Now that my father can no longer speak due to a massive left-hemisphere infarction he suffered a few days before Christmas 2013, I am the last living repository of his many seemingly far fetched yet (some not) easily authenticated tall tales.
Shortly after my parents divorced in 1977, I began spending weekends and some holidays with my father and the woman who introduced a prepubescent me to, among others, Beatrice Wood, Krishnamurti, Richard Serra, Hugh Hefner, Jim Henson, and Willy Nelson. My new stepmother was a respected member of Southern California’s fine art scene and her father, my new grandfather, was an colorful Quaker attorney instrumental in numerous landmark reparation cases against the German government which often involved valuable works of art.
Their house in Ojai, California was designed by Richard Neutra, and more than once I opened the curtains to find we had tour buses in the drive. As a child of course, I had no sense that any of this was unusual. I thought everybody’s parents smoked weed and rolled around laughing on the couch with paleontologists and gallery owners.
When I moved into the Ojai house one summer, I was surprised the lovely disputed Manet I had seen above my bed in my stepmother’s parents’ house was now hanging in our dining room. It was a gift from my step-grandparents to me.
To be continued…