She introduced herself as Dolly. Dressed in a colorful, just this side of flashy but still tasteful, skirt and sweater, she was a gorgeous. Her eyes danced with merriment and I wanted to dance with her. We were at the Mountain Light UU flea market. Mary was running things and being the ultimate OCD salesman, totally focused on 'are you spending money or not' attitude. Dolly and I rummaged around, chatting the whole time about this and that, finding fun things to laugh about.
We were looking at my paintings when she leaned over, looked around for potential eavesdroppers, and whispered to me "I was a Ziegfield Girl." "GET OUT," I screamed. She was with a younger woman who rolled her eyes and confided that I didn't have to listen to her, and suggested maybe Dolly didn't want to talk about that, but I was all ears. I couldn't get enough. You can read the biographies slamming the internet today and learn a lot. It sounded better coming from Dolly.
I've met some great people in my life. I'm not going to name them all here, but really an amazing array of famous and infamous, movie stars, celebrities, rock stars, assholes. Dolly was the most charming, the most vivacious, the most star quality I have ever seen or heard of. She went to college at 76 and graduated at 88. She was the youngest show girl ever, dropping out of school at about age 10, in a time when it was not that odd for girl to do so. She never worked a day in her life - it was always just the greatest fun - waking up and seeing what this day might bring you. Those days are gone forever now.
Well, Goodbye, Dolly. I'm so glad I met you. That laughter and sunshine you brought into my life is still rollicking along. I promise to kick up my heals today in your honor. And to laugh. (Say "Hey" to Lena for me).