Archive for November, 2013

Open House of New Palm Springs Location!

Yes, it is true I will be working out of my Palm Desert office and my new Palm Springs office!  Come celebrate with me on Sunday, December 1 from 1-3 pm.

Join us at 1049 N. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs (located near Tachevah)

Champagne and Cake and special presentations for you to enjoy!

photo (17)

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Mondays with Melitas – November 25, 2013


You know, I think I’ve gotten a little — or maybe I should say a lot —

mixed up in this old age scene. It just occurred to me that there I was writing all

about Softball in Palm Springs when it really wasn’t the season for softball at all.

It was the beginning of football season, and what did I do? — I spent 3 or 4

weeks with that story of softball; and you, my Dear Readers must’ve been

moaning in your beer — “Is she ever gonna get off this kick? Enough already!”

So, let’s do a little Football this week — which is supposed to be out on

“Mondays with Melitas,” but you never know until it’s actually there. I will try to

make up for my loss of recalling what season, or even what year it is. To top it

off, I’ve nearly missed football season. They are presently talking about who’s

going to win the Pac12, and who might go to the Rose Bowl, and by the way, it

would be the celebration of the One Hundreth game played there on New Year’s

Day. Right now Basketball has started its season, and with such a vengeance!

Everybody wants to beat up on the Lakers (my favorite basketball team) before

Kobe comes back.

Another reason for me not paying too much attention to football, was when

I did an alley-oop and spent 7 weeks in a full leg brace guarding my fractured

patella (“knee cap” in layman’s language, or “laywoman’s” in this case) then icing

it, elevating it, while I was flat on my back. I am still not out of the woods. After

3 weeks out of the brace, another brace went on, and this one doesn’t let the

knee bend. I wasn’t very interested in the outside world. I tried to talk the

Warden into somehow strapping me onto the outside of our Empire’s back wall so

that the leg would be elevated — this meant I would have to be upside down. I

figured I could at least watch the cars go by on Miles Ave, even if I was upside

down because when I was a little kid I used to sit on the front steps of Aunt Mae’s

house, and not seeing, just hearing engines pass by — because of the wall of

hedges cutting off the noise, etc. of the State Highway which was on the other

side of the hedge, I could identify the make of each car going by. (I think that is

a very long sentence — I cannot follow it myself, but come hell or highwater, I

am not about to change it.) By the way, do any of you recall the Marmon, a very

nice auto in the old days? My Uncle Frank had one.

All this mish-mosh I have been writing just goes to show you that my brain

matter really got terribly mixed up, and it cannot follow along on one subject more

than a few seconds. I am trying to tell the noggin that this story is about


‘Way back in September, when the season started, my niece, Roberta drove

over just for the day from San Juan to watch the UCLA Bruins football game with

me. She didn’t want me to be alone. The Warden is not into football, but she

loves tennis, enjoys golf, and does watch the Lakers. Another niece, Marcie, was

here in her position of Vice Warden when the real one has to go do something,

and we were watching some game, but I can’t remember if it was UCLA football or

Lakers basketball. My Memoir Coach, Tammy, has not been over to watch any

UCLA games this season. She was over several times last season.

So now my viewing is in aloneness. Just one Me is there. The picture

appearing with this story (??) will show you the aloneness.

My leg makes me tired. Besides, at this present time, the Bruins just lost

their game to Arizona State — which just added to my tiredness. Now they won’t

be in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, so now NO MORE FOOTBALL FOR ME.


RE: The accompanying photograph, entitled “Aloneness.”

This was taken when the knee was out of the first brace for a couple of weeks.

I am adoringly decked out as a UCLA Bruin fan in a UCLA white t-shirt, a blue

Bruin cap with golden hair sprouting from the top, then there is ice pack on left

knee, then a cane on other side. My right hand is writing a story, and there’s the

left hand holding the glass of agave juice, so it must be 5 o’clock somewhere —

Probably 4 o’clock Pacific time.


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Mondays with Melitas – November 11, 2013

Viv about 2 years old

Viv about 2 years old


Bicycle built for two

Bicycle built for two

IN MEMORIUM                        NOVEMBER 11, 2013


Today, November 11, 2013 is Veteran’s Day, but in my day it was “Armistice Day” ever since November 11, 1918.  It is fitting that we all give thanks and prayers, and honor the millions and millions of the men and women whom have served our Nation for more than 200 years.  We should bow our heads, hand over heart and say a prayer for the thousands and thousands that didn’t make it out alive.

That said, I will change the pace with memories of my younger sister, Vivian, who was born on this date in 1919.  (We have a cousin in San Francisco who was born on the 11th of November, 1918 when the bells were ringing to celebrate the end of WWI — the first Armistice Day.)

Growing up, Viv and I had a few wars of our own. Whoever the instigator was, that’s the one that got the lickin’ –- sometimes both of us –- just on general principles.  We stopped being boring antagonists around the time we hit the first grade, and smooth sailing became the norm in our relationship.  We travelled in the same circle of friends. We all loved to dance and would hit the DeMolay Dance (to recordings,) then on Saturday night it was usually the Balboa Ballroom with live big bands, and there was the Valencia Ballroom between Santa Ana and
Anaheim where Stan Kenton first started his climb to popularity.

Viv went on to marry Luke, both have gone on their beeg vacations, and have left 3 beautiful, smart kids — George and Janice are in the Sacramento area, and Marci, the youngest is now ensconced over in Moreno Valley.  And guess what MY Warden has come up with!  She gets Marci to come over to watch me while she has to go off for a day of golf, or shopping, or just get rid of me out her sight for some respite. (I know I would be going bonkers having to put up with me.)  Marci and I jabber away so we have our own fun.

1925 at Aunt Mae's

1925 at Aunt Mae’s


2 dolls

2 dolls

I’m going to stop typing — remember my old hands and fingers can’t hack it any more like I used to.  I must try to get that Dragon voice to computer program up and running.  My stories will be more lengthy because I can talk an arm and a leg off of anyone.








Olympic hopefuls

Olympic hopefuls

Being nice

Being nice

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Mondays with Melitas – November 4, 2013

RUNNING INTO A CELEBRITY                                            NOVEMBER 04, 2013


I see where Merv Griffin’s little ranch out on Ave. 52 in La Quinta is being sold to the tune of 7M, and I think the buyer has stolen the place.  It’s what I would call a Compound:  there are guest houses, just 3 or 4, lying around the main big home which Merv occupied, sometimes with Ava Gabor for companionship.  Then there is a large home for the caretaker/security guard next to the huge security entry gate with cameras, bells, and microphones to keep out the riff-raff.  There are several barns, for all the beautiful Arabians he raised. There is even a race track. The horses had acres to roam around to stay healthy and happy.

I was inside that compound one day, and I’d like to elaborate on how I got there.

My compound (and I use the term loosely) where I lived for 25 years is located on Ave. 50 in La Quinta, the second little “ranchette” east of Jefferson.  These parcels were about 8 acres, whereas the Griffin place is probably 40 acres, at least.  I was driving out of my driveway which was probably 150-200 feet to the street, and there was a clear view since there was no high wall nor a big security gate to contend with.  I was on my way over to my real estate office in PalmDesert.  The time was around 11:30 am.  Off to my right, I noticed a car travelling slowly, and then pulling off the asphalt to stop across from my driveway.  It was a white ‘85 Cadillac Fleetwood, smaller than the big ones they had previously put out.  My auto that very moment was an exact replica — it is indeed a small world after all.  Then the driver was getting out and signaling me, waving her arms frantically, so I pulled over across the street, got out and walked back to meet her.  She appeared to be a strong woman, dressed in a white uniform-type dress — maybe a nurse, and she’s pointing to a right front flat tire.  So, in trying to lighten the situation (by now I saw there was a little woman in the passenger seat also yelling) I jokingly remarked:  “Not to worry, it’s only flat on the bottom.”  The woman in white went right on about the predicament they were in.  She had Jolie Gabor in the car, and they were supposed to arrive at Merv Griffin’s ranch for a luncheon.  “You must know Jolie Gabor (well, I knew OF her), her daughter Ava is with Merv, bla, bla, bla, and we have to get there.”  I asked “Would you like to have me call the 3A’s to come fix it?”  Nurse/Caregiver Type:  “That might take so long —- oh, what to do?”  Then the two of us helped Jolie out of the Fleetwood, and that was no easy trick.  She must’ve been around my present-day age of 95 —this scene was taking place in 1992.  She kept wringing her hands, and telling me how they HAD to be there. I thought maybe like a command performance for royalty.

We finally decided that I would drive them to Merv’s — with Ava.  We got Jolie situated in the front passenger seat. I wouldn’t have let her drive!  Maybe Wonder Woman. So off we went to Merv’s, and during the entire drive, Jolie still with the wringing hands, kept telling me all about it.  Did I know where Merv’s ranch was.  Yes, I did.  Jolie spoke in this Hungarian Version of the English Language.  She knew how to speak it, but I don’t know how to write it.  All the while, it’s about her daughter Ava, and how she is there with Merv on his $7M ranch. Over and over, I heard the same stuff.  It may have taken about 10 minutes to drive there, but I heard the story at least 15 times.

I was wondering if Jolie had heard about Merv being gay – very old news, and maybe she was in denial.  Ava made a beautiful prop for all his entertaining.

We pulled up to the gate, and Iron Woman got out so she could be on camera while talking to the gatekeeper.  It worked and we drove in.  My eyes must’ve been like the proverbial saucers.  What a spread!  I drove v-e-r-r-r-y slowly to let it all sink in. The drive in to the mansion was lengthy, and we pulled up, and there they were out on the terrace at the huge front door to greet us — Merv in all his sartorial splendor, and Ava —  well, Ava was the knockout — she was in her early 70’s and had the look of a woman in her 40’s, and body that went with it.  In a white silk pant suit, she reminded me of Raquel Welch.  And Raquel Welch was no ugly duckling even in that Hungarian Version of English.

After Jolie and her Warden got out, they introduced me to host and hostess. I didn’t get invited to stay for lunch, so I drove away.

A few days later, Jolie called to take me for lunch at LeVallauris in Palm Springs in appreciation for my saving the 2 stranded damsels in distress.  We talked several times to set it up, but it was either her with her social functions, or I with my real estate wheeling and dealing, so it never took place.  I kept getting cold feet about going anyway because a little bird had whispered in my ear — and I figured out that when the tab arrived at the table, it would be Yours Truly picking it up. Besides, it would be hard to have a decent conversation with someone speaking the Hungarian Version of the English Language.

Another thing :  At the beginning of this narrative, I wrote about Merv’s place being sold, and about the price at $7M.  This was in the Desert Sun just a week or so ago.  When I came to Jolie’s part, I KNOW she kept telling the amount of dollars it cost him.  It is in my brain as though written with a permanent Sharpie.  If my memory is correct with the Desert Sun, then someone did get a real buy.

I just now went to the Desert Sun on internet, and did find the place had been on the market for $9.5M.  So, it cost him the $7M, and that’s what his estate sold it for.  So there!


MELITAS FORSTER                                                 mel nov 4

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A perfect day for a wine retreat…

Lynne Spreen and I catching up!  I always love spending time with her!

Lynne Spreen and I catching up! I always love spending time with her!

What a perfect day yesterday was!  A group of amazing women traveled with me up hwy 74 over to Warner Springs to

Vikki and Chris

Vikki and Chris

write with me in the vineyard at Shadow Mountain Winery.  We had a great time together writing and talking about authenticity.  One of the greatest ways to write is to get in touch with our true self and write from our place of authenticity.  We had a delicious lunch prepared for us by Pam, the winemakers wife. Later Alex gave us a tour of the vines and taught us all something about wine making!  Hope you can join us in the Spring when we venture outside again!








wine view

Alex, the winemaker giving us a tour

Alex, the winemaker giving us a tour


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"Because of Tammy I have found confidence in my writing and feel blessed to be honored in such a way. I have found my voice. I have found freedom! I recommend anyone for whatever reason to expand their life and sign up for her writing workshops or classes. You'll be amazed at how good you are and how everyone has a story worth telling. Sign up and set your voice free!"
Wendy Price, Palm Desert, CA

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Amherst Writers & Artists

Tammy L. Coia is an AWA Affiliate, certified to lead workshops in the AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.

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