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About The Author
In my own words (as much as I'll admit to!)

My early life in suburban New Jersey was uneventful except for my winning a hula hoop contest in 1957. I took off to see the world in 1966.

As I had only a high school education and no marketable skills, I always had to look for my jobs in the "Miscellaneous" column of the classifieds. I was a lingerie clerk at Altman's in New York while living with a crazy Greek. I sold books door-to-door in Puerto Rico where I was madly in love with the Spaniard who led the group playing at El Convento Hotel, and I went out with a cute Chinese guy on the side as well as a slick-bald Swede and some Italians who worked on cruise ships.

(Hey, remember that this was during that all-too-brief period or history when young people could indulge in "free love' without dire consequences: after the invention of "The Pill" and before the onset of AIDS. In the late sixties it wasn't considered dangerous or even vulgar to wake up on a bare mattress in a 2nd Avenue crash pad next to a lead guitarist. We'll never see the like of that era again.) I sorted computer cards in a bank in L.A., and waited tables in Chicago where I dated an eighteen year old go-go boy and his 42 year old father who was a handsome big-band musician.

In San Francisco in 'sixty-eight, almost every form of employment available to a woman required that she be topless: dancing, waiting tables, dealing cards, even shining shoes. At that time I didn't want to apply for a job because the proprietor would demand to see me topless first and I didn't want to audition them. I was afraid the guy would just shake his head.

"No, those won't do at all."

Thirty-four A doesn't impress anybody.

So I worked in a "bust-out" joint on Geary Street. That was an illegal after-hours club where we sold cheap gin in coffee cups and got a commission on our b-drinks. When a cop was suspected to be on the premises someone would yell "Vice!" and all the drinks would go on the floor. Or on some sailor's knee.

a younger me
Bourbon Street, 1970
I landed in New Orleans in the fall of 'sixty-nine and got a job tending bar and b-drinking in a seamen's dive on the riverfront. My first night in town, I spotted a beautiful French-speaking Cajun boy who worked as an unskilled laborer on a pipe-laying barge and spent all his paychecks as soon as he got them. Richard Catoire was six feet tall with coal black hair, high cheekbones, perfect teeth and a Cajun accent thick as gumbo. And he bought me a ten-dollar bottle of champagne on which I got a five-dollar commission. So naturally, I spent the night with him.

[I hereby issue a warning: Never have a one-night-stand with a Capricorn because they stay FOREVER. Thirty-three years later, that Cajun is STILL HERE and I can't get him to go home!]

I had always wanted to be in show business, so I had a couple of gowns made with two-foot stripper zippers, bought some rhinestone G-strings and pasties, put on a platinum wig and "showed my business" all over Bourbon Street for the next two years. But I never would have become a head-liner because I wasn't willing to drive to Houston for the silicone implants.

I also flaunted my charms in London where I was offered a job dancing naked in Soho.

I asked the booker, "What do you pay?"

He said, "What you're worth."

"Forget it! I can't live on that!"