Sunday, January 23, 2011

Two Souls on Their Journey

I've previously written a few posts about Marilyn, my friend of 50 years. We try to communicate with each other nearly every day. Neither of us has ever felt a moment's displeasure with the other. This post is how we met.

The year was 1960. Besides trying to finish Michner's new book Hawaii, I was Mother to four kids, taking classes at the U of MN and the Art School, dancing, and serving on the PTA. How I kept my fingers in all those pies, I'll never know but I was young, healthy and determined.

After three years in Morocco during the Korean War, my husband and I had returned to the States and fell into suburban life with the ever growing economy. Daryl proved to be a brilliant business man, affording me the luxury of getting the education I missed out on by getting married so young.

Daryl and I were growing with the times but in separate directions. The kids and I rarely saw him. Devoted to work, he left the house before anyone was up and got home after the kids were in bed. Family values during that time were totally opposite of today's. Wives usually didn't work. Since I had been a child of the great depression, I was thankful for a husband who provided for us, even though he was usually absent. This meant I also had time to pursue some passions of my own.

Have you ever noticed how we often involve ourselves in things that are merely the vehicle for meeting people we are meant to find in this life. My weekly drawing class at the Art Institute was that vehicle for meeting Marilyn. I had no talent in art, whatsoever. That time would have been better spent dancing or singing but every Wednesday night found me in frustration with my bad drawings of the human anatomy. I can't for the life of me remember why I chose this class and was even thinking of dropping out when I suddenly became friends with some of the talented people who gave me drawing tips while encouraging me to stay.

After class, we all met at "The Nicollet Cafe," (shortened The Nic) to socialize and discuss art. I was the odd duck on the outer edge because many of these poor struggling art students went on to achieve greatness in the art world. Recently I had the surprise to run into two of them who definitely were living in great comfort because of their talent but at that time, everyone lived in uncertain aspiration, trying to become a name in the art world.

It was Marilyn's sister Judy, who I met first. We had a double connection through art school and dancing. We exchanged tid-bits of information about our lives and I was aware that Judy and her sister had recently migrated to the "big city of Minneapolis" from a small town of Duluth. Judy worked in a dance studio to pay for her art classes and although she mentioned her sister, Marilyn, her remarks became rather evasive when she referred to her.

The following week when the group gathered at The Nic, there was a pretty, petite dark haired girl I had never seen before. She closely resembled the then-young, Liz Taylor. Judy introduced the girl as her sister, Marilyn. We became engaged in a conversation, during which I found out that Marilyn didn't go to the art school, nor was she an aspiring artist. A little later, Marilyn stood up and I was somewhat surprised to notice she was obviously pregnant, because I wasn't aware she was married.

To Be Continued.

In 1960, Chubby Checkers had taken the US by storm with his Twist record. Below is a clip of various dancers doing the Twist.


  1. Oh, the girls came from Duluth. No wonder you like her so much. Duluth gals are special. :)

    I can't wait to hear the rest of the story.

  2. It is so great, the way we meet the people we're supposed to meet And it's a fine thing, to have a life-long friendship. They're the best. I'm enjoying reading more about your life. Thank you for this. I look forward to more.

  3. Can't wait for the next installment on this story...

  4. Bernie,
    Does that mean you are also from Duluth? If so, you must know that old, "Does this bus go Toddle Lute" joke?

    Absolutely. It happens often that I apparently am somewhere or do something just because the Universe wants me in a particular place so I can meet someone.

    Is it a cliff-hanger? Ha ha I'll be back.

    Love and Peace from Manzi

  5. You stopped too soon!!! What happened next? Man, who can remember Liz Taylor as a young star??? Hurry up and continue the story of Marilynne, I can't wait.

  6. What a fabulously bohemian life!! I love the idea of gorgeous young struggling artistes in the 1960's gathering in the Nic to discuss, well, Art!!! Oh wow!!!! I love it!!!

    Oooh roll on part 2!!! Take care

  7. I enjoyed reading this interesting chapter of your life and will be here to read chapter two. You showcased the year perfectly with Chubby Checkers hit record. I can relate to The Twist very well..ha. Gerry

  8. Cherie,
    Thanks for coming by. I'll be back in a couple days. I have to go to Helena tomorrow.

    Don't you remember how gorgeous Liz was when young. She had flawless skin, dark hair and lilacy eyes. Oh and was thin, thin, thin. Too bad we can't keep a llittle of that youth forever, huh? Richard was gosh awful hunky too. They were the Angeline and Brad of their day.

    Old Kitty,
    You know, those were great times. Yeah... good times. But you got London and all the ballroom dancing and all the wonderful galleries and museums. Love your town!!
    love and peace

    I loved your poem and I had thought of a poetic answer but the moment slipped... what's that a sign of????

    I bet you can relate to the Twist. You twister!!! Maybe those 2 first gals were you and me ..... do you think so???

    Love and peace.

  9. Gerry,
    I answered your poem on the award post. I'll see if I can remember it on this one.

    One potato, 2 potato, 3 potato four
    It's just Gerry, I adore.
    If you're looking for the meaning of a transition
    Go to Gerry, She's a darn fine musician.

    Think I said it different. We could write a book of rhymes for your Grandkidlets.

  10. Like Old Kitty, I enjoy the image of young artists being, well artsy, in a cafe.
    Life long friendships are so special. Looking forward to the rest of the story.

  11. Luvvin' this!
    ...and like the others, look forward to more.

    (My hub once told me I look like Liz Taylor. He's full of it, but I gotta love him for saying so.)

    xoxoxo, cd

  12. I tell you, Manzanita, there is a wonderful script to be written about your life. I was thinking Jane Fonda or Meryl Streep could maybe pull off your part. Maybe Susan Sarandon.

  13. Great story and video. I love Chubby Checker. Doylene

  14. Patti,
    Yeah, now that I look back, I'm glad I did all the things in my life, aren't you. You are the one who lead a very colorful life.

    But these are my early years...... need someone perky...Ha ha

    Thanks for stopping. That Twist is immortal. I recently went to a dance and they played it and everyone was doing the twist.

  15. Manzi: An absolutely fabulous story! Please continue.