Last weekend I had an “out of body” experience.
My husband and I attended the wedding of the son of my “forever friend”, Wilma. What a special event it was! Jeremy and Jenny got married. A perfect match! More about this delicious couple later.
The wedding took place at one of Los Angeles “Historic Landmarks”. It was built somewhere between 1920 or 30 in the grand style of Art Deco., as a department store, called BULLOCKS WILSHIRE. It is now a Law School (what a difference a day makes!) The wedding and reception was held in the Law Library which is a venue that is now available for outside events. It used to be The Better Dress Department!!!
As I opened the door to this magnificent structure, through the parking lot and beautiful gardens, I flashed back to another time and another place.
BULLOCKS WILSHIRE, in its heyday, was the Crème De La Crème of department stores where the “ladies who lunch” came every day, dressed to the nines, browsing, shopping, and most of all lunching in its famous Tea Room. It was truly an event. They came with friends and grandchildren all dressed up cause it was an occasion!
The gentlemen who ran the elevators wore colorful uniforms and white gloves (I’ll never forget those white gloves!) and with impeccable manners, escorted you into the elevators opening the doors at each floor announcing, floor #1, lingerie, floor #2 shoes, floor #3 better dress and so forth. They went all the way up to floor #6 THE TEA ROOM.
One of the attractions at THE TEA ROOM, was informal modeling of the latest fashions. This was my very first modeling job…EVER! I was the teen-age model who dashed about showing off everything from swimsuits to prom dresses. I was the baby working with some of the most glamorous and chic “older” models in town. They were probably 22 to 30 years old but there I was among them, doing my thing and learning the first phase of “the business”.
What a glorious moment in time it was. The peak of gentility and grace. Today its Wal-Mart, and TJ Max with few still struggling to maintain the allure.
SEGWAY TWENTY FIVE YEARS LATER, I once again walked into the magnificent store as the prodigy of the Make-Up Guru of Beverly Hills, Aida Grey. Ms, Grey was my mentor. She had trained me in the cosmetic business starting at 18 years old and I learned and learned in-between modeling jobs. Many years later I became The Training Director for her company. It was at this time that I once again entered the Art Deco walls of BULLOCKS WILSHIRE. This time as Trainer and Manager of the Aida Grey Cosmetic Studio that was housed in the store’s Beauty Salon. I went to THE TEA ROOM FOR LUNCH.
Can you believe that the maître d’, a charming man with a high dark haired pompadour, and polished demeanor seated me? He was still seating people twenty five years later. Looking at me intently he said “I remember you! You were one of “the girls” modeling here years ago when the Tea Room was at its height of popularity and all “the ladies who lunch” came every week to view the latest fashions. I was startled, but pleased that he had remembered all these years later and that I was a part of the history of this stellar store.
The building is no longer BULLOCKS WILSHIRE but as I walked into The Grand Hall and the wedding of Jenny and Jeremy I was transformed to another very special time in my life and truly had an “out of body” experience. A flash-back in my history.
More on Jenny and Jeremy next time… (between you and me)