darlings – – –
if you’ve just tuned in, we have already visited the Village, Joe Papp’s Public Theatre and St Paul’s Chapel to take photographs, muse on where Anita and Helen stood and indulged in conversation and observation over thirty years ago (so much has Not changed in New York we are thrilled to see).
we got to the chapter where Ms. Loos and Ms. Hayes visit The Lynne Palmer School of Astrology.
BLOWING OUR MINDS
The Lynne Palmer School of Astrology is on West 72nd Street in one of those offbeat neighborhoods that look like steel engravings of New York in 1880. Our destination was a ten-story office building which, in its heyday, had been a skyscraper. It frankly shows its age and the elevator wobbles.
We entered a room so immense that there was space to spare for twenty-five large round tables, each one of which accommodated four armchairs and a sizable ashtray. There was enough wall space for any number of astrological charts representing signs of the zodiac. At the end of the classroom stood an easel on which were placed horoscopes of the famous for study by the class. (Napoleon’s was there that day, with an astrological alibi for Waterloo, no doubt.)
we were intrigued by the concept of re-enacting this chapter and decided to see if there was a school-for-scopes that We could visit.
……..we did a search on the Interweb and found out we didn’t need Another School
so we made an appointment To Call (of course we called her on the baby pink princess phone, darlings).
and last night we spoke with the lovely Lynne (who was on her own telephone in her Las Vegas abode) and we talked for ages about the day that Anita and Helen dropped by.
Firstly, Lynne told us about her scrapbook online which contains the Original Telegram (well, a digital snapshot, of course) that Ms. Loos sent.
here’s another snippet from Twice Over Lightly that records that day.
In no way did Miss Palmer conform to our visions of an astrology teacher. She looked not more than thirty, was feminine, cute, and pretty as a postcard. She wore not a smidgen of batik nor even an amber bead. On the contrary, her pink suit possibly came from Chanel and she sported a few tasteful jewels that looked hot off the workbench of Van Cleef and Arpels. The only manner in which she fitted our idea of an astrologist was that she hails from the capital of the world of whim-wham, Los Angeles. Where else?
we asked Lynne about the suit (because it did sound glorious) and she said:
“It was a tweed suit, yes, in pink, with a fur collar and cuffs and I wore an emerald ring with diamonds. I do love sparkly things.”
we do, too. #sigh
Lynne has had an extraordinary Life – full of the nicest serendipities and unseen hands guiding – from a start in Showbiz as a dancer on the border, in El Paso, where the choreographer was obsessed by astrology magazines so Lynne read them in order to make conversation with the audience during show breaks (one had to be charming and congenial) which lead to taking classes on erecting charts (“I wasn’t the least bit interested at first, especially in the math that is needed for astrology,)” and on to Hollywood, being photographed as a model by Harold Lloyd and becoming chums with Mickey Rooney and going to parties with a certain Mr. Sinatra and being Lauded as the first astrologer invited onto Mr. Carson’s show.
take a look at more bits from her scrapbook!
more from That Day with Anita Loos and Helen Hayes….
Lynne apologized for her premises, saying that only in an old building could she find a room large enough for her classes. Hers is the only school in our nation, she told us, where astrology is taught en masse. Classes are held all year round with sessions for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students. “I have a special seven-weeks marathon course,” said Lynne, “during which the entire subject is covered in depth and detail. All ages and types attend that class. I have a seventeen-year-old hippie whose special interest is Tarot cards and a professor of psychology from the College of the City of New York.”
“When could one enroll?” I asked and learned that no enrollment is necessary. “One merely shows up at will and pays six dollars a day.”
The beginner’s course deals mostly with “chart erection.” The intermediary course features advanced math but also includes a study of special horoscopes of, for instance, twins, psychics, astrologers, dogs, traitors, murderers, homosexuals, transvestites, people who changed their sex, prostitutes, madams, sadists, nymphomaniacs, con artists, liars, drug addicts, movie stars, and writers. Among the last, Lynne’s students learn all about Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Billy Rose, grace Metalious, Hedda Hopper, and Stephen Foster.
we adore Hedda Hopper.
She was Utterly Discreet on the telephone with us, but hinted at some of the glittering celebrities that swear by her Charts and Predictions and guidance.
we took a sneak peek again at the scrapbook and saw Another gloria is a Fan, for one (on a side note, darlings, we live Not Far from her Very Attractive son in his newly refurbished fire house – what fun!)
we talked for such a long time and realized that we must let Lynne enjoy her evening, for it was getting Rather Late.
but we remembered to ask for her postal address so we can send a thank you card.
just like Ms. Loos did all those years ago after that fateful visit.
but just before we said our goodbyes, we told Lynne (for we felt we had gained some measure of intimacy and friendliness by this point in our Conversation) that we are Moving (back) to L.A.
“I loved living in Los Angeles!”
she said, winsomely.
and so we talked a little while about her favo(u)rite haunts back-in-the-day – she remembered parties with Esther Williams and nights at the rose-pink-loveliness of the Beverly Hills Hotel, living on mid-Wilshire at one point, Hollywood another, and having decent tacos at El Coyote and typing it all up on her IBM typewriter (still, darlings – isn’t that glorious – someone else comes over to pop it on the Interweb, although she’s a dab hand at email as we found out).
so – memories-of-Los-Angeles came pouring out and we drank them in over the telephone wires between off-the-neon-strip-Las Vegas and inky-dark-night-fall of Manhattan.
we may have to ask Ms. Palmer to have tea at the Beverly Hills Hotel sometime (she visits annually) to write about her Time in Hollywood more fully.
wouldn’t that be delicious?
we. think. so.
such interesting people in the world.
so ripe to record for An Exhibition (ahem).