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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
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
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"...
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...
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.
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