Saturday, September 17, 2005


I was ten years old and putting my ballet slippers on in the cold, dank old jalopy of a building off Victory Drive in Savannah that served as a ballet school. I can still smell that mixture of kid leather, sweat, pine dust and nylon. Someone was boasting about their sister's recent debut.

"My sister's a movie star." I slyly said, looking up from my chubby legs stuffed uncomfortably into pink tights.

Another little girl, feeling left out from this preteen one-upsmanship blurted out, "Oh, yeah! Well MY sister is a majorette!"

I didn't know what to say. So I wisely said nothing. How do you compete with that?

I was recently looking for a bio of my sister. Not one of the awful B movie site ones, but one she'd written herself. I knew she had this excellent head shot out there for the real estate company she and her husband own and I thought there might be a bio as well. There wasn't. My sister remains adorably computer illiterate.

But I found this amazing little nugget on a blog called Velociworld. This guy, Kim Crawford, left this really wonderful blog entry about my sister and sideways, about my family.



October 28, 2003

SIMONE GRIFFETH

I haven't blogged about Simone in a long, long time, mostly because it's too painful. She's the first girl I ever fell in love with, and to this day she has no idea who the fuck I am. Life's funny like that.

Simone was born in Savannah, too, 3 days shy of being two years older than me. When I was a kid my parents had a river cottage on the May River in Bluffton, South Carolina, and we'd spend the summers there. Simone's family lived just down the road, on Myrtle Island, on the same river, but in a great huge brick 1920's southern mansion, with enormous live oaks that blocked the sun, dripping Spanish moss and somnolent decorum. They had a long gravel driveway that circled around a fountain in front of the house, the Sure Sign of Old Money to me. This was obviously their primary residence.

I first heard of Simone the summer of '71, when our next door neighbor told us who she was and where she lived. Simone was enjoying great notoriety for a sixteen year old, because she'd just starred in a low-budget flick called Swamp Girl, about a girl raised in the Okeefenokee Swamp with no contact with the outside world.

They call it stalking now; I called it innocent curiosity, and spent the better part of that summer pedaling around her house and Myrtle Island, desperately trying to catch a glimpse of Simone, even as the hired help chased my pimply fourteen-year-old ass out of their driveway for attempting to cut doughnuts in the gravel with a Kolkhoff ten-speed. The fourteen-year-old boy's equivalent of scratching the grass with his hind legs.

I'd often see Simone as she water-ski'd by our dock, blond hair slicked back, bikini aquiver (you know what I mean). There were usually one or two GQ-looking boys in the boat with her, all studly and such, but at least she had the decency to wave back to the skinny geek with big ears and big wood in his banlon nut hugger bathing suit.

Unrequited love. Man. Actually, unrequited acknowledgement of existence. But we stalkers never recognize that fact until it's too late.

Simone did a lot of B movies and TV work after that, but I don't think she did anything after the mid-eighties.

You want to know when she broke my heart? In 1975, when I was in college, and I saw her do a nude scene in Death Race 2000 with David Carradine. Because I felt betrayed? Hell, no. Because she'd seduced Grasshopper. Some things a man just can't forgive.


My mother would have slap eaten this up. Mom worked terribly hard to project the image of "Old Money"...though...honestly...we had nothing of the sort.

The house never had a fountain. You can check the images in my galleries on that one and deeming it a "mansion", well, it's very flattering but quite wrong. I do, totally, believe that Katie chased him out of our yard for doing donuts. That is just such a Katie sort of thing. I can hear her in my head yelling, "Whatcho doin'! Git!".

Thank you, Kim Crawford, for this lovely little memory of my family. In return, I'm trying to make my beautiful sister aware of your existence. We tried to figure it out last night, but you are right.

She doesn't have a clue who you are.


1 Comment:

  1. Velociman said...
    I received your e-mail but had no idea you had a blog. Belated thanks for the kind words, and please forgive my artistic license filling in the gaps of my perforated memory.

    Kim

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