it seemed the romance was progressing because we did not argue or step on each others toes. In the center of this mini pueblo there was an open bar and once in awhile they had movies. One particular night they had one, and what a surprise, I could not believe here of all places they were playing “Kaliman”! In this Mexican film was my friend of the parties in Hollywood and Mexico City Jeff Cooper.

Ludmila whit a German Von Boron in Cuernavaca

Ludmila with a German Von Boron in Cuernavaca

Staying there I remembered Bora Bora with my ex husband Jack, where we had a different time, cocaine and making love everywhere on the water, on the long solitary beaches and even in the golf cart! That was a little different from this intellectual romantic trip with Tad.

From there we went on to Cuernavaca, where I invited us to the house of Maria, my German friend. Her father was a well known archaeologist. She had a very romantic home, with beautiful landscaping, flowering gardens and trees everywhere. This was in Tepoztlan just a few minutes outside of Cuernavaca.

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Jose had mentioned the day before that if I wanted we could go to see Guatemala everywhere, but we had to wait for my ring, which we recovered the next day. Jose went out yet again that evening, but I stayed home. His old aunt that had never been married, came to my room with a liquor bottle! She said, “I keep this for medicinal reasons.”

I was thrilled that I did not have to go out to hunt down some liquor store, let alone to get something to drink. I couldn’t stand being without alcohol, especially being under so much stress. So I definitely wanted a drink or two…or more. Jajaja!

" Back home in L.A. had to walk whit a cane for a long time."

Ludmila back home in L.A. walking with a cane

The next morning after breakfast, we were not talking at the table– no one cared to ask me anything. So I packed a few things and we took off on the big Kawasaki Ltd 1000 motorcycle that I bought for him. We went to the beautiful countryside en route to Lake Atitlan, stopping by the river and at the homes of some of Jose’s friends. As we rode through the indescribable beauty of rural Guatemala, there were flowers everywhere, pine trees, rivers with little waterfalls and the smell of smoke from the wood fires in the valleys and hills. Then suddenly, we slid and tumbled over, and I found myself underneath this big motorcycle with the motor still running, and it was hot… it was very hot.

Jose was screaming “Stay still, don’t move!” while trying to lift the bike, but of course he couldn’t and I couldn’t move at all! Finally some people came passing by in cars and one of them stopped to help him lift the big motorcycle off of me. It seemed to take forever, with me lying under the burning hot motor, the bike crushing down on my whole left leg. I can’t remember much, but later they said they took us immediately to the nearby clinic in the village of San Lucas Toliman to see if any doctor was available.

Well the only thing I know was that I was in excruciating pain. So I numbed by alcohol and with the drugs to, and layed in bed at the house of La Negra Maldonado, in her family hacienda with a coffee plantation. That delicious smell was my companion as I was healing.

Dancing whit William in Caracas to " It Was Fascination I know"

Dancing with Walter in Caracas to “It Was Fascination I know”

Jose was in the next room, laughing and smoking pot, and many other people were there. I barely could move, but slowly I was helped up to the living room, where not one was interested in my problems. They were so high including Jose who was busy making eyes at La Negra, and the gays were making passes at him. Wow what a group of weirdos! But there was one guy that looked half elegant with a little class, and he had a big new van like a Jeep and was proposing something. I felt like I didn’t belong there with the gays and dropout drug users and la Negra  making passes at Jose– this was not exactly a happy situation for me.

Well as always, I made the best of the worst! I heard one guy saying something about the beach and my ears perked up: The beach, yes! I needed to get out of this cold house in the mountains where we were. So when one of the boys said, “Lets go to the beach!” I was all for it. The pain was still bad, and although nothing was broken my whole leg was swollen like a big balloon. Some of the muscles were torn and muscle trauma had appeared, enough to make me scream with pain. So everybody was giving me pills and of course la Negra give me more stuff and aguardiente (alcohol), wowweee!

We took off to the beach; all the way there I wanted to drink more aguardiente until I reached oblivion. I drank enough for me to not remember the countryside, which was totally different than the one we drove from, justs that it was hot, tropical, and there was a smell of iron from the sea. The beach air was inviting, warm and nice. I don’t remember too much of the scenery as we arrived. Jose with the three other guys went into a fantastic looking hotel which I supposed was to get a room for us. I just sat by a fishing boat and waited.

Next thing I knew, I awoke with a cut on my forehead, inside the same boat. I remember sitting there, now inside of it, alone with no one there. Shortly Jose arrived and said something to his friends, “Look, she’s hurt, blood on her forehead.” I thought to myself that meant he left me alone and was with his male lovers in this luxurious hotel, which I didn’t even see inside. I just wanted to go back to beautiful Atitlan.

I did not speak to him the whole way back, until we arrived two or three hours later. No one cared to even talk to Jose, they all seemed tired. If he had any dignity or concern for me he surenhid it from me, but probably not from himself.

I was in no shape to argue or judge anyone. I justed wanted to be free from the pain and to be able to walk again. I went into the house with a mayan servant who helped me carry my things into a graceful, lovely small hacienda pueblo ranch home of the Maldonado family. It was in the middle of San Lucas Toliman in Atitlan, where the Indian women wore traditional clothes. They carried their babies on their backs, and did not dare look into anyone’s eyes. We couldn’t take pictures of them because they believed we’d steal their souls, and it would be captured inside  the camera.

I arrived at the hacienda ranch with the realization that this was her home. She was waiting for our return anxiously and she greeted me with a present. It was some kind of coins, maybe witchcraft– who knows?  They carried me into the bed, where they were smoking weed all the time and she was always high on pot or something else. She was obviously enchanted with Jose. He was tall, blond, slim and always very charming.

The servant handed me a cane,  so I could get to the bathroom or go to sit up for a moment, which was almost impossible, I had to lie down almost all the time, even inside the cars. Including the trip to the beach we went to at Lake Elizabeth. It was impossible to sit comfortably, so painful that I could scream. I lay in bed almost all the time. The local doctor said not to walk for a couple of days.

In the meantime, Jose and his friends went to parties and picnics, and as it turned out, the romance between Jose and La Negra had already started.

Incredibly, in this part of the world, I heard a song from My Fair Lady on the radio. It was “Fascination” I know! My goodness, tears were rolling down my cheeks, with my eyes closed and even now remembering dancing to that melody so many times with Walter, to that same music!  It was so vivid, because it was one of our favorite songs. The last time I spoke to him was in Sausalito, near San Francisco, in the “No Name Bar” where he said he still loved me. That was last time we spoke in person, kissed and loved each other. It felt so long ago. I guess it must have been, years were passing.  I had heard he moved to Hawaii and was still a rich, successful man, now an ice cream and coffee merchant.

It was like the wind carried all our promises away, on the lips of cocaine and alcohol.  Any promise seemed real, whether to the one who lies or the one who wants to believe them. Sure,  we would believe everything. I did for many years…ten years or so.  All promises “el aire se las llevo” (the air took them). With almost anything, to get what or who we want, if it feels good and looks great at that moment when we are high…then we will say goodbye.

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The divorce from dear Jack was not pushed by me. He showed up at my place with $20,000  and I just signed the papers that Joy, our friend, had in her hands. That was it. Not once did anyone ask me if I wanted the divorce. I believe now that my friend Joy did all this for him because she liked him for herself, and that was that.

Ludmila top model and expert make up artist working as a consultant for woman in Beverly Hill top Salon

Ludmila, the supreme artist Consultant for beauty and make-up, in Beverly Hills at Robertson Beauty Salon

In the meantime, Jose and I were in a small apartment together when I started a mail order business and proceeded to buy a Kawasaki Ltd motorcycle for him. After a while  he went off to Guatemala to try to prepare his parents for our wedding, because I was older than him by 9 years. Since this was not a common thing in a Latin American country with very old fashioned Catholics, he needed to talk to them before I arrived. Then I went few days later to Guatemala and stayed in their home. I was shocked when I met them, this old-fashioned middle class family. His father was a retired doctor, his mother was just a housewife and a seamstress.

They put me in a separate room from Jose as was customary. Their furniture was wooden antiques, typical of nouveau riche furniture, but very proper. One morning his sister showed up for breakfast and we all were seated at the beautiful rid caoba wooden dining table, the chairs had big tall backs and were beautifully carved. They always served breakfast, lunch and dinner at exactly the same time every day.

Jose disappeared most of the time at night, but I was supposed to be a lady who stays home and says NADA (nothing) about it! Well that is not exactly me. Then one evening he shows up and tells me, “Get dressed up, we’re going to celebrate and I’ll introduce you to my friends.” How blind can one be? I was completely blind, could not see anything wrong with anything– and there was plenty wrong!

That evening I was totally confronted with his male lovers and female lovers and I did not care. That same evening I got robbed by his friend’s wife! We went to their apartment to have some cocaine that I brought with me from Hollywood, and I went to the bathroom to wash up. I left a 60 karat Persian Turquoise ring with diamonds in the bathroom and she picked it up and put it away. Well, I was looking on the floor everywhere, finally when we arrived home I told Jose if my ring doesn’t show up by that next evening, we’ll go to the police and to the American Counsel. They even finished off my coca as I was getting a drink in the kitchen. “What kind of friends were these, with their scams!” I said to Jose.

So he says, “Let’s just take the motorcycle and go to Lake Atitlan after you get your ring.”

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In the period after I left Jack, my life was one big quest for love, drugs, and an imaginary happiness. The source of happiness seemed to be getting high, so I developed a deep unquenchable thirst for drugs, alcohol, and selfish pleasures. This quest took all the sanity out of my mind.

I left a husband who took care of me the best he knew how, brought me coffee in bed in the morning, put up with my hangovers, which were getting to be every day, and really did everything for me. I wanted animals, he said okay. Jack would go to farms to pick up hay and other food for the animals out in the middle of the countryside, and bring it back to Hollywood just to please me. We took many trips together, or he would let me go off by myself to Tahiti (yet another story for the book), Bora Bora, Moorea, Raiatea, Papaiety, and Venezuela. He let me go to Mexico whenever I wanted, which I did frequently so I could escape into more alcohol and drug adventures, like with Buck Rogers. I had many friends like the ex wife of Ron Lavender who owned a very famous Gallery. She introduced me to many people among which an incredible lover, who was handsome with black azabache hair. (but this part of my adventure goes on in the book).

Ludmila going to the Polo field to ride the horse

Ludmila going to the Polo field to ride the horse

Jack said that he didn’t realize how badly I was strung out on drugs, which shows how deceptive addiction can be. He thought I was just having fun, because I hid my worst behavior and made him believe I was okay. At that time everybody I knew in Hollywood seemed to be strung out on something. I thought it was okay flirting and even going to bed with other men, because that is what I learned from my first beloved man. My fantasy of selfish, make-believe happiness was really just to camouflage my own inner pain and the sickness of addiction.

There were parties at Sammy Davis Jr.’s place in Beverly Hills, with lots of cars parked in front of his house. Sammy loved collecting expensive new cars, like many nouveau riche people. He was born Catholic but converted to Judaism, probably for the convenience that it offered in Hollywood in those years, and the movie business. You got more work if you were friends with the Jewish directors, investors and agents. Also they made great husbands. I was married to two of them, Tom and Jack, and let’s not forget my first love, Walter, who was also Jewish. Although he was not so good, promising the sky and yet he gave me nothing, only took from my youth, the innocence. But he made me dream of a better tomorrow.

Daniel Rio Lobos and me and others in a crazy party in Venezuela in Alejandro's Penthouse

Daniel Rio Lobos, Ludmila and others in a crazy party in Venezuela in Alejandro’s Penthouse

I don’t know what he really believed. I had a photograph of him swearing an oath to Satan, some Cult of 666 that was popular, especially for the sex. I have one photo of me, taken for a magazine, posing at a dark castle on the Hollywood Hills. I went there and saw caskets in the rooms, weird things; as I was leaving the photo shoot, people were arriving dressed in strange black costumes, so that gives you an idea what was going on. But he was a great singer and dancer, one of the best in that period, or maybe the best eve. The parties were wild and full of drugs and liquor. I personally only can say about him that he was a gracious host and very lively, a nice person to me and Jose, so let God be the Judge. I liked him very much as a performer.

There were many parties and stories that I will keep writing but not all of them here in my blog, you will have to read my book.

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We moved out of the hotel, after a week or ten days. Jose moved with us also, into the condo that the insurance company put us in. Soon things took a very wild turn! There were pool tables, a big swimming pool, plenty of room and of course lots of time to drink and take drugs. Whenever Jack went to work, Jose and I started playing around and going nuts. I thought we were just having lots of fun, but most of the time I was numb and unconscious of what was really happening.

One evening Daud invited me out to have a talk, and as we were seated at a table, not far away I noticed that at the bar there was this big fantastic looking man. It was Johnny Weissmuller– Tarzan, king of the Jungle! I remembered my niece Vera had asked me if I’d ever seen him in person. I thought “she doesn’t believe that’s his screaming voice in the jungle, when he swings in those trees!” So I told Daud who patiently let me get away with all my whims, that I’d be right back; I did explain to him that I was going up to the big star at the bar. Daud just smiled and said “Good luck!”

JW - Tarzan

Johnny Weissmuller – Tarzan

I walked up to the bar and got his attention immediately; he was holding a drink, but he stood up and kissed my hand. I proceeded to make my request, a favor for my niece. Could he do “that scream that he does in all his movies over the phone to my only niece Vera, who loves you just as much as I do?”

I also had memories of those Tarzan films from my childhood in Porlamar on Isla Margarita, on that swing, where I spent long hours dreaming of meeting all these stars some day. That was far away, not really so long ago, but it seems like another lifetime, when I could only dream about these people, never mind being kissed and standing next to one of them.

He said okay and the bartender handed me a phone after I dialed my niece’s number. I talked to her but she did not believe what was about to happen; he was standing next to me, bellowing as loud as he did  in the movies, several times that jungle scream that made Tarzan so famous. After that we had another kiss and thank you and you’re welcome, which is what famous people in Hollywood say to each other.  All that stuff is phony most of the time, but sometimes it is genuine. I believed all that, in my childish brain, despite the abuse of all the good things and bad things which made my life a fantasy, in cinemascope, 3-D and technicolor. I was walking on air, high in the sky, I was not even on this planet.

Jeff Cooper, Kaliman  is in the back of this first man whit the whit  hood,  ( he was like superman to the mexicans) a hero from cartons..

Jeff Cooper, Kaliman is in the back of this first man with the white hood (he was like superman to the mexicans) a hero from cartoons.

Things seemed so unreal, I was going through an unreal time myself, and it seemed everything was a bad dream, just a fantasy what was happening. This too shall pass, the fire, Jose, Jack and I not communicating. Jack was such a great husband, it was only because of the drugs and the craziness that I would ever think of leaving him– but as you will see, I did. And after that everything seemed to stop, there was no more care about remodeling the house or Jack or anybody: I just walked away with Jose. The drugs destroyed my mind, and nothing mattered anymore except Jose, drugs, and alcohol. It all became “who cares?” The only thing I kept were pictures and icons, and God was not too far from my mind and soul, that was the only thing I had with me.

I was trying lots of different drugs then, and everything mixed with alcohol. My friend Jim had some PCP or something similar, that was even worse than quaaludes, my preferred drug-alcohol mix. After a while any desire, dream, or excitement of remodeling my home vanished. Everything was gone, including the dream to create a new house. Jack worked hard at all this but soon it evaporated into fumes. The excitement died and another excitement took over. It was drugs, alcohol, and doing nada. I was living together with Jose and meeting his friends, which made me feel too old for him. He was in his early 20s and I was in my 30s, it was just the two us.

I left Jack at that last beautiful condo, and to this day I don’t know why I did this stupid thing. I suppose I will never know why. I moved into a quiet apartment with Jose and lived a stupid life. I started a mail order business, but Jose convinced me to buy some cocaine instead so we’d make some money. Well, not a penny did we make! I didn’t go out selling drugs, I was not exactly a pusher and could not give a damn about selling dope, but I used it and he used it, then he overdosed and  I spent three days praying for his life at  LA General Hospital. Seeing him helpless laying there in a coma, still did not teach me the lessons. I still was blind to notice this was coming to a bad end.

Jose came out of the hospital and got a job as a gofer and chauffeur for Sammy Davis Jr, but by then I was going to parties at the house of Jeff Cooper (in Mexico he was known as Kaliman, he did those cartoons so very famous in Mexico and most of the Latin countries). Of course there were more men than women at the parties, which would  go on for days….

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