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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jayne Mansfield

  Hard to believe that June 29 will mar the 44th anniversary of Jayne Mansfield's death. While traveling to New Orleans, Louisiana from Biloxi, Mississippi on U.S. highway 90, the car she was riding in with three of her children by Mr. Universe Micky Hargitaty, Miklos, Zoltan and Mariska, Sam Brody, her married divorce lawyer and lover and their driver, Ronnie Harrison, when the car ran into the rear of a tractor trailer because it had slowed down because of a truck spraying mosquito fogger. The Buick Jayne was end not only hit the back of the tractor trailer but went under it as well. This, plus the blonde wig she was wearing at the time, has led to erroneous conclusion that Jayne Mansfield was decapitated, she wasn't. It was the fact that her skull was crushed that is the cause of death. Jayne Mansfield is buried in Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania where her parents were from.

  That was Jayne's end now for her beginning. Vera Jayne Palmer was born April 19, 1933in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania but spent her early childhood in Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania. At the age of 3 her father died of a heart attack after being given a clean bill of health by his doctor that very morning.Luckily, her mother was able to get a job as a school teacher in order to support the family. Not long afterwards Jayne's mother met and married Harry "Tex" Peers and the family decided to move to Dallas in 1939. At a Christmas Eve party in 1949 Jayne met Paul Mansfield; they married on January 28, 1950.  In November of 1950, after a difficult labor, Jayne gave birth to a baby girl, her first of 5 children. While doing the family thing & having only gone to high school until her junior year, she also attended college studying dramatics at the University of Dallas and the University of Texas at Austin. Her husband thought all of this would dampen Jayne's desire for Hollywood but he was wrong. So after Paul got done doing his stint in the Army (courtesy of the Korean War) he kept his promise to Jayne and the family went to California. But as it seems to be with situations like this the marriage ended in divorce and Paul went back to Dallas.

  Jayne took work in a movie theater but soon began working as a model which led to her film and stage career. Now the studio heads may have thought that  just because she  had measurements of 40-21-35 they were getting a dolt or the whole "Well she's just a woman, what does she know?" deal but they were so wrong. She spoke 5 languages and was classically trained in piano and violin. Her I.Q. was supposed to have been 163. All she did was dye her brunette hair blonde and play dumb. I've heard that it takes a lot of smarts to play dumb. So if anyone could do it, Jayne could. She was signed by Warner Brothers studio for 6 months  because they wanted to have their own variation of Marilyn Monroe. She had a bit part in "Pete Kelly's Blue"  in 1955. Soon after the release of the movie Jayne was loaned out to RKO  for a two second role in "Underwater" which starred Jane Russell. In 1955 she also enjoyed a successful Broadway run in the play "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" On May 3, 1956 Jayne returned to Hollywood and was signed to another 6 month contract this time with 20th Century Fox. The studio promoted her as "Marilyn Monroe Kingsized" and used as a threat against Monroe to get her to work. Jayne's 1st staring role was in the movie "The Girl Can't Help It" which also had performances by Fats Domino, Gene Vincent and Little Richard. In 1956 she met Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay while at a Mae West show. He was one of the musclemen. West was jealous of the two dating and publicly DEMANDED that Mickey stop seeing Jayne, to which he publicly answered that Jayne and he were in love and were planning a future together.In 1957, she was in the starring role of the movie version of her hit Broadway play, "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter". Both Jayne and the movie were a hit. In January of 1958 Jayne Mansfield and Mickey Hargitay married. The couple loved children and were ecstatic each time Jayne  became pregnant. The couple had three children together, one being Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU fame. None the less they divorced in  August 1964 but remained good friends.. In the later part of 1964 she married Matt Cimber, whom she had met when he directed her in a stage production of "Bus Stop" , in Yonkers, New York. They had one child together. While working on what would be her last film, "Single Room Furnished" production had to be stopped in the middle because Jayne's marriage to Cimber was falling apart because of her alcoholism. open infidelities and her proclamation that one time lover,Nelson Sardeli, was the only one to have made her happy. They seperated in July of 1965 and divorced in July of 1966. After her death Mickey Hargitay and his wife was given custody and raised the children he had with Jayne and Matt Cimber, naturally got custody of their son.

  Jayne Mansfield appeared  on television as well as having her own stage shows. It was while traveling to another gig in New Orleans that she died. One of her movies "Promises, Promises" was the first talking picture to feature a mainstream star nude. Jayne was also a Playboy Playmate of the Month in February of 1955.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Lizard King

December 8,1943- July 3 1971
Lions in the street and roaming
Dogs in heat, rapid and foaming
A beast caged in the heart of the city
The body of his mother
Rotting in the summer ground
He fled the town

He went down South and crossed the border
Left chaos and disorder
Back there over his shoulder

One morning he awoke in a green hotel
With a strange creature groaning beside him
Sweat oozed from its shining skin
Is anybody in?
Is anybody in?
Is anybody in?
The ceremony is about to begin

Wake up!
You can't remember where it was
Had this dream stopped?

The snake was pale gold
Glazed and shrunken
We were afraid to touch it
The sheets were hot dead prisons
And she was beside me
Old,she no, young
Her dark red hair
The white soft skin

Now run to the mirror in the bathroom
Shes coming in here
I can't live thru each slow century of her moving
I let my cheek slide down 
The cool smooth tile
Feel the good cold stinging blood
The smooth hissing snakes of rain

Once I had, a little game
I liked to crawl, back in my brain
I think you know, the game I mean
I mean the game, called 'go insane'

You should try, this little game
Just close your eyes, forget your name
Forget the world, forget the people
And we'll erect, a different steeple

This little game, is fun to do
Just close your eyes, no way to lose
And I'm right there, I'm going too
Release control, we're breaking thru

Way back deep into the brain
Back where there is never any pain
And the rain falls gently on the town
And over the heads of all of us
And in the labyrinth of streams
Beneath, the quiet unearthly presence of
Gentle hill dwellers, in the gentle hills around
Reptiles abounding
Fossils, cave, cool air heights

Each house repeats a mold
Windows rolled
Beast car locked in against the morning
All now sleeping
Rugs silent, mirrors vacant
Dust Lying under the beds of lawful couples
Wound in sheets
And daughters, smug
With semen eyes in their nipples

There's been a slaughter here

(Don't stop to speak or look around
Your gloves and fan are on the ground
We're getting out of town
We're going on the run
And you're the one I want to come)

Not to touch the earth
Not to see the sun
Nothing left to do, but
Run, run, run
Let's run
let's run

House upon the hill
Moon is lying still
Shadows of the trees
Witnessing the wild breeze
C'mon baby run with me
Let's run

Run with me
Run with me
Run with me
Let's run

The mansion is warm, at the top of the hill
Rich are the rooms and the comforts there
Red are the arms of luxuriant chairs
And you won't know a thing til you get inside
Dead president's corpse in the driver's car
The engine runs on glue and tar
C'mon along, we're not going far
To the East to meet the Czar

Run with me 
run with me
run with me
Let's run

Some outlaws lived by the side of the lake
The minister's daughter's  in love with the snake
Who lives in a well by the side of the road
Wake up, girl! We're almost home

We should see the gates by mornin'
We should be inside by evening

Sun, sun, sun
Burn, burn, burn
Burn, burn, burn
I will get you

I am the lizard king
I can do anything

We came down
The rivers and highways
We came down from 
Forest and falls

We came down from
Carson and Springfield
We came down from
Phoenix enthralled
And I can tell you
The names of the Kingdom
I can tell you
The thing that you know
Listening for a fistful of silence
Climbing valleys into the shade

For seven years, I dwelt
In the loose palace of exile
Playing strange games with the girls of the island
Now, I have come again
to the land of the fair, and the strong, and the wise
Brothers and sisters of the pale forest
Children of the night
Who among you will run with the hunt?
Now night arrives with her purple legion
Retire now to your tents and to your dreams
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth
I want to be ready

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lili St. Cyr

Born Willis Marie Van Schaack in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 3,1918, Lili St. Cyr was an American stripper in the 1940's and 1950's who replaced Gypsy Rose Lee and Ann Corio as Queen of the Burlesque. Lili is also the one responsible for taking the striptease out of burlesque and putting it in Las Vegas. She was also a pinup model mainly for Bernard of Hollywood. Her family moved to Pasadena, California and was raised by her grandparents. Lili had two sisters who were also in burlesque, Dardy Orlando and Barbra Moffett. Lili was trained in ballet and became a chorus girl at notable places, like the Florentine Gardens. She went on to develop and choreograph her own solo act which featured her nude.When her act debuted at the Music Box proved to be a flop she came up with a new act. It consisted of Lili taking a bath or doing a reverse strip. She became famous in 1944 while performing at the Gaiety Theater in Montreal. A famous gimmick of hers was to have  her G-string that was attached to a fishing line, fly off into the balcony as the lights dimmed. It became known as the "Flying G". She conquered Las Vegas and it was there that she created her "bubble bath bit" on stage  while being dressed by her maid. Lili's private life was fodder fodder the tabloids with 6 marriages, highly publicized fights and suicide attempts. She eventually tired of all of this drama and retreated starting a lingerie business. Lili St. Cyr died on January 29, 1999.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pauline Borghese Part 3

  In April of 1803 the legate to Pope Pius III, Cardinal Caprara, introduced Prince Camillo Borghese into Pauline Bonaparte Leclerc's life. He was a darkly handsome 28 year old prince of modest height & the same angular features as Pauline. His father, Prince Marcantonio Borghese, had deliberately stunted Camillo's  education & Pauline was uneducated. At least in that respect Camillo & Pauline had something in common.

  So it was decided & planned by the Bonapartes & by the  Borghese families that the doltish,but rich, Prince Camillo should wed the vain Pauline. The Bonapartes contrived to make the marriage Camillo's idea & could hardly believe his dream was coming true when Pauline accepted. Strangely enough Napoleon was the only one against the marriage. Or he could've just been playing the devil's advocate. He did finally agree to the match but made Pauline wait the old tradition of a 12 month mourning period instead of the Napoleonic Code 10 month mourning period.

  So on August 25, 1803 the couple signed a pre-nup stating : Napoleon would pay Pauline's 5000,000 francs dowry: Camillo bought her  diamonds  worth 300,00 francs& access to the Borghese family jewelry. She alone  would keep her inheritance from Leclerc. If camillo died before Pauline she would get a 50,00 francs a year annuity, plus two luxurious carriages & the right to maintain apartments in 2 Borghese residences.

  Even though the civil ceremony was scheduled to take place in November, Pauline was impatient & the two consummated their relationship in July. So the couple got married in secret on August28, 1803 without Napoleon's knowledge. He did find out about her marriage when she was introduced as "Princess Borghese" at a soiree Napoleon was giving & he was not at all pleased. Because he had been publicly shocked, surprised & humiliated by his favorite sister, no less, he coldly informed Pauline that where he lived there were no princesses & to have some modesty & not to take a title her sisters do not own.

  Even though he succeeded in mortifying Pauline he did not stay angry with her long. In a letter he told her that she was 24 & ought to be mature & sensible by now. He should have known better than that because in no way, shape, or form was she any of those.

  Following her arrival in Rome she delayed her meeting with the Pope because her dress from Paris had not arrived.Pauline then went on to insult her in laws & Roman high society by feigning a violent headache in order to get out of going to a party given in her honor by her mother-in-law. Even though Pauline was  fine all day. But all of this was of no matter her for she regretted  her 2nd marriage calling Camillo a "eunuch" & starting an affair, 4 months after the wedding, with a poor hereditary prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Even though Pauline tried to disguise her infidelity  Camillo caught her with compromising letters, which he is said to have said he would have "given the world not to have seen". Even Cardinal Fesh, a relative, was not able to get Pauline to behave herself. Neither did a letter from Napoleon affect her. For while her sexual liaisons were acceptable within her Paris coterie, they were considered to be intolerable in Rome- but not because she was unfaithful but because she was flaunting her infidelity. Unlike her mother-in-law who had been having an affair for years but kept it quiet.

  Just because Camillo did not want to share his wife's body it did not mean he wasn't proud of Pauline's body. So in 1804  Antonio Canova was commissioned to do a sculptor of Pauline. Canova had to be cajoled to do the work. He to became smitten with Pauline & thought she should represent Diana, goddess of the hunt but she insisted on Venus The marble piece became known as "Venus Vitrix"or Venus Victorious.

Posing with an apple in hand & a piece of cloth draped over her lower half, Pauline was unconcerned about whatever damage could have occurred her reputation. The full-statue was not finished until1808.

Part 4 to follow.
Thank you for staying with me on this piece.