From Show Biz to Sunday School

Sharon Leann Wyatt’s autobiography


Across from me were nice looking fellows, one said he hoped to surf the day away in his rubber wetsuit. Near him were two others that had that tan-from-a-can look, a skin tone that set them apart from the pallor of the rest of us. I smiled thinking of this bus load of misfits going to the beach on a day like this, and then I almost laughed out loud when I noticed one of the tan-in-the-can guys had forgotten to do the tip of his nose. As yet I had been unable to see who occupied the back of the bus, that would require turning around, but the suspense was killing me. Surely someone who wasn’t a misfit had to be on this bus. I managed to maneuver a glance up the aisle, and there were those of the opposite sex, that looked a bit more “real.” There were other women on board, but as I lifted myself up so as to see the last two rows there were more of the “jet Set.” Oh, No!
The only other women on broad were many of those that had decorated the pillows on Burke’s Law, and pawed and fawned over directors and star. I would later designate these “ladies” in my own way as the “whores d’oeuores,” emphasizing the words in a poor French accent. Individually some could be quite nice and engaging, but as a cadre they could be, for my taste, a bit much.
We arrived at fog shrouded Malibu, and one could barely see the ocean. The bus door opened and a rush of cold air into the bus, “Close the door,” several disgruntled would-be sunbathers yelled out. Then a raft of remarks were made by an appalled crowd of disenchanted extras, now aware of the fact that this was not going to be a glamour job. Now one of the most frustrating of studio syndromes, that is waiting for weather to change, and I got up at 5 o’clock in the morning for this? The coffee truck finally arrived and we stood around holding either a styrofoam cup of coffee, or tea to warm our hands. The ocean had a gray foreboding look and the waves were not even a foot high.
A tall ruddy faced man with light sandy hair was pouring himself a cup of coffee. There was a glint in his eye as he said, “I don’t think we have worked together before.” “No!’ I don’t think so sir.” “Are you ready to play some volleyball in the sand?” he replied. Quickly I said, “Yes, as long as I can do so fully clothed.” “What is your name?” “Sharon Leigh, and what is yours,” I asked politely in my finishing school voice. “I’m Don Taylor.” “Oh, the director, how do you do.” He responded with a smile, “Better since meeting you.” That last remark had a certain ring about it that categorized Don, and I walked away knowing that there would be more from this man, and not for the better.
The conditions and moisture in the air had made what is my naturally curly hair now an unbelievable mass of the frizzes. I retreated to the ladies room to undertake some restoration, but gave up and just pulled my now hopeless curly mass of hair away from my face with a band.
There were also a good number of girls in this 1935 vintage lavatory, but they were doing what they could to make their bathing suits more daring without being censored. They pulled and tugged at every vestige of their bikinis using various items to achieve a deeper cleavage, a more pronounced bust line, and always to make their suits even smaller. Most were quite well endowed and their efforts increased things to a point resembling more some extreme caricature than anything natural. One girl wearing the then popular “Peek-a-boo” suit, where netting was used where material should be, and who was not so well endowed pulled her suit to her waist, and from her makeup kit pulled out a brown eyebrow pencil and began to draw a line an inch wide and five inches long between her breasts, shading this brown smudge into a ‘V’ shape, then with white eye shadow preceded to highlight this imagined cleavage.
(Continued next month)

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