I travelled to Europe twice when I was younger, once for a six month trip and the second time I decided to live there.
The first time I sailed over on the Andrea Doria. On the ship’s very next trip – when it was headed back to New York City – it collided with the MS Stockholm and sank. It became infamous for sinking off the coast of Massachusetts, killing 46 people. The MS Stockholm rammed the exact area where my room was and I’m sure if I was on board I would have been killed…
During my first trip to Europe my friends and I rented a car for six months and drove from Gibraltar all over continental Europe. I saw the wedding of Grace Kelly and the Prince of Monaco. On that day I had met a group of fun, young Italian journalism students who wore dramatic capes and hats. They kept saying, “Grahss…Grahss…Grahss!”
I didn’t know what they were saying but I followed them into an underground tunnel and came up on the other side near a fence. Finally I realized what they were saying, “Grace…Grace…Grace!”
They had me stand near the road and I got a fabulous photo of Grace Kelly with the Prince of Monaco shortly after their marriage. The photo would have been on the front page of Time Magazine if it was in focus – but back in those days you had to manually adjust the camera before you could take a photo and I couldn’t get it focused in time…
The second time I went to Europe – when I decided to live there – I dated a man named Charles who I had met in Rome in 1960, but who had subsequently moved to Switzerland.
Eventually we broke up and I moved back to New York City. One day Charles’ friend from Switzerland – a man named Paul who was a Swiss watch salesman based out of Mexico City – took me to lunch when he passed through New York on his way to Mexico. A few months after I met Paul, my friend Jane decided to go to Mexico to get a ‘quickie’ divorce (a common thing to do in those days when New York State made it difficult to divorce) and asked me if I knew any men in Mexico, so I gave her Paul's name and number. Jane called Paul when she got to Mexico, but the phone was answered by Paul’s friend Jack, who told her that Paul had gotten married and was in Europe on his honeymoon. When Jane expressed disappointment, Jack offered to take her out to lunch and a year or so later they got married.
Eventually Jane moved to Mexico City to live with Jack. A few years later they returned to New York City and stayed at the West Village apartment of a man named Bruce, who used to live down the street from Jane and who had recently been divorced. While they were staying in Bruce’s apartment, Jane mentioned my name and said that I always had trouble with men.
“Oh I can give her trouble.” Bruce jokingly responded.
Then, because Jack and Jane were leaving New York City, and Bruce was away on a business trip, Jane gave me the keys to Bruce’s apartment and asked if I could feed the cat until Bruce returned.
One day I got a call out of the blue.
It was Bruce. He said, "I fed the cat, but I'll buy you a drink."
That very night – Sunday, August 8, 1971 – I let him buy me that drink at the Sazerac Bar in the West Village. We instantly connected in a big way – we sat at the bar talking for five hours and I don’t remember anything aside from our conversation. Nowadays kids just swipe left or right to find a date, but it was so much more fun in those days because you really had to put yourself out there. Anyways, we had our first official date a few days after that and remained together for the next 28 years until Bruce passed away.
Bruce was the only person who ever really ‘got’ me. There was never any doubt whatsoever in our relationship and I can’t imagine having spent my life with anyone else. We were such a good match – once you find that someone you just know.
Goose Chronicles Outtakes:
“What was the biggest hurdle you faced in your life?”
“Grappling with my own fantasies and dreams. I thought I could do anything and be anyone but I was brought back to reality. You don't always get what you want, but at least I tried. I know people who never even tried.”
“What is one truism you’ve learned in your time on this earth?”
“You can have it all, but not all at once.”
“What did Bruce do for a living?”
“He was a film critic for Playboy Magazine. One day he had an idea where he wanted to publish a celebrity sex registry – a conclusive list of who slept with who. One summer he read 104 biographies and put out a book called,’ The Celebrity Sex Registry.’ It got fabulous reviews and we were on TV shows promoting it, one bookstore in England even bought 5,000 copies. But it was in 1982 and we were ahead of our times, ahead of the celebrity sex craze you see today…”
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