Part 6 We Finally Come to Wife Number 2

Part 6  After An Intervening Interlude in My Three Wives…

We Come to Wife number 2

Before we begin to explore more of the Autobiographical Manuscript of L-15 I want to clarify my point of view as an observer.  What I have observed often in L-15 is his pain and frustration.  I know there are always opposite viewpoints in relationships and telling ones own view point might be helpful in dealing with that pain and frustration.  I have observed that with L-15’s writings and I can see that processing of pain and frustration in his artistic expression also.  So, though I don’t have a first hand account of the view point of his wives or his marriage counselors I am sure they had view points of L-15 and they were valid as well.

I express this as some way of explaining why this manuscript continues with this chapter but abruptly ends at page 42 apparently never to go further.  I think it merely a coincidence that page number corresponds with Douglas Adams’s “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life the Universe and Everything” in “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” which is the number 42.

So with these qualifying statements expressed I will remind you that in Part 4 published in this blog we began and  are still in a “Chapter” of his manuscript that contains this title:

MY THREE WIVES

OR;

MY ADVENTURES WITH 

THREE IDIOT MARRIAGE COUNSELORS

DURING

MY MARRIAGE TO WIFE NUMBER THREE

OR;

HOW DID THAT EVER HAPPEN TO ME”

OR;

I HAVE HEARD OF A “B—CH ON WHEELS” BUT NUMBER THREE WAS ON JET SKATES!

Blog Part 4 contains the above title and Blog Part 5 is subtitled as “AN INTERVENING INTERLUDE.”  It continued into sub-section WIFE NUMBER 2 because it fits in well with the manuscript content of the INTERVENING INTERLUDE portion.  So we will take up with the next paragraph that will now actually pertain to L-15’s story about wife number 2.  But since it is rather short we will continue this blog entry right on into WIFE NUMBER 3.  So we continue with his story on:

WIFE NUMBER 2

I had arranged with a high tone phone answering service that the operators needs must answer calls to me with the greeting “Cheyanne Schatz, wahoo!”  One of the operators that was particularly enthusiastic with her wahoo contacted me on the sly and said she would like to get to know me personally.  I invited her down to the Ash Grove where I was appearing regularly ever Sunday night.  She came on down and we became fast friends.  After a few months of pleasant friendship we thought “Why not get married?”  And, so we did.

Things went along well enough for about a year.  It was about then that my second wife began to spend long and frequent hours away at “business meetings,” or at “outings with the girls.” These meetings lasted well into the night, a few times through the night.  And then one day she said that she had a desire to go out to Aspen, Colorado, and spend some time there.  I felt it was her right to go wherever she wanted to go and off she went.  She continued to stay out there, and we communicated from time to time by phone and mail.  After a number of months she invited me to visit with her for a couple weeks at Aspen, and I did so.  It was a pleasant visit  At the time she was working as a waitress at one of the resorts, and for some reason or other I had the odd feeling that there was a particularly comfortable relationship between her and the head waiter.

After another while she came out to visit me in Venice, California, (by this time I had purchase an wonderful old home a half a block from the ocean).  We had a very pleasant two seek visit, and, during the course of a conversation decided that, well, why not get a divorce: and so we did.

My second marriage was not unpleasant, but it was not what I thought a marriage would be.  It was then that I decided that I would never again try the marriage experience.  I didn’t understand women well enough to know what I was getting by way of marital bonds.  I wasn’t going to try it again.

WIFE NUMBER 3

Together With the Three Idiot Marriage Counselors 

-As mentioned Above-

I mentioned just above that I had purchased an old home in Venice, California.  I would like to briefly expand upon that.  Since early childhood I loved Venice Beach.  I recall that when I was nine or ten I would take the Red (Street) Car from Los Angeles to Venice, and roam around the ramshackle and rundown neighborhoods.  The canals created in the twenties had become wonderfully overgrown with weeds.  For years I frequented the area with sketchpad.  I would get there in early morning and stay until late evening, sketching and taking in the scene.

I started doing this in the late thirties and returned frequently as the decades passed.  I loved the place.  And so, when I had the opportunity of purchasing an old duplex I became the happiest person on earth.  The large house was on two levels.  I used the bottom level as an artist’s studio and the upper as a deluxe bachelor’s pad.  By that time I learned to greatly enjoy the carnal attraction of women, no longer stressful because of the introduction of the pill. 

The room overlooking a view of the ocean contained a twelve foot velvet seduction sofa.  Another room had been transformed into a South Seas Retreat.  It was lined wall to wall with soft mattresses covered with soft fabric.  Gentle Hawaiian music played in the background.  One had to crawl through a dark tunnel to enter into this seductive and relaxing other world.  I am not going to mention such things as the overhead mirrors in the bedroom.

It was the most wonderful time of my entire life, like a dream come true.  By day I was a physical therapist, and by afternoon into the night I was an artist (pleas see My Life As An Artist section).  I had retired from Show Business and was no longer doing medical research projects, as described in the section Medical Research Days.  At the time I was the supervising physical therapist at Westside Hospital.  I recall telling Ed Edwards of the maintenance staff how happy I was, and that if I ever even spoke of getting married again to please put me in a strait jacket and have me locked up in a crazy house.

The next day a new ward secretary joined the staff of Westside, and it was love at first sight.  Lucinda Mae was straight from the plains of Iowa.  Cute as a button (although she did have a black stumpy tooth, the result of a run-in with a tree a few years earlier) sweet as molasses and gentle as a dulcet breeze.  One could see at a glance that she was straight as a die, nothing hidden in that gal.  But I didn’t analyze her clinically, my heart melted with love.

I heard that she was from a particular small town in Iowa, so I obtained a map of Iowa, looked up the town and its surroundings, and at the earliest opportunity, pretending that I didn’t know she was from Iowa, contrived to mention in her presence that I had recently spent a weekend in ______.  “Oh, is that right,” said she, “I grew up in _______ which is very close to where you were.”  Well, it turned out that it was indeed a small world.  One thing led to another, and in one week we were married.

This is a good point to stop.  L-15 is a person of contradictions it seems.  But I am struck by the fact that he is clarifying that he spent his years before losing his mother and two siblings in California.  He said at nine or ten years of age he would take the street car to Venice Beach, and sketch.  This documents his love of art before the traumatic break up (at his age of eleven) and his continued presence in the Los Angeles area before and after the loss of his family.  I ask myself, may he have been escaping a household of increasing negative feelings by getting out to sketch in Venice Beach? Solitude and sketching in Venice Beach created a world of very positive feelings and perhaps a way to cope with his feelings when his relationships were filled with conflict.

We learned that when his mother couldn’t take it any more she escaped with the two siblings to New York, and not long after that escape there followed the departure of his father, Milton, east to Pennsylvania as well.  This left him with his Aunt Sylvia (born Sara) in California.  We might wonder about the financial support for his childhood and schooling through his young adulthood.  Could the money for this be coming from a paternal grandmother (the matriarch)?  More clues about his schooling and financial support (from his extended family?) appear in the KCET documentary episode of  “One of Kind: Bernard  (Cheyanne) Schatz” and in Part 7 of this story in my next blog entry.

Part 5 An Intervening Interlude & Wife Number 2

 

Here are three photos from this time.   I approximate the portrait photo as the 1950s. It has a Photography Studio address on the back that pre-dates the beginning of 5 digit zip code and Bernard looks a little heavier. Next is the cropped and close up of a polaroid of Bernard in his aunt’s basement during the time of the One-Man-Band where he looks a little thinner probably early 1960s.  The third photo was marked on the back as Washington DC.  The instrument case says “Cheyanne Schatz One (Man) Band.  I know he traveled and performed during this time.  I remember seeing a clipping of a performance in Chicago.  Given what he told me about his trip to Moscow, I wonder if he went to DC to apply for the artist exchange program that sent him to Moscow.

So at this point in the autobiographical manuscript we are approximating the year to be five years later than the divorce of Wife Number 1 which may be in or about 1956 or 1957.  Add the five years to be mentioned in his paragraph below and it brings us to 1961 or 1962:

AN INTERVENING INTERLUDE

I became seriously distrustful of women following the events of my first marriage marriage and so I avoided intimate contact with them for an extended period. And then, five years later, I gave a party in the honor of my parasitic Cousin Tom. One of the female guests appeared to be interested in me. She lingered awhile after the others had left. She noted that I did not show an interest in her or the other females at the party and wondered why this was so. I told her about the experience of my married life and how it had led me to become distrustful of women. She stated that it was silly of me to base my feelings toward women on one experience that had gone wrong. She said that she found me to be physically attractive and proceeeded to demonstrate by word and deed how strongly she felt this to be so. One thing led to another, and before I knew it we had consummated a carnal relationship.

Immediately upon doing so she became exceedingly hysterical and cried out that we had sinned against God!  Her hysteria lasted for several hours and it was three in the morning before she was sufficiently calmed down that I could drive her home.  When I walked her to her door she slipped me a piece paper with her phone number on it and asked me to pleas call her.

WIFE NUMBER 2

This brings us to approximately the year of 1965.  I had returned from my trip to the Soviet Union (please see the section entitled my Trip to the Soviet Union, or; How I Confronted and Chased With Some Vigor Two KGB Agents Because They Had Acted In An Affontatory Mannner, Or; Why I Was Indebted To Errol Flynn And His “Wicked Wicked Ways”) and had become an entertainer.  I was known under the banner of several names, such as Cheyanne Schatz, One Man Band; Ken Barger, Magician Extroirdinaire; Obediah Klowder, Singer of Inspirational Songs; Romeo Lejois, Singer of Romantic Songs (this was before I became L-15).  I performed in and around Los Angeles in bars, nightclubs, and at private parties.  I appear on various T.V. shows including several on Steve Allen’s and Regis Philbin’s when he co-hosted with a particular conservative (initials R.D.) who later was elected to congress from Orange County, and who later still became an extremely poor loser for that same congressional seat. Educational Television, the forerunner of Public T.V, did a documentary on me, mine appears between those of Upton Sinclair and Dizzy Gillespie (the name of the series was”Celebrity Series—One of a Kind.”  This will all be discussed in the section Show business Days!)

Here we shall stop with today’s manuscript content and offer some background and explanations.  These are the words (misspellings and grammatical idiosyncrasies and all) of Bernard G. Schatz.  I would also say that his writing becomes very much a stream of consciousness.  He has begun is chapter on Wife #2 and given us more content that matches the interlude.  However, I am grateful for this because we may never see any more of those interlude details he refers to as a later section of the autobiography.  They don’t appear in the 42 manuscript pages I have found.

I had heard him mention the Soviet Union trip and the KGB agents in person. The trip and its purpose was referred to on one of the recordings of the Steve Allen Shows, but no mention of Errol Flynn.

So here I must chuckle to my self about his overly verbose titles as both a blessing and a curse for us, the readers, of his rambling style.  That is all we shall get in written content but his art and some old video recordings will add some color to this sparse history.

The Obediah Klowder persona has an ornately carved relief on his fiddle case.

We can guess that “The Hand of KGB Agent” was creepily crafted at about this time or soon after.

Here we have a web page containing video copies of the three appearances on the Steve Allen Show and the One of a Kind documentary by the educational channel KCET:.

L-15 had a very comprehensive Gallery exhibition in Richmond Virginia in 2004 that spread through 3 gallery halls. Gallery Number 4 specifically has these surviving photographs related to this period of the life of Bernard G. Schatz on the web page.  If you want to see the complete exhibition you need the previous web page’s link.

Next posting we will actually begin with the first paragraph in the manuscript that is actually about WIFE NUMBER 2.