TRIBUTE TO MOTION PICTURE MOTHERS FOR MOTHER’S DAY AT THE HOLLYWOOD MUSEUM
This is the second year in a row that I celebrated Mother’s Day a few days early at the Hollywood Museum. Last year it was in the form of a tea; this year it was a cocktail party. And they were equally lovely.
The occasion was the opening of the Motion Picture Mothers Exhibit of photos of women in Hollywood and their mothers or children or both.
There is actually an organization called Motion Picture Mothers! Who knew? They’ve been around since 1939, and I understand they were started by mothers of stars of the day to help young actors and actresses who came to California from New York, and therefore, were usually without their own mothers. And they support charities for people in the biz to this day. I wish I had known about them when I arrived in LA from Brooklyn as a teen-ager, all by my lonesome! I made a lot of friends right away, but none were grown-ups. (Don’t feel bad for me, though—my mother and I talked every day. Rather, I talked and she cried because she wanted me to come home!)
Speaking of my own fabulous teacher mom, learning about Motion Picture Mothers reminded me of how proud I’ve always been that she did sooooo much for children’s charities in our native Brooklyn, and also for very many of her students and their families. She went above and beyond just about every day of her adult life! I have no doubt that I get my kindness from her. (Too bad I didn’t also inherit her perfect nose!)
This pre-Mother’s Day event at the Hollywood Museum was much more crowded than it was last year, with the whole place abuzz. Everyone seemed happy to meet and greet. As my friend Marc pointed-out, his and my mothers are no longer on this level of life, so it was nice to be with each other for a bit this week-end. I have a feeling that most of the other guests were in the same position, so that synergy permeated the room.
There were some actors from ’50s and ‘60s television, and even though I never saw any of their famous shows, Marc knew who several of them are, so he found that aspect of the fete particularly interesting.
Jerry Mathers, who played the title character on the TV classic, Leave It To Beaver, was one of the featured speakers of the evening. I recognized him from seeing little pieces of the ends of his show that come on before all the Perry Mason re-runs that got me through the pandemic. I swear he looks the same! (If you’re curious about my recent Perry Mason obsession, I explained it all right here back then: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/television-my-summer-of-perry-mason.)
As to the fare for the soiree, let me tell you, the Museum did a marvelous job with this beautiful buffet. It was all dressed-up in pink for Mother’s Day, (as were my nails, which I did in creamy pink with light red sparkles on top to reflect the happy occasion.) The staff serving it all could not have been nicer, which I really appreciated.
Actually, all the personnel at The Hollywood Museum could not have been lovelier, from Carol, the patient young lady who checked us all in, to the food servers, to the bartenders, and even to the security peeps! People like that always make an event more special.
Also special was the food itself, which was not only absolutely delicious, but the variety was spot-on, as well. It was all finger foods, with each tidbit being more delish than the one before. There was something for everyone. The most creative ones were little “boats” containing the cutest assortment of cheese, crackers, charcuterie, fruit, and olives. I adored the tiniest hot dogs in blankets I’ve ever seen, of which I could have eaten a couple of dozen! (And, truth be told, possibly did.) And dessert was incredibly generous colorful macarons along with Marc and my faves–cream puffs.
But we were really all there to see the new photo exhibition. The party and speakers were in the lobby of the building while the exhibit itself is in one of the jam-packed-with-memorabilia rooms on the first floor.
I got a sneak peek of it, and there are so many special pix! I noted a few that are of particular interest to me. It was wonderful to see the woman who produced the most gorgeous woman of all time, the always-incandescent Audrey Hepburn. And I loved seeing my favorite movie star, Gene Tierney, with her young daughter in a happy time, in the middle of trying ones for her. (I read her autobiography decades ago, and the cruel turns of some parts of her life have stayed with me.) Back to an only-happy family, I got a kick out of seeing one of my TV show’s biggest fans back in the day, Carl Reiner, with his parents. He was one of the few men in the exhibit, which reminds us that males have mothers, too! And I’ve always thought of him as a grown-up from the get-go, so I enjoyed seeing him as a young man. He looked the same as always, too!
I like seeing people with their moms—it usually explains a lot. As soon as my viewers saw my own little mo on my show for the first time, I got tons of messages about how this apple did not fall from the tree! I think that much of my audience assumed that I was stoned on my show because I was so different from other TV personalities, but as soon as they witnessed May Rose Salkin’s nuttiness, they realized my personality was natural. So I thank her for that.
It’s always fun to visit the Hollywood Museum, but this merry month of May is the best time to celebrate mom there.
Motion Picture Mothers Exhibit
The Hollywood Museum 1660 Highland Ave. Hollywood