Sunday, January 10, 2010


I have had the good fortune to be in the company of many wise women during my 77 years on this planet. From time to time this year I will share some of that wisdom and influence with you -- my Sasha friends.
Perhaps the greatest influence came from my Grandmother -- "Nana Laura" -- who collected Madame Alexander dolls and Steiff teddy bears. She came to live with us after The Great Depression stripped away her wealth and left her with nothing but her memories. The few dollars she earned babysitting were spent on dolls and bears. "Money is like blood -- it needs to be circulated." she was fond of saying. She was fond of saying many things, often just to amuse me over tea. "There is no such thing as a perfect stranger. They are never perfect and usually stranger than you'd care for." That one still makes me smile.
I grew up in Greenwich Village, New York's artistic neighborhood. Our neighbors were artists, poets, and an occasional scoundrel. Nana Laura loved them all. Every Saturday we would take a Fifth Avenue bus up to 58th Street where FAO Schwarz was located and adopt a new doll or teddy bear. Afterwards, we went across the street to The Plaza Hotel and had "high tea" in the Palm Court.
She introduced me to Madame Alexander when I was 12 years old. I had the pleasure of knowing that lady until she died. In fact, I have known many great ladies over the years. Probably more than great men. I'm just lucky I guess.
I have taken one of Nana Laura's bon mots and adapted it for this blog. "Knowledge is like blood -- it needs to be circulated." and so I will be sharing what I have learned, been taught, and stumbled over in my 77 years, on this blog.
It is never easy to teach humility to young people who are riding high on their first big success or moment in the spotlight. When I had my moment I recalled her advice. "Beware of standing up on a pedestal because people can look up your dress."
Good advice, Nana.