Some were clients; others were browsers. Lainie Kazan came in wearing a sweat suit and dark glasses, and Mick Jagger pulled up to the curb in a long limo. When Barbra Streisand came to town, everyone was on the lookout. Unfortunately, when she walked into my shop I was working on a manuscript for Cleis Press and I wasn’t paying attention. I didn’t even know it was her until someone across the street pointed her out. Ah well.
My brother, Mark Field, owns a wonderful business in Manhattan, http://venfieldnyc.com/ . His client list includes celebs like Lucy Liu, Matthew Broderick, and Danielle Steel.
But the sweetest celeb I’ve ever met was Eileen Fulton. Eileen is most famous for her role as Lisa Grimaldi on “As the World Turns,” but she is also an accomplished singer with a very excellent cabaret act. I met Eileen the first weekend she started doing her act in New Hope in the late l990’s, at Odette’s (formerly owned by Odette Myrtle, the famous Hollywood actress). She walked into my shop with her manager, Richard Barclay, and I was dumbstruck. She’s just as gorgeous as all her photos, but her southern charm calmed my nerves. Eileen was spending the weekend at the Inn next to my gallery, and she was doing four shows that weekend for a sold out crowd.
I quickly made a few phone calls and got a couple of tickets to her show. And I never do that. I’m not starstruck and at the time I was putting long hours at the gallery. But I was glad I did. The show was excellent, and Eileen Fulton made the crowd roar.
But more than that, she came back to New Hope, twice a year, for the next five years to do other shows at Odette’s. I saw them all, and never got tired of hearing her sing. And when she wasn’t rehearsing or performing, she was hanging out on the streets of New Hope, charming everyone with her endearing personality. She purchased a large sterling tray from me for her home. I liked her so much I didn’t even want to charge her. But she insisted, so I gave her a huge “friend” discount.
Unfortunately, Odette’s nightclub was lost in the last huge flood we had here in New Hope. And the owners didn’t rebuild and Eileen stopped coming to New Hope. Then I closed the gallery and started writing fiction full time instead of part time. But, Eileen is still doing her cabaret act in New York, and I’ve seen it there, too. I know she just did one in June at The Metropolitan Room, and I’m sure she’ll be doing others. I’ll post dates when I get an update from her.
Thanks, Eileen, for some wonderful memories and some nice times.