The years I lived in Los Angeles, I was priveledged and so blessed to have had some major experiences, and be able to work with some amazing people. This is a brief story about one of them.
In the early 80’s, before I opened my vintage and designer resale store in Hollywood, one of the places I worked while getting my ground there, was a very high end designer store called Left Bank on La Cienega.
A very good friend of mine in LA, whom I met through that store, was a stylist and dresser for several television shows, including Benson, and The Golden Girls.
Her name was Bobbie, and I teased her about how I was going to steal her job one day, and how we both thought that was so funny. Bobbie worked on shows all year long, and every year she took a 6 week vacation, between Thanksgiving and the beginning of January every year, so imagine my surprise and excitement when she told me in October, that the girl who normally filled in for her, was moving to France in 3 weeks and she needed to find a new fill in, and did I want to do it.
HOLY HELL OF COURSE!!!! LOL….
That was in 1984 only months before I first opened my store in 85.
So several times in November, I went with her to the sound stages, where I eventually got to dress and mark the Girls on set, and also on the Benson set.
I went with her several times before I took over for her the week of Thanksgiving, watching her, having her show me around, and clue me in to what needed to be done. It honestly was a natural to me, after so many years of being on the road as a performer, and also sewing and generally being a clotheshorse.
The Girls were all so awesome, made me feell very welcome and treated me like I had been there for years. The clothing designer, Judy Evans, was also a sweetheart ( and really the one that decided if I was doing the job ) I was very lucky they were all impressed with me, and I ended up taking Bobbies place for several years afterward, untill I finally left LA in 89.
Betty and I used to joke a lot, because during the time I was a dresser, both of us had birthdays coming up at the same time. Hers on January 17th, and mine on the 16th. Altho our ages were miles apart, she joked she was younger than me by one day.
She and Bea were my absolute favorites, altho Rue was a very nice lady, and Estelle was funny as heck, I really got along well with the B’s… Bea used to crack me up when I was fussing with her garments, and Betty was just a doll, always a smile on her face, and even when it was something serious, she could make things brighter.
Both her and Bea were avid animal supporters, and Betty used to be highly involved with the LA Zoo, something I gladly supported for years with a yearly donation when I could still afford to do such things. Both Betty and Bea were extremely charitable people.
I am so sad, and was also afraid for her as recently as a couple days ago, because of the fact that our birthdays were coming up. I worry every year now, whether it will be my last one, as so many people seem to pass within a couple weeks, if not days of their birthdays.
I hope they go on with the movie that was planned for her birthday, it would be the best tribute to an icon like her.
I know she is now with her beloved Allen, and they will spend the rest of eternity together.
R.I.P. Betty, Bea, Estelle, and Rue… Thank you for all the memories and laughter!!!