Part 24 of the series. The year was 1981.
|“Endless Love” -Part 24
Sung by Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross
The meeting I had with Susie and her boss, Faith, and her husband Don, on December 20th was quite interesting. They approached me with a desire to make a feature film from my (still unpublished) book!
They had begun their own production company and were going to make their first project mine. Needless to say, I was flattered and promised to think about it over the holidays.
Lance and I spent many of our weekends at the family beach-house, up north of Los Angeles, in Carpinteria. It was a wonderful place to get away, where I enjoyed the closeness of his family. Being lulled to sleep by the sound of waves crashing along the beach, smelling the salt air through the open window was all one needed to sleep well. The days were idyllic, unlike any I had ever experienced, and my love for Lance only deepened.
I was in touch with Susie and Don during the month of January. Faith still held her job at CBS, and Don was the writer in the family, so I worked with him.
After Valentine’s Day, spent in San Francisco, I had worked out a counter-offer to Londonderry (the name of their production company), so I called them and gave them my terms, as Lance had helped me to figure out.
On March 12, I had a meeting at 8 p.m. with all of them. I went into the meeting with high hopes, and I was not disappointed. They agreed to the terms (money) for the option of my book for a year (with an option to renew after a year) as well as being a co-writer with Don for the script.
A week later I met with Don and we began to outline the screenplay. I had notified my agent of what was going on, in hopes he might be able to use this knowledge to advance the sale of the book.
Meanwhile, Susie and I had become good friends, and we had something else cooking, an idea for a business of our own. A germ of an idea had come to us for a show-biz related niche we could fill.
Meanwhile I was meeting with Don and working hard to get the film laid out, scene by scene. The screenwriting classes I had taken at Loyola Marymount were beginning to pay off, as I saw a movie beginning to take shape.
In May I discovered I had a suspicious PAP test, and further testing and doctor’s consultation resulted in being given an option of having a part of my uterus carved out, reserving the possibility of a future pregnancy, or having a hysterectomy. I scheduled the lesser procedure to be done at the City of Hope Cancer Center, reserving the possibility of a future pregnancy. I was only 32, and considering the fact I may well at some point get married and want to have a child.
The results were good, and the doctor assured me I should be able to get pregnant, in the future. Lance was extremely supportive about this, as well as all of the other endeavors I was involved in.
Susie and I were keeping quite busy in our own right; on July 1, 1981 we moved our business into our own offices. We started a company called, Inside Info, a personalized research and consultancy service. It was a three-room office suite in a charming building on Sunset Blvd., with a courtyard and more show-biz offices. We had already begun taking on clients, but now we had an established, legitimate business address. (The cover of our first brochure, showing our logo.)
We were not a “placement agency” but we provided something we both realized there was a true need for in Hollywood...information to help the new person who came to Hollywood to break into show business. There was no other business providing what we were; information from our consultants, real people Susie and I knew from our own real lives. We helped people to focus on what it is they really wanted from the entertainment business. Most people were pretty vague, “I think I want to be a producer, or maybe act.”
That is where we could help them figure it out. We would schedule a time they could “shadow” a person who was actually working in the field they wanted to get into. You know how some jobs sound glamorous, until you take it and find out it doesn’t really entail what you thought it did? We gave them an up-close-and-personal look at the inner workings of real jobs, followed with counseling and follow-ups. Depending on their choice of our services, we could do this in numerous fields, providing invaluable insider information.
On August 6, 1981 our first advertisement came out in Variety, the industry’s most read daily newspaper. We had arrived. In four days I celebrated turning 33. Life was incredibly good.
As exciting as all of this was, the first of Lance’s and my couple friends were getting married on August 29th. It was a formal event at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and while I was thrilled for them, I could only wonder if Lance and I would have an endless love.
Lois had gone on with Children of the Night, and I was on the Board of Directors...the focus had changed to children, and I moved along in my own personal life. I was busier than ever, and really enjoying it.
I hired one of the gals who had come in for a consult, she was a researcher and I had an idea for a television show, but needed in depth research of newspaper files, etc.. It was called, “Young Heroes”, the story of children who had done heroic acts. I thought each week’s episode could feature a different case.
In November Lance became a Judge for small claims court in Santa Barbara. It was a rotating thing, but I knew he loved doing it. I went with his mother to watch him court one day. I will never forget the sobering sight of him dressed in the long black robe, and doing a remarkably fair job of distinguishing the truth and being fair. Both his mother and I were so proud of him.
By Thanksgiving with his family (at the beach-house) Lance and I decided we’d like to throw a “formal” Christmas party, at the beach-house. His parents said it was fine, so the planning began. It would be on December 19th, for 18 of our best friends.
We got a good caterer, a harpist, rented the tables and chairs, had invitations printed and began to search for the perfect gown.
We had enough bedrooms there for us, as well as three other couples, to stay at the beach-house; the other five couples would be given rooms to stay at one of the family motels in Santa Barbara. Everyone was to come back to the beach-house for an informal brunch on Sunday before heading back to Los Angeles. I felt Lance might propose to me that night, so it was with great anticipation I had planned it to be a very special evening.
Lance and I during the dinner...
Susie and I snuck off to the library to have a quick discussion about business.
Two couples flanked me in the living room. The lady to my left and the gentleman on my right were the couple who married in the past August.
It was, by all accounts a wonderful weekend. No, Lance did not propose at the party.
Once back in Los Angeles, we wrapped up our business, just waiting for Christmas. On Christmas Eve, while lying in bed, Lance turned on his side and said, “Will you marry me?”
“Yes, I will.” Fade to black until 1982.