OK, so it's not a posh mansion on Hollywood Boulevard and William Haines didn't design the furnishings, but today I do now have something in common with Carole Lombard -- a home in Los Angeles.
After a year and a half of being in assorted shelters, I have found housing through a charitable program. It's the second floor of a house in a safe, quiet neighborhood just off Vermont Avenue (which means plenty of transit access). For the next few days, I'll round up my belongings from the downtown shelter I've used since October, then once I settle in retrieve some items my nephew has stored for me since January 2016.
Among those will be clothes, many of which might not fit anymore after having lost some 70 pounds. (Ah, the Skid Row diet.) For proof of the change, here's how I looked in February 2015, at the unveiling of a plaque honoring Mack Sennett, then this May, at an event honoring my late actress friend Francine York:
Getting housing, and a place to sleep in, safely store my belongings, make meals and keep myself in good health is a major step forward for me, the sort of thing you don't come to appreciate until after you've lost them (as I did for a year and a half). I thank all of you for the emotional support you've given me during these challenging times.
The battle's not yet won. I'm still searching for work -- I was last employed in February -- and now that I have a home base, that task might be easier. But I'm instilled with a confidence I often lacked when times were tough (though I always did my best to present a cheery front to the world). I turn 62 next month, and this is a birthday present I'll long cherish.