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
MY ADVENTURES WITH
THREE IDIOT MARRIAGE COUNSELORS
MY MARRIAGE TO WIFE NUMBER THREE
HOW DID THAT EVER HAPPEN TO ME”
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.