"the" Mrs. Astor

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Lahoma, Older and, Well, Older

I must stop going on about dog pageants, my boyfriend, and my own society wedding for a day to pay a birthday tribute to the legendary Lahoma van Zandt. She turned 83 yesterday (I remember that because she is 52 years older than me), but is still alert in mind and spirit.

Ciphering aside, it seems like only yesterday when we met at Mars. I was a young, impressionable photographer who became captivated by a real star, a star who always told me in those early days, "You're so sweet, I love you". I believed it and had "Lahoma Fan Club" T-shirts made to prove my love for her. Of course, the ecstasy didn't have anything to do with this mutual adoration society.

Those were heady days for me as Lahoma invited me to climb on the merry-go-round of her life complete with the most extraordinary collection of freaks ever assembled. I followed her from one gutter to another snapping away furiously and usually ended up at her home watching Queen Bee or some other bizarre movie. How I ever stayed up all night and kept my job is still a mystery; how we all survived that period of nuttiness is another.

What I do know is that the merry-go-round was coming to a halt (they always do). Michael Alig had murdered his drug dealer and we all knew it;we had celebrated it with him at Disco 2000's Blood Feast. Funny, you know the police are about to come knocking when you've killed someone and throw a party celebrating the fact. It was also time to clean our bodies of the dissolute lifestyle we had become so accustomed to; I moved to Cozumel for six months to dry out and Lahoma stopped wearing a dress and got a real job. Through all the changes we never lost touch and whenever I see a sock puppet I remember the 5:00 am shows at her home.

I hear they let her out of The Home to get fresh air every now and then and that aging dignitaries she once entertained sometimes stop by to remember the good old days. I'm honored to have been so trusted a friend that all I had to say was, "Go ahead, Lahoma. Climb up on that statue of Ghandi so I can take a photo. Don't worry; if you fall, I'll catch you." She climbed up, held the flower, and said, "You're so sweet."


At 12:14 PM, Blogger Showtune said...

girrrrrrrrrrrl . . . to have known you in those days!


Post a Comment

<< Home