Sunday, September 14, 2014

Santa Barbara, I. Magnin, and Passion




A fog shrouded morning on the coast. Mid-August and we've had fog-hazed days all summer. May, June, July, and now August, filtered through mesh. The mountains, just a mile away, are invisible. Blotted out with the fuzzy cloth of fog. And when the fog thins, you're left with a filter buffering the mountain's typography. The ridges that in November slice clean against the sky, we rarely see in summer.

When I came to visit 35 years ago, I'd been here once before. Shuttled from L.A., and put up in a quaint cottage inn for one night. Five I. Magnin models were brought here for their annual Champagne Fashion Show. We had just performed it in Los Angeles to an invitation only audience. Two-hundred privileged guests, who included the Ronald Reagans, the Robert Stacks, the Charlton Hestons, and other notable celebrities like platinum-maned Maimie Van Doren and the velvet-voiced Johnny Mathis.



We brought the clothes and the show up the coast. First to Santa Barbara, and then to San Francisco in 1962. I was a "house model" at the store on Wilshre and Vermont, who walked the floor from 9-5 wearing too tight Evan's shoes (supplied by the store.) I strolled the white carpet of the second floor and the beige linoleum of the first, inhaling the dreamy moneyed scent of Eau de Joy. I stopped in front of patrons, smiled and said, "Hello, good day." Then posed, touched the fabric of my garment, and said, "This suit is by Jones of New York. You can find it in the knit department on the third floor." I'd then--in spite of my aching blistered feet--do a full pivot, and if the shopper had no questions, smile and say,"Have a lovely day," and move on.




At age nineteen, Santa Barbara was not for me. I had plans, things to do, places to see. I. Magnin was a first rung on the ladder to my future. I was gong to be a great model. I was going to work in New York. And once I got confidence down, solid in my pocket like the four-corned square of a wallet, then I would do what I was meant to do. I could handle it then, that thing I could not, not do. The art that stirred my passions from way before the euphoria of starring in my high school play.

Santa Barbara was stodgy. Santa Barbara was stuffy; I saw its winding roads ascending into the hills, I saw its sandstone retaining walls, I saw its lush foliage; they all registered somewhere in my mind's eye, but I didn't really see them past the stars blazing across my vision. My future is what I saw, and Santa Barbara was to me exactly what the whispered slogan said: "A place for the newly wed and the nearly dead."





*****

Welcome back Dear Readers. I'd like to mention that the photos above were taken of me by I. Magnin when I worked for the store. After fashion shows, newspaper photographers waited in the wings to take photographs of the designer garments. The fashion coordinator would choose models from the staff to pose  for the newspaper shots. In the photo with Marc Bohan, then the head designer for the "House of Dior" in Paris, I am sitting to his left.

It's great to see you here. I plan to return -- as I have been -- in two months. That will be on November 15th. I am about ready to make a new post on my other blog, "Anitra's Book of Days." I imagine that will be within the next few days. Expressing my warm regards to you all. Be cool and safe,      ~    Aneet

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Visit With Charles





On Erin's couch. Eating artisan granola with my hands and wondering, could this be the fourth day already?
After these few days away from home, I am just beginning to decompress. Like a beach ball losing air and growing soft, the taut plastic panels giving way to puckers and dips.

I am not in the woods or at the beach, or even beside a park, but in my daughter's Beverly Hills apartment on a corner of one of the busiest crossroads in the city. Even so, I am finding something rare (at least for me nowadays), solitude. I am not completely alone. Her cat, Charles, is the main reason I'm here. To feed him, brush him, and play with him, and to keep this cat who I've known since he was 2 months old, company.
The once scrappy little Charles, who grew to be a teenager and became a feline who could play hide-and-seek for hours, is not ancient, but at age 12, has grown stodgy and slow.




Charles--an Abyssinian--is social, and follows me non-stop with his eyes. He seems to remember the games we used to play, but rarely shows up to confront me where I'm hiding. In those old days on Woodcliff Drive in that sprawling 3-bedroom house with its long, narrow hallway, we used to run and chase and scurry from room to room. But now, when I hide, I wait and wait, and Charles does not come to poke his head in curiosity around the corner, or rub his back against the door. Instead, I finally lean out from my hiding place to look and find him sitting 10 feet away starring at me with stunned anticipation. He has silently and stealthily crept from the living room through the office into the kitchen. When he sees me appear, his ears twitch and his head starts, but that is all.

I will then dart out and rush toward him, but he does not flee like in the past, scampering all the way across the house like a rabbit to hide in his favorite place under the couch. Today, he just sits and flips his tail, as if to say, "Go on now, hide again. I'm enjoying the show. Continue to entertain me."




Hello Lovely Readers, 
It's delightful to see you here. This is not the first time I've introduced Charles on this blog. He can be found in several posts here: "Charles,"Nov. 30, 2010; "Running Away From Home," April 4, 2011; "Greetings From Charles," Sept. 15, 2011; "Winter Sights," Jan, 2013. 

You can find me on my Facebook page: "Anitra Ford's Celebrity Page," 
as well as on my artist's page: "Anitra's inspriation."

Sending you all cool summer breezes and warm wishes,

Sincerely,   ~   Aneet


P.S.: My next post will be in 2 months on the 15th of September. It would be lovely to see you then.**

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A New Post on "Anitra's Book of Days"

Hello Dear Readers,

     I have recently posted on my other blog, "Anitra's Book of Days." the subject is Santa Barbara's ubiquitous jacaranda trees. This Blogger format does not provide direct links, except through my profile page, which you can access by clicking on the red words at the bottom of my profile in the sidebar.
     My latest post here, on "Anitra Ford's Personal Blog," is "Scolari's Serenade", which you will find directly below. My next post is due on July 15th. Lovely to see you here. I always enjoy hearing from you and responding to you comments.

Cool breezes and happy days,    ~   Anitra


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Scolari's Serenade

video


I continue to post on this blog every other month on the 15th. My next post will be on the 15th of July. On my other blog, "Anitr's Book of Days", I post intermittently, and on my two public Facebook pages: "Anitra Ford's Celbrity Page" and "Anitra's inspiration", I have been making weekly posts.

Cool Breezes and Happy Days to you,    ~    Anitra

Sunday, April 6, 2014

tpirmodelstv.com - Anitra & Janice 3

Here is a video of clips from the early days of "The Price is Right." These scenes taped in the 70's, are fun and vibrant, and as I taped hundreds of shows over my four-and-a-half years as one of the two first "Price is Right" models, their memory runs deep.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Where are These Crows Headed?

video


Above is a video of my neighborhood crows. They were clustered at the very top of an oak tree in my front yard and were aligned in a picturesque manner. As usual, they were squawking their heads off. When I saw them, I hurried into the house for my camera, not expecting them to still be there when I returned. But I was in luck, they were still in action. I began to take a photo, and was sorry that the viewer would not get the full effect without sound. That's when it dawned on me to employ my little-used video application. In short order, the crows delivered a perfect surprise. I've decided they're on their way to visit my new blog "Anitra's Book of Days." You're welcome to follow them and stop by for a visit.

It's wonderful to see you here. I will return to post on this blog May 15th, two months down the road. In the meantime, you may visit me on Facebook at "Anitra Ford's Celebrity Page" and also at my Facebook Artist's Page: "Anitra's inspiration." Keep the wonder going.

My warm regards,     ~    Anitra

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is There No End to the Depths of Which One Can See




It started with a band of coral glowing through my drapes early Saturday morning. I stepped into my slippers, grabbed my camera and went out onto the deck. I then crossed the lawn to where a tiny patch of ocean was visible. The warm December air hung around me like a shawl. Below the coral sky, the sea was glassy and silvered. I took photos.




When I turned back to go inside and begin my morning ritual of writing, the sun was cresting the canyon, and I noticed the stone Buddha beside the pepper tree was now outlined with light. I clicked more photos. Before I stepped away, the jay that visits every morning requesting his handful of peanuts, hopped onto a stack of rocks on the banister of my deck. Again, I clicked my camera. That's when the Elvis Presley birdhouse caught my eye. The birdhouse -- a yard sale find -- I keep, not because it's a great likeness, nor is it that attractive or well-made, but simply because it's an ELVIS PRESLEY BIRDHOUSE!





































And that was the thing Saturday morning, the ocean, the Buddha, the jay, the birdhouse, the air, the light, the warmth, just grew more and more heady, and I was beginning to feel as though I couldn't stop or rest for one moment. Everywhere I looked -- everywhere -- I saw something remarkable. I looked to my right, and the heart-shaped bird feeder dangling from the eaves framed the pristine mountains in the distance. On and on it went until I felt dizzy from all of the sights unfolding.







Here it was, the same world I saw every day, the same shadows, the same morning light -- but this day, it was more. The molecules in the air seemed to be humming. Things that had looked just so-so, or hadn't even caught my attention in the past, appeared charmed. And the imperfections all around me: the unattractive wire fencing, the awkward mix of pots and saucers, the dust, the faded wood and even the rough corners were all smoothed and invisible to me that morning, and I found myself wondering what had happened.









How did this eclectic hodgepodge become a kind of Eden?

























When I finally went back inside, the projects on my table looked like art, and I continued taking photos, stumbling around my house snapping and clicking, unable to stop seeing image after image illuminated.






















View another chapter of this story by going to my new blog: Anitra's Book of Days. You can find it on Google, or by clicking the bottom line under my profile in the sidebar that reads "view complete profile." It will be listed at the top of the page under "My Blogs." Click on the title and you will be there. The post is titled "Magic Morning" and was made on Jan. 15. Happy travels


                                                    *******************


Have a fulfilling and charmed 2014. My warmest regards,

~   Anitra