GTO 3987 on Mulholland

GTO 3987 on Mulholland

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Elysée Wednesday: A Ferrari/film/finance/homeless group

The Elysée Wednesday group that I founded was listed on Facebook as a Ferrari/film/finance/homeless group, which some mistook for humor though it was not. 

Two of our more notable homeless members were an ex-physics professor at UCLA (before he did a stint at Area 51 and came away all sideways) yclept Russell--I'll tell his story at a later date--and the other other was an artist who had showings of his works in Paris, if you can imagine. We were that kind of group. 

The artist first came to my attention when EW was gathering at the Elysée Bakery in Westwood Village. He would walk past in a determined fashion, a preoccupied countenance that saw only his intended path and not the people along the way and the sort of suntan seen only on lifeguards and transients seeming to give him definition. His immaculate, pale beige suit and his hair, worn long to the collar but seemingly hacked off at that point by a pair of shears that never saw the inside of José Eber's salon, completed the picture of many parts that this man presented to the world. I knew better than to say hello to him. 

Months go by and I find myself with my daughter Morgan at a 'coming out' party for a mansion in Beverly Hills--it had just received a make-over/re-think and the architect wanted to show it off--and Champagne and canapés never hurt anyone so there we were. Pierre Du Lat (with whom I did a French version of my Interview show) was there with his whopping great Bentley along with a few other EW regulars but I didn't know most of the assembled crowd.

Tyrone, who looks like a cross between Tom Wolfe and Lucky Luciano, approached and said hello offering us an astonishing introduction that only diplomacy and respect for the statute of limitations preclude me from repeating here. And then I saw him--the man with the pale beige suit and the maniac haircut. I decided I would finally say hello to him.  

Morgan and I went over and joined the small cluster of people listening to this curious fellow who was talking to his attentive audience about art--his art. This drew Morgan into the conversation as she was studying art and he was quite knowledgeable and articulate though shy. A homeless artist, he found--or rather, he was discovered by--a woman in the art world who rented an apartment for him where he could paint and sleep off the streets for a change. She also arranged for his art showings in Paris (!!). He seemed a very sweet fellow but someone had chopped off his hair at the collar with agricultural grade shears, and so, "Red sky in morning, sailor take warning"... 

Some months later, after not seeing him for awhile, I saw him walking along the sidewalk in Westwood Village and pulled my car to the curb to talk to him. Apparently, the arrangement with his patron had run its course and he was back to living on the streets, which he said he preferred. EW had moved to the Sunset Strip by that time, too far from his usual haunts, which explained why we hadn't seen him. I wished him luck and watched William Laga as he walked off in that determined way of his, no doubt towards some adventure of the most improbable kind. Perhaps he'd found another group of Ferrari and art enthusiasts or, given that Hefner's place on Charing Cross was so much closer... 

1 comment:

Alessandro Machi said...

I met William Laga in the 80's. I would drive him to his art places and he would purchase his paints, frames and canvasses. His Art Supplies would be placed in the back of my compact wagon and I would drive him to his favorite haunt back then, Pacific Palisades. Over the years many have purchased his oil paintings. Originally, William Laga's Religion to end Carnivorism motivated William to draw the human form at various parties or social get togethers. William also created a few lithographs and would do specific numbered runs.
William then began experimenting with Oil Paint Blending and Combining.
One time William told me that the people who would let him sleep off to the side of their home, or paint in their business location, had their own troubles and it seemed to make him feel that living outside in some ways was less stressful. He would ride busses at night to avoid the cold. I think he developed a liking for cigarette smoking because it kept him warm, but I am not sure about that. I had hoped he would find a balance between living somewhere sheltered but still being able to do his own thing. William as far as I know, never accept nor applied for Government Assistance and apparently even became offended once when he found out he was being characterized as having some type of Mental issue.
Sure would be nice if he had a Forever Home even if he just visited it when the urge struck.