Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My summer home

That summer I was still looking for a new place to call home. The Perkins once again came to my rescue. As the family vacationed on Cape Cod, I was left in charge of their home.  
My main focus was looking after their dogs, Charlie and Gregory. Both mutts, Charlie looked like a collie of some sort and Gregory was part black lab. They were both friendly to Blondie, which made the situation even possible. 
I left the three dogs at home every day when I went to work. By that time, Charlie and Gregory had entered their mid-life and Blondie was starting to age so they slept most of the day. But when I came home, the three amigos, as I called them, were ready for a long walk. The walks in the canyon allowed me the time to take stock of my situation. All I knew was that I never wanted to go out with an alcoholic again. Especially one that was as abusive as Bobby.
Instead, I wanted a partner, an equal. I didn't know where to begin to find that someone but I did know couples that seemed happy. Tony and Berry, for one, had a loving and lasting marriage that I admired and they were wonderful parents. Although Tony's life prior to Berry was confusing when it come to his sexuality, he did try to cure his homosexuality in therapy. This was way back in the day when an actor like Tony had to stay in the closet to keep his acting career as the hunky "boy next door" intact. The studios would arrange dates for him and the gossip columns would photograph the tall, lanky actor with aspiring starlets
During therapy for what he believed would cure his homosexuality, Tony flipped through a copy of Vogue Magazine to determine what type of woman attracted him. That particular issue had a spread of Berry and her sister Marissa, with lots of photos. Tony pointed out the tomboy Berry as his perfect match. 
Turns out that Berry had a crush on the actor during her time in Switzerland at boarding school. She had clipped out photos of Tony and pasted them into a scrapbook. 
In 1972, the couple met at a New York party. Berry told me that she knew Tony was going to be at the party and was excited to finally meet the man who she dreamed about since boarding school. She didn't see him at first but could feel his presence. Tony saw her right away and struck up a conversation. The two began dating. 
They married a year later on the grounds of his Cape Cod home. She was 17-years his junior and absolutely head over heels for the man. Tony's dog at the time, Murray, who looked a lot like their current collie, Gregory, was the ring bearer at the ceremony. Berry still had the pillow she made to hold their rings, stuffed with Gregory's fur. She was barefoot at the intimate ceremony.
I remember attending a high school play that Osgood was starring in and Tony was there offering encouragement to his oldest son. I heard people in the audience whispering that Tony Perkins was there. Tony tuned them out. He wanted the attention to be on his son. That was Tony. He didn't want the attention to be on him. He wanted everyone to see the miracle that he and Berry had conceived together. 

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