THEY WALKED TOGETHER II
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An original oil on canvas by June Pauline Zent 18×24 inches. The models for this painting are talk show host Mike Douglas and his wife Genevieve.
There was really no end to the surprises. Now Buddy wanted to introduce me to another celebrity friend that he planned to gift with my artwork. His name was Mike Douglas seen every weekday on his TV talk show. I watched or listened to it often. He and his wife Genevieve owned a condo on Jupiter Island where they would be available for me to visit and to photograph. Buddy’s idea was to give them an oil painting of their hands, then produce a series of drawings that could be sold as Limited Edition prints.
I pulled on my jeans with an appropriate blouse, threw the camera case and my purse over the shoulder, and took off for the island in my tiny compact car. I considered that I was under dressed but the famous talk show host might as well know the real me so that we could establish an honest rapport. The elevator seemed to climb forever to their apartment high up in the huge condo where my arrival had been announced in advanced.
The door was opened by the handsome man who I recognized but he had a scowl on his face which changed instantly to a wide grin. I guess he no longer viewed me as a threat when getting a look at this five foot high 105 lb. unassuming little woman. After introductions the visit lasted about an hour with me snapping picture of their hands in various poses. Some were taken out on the balcony where the ocean could be used as a background reference. We became quite friendly and finished with the three of us sitting at the dining room table viewing photos of their beautiful grandchildren. You could see the proud pleasure on their faces as they shared stories and I was truly entertained. I left with warm hugs and a feeling of having had the privilege of acquiring two new friends. Mike was the outgoing extrovert and Gen the gentle, soft-spoken but strong complement. This realization greatly influenced the final drawings and the oil painting above. Here is a letter I received written by Gen while the work was in progress.
Arriving back home there was the usual call from Buddy who was pleased with reports from them. He also talked about a movie that he had signed to make with Chris Christofferson in California. ” Honey he said, I have to do it no matter how I feel or how sick I am”. “No one will ever insure me for a film if I opt out, besides it’s the first time I have ever been offered a million bucks to star in a film.”
Our next meeting was a visit from him at my tiny apartment where he spent time playing ball with Billy who was busy trying his best to ignore him. Buddy kept glancing at me with an inquisitive look. I knew why: he had shaved his beard, now looking more like the Buddy of his youth. But I wasn’t about to acknowledge or volunteer an opinion. Finally he blurted out, ” Notice anything different?” Laughing I said, “Oh, you mean your clean-shaven face? I saw that before you entered the room.” And hastened to say, “You look great to me either way.”
How long would it take before he was gone? My head swirled with questions that I needed to ask before he left. I mustered the courage. ” what’s your relationship with Dinah Shore?” He answered, ” She is a dear, dear friend”. “and your relationship with Tammy Wynette?” again, ” She is a dear, dear friend.” OK, I had no right to ask these questions much less discuss his answers, but I knew that they were both much more involved.
“There is something that I want you to do for me.” he said later, Cat dancing is pregnant.” News to me! ” I want you to be ready with your camera to take pictures as soon as she gives birth then paint an oil for me of her and the new baby. Of course I agreed. I would have done anything to make him happy!
Stay tuned for Continued eight where i hope to see you here.
Added note: The original artwork titled SEAQUARIUM is now offered for sale here.