Badly still but less than yesterday + yesterday less certainly than Sunday. Read. Took out the garbage – made bed. Washed dishes + then devoted myself to doing the laundry. Overwhelming prospect for the condition I’m still in. Each handkerchief a tablecloth. The mail however made my day. A dear letter from Margie saying that Sue + she were getting along beautifully now how happy she was at Lake Michigan, how much she missed me + that she loved me “very much.” A sketch enclosed by Sue + a painted pebble from Marg. It made me extremely happy as Margaret has been so much on my mind ever since her horrible stay in L.A. I wrote Sue her birthday card with $25 check for her 18th birthday + told her how happy I’d been to get Marg’s letter. Paid a couple of bills – went to market – home. An evening of tapering off – the heat 110°. They didn’t get to Danny’s pool. Are pouring it tomorrow.
Lovely day. Up around 9:15. Made breakfast. Dick off to look at a job but the “general contractor” who it seems has a gold plated rack on his pickup truck, didn’t show. Wes + Betty Poole called to ask us out to the lake but Dick wasn’t home so they said they’d ask again. Millie called + I called her back to reverse the charges. She likes the new Friday woman very much + it’s very convenient to get to. Margie called her + Mary got on the phone but Millie said there was someone at the door and she had to leave. Poor Mary has really lost one of her best friends. I called Elizabeth after to thank her for her card + we had a nice chat. Dick came home + we went back to bed for a while. Mary + Les called and it was all very hectic sounding. They’ve put Margie in a catholic girls school. Les sounded almost as “high” (nonalcoholic high) as Mary although not disorganized. They plan to come up + see us some weekend to see how we’re doing. We slept til 2 o’clock + then went shopping. I bought some peppers + stuffed them and served a very tasty tomato dish. Scotty called us and it was really nice. He sounded a little bit tight + sentimental and very dear. Wish he’d come out here + get away from New York. We went into town to see Romeo + Juliet + both loved it. The theatre awash at the end. A little negro boy in front of us was looking around scornfully at the sniffers when he saw his Mother take out a handkerchief. His “Not you too!” could be heard throughout the theatre + it provided a little relief. A really beautiful film. We came home + called Leon and played knock rummy and talked alot about alot of things before going to bed.
Up at 7:15. Dick off around 7:45. I wrote diary + futzed about. Went to the Decateur center + Wonder World. Got 2 desk lamps wanted to buy plates but couldn’t find any. Variety store + I bought a garment bag. Hardware store for some colored enamel paint, brushes + thinner. Then to the Safeway for shopping + Dana McKay’s bookstore for stationery. Tried to get Louis’ new book but it’s not out yet. Bought Thurber carnival for Dick. Mary called this morning. The pictures came out beautifully + she’s going to send us a set. Wants to keep the negatives for a while? That’s all very good. Subject of Margie a little garbled. Something about a catholic school. Something about sending her home. She (Mary) is being guided by “our dead mother” + “trying to do what she would do.” Quite a long talk actually – I wonder about Margie + feel a slight twinge of guilt at being glad to be far away. I unpacked a little more. Put all my cottons in a garment bag in the guestroom. Then I painted flowers on Dick’s maple chair. They look like green eyed crabs but they hide the wood filler. Dark clouds suddenly came up. I gather a bad storm is hitting poor battered California again. Didn’t really do much today but was absolutely exhausted + lay down for a nap a few minutes before Dick came home. He joined me for an hour but I slept on for two. I’d made stuffed ham slices for dinner and we ate + drank a great many old fashioneds and read some Thurber aloud + a little Oscar Wilde and had a lovely if drunkish evening. I am beginning to lose a few pounds. I’d gotten up to 131 or so and am now inching back. About 127 at the moment. Think the routine is doing me good. I feel well + am very happy.
Had thought of calling Bert about lunch today but decided against it. Went out to Studio City for a wardrobe call. Ed Hartman + dear Director, Charles Barton passed on 2 dresses (Mr. Barton looks like Mr. McGoo) and I went out + bought a pair of yellowish flats, a over the shoulder bag and a pair of bright yellow pumps. It was late by the time I got home. Had to call Mary to say I’d be late. Got out there around 7:15 Les hadn’t come. Margie off in a snit. Mary said it was the worst barbecue of the summer but she + I had fun. We watched some of the Democratic Convention. Alot of news men have been roughed up out there. Margie + Erica back + Marg in a great spiral of despair + untouchable. Gave the twins + Liz + Erica + Margie each $2.50 to see a movie tomorrow. I left about 9:45 + went out to Henry’s. Cynthia Lindsay there + Bob Patton + a very nice house guest named Aileen Billings. Everyone had been drinking and after an evening of coffee I hastened to catch up. Cynthia + Bob went home + Henry to bed and Aileen + I sat up talking. I finally walked her back along the beach to Cynthia’s + then came back to Henry’s. Dialogue later [crossed out words] reported by Cynthia as I was going down the stairs. Aileen: Don’t hit your head. Watch out for your head.” [crossed out letters] Thwack! – Me: I hit my head. Actually it wasn’t a piece of cake finding Henry’s place from the beach side in the dead of night.
I got an anniversary card from Anne Loos today.
Up at 7. Winnie off to Pat Walkers at 8:20. I started in on preparing things for tonight. slicing + paring + washing the raw vegetables and marinating the steaks etc. Rae in at 9:30. Had coffee with me + got started on my signs etc. Said she hoped I was closer to the 22nd + the 24th as I had very strong FAMILY things on latter that would interfere with my career. Well I guess that’s proof that it’s the 24th. Blah Blah Blah. Astrology does allow for “transmutation” which is the essence of analysis. Odd that that’s what I’m working on now with Bob. I cleared the dining room Table of Ritas mss. and papers. When Winnie came back she helped me set it + I wrapped the gifts I have for her and the stationary for the Enelows. I left messages for Henry Jones and for Peggy Pope. Spoke with Mary. We had a low calorie plate at Al’s again + I called Leon. Went to the beach at 1:30. Got there at 2:20. Pleasant time sunning. 910 Via de la Paz at 4:30. I left a card for Bob Iverson. Talked some with Doug. He said that Winnie had odd skin – “doughy” and that’s very often a sign of thyroid imbalance. He felt that it was extremely likely that there was something off as she should have lost weight. Was impressed that she’d stuck to the diet never the less + also with the 7 inch loss. Winnie told me Doug was the “greatest” and that she wished he was her Doctor. So he’s done it again. Came home via Carl’s. Bought cottage cheese, a few diet things + sone ice. Rae + Doug (her friend) stayed for a drink + I asked him tomorrow night. Winnie upset. Mary + the kids arrived at 7 o’clock. Had drinks while the fire got going. Pleasant dinner after which Sue + Marg ran around the block. Invited Winnie who wouldn’t go. They gave her a lovely scarf and a bead set. The kids all left about 9:30 or so. We went upstairs to see Mary Parker. Jim arrived. We had beer. Winnie unhappy about everything – Rae’s friend Doug, Margie, Erica, blah blah blah! She’s an extremely negative child + I find it wearing + was discussing later with Mary Parker who said she’d thought she was going to get sick of my family. I was annoyed + left in a huff. Did a little work on one of Rita’s plays. Think I’ll forget about arrangements with Mary P. for next week.
Up around 10:30 or so. Hangover + sort of detached feeling. Out of it all. Bob Iverson called + he’s been really sick. Had a bad headache + had to go to St. Johns for tests + seemed to have harmed a blood vessel in the brain. I couldn’t honestly understand. He said he could see me Wednesday at 11:30. And also Thursday. I told him to please take care of himself as he’s very precious to a great many people. And he is. I took Humbug and went out to see Mary and the children. Margie + Patsy there. Margie very thin + svelte in a bikini with gold dangley earrings! Patsy also thin. There’s the temporary estrangement of 6 months absence. I worked on a puzzle with Mary + we finished it. Then I went to Leons gave him 2 copies of The Lion is Busy. Took him to Simon Taub’s house + came home. Had Humbug with me all day + he behaved well. Still felt unreal. I slept. Then I fixed Leon’s meatloaf + Mary Parker cooked up some broccoli + we had dinner down here around 9 o’clock. After I read Mary Stewarts new book, “The Gabriel Hounds” – Finished it about 1:30 + went to bed. I’ve decided to try to go very slowly until I manage to work out of this slough of despond.
British Pound devalued – $2.80 to $2.40
Up about 9 or 10 – Rain still coming down. During a break Peter took Humbug out + he did several dumps – think he’s been a little constipated too. I went upstairs + rearranged furniture – Took the long low piece with drawers + cabinets out of Dianne’s room + put it in the office. Took out the bed which I later gave to Jim Parker. Put the yellow desk back in Dianne’s room. Really got quite energetic. The new shade however doesn’t fit on any of the lamps we already have + I’ll have to get a new base – table lamp I’ve decided – But the place looks alot better – Hummy groggy but calm. Druscilla called with the news that Colby had called [crossed out letters] her Mother + told her that Peter + I were having problems + that it was all my fault and that they (the family) didn’t expect me back unless I got a divorce + then they expected me back immediately – Dear Colby! How really helpful. Then Mary called to say that the twins + Margaret had told her they didn’t want to spend Christmas with her. Margaret had done most of the talking – said Mary was selfish + wasn’t thinking of them etc. etc. Straight from the horse’s mouth of course. Mary upset as I would be. I didn’t think she should back down but several hours later after 2 talks with Newcomb + Thomsen she came to the decision she couldn’t face Christmas after what had been said. Well she knows (or should know) her limitations but I hate to see Allen getting away with this time + again + I feel sorry for Margaret at some later time when she has to face herself. Peter late home – pleasant dinner Afterwards in front of TV I mentioned going to Bob’s tomorrow + Peter said “I’m not going – he doesn’t believe a word I say” – He also said he didn’t see the point in a joint session. Then he said he’d thought we were supposed to go [crossed out letters] Friday + that I’d changed my mind. I went to bed depressed but not as much as I’d have thought –
Up about 9 – Heard the girls up a little later. Rather like having 2 well behaved patrons in a hotel – Everytime I went up + knocked “Who is it?” – Then a great sliding of bolts + locks. Mary called + Margie panicked but Mary hadn’t gotten the letter yet. I went up again when Margie had finished talking with her Mother + told her quite strongly how I felt about Christmas + also said I didn’t even feel she should be consulted. It all makes me furious. Went to the store + bought some cinnamon rolls + hamburgers. Ken Anderson + Faye came over around 1:30 – We all had coffee + then went down to the Watts Towers which Margie + Erica had never seen. They were holding a fashion show there so it wasn’t the best circumstances for the towers but was glad we went. I drove Margie + Erica home to the Mann’s + had a cup of tea with Mrs. Mann. (Katie) – What a lovely person she is. She then took Margie back to Las Lomas + I came home. Fixed a mushroom + wine sauce for the left over steak + hamburger plus rice, garlic bread + last night’s salad – We watched the F.B.I. and I thought Peter looked very good + then we saw “The New Interns” – quite a poor movie I’m afraid. Dean Jones excellent + the rest pretty nowhere. Bed at 11:30.
The girls slept late today – Erica has a sore throat + a headache. Margie fixed her breakfast – they were very much unto themselves til about one o’clock. I tried to talk to Peter about this evening, about money- about anything + he left. And I was in tears again. I just don’t know what to do. I called Faye Margolis + she’s busy this evening but said she’d try to come by tomorrow morning. I took the girls to Tommy’s for a hamburger lunch – Then to Akron where I bought sheets + shampoo + furniture polish + they bought fishnet stockings + Margie got some false eyelashes. Thence to Farmer’s Market for strawberries + some paperback books. Erica a little less quick than Margie I think on the literary scene. Back via safeway for groceries and then left them off at the park to take a boatride. I’ve really seen very little of them. I fixed dinner – prepared the steaks, made garlic bread, salad + hulled the berries. The girls upstairs – Erica for a nap + Margie to work on dressing Alvin’s wigs. (never got done!) Scotty called, was sober + very sweet + upset about Peter + me – that from this summer. Told him not to talk about it and that we are trying – although I don’t know how Peter is trying I really don’t. Scotty had only called because he hadn’t heard all this time. It was good to hear him. Peter was home about 6:30 – fixed the fire. Timmy here around 7 + Mary Parker down. The girls were a rapt audience for Timmy’s altanume story. I really wish he’d manage to do something about it but don’t think he ever will. Margie + Erica went upstairs around 10:30 – We listened to A Childs Christmas in Wales + then Timmy + Mary left. Peter was playing records + I came in to listen with him + he moved to the other couch. I went to bed a little afterward.
Up at 6:00 – Peter off at 6:30 – I futzed about – made bed etc. Took sheets + towels +cleaning things upstairs – did a little cleaning in kitchen in apt. Picked up Bess at 9 – had steam + massage, took her to the bank + then home again. Went shopping – bought all sorts of goodies for the girls upstairs – yogurt, eggs, juice, bread, milk, butter etc. etc. Soft drinks. Came home + stocked their icebox. In the safeway parking lot had sudden vision of Peter riding on the shopping cart the way he used to when he was happy and it just killed me – It was like that vision of Mother in the branches outside my window I cried all the way home. Just couldn’t help it or stop. When I got home I took an equanil but was still awash with sorrow, grief, despair. Strange + awful as the day had started out – like any other plain dreary day. Took another equanil after an hour or so + lay down. Was out like a light for 2 hours. Got up as if drugged. Mary Parker was at work on the apt. I helped her only a little before it was time to go out + get Margie + Erica I saw Sue at the house + Lisa who’s turning into a very pretty little girl. The twins were at [crossed out letters] Blue Birds + I left their lockets on their beds. Took Margie to Erica’s – met Mrs. Mann + the two boys who all seem very nice. On the way back in the car Margie told me that Allen was going to try to get out of the Christmas arrangements + I said I didn’t think that was fair + that I thought they should all stay with their Mother for Christmas. Erica is a very sweet girl. I’m so glad they’re here. We decided to go see “Flim Flam Man” because there was a preview. Peter home just before we left – I’d tried unsuccessfully to get him at the club to meet us for dinner. I got lost on the way out to Westwood + fetched us up at the Sta. Monica Airport. But we arrived in good time. Preview awful – but the Flim Flam man quite good. Went to Ship’s after/ Not home til 1:30 – Peter in bed. Gave the girls the transistor to take upstairs.
6:30 – Diary (after Peter left) – everything is upstairs in my office now. Wrote Colby a fairly long letter in answer to hers. Told her the current situation as she already knows so much of it and asked her please to keep it confidential. I called Albert then Helen Kleeb – Learned from Helen that my Altman’s scene has been cut + that none of the women came off too well. Name of the film is now “What now Fitzwilly?” Horrendous story of Helen’s son – in a bad auto accident last spring – 63 stitches in his head – then after recovering was shot on Labor Day Weekend in the street at San Francisco by the ex-husband of the girl he was with. Went through his liver + shattered his diaphragm – Lord! Seems to be recovering. Called Mitzi. She’s 5 months pregnant + delighted. Will try to see her Monday. Betty Lamm called + is going to set up an interview next week with Don Knotts. I called George for an appt. + it seems he’d been thinking of me all yesterday + almost called me last night. Had a nice letter from Sue Glick who’d gotten the books but not my letter + got the Bio-Tronics shares from Ed Condict. Went to the bank for some cash + then to Beverly Hills for my haircut + manicure – (new lady named Evelyn). So good to see George again – introducing idea for producing TV commercials. Then went over to see Mary’s new house. I’d never pay $285.00 for it but it’s perfectly nice. Mary was fine emotionally (except from now on I’m taking it day by day – visit by visit.) The twins + Margie there. Nice visit with Margie – the twins a little distant. Saw pictures of Mary’s party which looked all right. Drove home + fed Hummy. Peter picked me up at 7:15 + we went to Timmy’s. Watched Star Trek + The Many faces of Romeo + Juliet (awful) Good dinner. Peter read a play script that Paul felt he should play the lead in. Unfortunately no pay + Peter didn’t feel it worth it. Home + in bed by Midnight – phone rang and it was poor Jimmy Whelan from New York – we talked for some time – He told me about his breakdown etc. I no longer felt the old impatience which was interesting.
Peter was up before me + cleaned up the dishes. He went out to look for a radiator for the Rambler with no luck. Jim Parker came over + they worked out back on the car. The mail came and there was a letter for me from Mother with a check for $1,000 “with no strings attached” because of their 50th Wedding anniversary. There was also a letter for Peter from Daddy. I called him in + he too had a check for a thousand but all he could say was “it’s too much” and it gave him at the moment no pleasure at all. Oh God I wish things were going better for Peter because in his present state nothing is acceptable and it’s unbearable. To be able to accept + receive is just as important as being able to give. I really know that now. I called Harold Stern later + told him I’d be in New York in a couple of weeks. Mary called + was coming over with Margie + Patsy + I told her I had to work on the June Lockhart interview. They got here about 3 and stayed til 5:30. I was a little irritated at the end as after all I did have work to do + it annoys me to have it sloughed off like that. However that may be my own fault. Peter went to the club in the afternoon + when he came back about 8 we went to Diamond Jim’s for dinner. Unhappy conversation (on my part) about the checks + his attitude etc. etc. After we went over to the piano bar on the way out + that’s where we spent the rest of the evening getting drunk + a little raucous but at least having a reasonably good time. The pianist a very gay out going woman named Mara Bennett. After we invited her + her husband + the rest of the group over to our house. They all came + we crashed around til about 4:30 am. End of the soiree hazy in the extreme.
Also had a note from Mother – separate from the check asking me if I’d be willing to do a little something to entertain the alumnae of the Colby Academy. I called her + said of course. Also told her when we were coming etc. etc.
Up early – about 7:30. Caught up diary – talked with Peter about Golden Wedding plans – we decided to get balloons with “A Nifty Fifty” on them for the town celebration. Peter called a place + we can get a thousand for $60 – Whee. We called BarnView + spoke to Jimmy who said he’d make arrangements for the helium. I went to get Geo. Rice + Sons and saw the proofs – they look marvelous. Dave Rice had caught a typo “cleanings” for “gleanings”, but he thought he could correct it. I then took the sketch to the L.A. Frame company to be framed. Am not happy with my selection but it was cheap enough. I went to the bank and got a $100 M.O. for Luise – her birthday is on the 24th. Also some money to send Jessie. Went to Pat Walkers + then shopping – bought a leg of lamb for dinner + [crossed out letter] an eggplant for a really exotic casserole. Came home, fixed the lamb + the casserole. Called George Spicer who’s back so I’ll get my hair cut before we go East. Called Lauria’s + complained [crossed out word] about the service. Called Bill Tregoe – I didn’t get the part – they cast someone 10 years older. Margie called + I had to beg off tomorrow just because of time. Promised her a night this summer. Betty Lamm called – has to put off Louis Nye which is fine by me. Peter home around 6:30 – we talked a little for a change + he made our reservations back for Thurs. the 15th at eleven o’clock + Mary’s return on the 23rd. Fare is $210.00 which is great. Called Drue + asked her to arrange for an Avis car for us at the airport (this after incredible hassle with the car rental agencies.) Mary + Paul came for dinner + almost the whole leg of lamb went. But nice evening.
Got a fair amount accomplished today – caught up diary, wrote thank you notes to Lucy, Liza + Bill Alexander. Typed another copy of the George Carlin interview + sent it to Mother + Daddy with note. Fixed ham slices, salad + broccoli. Got my Thyroid Rx renewed. Peter fixed the record player – was home as the club was closed. I washed the kitchen floor + put 2 coats of wax on it. Went over to Dr. Ware’s to see the thing he’d been fixing for Mother + Daddy. It’s really very cute. Only danger is their not knowing the safety pin is real gold. Eve Lee came by + we all had a drink. She gave me Jim + Fran Rowe’s address so I can send the Savory-Arte Newsletter. Home at 6 o’clock. Finished cleaning up + set the table. called Las Lomas + spoke to Margie about doing something for the Golden Wedding. Told her I’d see her on Saturday. James arrived about 7:30. Timmy awhile after. It was a pleasant evening up to a point (James never pleasanter) + that point was when Peter brought out the 2 1/2 sticks of marijuana that have been sitting in the kitchen for almost 2 months + smoked 1/2 at the table. I was furious. Of all the really pointless put downs that was the worst. James spent the night, had too much beer + went to bed about 1 am. Peter + I then had more beer got really drunk + went at each other hammer + tong.
Woke with ghastly hangover + brooded about everyone who didn’t come to the party. House a mess but not as bad as it might have been. Peter upstairs with Mary + Paul having beer in a coffee cup when I arrived up there-Discussion of party-Peter described a small group of [___] leaving guests as “tired and scared” and for some reason or other that struck me as terribly funny. Mary called to say thank you-the only one who did. She came over later with the twins + Margaret who helped clean up a little. They went on to Olvera St. Bruce’s two sons Terry + Mario came in + Peter showed them the house + fed them coke, fresca + potato chips-I gave them a copy of my book. Bruce in for a drink. We left at 7 to have dinner at Timmy’s. Pleasant dinner + time-NO TV!! Until 10:30. Watched ‘Trail of the Lonesome Pine”-Sylvia Sidney, Beulah Bondy, Fred MacMurray + Henry Fonda. Peter + Timmy laughed + I cried like a baby. Came home + played poker with Mary + Paul on our new green felt. Bed about 3:30 and then to compound the idiocy I read a mystery.