Ostensibly the trip was planned to help the ever-lovin' kabuki zero unload his worldly lucre from the U-haul upon his arrival to neighboring Desert Hot Springs. It was hard work but also a joy, as I haven't physically laid eyes on 'the kabook' since 1987. I'm delighted that he is safely ensconced in his new headquarters and only two hours away from me!
As luck would have it another very dear old friend of mine George, just happened to have rented a place in South Palm Springs for the same week and so the decision was made to extend the visit by another couple of days on the front end before kabuki's arrival.
Then, as even further luck would be conferred on me, (interwebs research is a wonderful thing) I stumbled upon a cyclonic force by the name of Shirley Claire.
|The Unsinkable Shirley Claire!|
|Shirley is on the far right.|
The indefatigable Shirley (she eschews the phrase 'Senior Citizen' for the more appropriate 'Seasoned Citizen') made time for me after a morning of household chores (she maintains a very large home by herself with no help) and taking her four little beauties to the doggie park. She said she would simply cancel her regular yoga class and stretch at home instead, but she would need to be wrapped up in time to go to the theater that evening. Just hearing about her schedule wore me out. Oh, and did I mention, she's 83 years old.
|Charity Fashion Show 2009|
|Charity Fashion Show 2010|
Having returned from the dog park moments before, she greeted me all hugs and smiles, with her knock-out body clad in a black V-neck sweater, fitted black slacks and black leather ballet flats. Her first order of business was to have me follow her back to her dressing room so she could get out of those flats and put on a pair of black sandals with a 3" heel! Once a Showgirl....
We then went to her office where she showed me several scrapbooks. I got to see the original contract she signed with the Carroll organization. Finally we settled at poolside for an extended period. From the moment I walked in till the moment I left, we were both talking a blue streak like two people that had known each other (or had been looking for each other) for ever. She was frank, forthcoming, wise and funnier than hell.
I don't think either one of us wanted the visit to end. After we came back into the house for me to take off, more things to talk about came up and we found ourselves sitting side by side on a black leather bench in the living room. It was an awkward set up to communicate sitting side by side like that. At one point, feeling the need to face me, in mid sentence she did a fan kick with her left leg that went over my head and resulted in her straddling the bench facing me!
Apparently Shirley never got the memo that we live in a youth oriented culture. She has never stopped (and doesn't intend to) working. Since her move to Palm Springs she has appeared in a few seasons of The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies and done numerous club dates and one woman shows. Please take a moment to scroll through her website, you be glad you did.
And rest assured, Palm Springs hasn't seen the last of me, Shirley Claire hasn't seen the last of me, and you haven't seen the last of Shirley Claire!!!