Friday, January 26, 2018

Dick Bagley

Portrait of my friend Dick Bagley by Alice Neel.

Dick and Jeannie Bagley were my village friends for years. He was a film maker and Jeannie was a film editor.  When we went to Princeton to work for On Film we took a bunch of our friends with us so we had a built in gang for work and parties.  I worked in the art dept. with Rune and also was in some of the films.  Jeannie worked with Bill Buckley editing and Dick directed.  More about On Film later.

Dick was a very heavy drinker...White Horse crowd and The Riviera.  He was warned but could not stop so he died fairly young.  Jeannie quit editing and went back to accounting.  She visited me when I had the New Jersey house quite often.  More on Jeannie later also.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Photos of Bobbye

Bobbye Philippi in New Caanan

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A word more about the Phillippi's.  Their daughter Robin died this year - 2016.  She was 76 years old.  She had lived on the Orcas islands for many years and was part of their art community.  Her sister Elsa lives in Northampton, MA and is 74...Boy does time fly.

Think of this family all the time and what wonderful friends they were, better to me than I was ever to them.  They knew my sister and father and thought my dancing was wonderful.  What more could I ask for?

Here are a couple of cards Robin sent me (as Robin DiGeorgio)

One spring afternoon I was stopped on Perry Street by a slightly buck-toothed man, who introduced himself as George Phillippi. He said his family had sub-let the 2nd floor at 67 Perry for the summer and he believed that my family lived on the 4th floor. At this time he was a struggling commercial artist, working free lance for peanuts. He had a wife Bobbye and two daughters Robin (10 yrs old) and Elsa (8 yrs) They were to remain my friends until Bobbye's death in the 1990's. Probably much better friends to me than I was to them.

Every week George made a batch of spaghetti sauce and that's what they ate all week...sometimes my father joined them. Bobbye and I would play Jo Stafford records and read her daughters comic books, especially the love story ones. When their sublet was up they stayed on. They were my pit stop after a night out before I made the climb upstairs. At one of our all house costume parties George sewed me into a 1920's dress. The party’s were the Phillippi apartment, us and Bobbie Sickelianos on the 5th floor.
When my sister died in 1951, I was sitting in their apartment and Bobbye drove me out to my Uncle Mikes to be with my father. Bobbye was my best friend. We always stuck by each other...never disapproving of the others actions. We could go years without seeing one another and go right back friendly as ever.

Eventually they moved up to the theater district somewhere and then Bobbye's mother died and they moved to New Caanan, Ct. I spent a lot of time there as romances and marriages crashed around me. They put up with lots of tears.

Every Sunday George would buy two copies of the New York Times so we could each have a crossword puzzle. I would sit on Bobbye's bed while George worked at a table and we watched wrestling matches and 77 Sunset Strip. By this time George was sharing an art studio on Madison Avenue with two other commercial artists and his career was picking up. He took the commuter train to the city ever day in his gray suit and button down shirt, then I fell in love again and didn't see them for a while.

The next time we connected they were living on 6th ave and Waverly Place and I was working at a paper goods place on Hudson Street and I was pregnant. They insisted that I live with them and when they moved to 76th and Broadway I went with them. George bought me ice cream sodas and gave me $10. a week of his kids? He also took me to the hospital, where I had my son. The father paid for the hospital but when I hemorrhaged the following week George paid for it. I lived with them until my son was 6 months old.

I got married for a second time and only saw the Phillippi once in a while...they moved to a loft on Spring st in So-Ho. George now had long hair, a beard and hippy clothes and was the head of the commercial art dept at an art school similar to Visual arts, but I can't remember the name...think it closed long ago. When George died Bobbye moved to Holyoke Ma and I was in Boston so I visited her a lot....she died in the 1990's. Her Daughter Elsa adopted her three cats and Robin took her car and drove it back to Washington State where she lived.   

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


I am going to write about my years living at 67 Perry Street.  We moved to the 4th floor when I was about 10 years old and lived there until I was 21.  Many things happened to our lives.  People passed in and out and we had parties that included the whole of our building and part of 69 Perry as well.  I went to PS41,PS3, Friend's Seminary,  The Burton School. Ballet Arts, Vilzak Scholer and The Fokine Ballet School.  Our ballet gang danced at CCNY in productions that needed dancers and the CCNY drama department rehearsed plays in the front room of our apartment.

Here are the twin buildings 69 and 67 Perry street, between 4th and Bleecker

We lived on the fourth floor, had 6 rooms and paid $60 a month.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Margaret's sketch book

Margaret Emily Trafford 1899-1950

My mother was only 50 years old when she died.  For the last four years of her life she had been a patient at a TB hospital in Jamaica, Queens, NYC.

She was born in1899 at the turn of the century so she was always as old as the year she was in.  She came from a staunch Repulican Quaker family in a small New Jersey town...60 miles from New York.  She always wanted to be an artist, and went to what they called then Normal School to be an art teacher.  She managed to travel to Europe in the late twenties with a wealthy friend as a companion and who paid her expenses.

This trip began to change her life.  She entered a cover contest run by "House Beautiful" magazine and won. I have the cover framed on my wall. She took what ever prize money there was and her savings and went to a small room and went to the Art Student's League where she met my father, a Jewish Democrat. Quite a change, though my grandparents had no problem with their marraige relatives on both sides did.

My mother always worked at her art, going back to take art classes from time to time.  She made me paper dolls, read to me and was lots of fun.  She loved theater and became involved with theater groups in NY, New Jersey and Provincetown, MA doing sets, painting tapestries even borrowing furniture from our place to use as sets.

In her last years in the hospital she studied Chinese, did hundreds of drawings. and anatomy charts for doctors.

The year after she died they started to come out with the cure for TB...Too late for her.

I often wonder what she woul have done if she had only lived to 70...twenty extra years.  Woman artists were more recognized, she might have painted more and I would have known her as an adult.