Thursday, January 15, 2015

Erin, Memories, Christmas Eve

Christmas with my daughter, Erin, is an annual event. One in which I drive from Santa Barbara, down the coast to Beverly Hills -- the area where we lived, loved and spent our days for almost 20 years. Usually we dine out on Christmas Eve, and afterwards, coast the elegant streets of the city, viewing the Christmas lights at night.

Here, our history is rich.

And when I return, it's as though the sidewalks welcome me back. The years of traveling down Wilshire and Little Santa Monica Boulevards, going on interviews on the Sunset Strip, and performing modeling and acting jobs. Even the shopping excursions to keep my wardrobe up to snuff were memorable. In that world, part of my personal job description was to always keep searching for that eye-popping outfit: something unique to wow on and interview, and hopefully, make them remember my name.

Shopping at Georgio's on Rodeo Drive, for an ensemble to wear to the Oscars, is an episode that stands out in my mind. And today, driving down Brighton Way, the memories encircling me like whirling leaves, I could almost hear Al Green crooning in the background and catch the drift of Chanel #5.

Erin was such an integral part of those days: days when I strove and raced and never seemed to stop. And now with so many of those days behind me -- some that live on video and film -- I see how the past still shines. But also, I notice the way it pales beside the light of my dear daughter's eyes.


  1. Lovely photos, Anitra, and beautiful cascade of Christmas lights. Also intrigued by your description of busy work-years and how your daughter is still an important companion. Our holidays have got smaller over the years and simpler. Children grew and scattered over the country. We visit them but usually find ourselves dining out with another empty-nest couple on Christmas. The days of large extended family gatherings are past, leaving a small circle --but a prestigious one-- and a busy telephone. Now we have another new year to explore. Best wishes to you in it!

    1. Geo, hello! It's always a delight to hear from you. Glad you liked the photos and the video. And yes, it is true, our children leave their nests and disperse hither and yon, and we are most fortunate to have their presence whenever it avails.

      You describe the current busy phone and visits with your children. Having Christmas with other empty nesters, is how we move forward once our children cultivate their own paths. I think the fact that it was just Erin and me (a single mom) for most of her childhood, has made us closer. And dare I admit, the fact that I gave my career such a high priority during that time, makes me feel as though I still have more to offer her. Also -- dare I say -- from my point of view, she is simply wonderful company.

      Thank you for sharing a bit of your own charmed life in your exquisite words. There is always so much wisdom as well as poetry in your perspective.

      And yes, 2015 is here. May it bring you, Norma, and your family, health and happiness :)

  2. Hello Aneet!

    What a beautiful, lyrical post. It's wonderful that you and Erin can keep your traditions alive. Like Geo, Christmas has evolved for me over the years too. For most of my life Christmas Day, meant getting together with my dad's family which is a very large group. Wherever the gathering was, it was always a house full of food, drink, and merriment. The last few years, however, everyone has done their own thing, and I've gotten to enjoy Christmas on a much smaller scale with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew. Like I mentioned to you on Facebook, Christmas Eve seems to be the quietest night of the year, and this Christmas Eve was no exception for me. In the evening I sat on my living room couch enjoying the lights and ornaments on my tree, and remembering happy Christmases as a child, when I would get up before dawn on Christmas morning, and run downstairs to find presents under the tree. Yet now as a 30-something adult, I find so much more enjoyment in the simpler things at Christmas, such as the tree or lights, or just the quiet time.

    No doubt you did justice to any garment you selected from the boutiques of Beverly Hills, and how exciting to go to the Oscars as well. I love your description of how driving down Brighton Way triggered such clear, vivid memories. It is amazing how the mind works, and the things that we can recall, isn't it?

    I hope 2015 has started well for you, and of course I eagerly await your next post.

    With best wishes and fond regards,


    1. Joseph hello!

      Thank you for sharing your wonderful reflections. It's a pleasure to read your words. I have the sense that you've been doing quite a bit of writing. there is such ease and clarity to your words.

      I so enjoyed the image of you with your large family, as well as the images of your quiet enjoyment now.

      And let me add that yes, memories and creative ideas are remarkable, and also, let you know, that your kind words are happily received.

      I hope that this year is bringing unexpected pleasures your way.

      My fond regards, ~ Aneet

  3. Aneet, Good Morning!

    A happy new year to you and Erin! This post brings back some memories of my trips to California. I have been to LA quite a few times and loved Beverly Hills and Rodeo Dr. I believe it was 1977 and I was talking with my Dad outside a delicatessen called Nate and Al's. (Do they still have Nate and Al's?). As we were chatting, Norman Fell walked by to go in. So did Carol Lynley. Candice Bergen was looking at sunglasses in a corner drug store and talked with my Mom and told her that she was a very beautiful woman. My mother returned that compliment quickly. I remember Candice Bergen being very tall and beautiful herself of course. My Mom used to model for Prell shampoo and to this day is still a beautiful 84 years young. They called La Cienega Blvd restaurant road. Lawry's Prime Rib, Tail O' the Cock, Su Ling's (where I ran into Johnny Olsen), all these restaurants that ring a bell.

    These pictures are terrific. I would sure hate to see the electric bill that those folks receive after the Christmas season is over! But that is some display!! Your daughter is beautiful and is following in her beautiful Mom's footsteps! I saw her on that episode of TPIR holding that puppy. I thought when Erin got a little older, she might model on TPIR herself.

    Best to you and your family always.....


    1. Jonathan,

      As always, it's lovely to hear from you. You have quite a wealth of memories from Beverly Hills! And yes, Nate and Al's is still there, and it is exactly the same. It doesn't even look like it's been painted in the past 40 years.

      You sure saw a lot of celebs when you were there. But Nate and Al's has always been a magnet for the Kosher (as well as non-Kosher) Hollywood set. That Candice Bergan would tell your mom that's she's so beautiful, is impressive. A model for Prell. Wow! If my recollection is correct, they always used the classic Miss America type with unreal perfect skin. It's inspiring, and great to hear that you mother is still beautiful at 84.

      Thank you for your kind words, Jonathan, and your compliments for Erin, they are happily received. And may you and your loved ones enjoy health and happiness in the coming year.

      Sincerely, ~ Aneet

  4. Oh, what makes all the striving and rushing and hoping and praying worthwhile is that light in the eyes of the ones we love. Erin is a lucky lady, I do believe, to have a mom who treasures her for all the gifts a daughter can give yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

    As always, I love walking beside you as I read your stories-- I can almost see the sunshine cascading down over Rodeo Drive and can almost hear the radio playing Al Green and a soulfully worldly-wise DJ moving on to a tune by Billy Paul and mumbling something about poor Billy half-wishing he could find a way out of his dilemma with Mrs Jones and half-wishing he never finds that escape...

    Many Thank Yous, Aneet, for a nice (albeit) belated start to my New Year's reading...

    1. Louis, it's always a treat to hear from you and to read your impressions. You weave journeys with your words. And yes, you know about that "light.." And oh my, Billy Paul, the push and pull of that song is impossible to forget. And then bringing up the question of his dilemma, which I had never thought of in quite that way, takes me on a Louis Nugent train, heading toward and unexpected destination: a vivid and vibrant land of imagination quite rare in the world.

      I hope this message finds you well Louis, and that you are taking 2015 in your stride.

      My good wishes to you and yours. Sincerely, ~ Anitra

    2. All's well here and I hope this finds you enjoying 2015 as much as I'm enjoying it. Madame N and I are just back from a quick jaunt to the Pelican State to see the Louisiana branch of the family-- a perfect mid-winter break of sunshine for us after a freakishly rare ice storm froze this part of the desert for four days. At times I think I'm still on the road but a few lazy days should cure that feeling. Wishing you and yours the best, too!

    3. How nice to think of you and Madame N on the road escaping ice storms and finding the sun. So happy to hear that you are enjoying this year and finding the pleasure in your days.

      I recently came across a quote attributed to Frank Lloyd Wright, and was thinking of posting it: "The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes." It doesn't quite gel with Wright for me, but nevertheless, I love the quote and it seemed apropos.

      Thank you again Louis for your wonderful words, and for including Madame "N".

      ~ Aneet

  5. Dear Ms Ford
    Loved reading your holiday thoughts. That time of year can be difficult at times. It was a very big deal to my Mother. My Father & I have not really continued the tradition since she passed. This past year I started baking again realizing how much I missed it. I really went crazy!! Everything turned put amazing each time and I just kept going! I was able to gift family & friends with my homemade confections & they were happy. It felt so wonderful & I really felt my Mom baking along with me. Plus it my way of celebrating the holidays by celebrating something she loved doing. My Dad was happy as well for he had something to have with his coffee each day�� all the best to you as u continue to explore your personal projects.
    Warm Regards

    1. Riche, hello, hello!

      So lovely to hear from you -- and perfect timing. Barb Tabor just posted "The Eggsorcist" on my Celeb page timeline, and she said that she didn't find it there so she thought she'd add it. Right about the same time that I was remembering that you had posted it, but that it isn't visible now, you were commenting on my blog! I do believe there is a psychic element to the Internet.

      Riche, thank you so much for posting about your Mother and your baking. It is heartwarming and touching to read your words. I am so sorry to know that you have lost her, but also impressed with your resilience and ability to honor her and to spread kindness in your own inimitable way. Your baking was a gift for everyone, including you! And your comment is a gift to me and to everyone who reads this.

      My fond regards, Anitra

  6. Wishing the world's most beautiful lady the world's most beautiful Valentine's Day! May your day be filled with love, health, family, and let's not leave out those mint ganache filled dark chocolates!

    All this wished to you from the world's most wonderful, handsome, sweet, intelligent, talented, and most important of all, modest man on earth!!!

    Best always.....Jonathan :))

    1. Jonathan,

      You make me smile. You are rare, unique and one of a kind. What a treat it is to read your original comments.

      I'm delighted to finally have a full description of you, and to know what a humble saint you are. May today, and all of your days be filled with warmth and sweetness.

      Thank you :)

      My fond regards, ~ Anitra

  7. Hi Anitra:

    I'm catching up on your posts. Wow, I can't believe you went to the Oscars. When did you go? I loved reading about your memories shopping. I bet anything you wore was simply gorgeous on you. Was there a favorite fashion or accessory that you liked the most? I'm crazy about designer purses.

    I also enjoyed reading about your relationship with Erin. She is lucky to have a warm, beautiful and caring mother. Hearing the words "I love you" from your children are the sweetest sounds ever. I hope 2015 is treating you and Erin well. I'm very busy in the world of pr here in Illinois and waiting for warm weather to arrive soon. Take care, Anitra.

    1. Marie,

      How fun to see you here. It's like old times :) Yes, I went to the Oscars twice. If my memory serves me well, I went the year before I did Price, and then again in '74, or '75. The first outfit was absolutely wild. I thought it was beautiful, but it would take too much to describe it here. The second red carpet, I wore a nondescript floaty dress under a mink coat borrowed from our sponsors on The Price is Right. It wasn't me. But the first one was. Someday I'll write about it. Oh, I wish I had a photo in that ensemble (from Giorgio's.)

      Thank you for your lovely, warm-hearted message. I'm happy to hear that your work is keeping you busy (I hope just as busy as you want to be.) And yes, I can sense summer lurking 'round the bend, and those juicy farmer's markets ripe for the taking.

      Blessing and happy days to you, Marie,

      ~ Anitra

    2. And oh, Marie, the fashion accessory. I understand how you feel about designer purses. A good looking purse can make an outfit. I saw a small shoulder bag at Nordstrom's recently, and simply loved it. It had no price on it. I asked the sales clerk how much t was, and after looking it up, she said, "Four ninety-five." I think I blinked and stopped breathing, and then said, "Ah, yes, but of course." She then made of point of repeating the price. This time saying, That;s four-HUNDRED and ninety five dollars." And I said, "Yeah, it's a pretty purse."

      That fact is, I love fashion, all fashion. I love to use fashion like art or jazz. Nowadays, I pretty much stick with ageless casual. And I must admit, I could fill a room with scarves.

      Okay, no novels here. Until the next time, ~ A