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The  feather does not stay long on the ground, but is constantly moving with the wind, kept aloft, flying away from the earth into the open air that propels her away, away from you– just as you try to touch and hold her beauty, she keeps moving, dancing, flying slowly and softly into the unattainable, ever-moving wind– sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but always moving gracefully through life. And in my life, I have always been  like that feather in the wind.

My  life in the beginning was not so bleak, even when my family struggled just to survive. I was never screaming and crying from hunger, because my father always knew how to provide for us, even in the darkest moments of World War II. To claim that I was hungry, scared or martyred by the war would be baloney!  I grew up happy, curious, loving– everything was fun and I just went flying and floating like that feather on the wind .

Mama and me in the Empire State Bulding

Mama and me in the Empire State Bulding


A Venezuelan friend of my sister nicknamed me “cocoon,”  a baby butterfly, and today as I am writing,  I realize that in reality, that immaturity has been my life for a long time– my feet still do not touch the ground! Being free to flutter and float away, I never had to assume any real responsibility, that I could not manage by a mysterious way I went on and on, maybe do too God has  love for me, in everything I felt there was no real pain– the alcohol and drugs numbed my pain..


There were a few exceptions. One day mother and I were abandoned by all our relatives, and we ended up in this town Valencia where the oranges grow, separated from the others mostly by mama’s  choice.

I remembered (for only the second time) that fear took hold of mi ,  what is going to happen to us?   I will be alone! If she  going to die and live me alone? The first time was that time in Europe when we were in or carazo horse coach, with a caravan of Cossacks escaping.

I was left in a hospital for only one night or two, with severe bronchial congestion and a high fever from the cold and  snow.

So in the evening when there were no nurses or patients walking around  I climbed up to the window, to see where  I was, hoping to see mama coming to rescue me. The night  was pitch dark, with no moon, and that cold weather and chill feeling went deep inside of me, a feeling that I was alone with no one to help. Now I know God way their.


That desperate fear: “They are not coming back to fetch me”– took me in to the dept of fear, next day rescue by my family and in the road again, we went to reunite with the rest of the caravan.


Note this is not a finish material, their be more description and details in the book “Dreams on the Swing” and will have dates and more .

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Everyone left, but the  fireplace was still burning so I put on a couple more logs and smiled. How nice it is to be home, sitting with my drink, on that sofa that Grant designed and made of pure hardwood with enormous pillows, and just stare at  the fire,  listening  to the logs crackling that romantic sound and smelling the woodsmoke. If I had a lover at that moment it would be very  exciting, I felt good, but not good enough not to drink and no to want cocaine!  So many memories from this last trip that turned into a nightmare, which then became  a exciting adventure, I just sat there staring at the dancing flames, drink in hand and savoring the drink and flames, the memories of past lovers– not realizing how wonderfully good I had  it at that time..


Family before a new journey

 Time went by fast and I realized I was not alone– a few moments later I went to my bedroom which was across my jungle room where this person was renting, his room was close so I went into my bedroom to unpack the small suitcase full of the treasures of this last journey, in which I hand souvenirs from jail’s,.

As I was unpacking  I noticed Robert standing at my door, extending has hand and apologizing that we had not been introduced  properly, because my family was there and the burden of my arrival.  I agreed and said  si si so  you’re the one that is  supposed have been living here and taking care of my property,

Well well,  where is Jose?

I will tell you later the said, Would  you  like to go to dinner  tonight?  yes,!

So I closed my door and went to my closet, ( in which amazingly, all my dresses were still there!). I proceeded to put on a cockel gown and some real Hollywood  makeup,.

I was hoping that he would  have some cocaine, why I wanted it  I  don’t know,  I just wanted to get high, I guess– that was my reality at that moment.

We walked not too far  from my Hollywood Home, which was in the heart of the city, to a new very tall building and up to the Penthouse, into an elegant restaurant with a great view of all Hollywood. We sat by the window (I never sit at bars even when a man suggests it, (I am just   not a bar person), ordering a dry martini Beefeater. That was Walter’s brand in his liquor stores and I was saying to myself I should call him and tell him of my disappearance–, because I used to go to Sausalito to see him often in his new liquor store,  which was not very successful. Sometimes his son Michael  would come in to mind the liquor store and we would go to “No name bar” and talk and kiss and drink. But his store was not very successful–  he would assure me that we would marry as soon the business picks up. But then he would tell me some stories of his  ill health. I knew this was just to push me away. but we always came back to each others arms when he needed me.

Robert woke me up out of my daydream with  the  martini in hand,  saying “Salud! Welcome back to  L. A. and your home.”

We spent an acceptable evening and then he suggested we go to somebody’s home, their would be cocaine and dancing and music  and that would cheer me up, put me in a happier mood,

Well believe it or not the party way crazy, like all drug parties in Hollywood . I  met a guy, let’s call him Bill, who said if I gave him some money for a big cocaine purchase, not only would I get my part of it but double my 2000 dollars (in the 80s at was a lot of money). This sounded  just fine I had that money from before I left, in the bank,  plus now my renters money for my expenses,  so why not? Needless to tell you that was not so, and I  never saw the cocaina or the money since!

We even met afterward, in almost every party I went,  and it was so incredible his  cynical behavior, he did not even  look at me ignoring  me completely, pretending he had no  commitment to me, like nada happened!  Of course that was not my only f…. up, this first experience was follow by many more– many more. But I will tell you more in my next book.

I started selling all my precious dresses from all the collections from Spain and hear and IN.Y. of courtier high fashion,,,,, and my big  books library that I breck with mi sense Venezuela , which I mail hear  book by books.

But still waiting for my lover Tad or Jose too come running to me,  and the days went in  and out, weeks, and I just drank and drank same more and more– months went by and then a year,  since we departed from each other, ween Tad left  me to continue his journey, saying Jack and Joy couple times, and that was all besides drinking nothing was  important, nothing,

one or two letters arrived from Jose and none from Tad. But of course I knew Tad had gone  to Pamplona for the running of the bulls (which by now was long over) and then he would stay to learn Spanish in Madrid or Barcelona.

Then one day when I had may garage sale,  out of the blue the father of Tad Gail came to my garage sale and bought my whole Winston Churchill collection, very expensive big books almost new ( I never got to read them) and told me that Tad was coming home soon.

This is not the END is just the beginning.

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” Mama and Jack”


Jack and me in our good times

Mama and Jack  (and his wife Joy, a lady I used to invite to our parties when we were married) were waiting at the airport, and as I embraced mamasita. I could have kissed her to pieces– so I did, I loved this humble woman. She handed me an envelope with my salary commission from Aida Grey salon cosmetics from Beverly Hill where I worked before I left. How thoughtful of her! But that was just her honesty and love, when I left to do business with the Clairol men. Well, you know what happened?

Many employees at A.G.  cosmetics told me when I came back, that  Aida and her big staff there at the main counter treated Mama like a third-class citizen, because she did not wear makeup like all  the customers (which was too much!) and did not wear Gucci clothes. So, consequently they humiliated my sainted momma, made her wait in the workers room in the back, for a long time [while they rounded up may paycheck (those bastards!) You see. money talks and the poor just walk. Revenge? Well I thought of it, but then  I would be as low as they are.

. In those days the salon was full of women like Nancy Reagan and General Bradley’s wife and so on, all the high society lovely ladies dressed in Dior or Versace, ladies that had all the time and lots of money to spend half a day getting (or trying) to look younger and prettier). They only can showed the things money can buy , my mama showed what God had done for us without money! If only they could see her in her furs and hats and gloves, pictures that I still  have, she was a really  Lady and father kept her beautifully, not only because was very important, no,  not only because of has ranks or positions?  but, who he really was, a man of men,  as I just said that is another book, is another story;  this  one is my book  my story,


Dear Mama and my piggy

I wanted Jack to stop the car so I could get a bottle of booze to drink, but Jack said we’re almost at your home, I didn’t remember the man living in my house ? did I meet him before?, but Jack said that he worked with him several times. oh well

Here we are, and as I Look there is a short man standing  at my house  door,  (it must be Robert the roommate Jack got me, ( so I have same money when I came back how good of him after what I did too him.

I said hello and he took my hand and kissed it. Shuuut, it looks like I have a maybe a gentleman in my house,  I said rudely , and mumble my pleasure and  went straight to the little  bar  I had in the kitchen.To my surprise amazingly  it actually their way an full bar including an basket of ice, well well, rum, vodka, and scotch –Johnny Walker black ( in those days there were red or black thats all)  my  favorite of  course way black, I took a glass and poured a lot of it , a little ice and splash of soda, wow, before I offered anybody I finish at and as I waas serving myself another I offer any one por an drink?,  but of course no one wanted a drink at 11am.

“Please Robert, can you put a log in the fire, its cold in here!~Well its winter, where is my servant Fernando? Joy  replied that he disappeared,. “God thank you and thank you all!” I don’t known if anyone heard me or I just had it on my mind?.I went too say goodbye to all especially mama and Jack.

Just knowing the heart of my dearest mummy and  also so grateful to Jack,  I felt  good after  that big drink, Mama wanted to leave; she had Church that afternoon and  tomorrow so she was ready to  leave  Of course Joy immediately volunteered, signaling to Jack. “Let’s go. let her rest” after so an long trip, she said.

After all she obviously did not want Jack to stay any longer, especially alone with me, (wise move and diplomatic and wanting Jack for herself). She knew the divorce did not matter, he still loved me, which I did not know at that time. So he behaved very cool; if he would stay she knew she would never see him again, so that was a great move from her part.

Jack-Son  as I embrace him (goodbye see you soon) so close to his ears and face that we almost kiss on the mouth, when we heart Joy saY, Jack  her mother is waiting are you   coming?,  I did not want him to go, to live alone now, after all I went , I wanted to tell him all the story by the fireplace so beautiful ,real Italian style with read breeks,  where is my decorator carpenter mastro and more, deer  Grand, like  to go horse riding with him , will call him manana,  with my drink on may had.

I tuit  waw good excuse  calculated move of Joy’s part, taken mama and Jack of course,I don’t know what would happen if he stay? will we remarry ?,  after all we had a fantastic life, not a dull moment and  lots of fun, and busy  full life sex , romance, society travel, only God known? he had other plans for us, if she did not call him at that moment, she knew he still love me,  because  we were about to kiss when she call him.

Good night Ludmila rest well as she tuck Jack’s arm pulling him away from me  we talk tomorrow maybe we’ll go too the club and play some  backgammon,  I want you to meet some people, friends of mine,  Jack was still  holding may another hand  reluctant and sadly to let go,

I did not  jump back in his arms as I wanted,  still feeling like I was has wife, but the reality hit me on the face: “Slow downLuda let it be, let go, relax,” I said to myself.

It was weird, it still feels like he is my husband after all I done to him? just like before I felt, he was  waiting for me to come back home , and like before to forgive my immature alcoholic behavior.

But we did not know that then.

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In the Hotel Tamanaco doing a commercial for the car and special Fashion Show.

In the Hotel Tamanaco doing a commercial for the car and special Fashion Show.

I waited for my niece to finish her duties. She was a Public Relations manager for this gorgeous Melia Hotel in the beach of Macuto . I just sat done with my kitty in my bag and enjoyed this beautiful place— for the moment all my troubles seemed so far way.
When my niece was ready, we took a taxi to her place where her mother was awaiting for us, and they did not seem to  mind my kitty. My niece loves cats, but the fleas she pointed out; you see this cat had never seen a vet or taken any medicine even been washed. To me, she seemed very clean , but admittedly she did have lots of fleas!
That evening we went to dinner with niece’s boyfriend.  First we went by to see his place in Caracas , and then out to a nice restaurant. They seemed so in love and happy and I was too. My sister was not so happy about him, but of course I did not known he was married and in the process of divorce at that time..
Mmy cousin Luis son of my brother Anatoly in Canaima i his Island.

Mmy cousin Luis son of my brother Anatoly in Canaima i his Island.

My niece had a wonderful place, full of orchids and so charming and so light. It was hidden by gigantic trees, with the view in between the palm trees moving with an whispering breeze, just letting you peek through  to see the magic blue waters of the Caribbean and the infinite sky with the white patchy clouds. I loved it that way, a perfect place to relax and dream..
This lovely afternoon I decided to get some flea kill powder from the drugstore, and since the pharmacy did not say anything how to apply it, I put the whole amount in the kitties long fur and then I proceed to washed it off, when to my horror she began to choke and breath heavily and  die in my hands! I cannot describe the loss  and pain,  not because she way my companion in that cell in my hammock, but because I loved her, and murdered her because of my ignorance. With tears and guilt, I buried her in the beach on the sand where the waves would keep her with a lullaby putting her to eternal sleep, where high tide would notreach, and I realized that was time to leave all this behind and go home– this part of my life  came to an end.
Sadly I told everyone at dinner what happened with mycat, but they all laughed at me — in my eyes tears were slowly, gently rolling down my cheeks. But that is life… so getting up and going to the guest room, I said  goodnight to all. I told them I was going to call Jack and tell him I am coming home .
“Hello Jackson , I had enough of adventure and romance for a while, please let me know where are the keys to my home? What, you rented it to an associate of yours?  O.K, I guess I can use the money. I will leave tomorrow for Los  Angeles , what? You will pick me up with my mama?
“Yes, I’d love that, thanks you’re great!  See your manana..”

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Well, one of the brothers of the women that my brother  had his son  Luis with, his name was Jose. Jose started the fire and cut the bacon of a big piece of  the boar that  Anatoly had killed.

Then put the whole pig to barbecue on a spit, the whole rest of the big boar (wild pig),

while I prepare the eggs and he bacon on another open outdoors stove .

" Friends and others tourists in the island Anatoly"

” Friends and others tourists in the island Anatoly”


Anatoly (Toola as we called him,)  introduced me to his clients and friends from the boat; some of them were coming back repeatedly almost every year; there was a stewardess from Avensa airlines, some of these people were from Europe, like Joseph, and a Wall Street broker Barry (who reminded me of my friend also named Barry (friend of mine from New York and Los Angeles ), he helped me with the stock market, when to buy and when to sell, but now I rarely see him since I introduced him too the stripper named Stormy Weather, then their was an accountant from U.S, John, and  Arturo from Spain (a lawyer in criminal court) and Marilyn, a housewife ( her husband was back home in Caracas).

We had breakfast with drinks and more drinking and on and on;  this  went on throughout  the day –talking eating drinking–  the hours  rolled by,  very fast until Arturo said, Goodbye I have to go to Caracas on the late afternoon flight so I can catch the plane to Madrid at midnight today.

Arturo politely said his goodbyes asking Jose to take his things to the boat and take him to the mainland.

I did not mention this, but when it rains on the high mountains as had the last night, the river grows and the corrientes became  much more rapid and tricky. You have to know how to cross the river because it is never the same due to the waterfalls constant change in volume of waters. My brother insisted on another toast and more drinks and would not let him move or go to the boat, but finally he managed to get to the boat.

“Where is the boat? Jose where is the boat? senor yo no se!”,  Arturo got louder, almost screaming, “where’s is the boat? I must get on that plane, that flight,”    it was just across the river on the mainland, right there,  es he landing  srip and I can hear the plane”

Senor the waters most drag the boat down the river, the current it is very strong,…….si that is what happened senor.

Well we were all quiet we knew what had happened: Anatoly had untied the boat and let it go to get smashed and destroyed on the next water fall downriver, so he can have his company until he gets tired of them all has quests, his party would not stop and continued until he said so..


Next day my Indian lover show up on a boat from the hotel and was looking at me with those unmistakable  looking  eyes that say it all, everything that lips cannot say, and at that  moment my brothers’ eyes met mine and his, noticing what’s was unhideable.

Anatoly calling him by his name “Aquila”  (O, I like that, his name is great, an eagle), saying to him, “I need you to help me, so I can stay with my sister haven’t seen her for so long we have lot to talk about, Aquila go with a he new group tour down to ” Salto Él Sapo” waterfall, and will see you tomorrow when you are back, be very careful with the tourist safety,…

Then he called Jose after poor Arturo missed all his flights and connections,  Jose signal for another boat, and take Arturo to the hotel on mainland, and then. Jose go and  get the people that arriving on this afternoon flight and ask someone to bring me another boat.

When we were left alone as all were gone, Anatoly said  to me ( I noticed something wrong in his voice  I did not ask or volunteer to say anything,) you known Luda (that is the way he called me) — Yes Toola?  “My sister  is visiting my niece in Macuto that is where she lives and works, (20 min. from Caracas)  you know that my niece is the manager for Public Relations for “Melia Hotel” he very knew first one on Venezuelan,  yes, but I just hope she don’t mind my cat ( all this time sense the jail on Maracaibo,my kitty travel with me,  in my bag, .and it would be a good Idea if you  go see them and spend some time with you niece and sister in the  beach.

Will that was not my plan, but I had to obey t was not a suggestion, I can tell by his voice  that it was a order.

So a few hours later I was on my way to Caracas, will Maiquetia airport,  few minutes from Macuto , I went straight to the Melia and had an  wonderful time and a drink with a meal with the company  of my niece and she tour me around this elegant fabulous hotel in the beaches of Macuto.


Guess who else? flew on the same plane besides my cat? poor Arturo, furious, but , nevertheless we could not help ourselves but laugh and laugh we did, with  a glasses of  ice cold champagne, in those days  in the flights in all the Venezuelan airlines, there was always plenty of champagne and of the best!  Salud!  prost! Na zdorovje !

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 One of the Huts of the Island Anatoly his son Luis.

One of the Huts of the Island Anatoly his son Luis.

Being single at that particular time of my busy life, I felt free to flirt and have affairs, with so whom I choice better yet whom I hand infatuation  it that moment, or like what the sad our how the look it mi etc, mied you! in those days, this behavior was not seen very nice of a lady, especially with a indian or a younger man, then  he  public did not have nice names like gugars,  not that nice, but they call nasty names  like luce women or even worst.

Boat full of those guest arriving.

Boat full of those guest arriving.

After having few cocktails and  drinks with same local food, in this dining room that was so exotic and romantic, music was  playing people where  dancing and others just drinking, some sitting playing chess  and another talking of this man Rudy and others of Anatoly the gold and diamond  man,  of the local white men that men who was so lucky to get  them and of course that was my brother.

The ones that did not know who I was, when heart  of mi,  then inevitably  somebody we’ll whisper and let them know and then when they knew then  they came to my site and offer me drinks and wanting to know more about this world, which really I did not known,  I just play a role, the sister of this famous big white diamond gold men the jungle men the crazy loved Russian.

Brother in the deep savanna were are diamonds whit his Jeep.

Brother in the deep savanna were are diamonds whit his Jeep.

The stars came about and the shining  brilliant moon with the whispering breeze and the roaring of this water falls which all of this made it a magic place and night, he air was full of romantic perfumed smell Orchids and such.

The indian which name I don’t remember now?  came too take me back to the island , I did not resist,  I knew their is no one in the island, but an hammock and candles or a gas linter light.


The smell of this jungle come emanating from him as we were going on the boat tours the island and setting behind him could no eboit smelling him, the sky way full of starts and my hand caressing the water as  the boat gently move thru the dark water , the brightness of the moon  show his dark chocolate shining back from the waist up muscular and strong, that  made me shiver,

As we lande in the island, he jump out too pull the boat  in may favorite site of the island of course, then  he secure the boat , then held his arms too help me so I don’t get wet my pretty sandals and pants,  but instead my hands he simply took me in his arms like a feather and gently stood me up in the shore past the white foam, I had my sandals in my hands so when he put me done in the  warm pink sand, it felt like a very nice massage, that warm pink sand  between my toes and  warm me more than I was already, the brilliant moon was shining on the  dark water reflecting her light and  also in our faces  shining too on our bodies,  behind us the roaring of the waterfalls, the smell of the orquideas and wild tropical jungle flowers where imbricating , plus after all the drinks I hand I was floating.   Standing their nest too him and  looking at this beauty as he was still holding my hand,  then slowly turning to him staring in to each other eyes, there’s  where no words necessary and  no words were sad, for passion is silent, turning around we start waking  too may hut and my momentary home,  we walk holding our breath ,  my heart was burning with a new unknown  flame .

I don’t remember how long it took us to get  from the shure too may hut,  in my mind was not an worry that  possible some one can see us  from the mainland,  sathently their it was the hut and that big hamacas just swinging in the breeze just like waiting for us, the breeze opened it like a fan and we feel in it weebs , now I was feeling  his strong arms around me and  that bewitching smell of his falling singing deep in the hamaca and completely  entwine in each other bodies,  in the  world of  magic jungle land.

He spoke Spanish with that strange accent but as he kiss me  he sexely   wiesper on may ears that Amazon indian dialect , and to this day I don’t known what he said? I only could feel at, then with the  thousands kisses  the night went so fast passing true without apologising .

It was early morning may be 5am the sun was just awaking the earth  and the sound of the jungle stop and only the  roaring of the waterfall you could heard at lowder,  and then  he was gone, did I dream all this?


I did not go any where that day just seat by the river and  sun bait and drink, same more of the hidden bottles I found in the other hut made of aluminum, for safeguarding valuables from the rein, as the night begin I felt that presence, is him , that smell embracing  the air I breathe, this new experience, savege , wonderful passionate I did not known before.

Just his tough electrified me.

Too tell your the truth I  probably would never have  down any of this,  if I was not totally inebriated.

Will, I ever known???

Following morning I walk and heard my brother calling me,  Luda ,  I look around,  is my brother, with fear I look around for him , he was gone, gone.

My brother would kill him, he could in those days and in a place call Canaima of course it would be very bead for all. ,

Luda get some eggs,  start the fire, there is wood behind the another hut, and here is some bacon row, don’t  you ever had a wild  boar bacon?.

We having some friends over.

Their 2 women and 3 men and lots of bottles of beer and other supplies and more vodka of course.

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Morning came, and Anatoly was already gone off to Angel Falls before the sun was up!

Well, time to go to the other side of this glorious island for a walk and maybe a swim, at the spot where I was not afraid of the rapid current, where  there was an outdoor shower. Remembering happy times when we were here with Gala and mamasita, she was singing and throwing soap bubbles over this small wall they made into a shower with  the shower head which was just a hose tied to the branch of a tree. This fancy shower made of a few pieces of wood and a plastic curtain from the knees to the upper chest  and she was sticking her hand out waving and making fun of at it some time singing and throwing soap bubbles; she was playing gesturing with her hands above her, and then washing her hair under the water so pure and silky from the laguna (or should I say all the away from Angel Falls!)  Gala was saying to us,  “See I have a  gigantic open window  to the nature!”  Oh it was fun ! Then she went over to the john and got bitten by a big mosquito in the very inside of her ass! I called those island mosquitoes “flying crocodiles.”



The morning was clear and puffy white clouds were up in the sky above.There were two ways to go to the shore of this island, the one to where it was safer where the waterfalls dropped, forming a white bubble bath with the just right temperature;  and the other way, where the waterfall was falling out of the laguna in rapids, strong waters taking with them all they encountered. This current  I did not trust, so I never took that side; that part of the island I did not like at all, the water was very rapid and dangerous, especially to dock when you came in with a boat– one slip and you’re a goner, into one waterfall and then another and so on: say goodbye to your soul, adios! But the Indians always came that away, whenever they were coming to talk to Anatoly and to bring something  or to communicate  about work,  so I chose the other  way for bathing or coming and going to the mainland.

As I was  walking and admiring the sounds, the wildflowers , and exotic orchids, the smells along this  narrow walk, in comparison to the other it way like being on a film of  Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in a Hollywood setting, and much safer. The last time when we were all there mama and Gala loved this narrow little caminito that was made just by people walking over the path so many times.



I was so happy to be free!  skipping the potholes and rocks and sticks from bushes in the side of the caminito, after a few minutes maybe 10, I am on this glorious pink sand and looking at almost black  water, pure  full of chlorophyll that made it look tea colored and the foam so white on the shore with the water breaking gently against this pink sand around.

After a while, I went in the outdoor kitchen too see if I could get something to drink. There was a bottle of vodka, half full! Yes, my life was revolving too much around the drinks,  but I did not think about it, not at all,  after all, everybody drinks, right?


After a few glasses of vodka and for my  lunch, I’ll just flag a boat to take me to the  mainland too that big dining room full of tourist. The indians on mainland were always watching on to the Island, keeping an eye in  it, after all Anatoly is their family and so am I , he has a son with  one of their woman, so I feel good belonging to this giant tribe of Indians . the One that came to pick me up to take me in the  boat too go too mainland, was tool and very good looking exsoticly handsome.

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After flying over more green jungle and many smaller waterfalls and rivers, we were finally seeing what looked like a dirt runway,  a two lane blacktop and not very long…I started praying: this looks very small and short even for this small plane– a 747 wouldn‘t have a chance! Our Father ………….. and then we are landing, not smoothly, jumping, weaving, and we barely had enough runway to stop just as we reached  the  very  end of the runway. Scared?  hahaha you bet I was!


The captain turned the plane  around to the spot where it was supposed to be park.   As I looked out the window I could see a little palapa and a bench for four persons to sit on, that was the airport. There was  a small dirt road out the other direction to  the other side of the landing strip , as I looked more  I could see a jeep and in it driving  was my brother Anatoly awaiting for me, bravo I am home,  family, yesssss.


In the jeep he had a bottle of vodka that he offered me like it was an bottle of water. Okay,  just a slug from the bottle to calm my nerves from that incredible landing, and especially for the scare that  I got seeing the drunk man directing the airplane to park,  he was weaving like a bamboo tree! The  wind from the engines of the airplane motor was not helping him to stand straight, so this drunk man was moving like a leaf in the wind., I think he was drinking aguardiente ( bad stuff) all  day probably.

The jeep that pick me up" ( that is the landing strip.)

The jeep that pick me up” ( that is the landing strip.)

From there we went off down a narrower road covered with jungle  right and left for about 15 minutes or more, and  then we were in front of this majestic  lagoon with  tea colored waters and sand as pink as a woman’s face powder.


The water in this lagoon where coming all the way from the Angel Falls,  and continuing going past the  camp, around on three sides of Anatoly Island.  and continuing its course on to the Ocean far away,   I couldn’t take my eyes of this part of God’s  creation, a miracle which today is considered one of the seven wonders of the world.

I had been in Canaima once before , little had changed, just a few more huts, but this time it really hit me the majesty and beauty of this place .


The  airport and the small buildings with palm roofs and the palapa huts made  the whole of the village of Canaima in the main land  where we were now.  Approaching this place I commented at how little it had grown. Si, my brother answered as he was having a another slug from the bottle of vodka– and I did too!. He pointed  out that there was a glass somewhere in the jeep. I said  no, we’re almost there, gracias!. We came to the main house with the reception , living room dining room and behind was the kitchen  on the open air, no walls, like this whole place was organic in a primitive rustic away, with the smell of carbon (charcoal) from the local trees, what a delicious  aroma and the  fresh breeze always keep the place pleasant and the air freshy.

Luis Pochepzov, my nephew " (Anatoly son)

Luis Pochepzov, my nephew ” (Anatoly son)

From  this room you could see everything: Anatoly island and the rest of the compound looking at the cascades of water all around the island, with that color of tea and the pink sand  and the tears of water falling from the rocks covered with exotic flowers and some orquideas, looking like long diamonds behind the veil of mist , and  falling into this tea colored waters and making  bubbles  around the lagune to frame this  pink sand–  ah, what a magic place!
Back in those years it was not officially named Anatoly island as it is now, but everyone was calling it Anatoly island because everywhere thru the jungle he was  known as the golden boy not only for his hair and those green big eyes, but for the gold and diamond  diggings. He was like the tarzan of Canaima, now living alone on his paradise  not wanting even the indians to serve him or be with him anymore, on the Island by himself. Only by his private invitation could you get there during those many many years when he was a king., making love too all the pretty women that visited Canaima and then he became a bush tour guide when he wanted,. But there was one special indigenous lady deep  in another  part of the jungle with whom he conceived his only legal son Luis.

He drove the jeep up to the reception and park in front of the door.Then as we  walked in, Anatoly was  introducing me to everybody,  some of them I knew from before. Then we sat down in the veranda area  with our backs  to the island, and facing to the dining room  and the whole enormous compound. So we can see everything,  the island, the laguna and the entrance, while seated  at this long table seating approximately 20 persons or more. I believe it was full, between drinks  and food and singing, when  a very handsome pair of primitive local indians came in, walking to our side of  the table and talking in a whisper  to my brother then leaving. Anatoly said “I have a job tomorrow so I will take off.”


The two Indians had to sit  at a small table  far for all the tourists and white people that worked there,  who were French and  German the majority. The Macaws were sitting on the branches of the trees that surrounded the  hut  and were free to walk around the dining room floor to visit  the people that they already  knew, or just fly in  and sit wherever they found a place  and some of us even fed them from our hands. What a natural way of life!.


For accommodations  they had some very primitives baucoulos (hammocks) and that was all . There was not to much to do except drinking, eating , making love and sleeping,  and some time working. Well, yesss there was  gambling in the evenings!, some of the tourists, admiring  all this magnificent beauty were reading a book! there was no TV, not even a regular old fashioned telephone.


The roaring waters seemed much louder in the evening  and stronger through the night– roaring waterfalls and the smell of the perfume of the orquideas and the brilliant cascades of waters, shining like  diamonds through the silver moon and  falling into the waters of the laguna. that night, the intellectuals and lovers of books\ we’re  reading or just meditating, looking out at this wondrous place, same holding hands and a few maybe kissing passionately on their honeymoon.

So after we finish eating and drinking my brother explained to me, let’s go to the island and you can stay there until I come back from Angel Falls,  which will  take couple of days– now I have to get ready for the tour because there are four tourists  and we are leaving early in the morning, your stay here and I we’ll take you there in another trip, where there’ll be some women , because this trip is all men and we have not separate tents now, they’re being repaired.


Most of the tourists were Europeans, adventurers and criminals and wanderers. The whole Avensa  campamento, the entire compound, village, boats and airplanes belonged to my friends’ family the Boultons, Lord Henry and  Howard and other members of the family.


This jungle was abundant with wildlife, especially the parrots (papagallos in Spanish  and macaws in English), and many hundreds of other species of birds , monkeys, and snakes, not to mention the beautiful wild orchids!

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Flying to Canaima

Anatoly standing in his  island

Anatoly standing in his island

All went well at the airport.  I was relaxing in my seat, when a smiling stewardess came and offered me a drink, asking, “You are the sister of Anatoly ?” I said yes. “Welcome , the captain invites you to the cabin so you can see Angel Falls from above! ”  “Gracias, I will  be there, thank you again”
 I did not realize it before, but now I understood that all the ladies s that flew to Canaima knew my brother including some of the tourists, and most of them had had relations with him, because  he had a reputation of a good lover!

To describe this stormy flight is impossible! Would you believe rain came inside the cabin! I stuck a piece of paper in the hole where the drips of water where coming out,  so the dripping was not hard, but it did drip, and that is when I decided to go up to the cabin to be safer next to the pilot. I least I will see when and if the lightning will strike us?  But thank God it stopped raining and a beautiful rainbows appeared in the sky. My God how immense were the green mansions area! (the area is the south of   Venezuela  and North of Brazil), I remember reading a book call “Green Mansions” and now this is the place, where no man set yet a foot inside those canyons, they are so big and deep .


Ludmila siting in Anatoly island in a place call el Sapo (frog)

Ludmila siting in Anatoly island in a place call el Sapo (frog)

 Falling down from this mountains  where the  water falls, it is something like the great canon but way much more dramatic and deep and dark,a  different smell, and vegetation. From above you see this dense jungle. We flew over Salto él Angel, now I will tell your a real story about it! Angel Fall is officially the 8th wonder of this world, legally and it is several times taller than the Empire State Building just to give you an idea. It is so tall that when I was looking at it, while the pilot flew the airplane around it, you could only see this magic misst forming a transparent wall, the falls were almost not visible when touching the river down below; you could not see the bottom at all!.
That is how high this mountains are
The story goes that Mr. Jimmy Angel flew over this mountains to investigate and map this unknown incredible world of rivers cascading over these gigantic glorious mountains and canyons. the jungle was full of exotic orchids and animals and different race of indians unknown to the rest of the world. After flying several hours he ran out of gas and crashed on top of a mountain peak where this gigantic waterfall appeared., In the  rainy season the waterfall was enormous, and the water in the rivers were very rapid, so it took him several weeks to walk back to some sort of civilization. Finally he came to a flat valley surrounded by smaller waterfalls call Canaima.
His name is forever known as Capitan Jimmy Angel, “él Salto del Angel” or “ Angel Falls ” as it  is known all over this world.


Ludmila siting in Anatoly island in a place call el Sapo (frog)

Anatoly leaving the airplain

So when we flew past Angel Falls that day, the sound of the waterfall was out of this world! It was a magical roaring, so loud but at the same time it invaded your senses with amazing  pleasure at this magnificent beauty, only surfacing in the rainy season. Angel Falls is majestically spectacular and so loud that we can hear it miles away in the sky in our tiny plane

My brother Anatoly was the only other white man in this jungle called Green Mansions, south of Canaima. Later another white man came, Rudy the German with his wife and 2 girls. Rudy became very rich with the tourism to the falls, while my brother was exploring for diamonds mines on the frontier down closer to Brazil .


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"Caracas in  a Modeling job and T.V. interview by Renne Otolina Show"

“Caracas in a Modeling job and T.V. interview by Renne Otolina Show”

On the airplane, I ordered a glass of wine and the stewardess (back in the 60s we called them stewardesses; they were beautiful and sexy looking oh and so young!) and she brought me a full half bottle, a liter of a good Merlot.The flight  went fast; it was a short flight  as I recall, three hours more or less, and I was still not believing that I was out of Maracaibo after four months of hell. Well, that was enough of Maracaibo, for ever!~

"Red Carpet in Hollywood whit Jack Millman,(my x Husband)"

“Red Carpet in Hollywood whit Jack Millman,(my x Husband)”

My thoughts: How could Tad abandon me after that love,that he professed? how cowardly, he left not even a note of good by or a letter, nada! Well, he is too young, that was my  excuse for him in my mind, so I could feel better and keep on living.

But I was  carrying that  resentment of abandonment, with deep pain , and down deep in my subconscious, remembering that my father abandoned us after he went through so much to escape from Russia to Venezuela! and then to leave us and go back to Russia, this did not help me …. Ya basta no more pain, let’s have some  fun.

Just keep on  going Ludmila, my heart kept saying,  this is an exciting life you are living today, and tomorrow, tomorrow is another day, which we’ll begin for the rest of you life, so smile , and smile I did.

Now in Maiquetia I  wanted to continued straight to Canaima, but in those days they had only one flight a day and that not every day. But my luck was that tomorrow they had another flight to Canaima, in that little plane, the one I missed today, so I better find a hotel for tonight.

Walking downtown, I found a hotel where so many times we had stayed,William and I, sniffing cocaine (and we had to sniff it fast because of the humidity in Macuto, which is next to Maiquetia Airport, the town where all the hotels and restaurants were). All year round all the big bananas would come there with their lovers or families too have fun in the sun!  Too  many memories of making love all morning, staying there until it was dinner time and back to Caracas, of course after William would go to the Port de Aduana (Costumes) on the large pier, to check in his cargo of merchandise of liquor that had arrived from the U.K.

"London" 1957.

“London” 1957.

I did not want to stay there this time.Not too far away, a couple of  blocks farther, and there it was, this lovely family hotel in front of the water, the one where I stayed with my sister a long time ago in the 1950s.when we visited Anatoly Island together. I registered for my room on the 3rd floor overlooking the Caribbean; the street below was full of palm trees swinging in the tropical breeze, and across was a cliff where the gigantic waves were breaking strong, and with the moonlight playing beautiful lights on the water and group of musicians playing song and dance music in the street,  and  right there in that big cliff was a restaurant that look like it was hanging off the side , with the waves breaking under it. I sat on the corner where I had more of the view in each direction and ordered a Martini double, dry with just a splash of vermouth. The Venezuelan cuatros guitars were in a small group of 3 men and maracas y tambor; they were singing old Venezuelan songs joropos and one of them that was a known world wide “Alma Llanera”

The group of musicians kept on playing, so I had music, moonlight, good fish (grilled with garlic],  but I was alone just alone. many men asked me to dance , but I said no gracias no to all of them,  I was not in the mood! So I walked back to the hotel, tired but happy and content, taking a long shower and same Cacique Ron  then  going to sleep early, because tomorrow I had to be  back at the airport to fly to Canaima very early.

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