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Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

Alejandro's Penthouse. He is in the center, Ludmila next to him in one of the parties.

Alejandro’s Penthouse. He is in the center, Ludmila next to him in one of the parties.

Now we were headed to New York again, for the big Fashion Week, staying in a luxury penthouse by the East River across from the United Nations Building,–a gorgeous little apartment for Bud and me. I heard this Willie Nelson song “On the Road Again” some time ago– this song matches my life: in the road all the time, even to this day, I’ve led a gypsy life. But now I had a beautiful home and my mother to come back to, and I has William and many other friends. What started with William as antipathy had become a burning love which was  so full of admiration and respect, but as the saying goes, there is no light without dark. Inside my heart there is still a light keeping my love for him alive,
Now in New York everywhere I go reminds me of us together, happy and enjoying life-  living, loving having fun. Sometimes the work  makes me forget him by going here and there keeps me very busy. Today as  every day after worked I go for a drink or 2, or 3, after living my modeling things with my enormous bag in our apartment where we are staying, on the same building  there is a great bar, overlooking Manhattan so I go there,  while Bud gets ready  to go out, or if I am very tired than I make dinner in our penthouse, but is so tempting to go out,  have same cocaine, dance, drink all night,  especially in that famous discotheque that belongs to the wife of Richard Burton before they got a divorce. After a  few sniffs and dances we inevitably we start talking about how was our day, and constantly have two here from my boss Bud, way can your train the other models two walk like your ??  (Will, now you know? Way they don’t like me.) Then he will go home and I still have La Vida Loca until morning,  and walk two our place  with a glass full in one hand  ( not coffee) and on the other my shows, my poor feet head enough activity so did I, Bud was such a nice person,  then at work he let me sleep until the show stars and everybody is ready, in the private little dressing room of my owned (this only happens when the designer needs you body for his or hers creations and your are a great model in the cat walk or photography, and  you sale every piece of garment you’re showing, than than and only then, your will  get away with a lot). Then finally  modeling again, all day long and then maybe go out to dinner at some really good place. Next day its the same routine all over again, for the entire week, and discotheques at night!. Modeling all day.

Ludmilas birthday party in her house. Daud  proposing her in front of all her quest and mama.

Ludmila`s birthday party, 1964:  Daud proposing to her in front of mama and all the guests.

Today we went to work to our showroom, on the 30th floor. As usual when we finished work it was dark already, and the last buyer had left. All of a sudden the lights started going out; we stood by the big window and watched as area after area of Manhattan and greater New York were shutting down the brilliant lights and everything turned pitch black!  People were just coming out of the showrooms and boutiques, the ones like us that had stayed late where all coming out from everywhere, what a commotion, half panic started. None of us knew what was going on? Maybe an atomic bomb attack from the Russians? There was no radio transmitting, no electric power, so now people started walking down the escalators but it was not easy it is a long way down, besides we were in fear  not knowing, it was very scary to say the least.
Thank God Bud and I were healthy and strong, so down we went, all 30 some floors expecting the worst,  when we finally arrived two the  main floor, Bud went immediately stood on line with another maybe 50 people or so wanting something from   the lobby desk manager of the building hotel. The hotel management was trying to accommodate us with what they had, just some snack and drinks (the showrooms for fashion week generally are in big  plash  hotels). People everywhere were playing cards, drinking and talking, not in a real panic anymore, but anxious because no one knew for certain what was going on? The people of New York behaved amazingly well, actually, with no robberies or vandalism. Somehow Bud got help from the lobby manager and put us up in the basement on some cots. In  among all this we meet this color men, who became our suppliers, even offer us some for free, how nice of him, free cocaine and wish as a good trip back and that soon we will see him back in L.A. Later back in Hollywood he did contact us.

The Great New York Blackout …What an experience! But now I had to go back to Caracas again,  although this time I was going on my own business. I flew down with my portfolio, my composites and my ideas for a show of models in Venezuela. I don’t really know how or when this came about, but there I went with mamachka Palina. We stayed in El Hotel Tamanaco, so familiar to me– thoughts of William suffocate me! With so much going on in my life I had almost banished that memory, but now here I am confronted with all our past, reminding me that I was not cured of his spell, and the pain and anger and sadness came to me so strong, that horrible awareness of what I had done. I killed those innocents souls, and I will have to live with it the rest of my life, paying for my sin– can I ever forgive myself?

Renee called me and asked if I could come to an interview? Everyone wants to know how this girl from Venezuela made it in Hollywood? On his show was the men who played in the French film “Papillon”, and the men from the hit film “Asphalt Jungle”!
I have forgotten their names today,  but before the book is out I will have their names, I promise. This was really fantastic, I really felt like a star in Caracas! I was someone people recognized and saw on the cover of magazines, with my pictures larger than the President of Venezuela (I believe it was Larrazabal?). I was invited to many fancy places, one of them was a very private penthouse party for Mr Rodriquez.
Anyone who was anybody in the society of Venezuelan was there! One way or the other, they were there, and some of the prettiest ladies too- Miss Venezuela Susanna Duin and Miss Universe and Miss Mundo!

Of course the party included a very formal dinner under a bougainvillea tree that must been there since the building was built! It covered the whole outdoor terrace like an umbrella of deep red flowers, and seemed to bloom all year round. The table was laid with exotic seafood dishes, but then I went to the bar, after having wine and champagne with dinner, like this was not enough!  I had to drink some more and I took a couple of pills, pep pills  were there under the bar top behind the bottles. The bar was next to the terrace, with the living room  next to the bar, a very cozy, warm room with soft pillows in chairs, full of new music and wide open French doors and windows. It was just right, with the fragrance of the flowers and the moon peeking in, in this wonderful semi tropical nights of Caracas (it was never hot at night!).

Sitting in the big comfortable seats, with albums of pictures of famous faces of past visitors on the tables, one of them that comes to mind is Natalie Wood. I thought, that was my favorite bar room in the world, this cozy bar usually attended by Alejandro himself, when he wasn’t busy in his boudoir making love to one, two or three ladies. Once I “brought a sandwich to a party” on one of my flights down to Caracas. I was picked up at the airport by Alejandro who never goes anywhere, but for me he made a real gesture of friendship and showed up in a black limousine. Once inside the limo, I told him I had cocaine with me, He almost jumped out of his skin, here he is picking me up, can you imagine the scandal! He was a very prominent socialite and from a good family, with a good name to protect. I laughed and told him  nothing could happen.  Well that is how nonchalant I was about life at that time. After that we became even better friends when he realized what a silly worrier I really I was, so innocent, in so many ways and naive and gullible, and we became the best of friends. Ever since that day I was invited every night two his Penthouse  parties, and I met so many people there — very important politicians, film and TV stars, and spies, people from all over the world. There I meet the grand Venezuela maestro composer Aldemaro Romero and Luis Felipe Herrera my dear friend, his father Reynaldo the one marry two a very lovely dear lady, tried to take my virginity a long time, but I love that family too much, pure class  (too bad it was not him, probably would’ve  much better), this family probably is the most aristocratic  and old money family besides the Lord Boulton’s family…

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 Arriving on U.S.A.

Arriving on U.S.A.

Hello New York! I had been there twice already but landing at Laguardia airport (that was the name then) was still exciting The air is so different – it smells of success, money and fame. But to get to our new home at Syracuse, we had to change planes or take the Greyhound bus. I was thrilled to be on American soil with my mama, so she could see for herself the American dream. The Statue of Liberty stood in front of us, shining for all mankind to come and work for freedom honestly.

In Syracuse, we stayed for a couple of days at a friend of mamas house, then mama went to worked as a waitress, washing dishes at night in an Italian restaurant. I went straight to a local television station and told them how great I was, showing them my pictures dancing on TV in Caracas. So this Greek producer – director gave me a chance to perform one day on one of his shows. He was Orthodox like me, so we went together to the Greek Church. In no time, he was ready to propose marriage, but I just stalled for time. I did not want to be married yet; no, I wanted to be free, although I did like him a lot.

I went on the bus to New York and went to see Oleg Cassini, who became one of the favorite designers of the new first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. I first worked in the showroom, modeling fur coats – I always looked good in fur and in hats. I was 5’8” and half, and weighed only 120 pounds, with big shoulders and a great walk, so I did not have any trouble finding work. But it was only in the showroom, because I had no agent and did not speak English yet. I was still very green, a kid in the biggest city in the world of fashion. I realized they were paying much more money to the models with agents who came to do the 1 hour show, than I made for hours of working. I had to stand up for hours, so they could wrap fabrics around me to create new designs. Never forget my job on the showroom of “ Schwartz furs creations”, mink, chinchilla Russian Savel, wuieiiiiii how sexchual is to feel that expensive fur on your skin, you have no Idea.

I lived on Riverside with a Jewish widow, in the second bedroom so the place was very small and you can hear everything you do, not much of privacy.

My niece Vera arrived alone she was 10 yr. At the airport I pick her up, mama came from Syracuse and we head a fantastic 2 days exploring N.Y. I show them N.Y. and of course central park , Empire State bld. etc. etc. etc. Pelagea Vasilivna went back two Syracuse and Vera stay with me i don’t remember for how long?, she went to worked with me, poor thing she behaved so good, just watch what I was doing and imitate me when we were back at our small room. Then Galina Fedorovna arrived and they went the 2 of them to Syracuse..

William came from Caracas to spend a weekend with me, but this little room did not worked for us, to well.

After he left, he left me 1000 dollars and said, please take it and do what you think is right. I took it and I decided to——————————-

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