law school

Letters to DD Part Dos

I have been trying to name my new class/blog and here is what I have come up with so far:

Lilith’s Revenge
The Faded Rose
The Dangling Participle
The Pity Party
The Biddy Bash
Women Helping Ourselves to Remain Empowered or WHORE
What do you think?  Here is the rest of David’s letter dated November 23,1986.

Letter’s tLetter’s to DD

There I was slogging my way through the next days homework when…I turned the page and there was a full page publicity photo of Shirley Maclaine looking particularly gamine in a flapper costume seated on a steamer trunk! I felt like Jennifer Jones in “Song of Bernadette”.  I was witnessing my own personal legal stigmata.  Apparently the text book authors had also become hopelessly bored with the wholesale coal prices they decided to giddy things up a bit with a little foray into entertainment law.  As luck would have it we were allowed to request cases we found interesting for class recitation.  So I did and I did an in depth study and brief on the case of Parker v Twentieth Century Fox.  Fox had tried to shaft Shirley.  It was obvious.  They contracted her for the musical “Bloomer Girl” with director, script and choreographer approval rights.  Then Fox shelved the project for some reason.  Instead they decided to have her do do a western on location in Australia called “Big Country” at the same money as the musical.  Shirley sensibly realized that the two projects were completely dissimilar and refused to do the western.  She sued for her full salary under the “Bloomer Girl” contract.  Fox said she had unreasonably refused to mitigate her damages by refusing to do the western.  At this point I patiently explained to the class why the two projects were dissimilar.  The professor tried to intimate that Shirley was being childish,  After all, he said if she is such a great actress it shouldn’t make a difference whether she does a musical or a western.  They are both movies.  Luckily the California Supreme Court knew enough about the matter to realize the western was “different and inferior” employment and awarded Shirley full salary under the contract.
And the rest is history.  Once I started finding cases I could relate to I was able to get really enthused about law school. And it has proved highly advantageous to have had some life experience to bring to the study of law.  I don’t mean that it has been a breeze.  Exam times are highly stressful.  Each time they grind around I think I am going to have to seek professional counseling for the splinters on the windmill of my mind but then I get through it somehow.  I’ve even done well academically, Dean’s List and Honor Roll both times, which to my mind is a miracle on the order of loaves and fishes.
I still dance a little.  I teach at a local studio a few times a week and help out with the spring musical at the high school.  I don’t have a lot of time but I try to keep a toe in, so to speak.
Last month I entered the political arena.  I ran against four other candidates to fill a senator slot as class representative to the Student Bar Association and won!  What a hoot! Me in student government.  I have to watch myself though.  I wouldn’t want to get too colorful at meetings.  I don’t exactly blend into the woodwork as it is.  Last week they said the school was going to do a big talent show.  I can see it all now.  Thank God I sold all those costumes.
 (DeAnne’s note-  David then goes on to quote lines from the book Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life” but I am leaving that out because I doubt anyone has read it which is a pity.  I have it if you want to borrow it.)
Merry Christmas,

Letter’s to DD

Madrid 1981 I’m in the pink (literally)

In 1980 I moved to Madrid to rehearse and perform in a show at the Hotel Melia Castilla. We were the first cast of this still running company and because they were behind schedule the theater wasn’t finished when we began rehearsing.  They were building the theater during the day so we had to rehearse from 8pm-4am every night.  It made for some very interesting times as the multi functional stage which included various elevators, stair cases, fountains, and skating rinks all had to have the kinks worked out.  It was winter so it was cold, but it got better when they finally got the roof finished.  At least it kept the snow out.  I was one of only four American’s in the show and we all lived together in an apartment at 347 (that’s tres, quarente-siete) Bravo Murillo.  It was a life changing experience for me.  It formed my work ethic, my way of looking at the world and most of all my humor.   I was highly influenced by these much much much older and experienced roommates who I love to this day.  (who? whom?)

Roommate Linda returned to the States and after a few more years dancing returned to law school and became an attorney.  David returned from Europe a few years later and became an attorney as well.  I think both of them got tired of being pulled through too many contractual loop holes over the years.  Roommate John is the Artistic Director of the Diamond Head Theater in Honolulu.  I was fortunate to spend a very formative twenty first year with three of the smartest funniest people I have ever met.  
David died of complications from AIDS over twenty years ago and I still think of him almost every day. The following is an excerpt from one of the many letters David sent to me after I left Madrid.  I am compiling a book of our correspondence for John and Linda and I wanted to share a bit so you could know DD (David) too.  
November 23, 1986
East Lansing, Michigan
Let’s just avoid a lot of argument and admit that this is, after all, just another Christmas Letter.  This is my second attempt at penning this missive.  The muse who accompanied me through the birth process of last year’s edition has been conspicuously absent around here lately.  I’m sure it has everything to do with the new, boring and jurisprudent persona I am now in the throes of acquiring.  Surely it could have nothing to do with the fact that I wrote last years effort while nibbling croissants and guzzling vin rouge as I contemplated the continental panorama from my charming Parisian Garret window.  While in contrast I am now searching in vain for a flash of inspiration among the parked cars of my midwestern condo parking lot as the thermometer takes a nose dive toward Wuthering Heights.  Is it any wonder the Bronte girls couldn’t come up with any good musical comedies?
Linda and David  Principal Dancers Scala 1981
I’m in the pink -always

When last we spoke I had just decide to take the GREAT CAREER PLUNGE… well I did it.  And came up spluttering.  What a brutal awakening!  What a cold shower of reality.  For the first month of school I felt like an out of place toucan that had mistakenly been swept up in the migration pattern of a flock of barn swallows.  Instead of the Amazon jungles of my natural habitat I found myself perched in a chair in a climate- controlled lecture hall with numbered seats, 1-160.  An intimate room grouping.  And I was surrounded, not by colorful show folk chattering away in their many native tongues, but by real average people all bundled up against the winter cold and all speaking English.  As you can imagine I was reeling from the shock when the enormity of what I had done began to set in.  And the homework!  I who had not cracked so much as a Time magazine in ten years now had to write something called briefs (written, not apparel) about contracts for bushels of wheat and reluctant tomato farmers and boxcars of coal at wholesale prices.  Week after endless week until I reached my own little, “Turning Point” and wouldn’t you know, Shirley Maclaine was responsible.

To Be Continued…  I will be happy to post more if ya’ll are interested.