Guest blog by Pedro

I met Pedro (Peter!) several months ago at my workshops at the Palm Springs IVHP office.  He is such an enthusiastic student and I love what he brings to class each month.  Each month he shows up ready to write and share and encourage.  Every teacher should have a Pedro in their class, it is refreshing.  He sent this to me yesterday and I asked him if I could have permission to share it with you and he gave me a thumbs up!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


Pedro Journal September 23 – My Real AUNTIE MAME
Watching/ loving the movie “Auntie Mame” last night brought back memories…it’s amazing how I can still roar every time I see the story. I originally saw Roz Russell twice live doing it at the Broadhurst Theater. Then I saw the movie several times and then the B’way musical with Angela Lansbury and then the movie musical “Mame” with Lucille Ball and even an excellent production of “Auntie Mame” at the local Jenner Playhouse years ago….all captivating especially the last scene where she starts all over and whisks away Patrick Darling’s little six year old son to show him the world….like Peter Pan…

In life I had a real Auntie Mame. She was Mary Kelly Untermeyer- my Mother’s first cousin. She was beautiful and untamed. In her younger years she became a John Powers model like my mother and she was in a production of the play “The Trial of Mary Dugan” in the late 30’s. It was heading to Broadway when her mother saw it and thought it was too risque and yanked her out. From then on – the world was her stage . She rode horses, drank like a fish, and held court every day of her life. I truly adored her. She was always in her own world but so much fun to be with . When my parents would go off for a weekend faraway Notre Dame football game, they’d leave me with Mary. She and her husband Milton were phenomenal. They lived in a huge several storied house on the Atlantic Ocean in Elberon, New Jersey. the house was modeled after the Unsinkable Molly Brown’s Palace (Hotel) in Denver,Colorado. It had wrap around inside balconies and a huge skylight on top. The staircase from the main floor up looked exactly like the staircase in Scarlett O’Hara’s house.
Milton played polo, raised flowers, worked on the Stock Market (he gave me my first job there for $50 per week) played tennis and my parents used to call him “Hucklebuckle”. The two of them were something out of “Abie’s Irish Rose”. Mary had been engaged to someone else (Carton) but eloped with Milton instead. They could fight cats and dogs but were very devoted to each other.Every Saturday Milton brought her a gardenia (See portrait at the top right) They had the cutest little bar room on the back of the first floor with a small white piano in and they’d bring people back from the bars and restaurants late into the night…there was always a show there. I learned to drink with them and even bumped into their tree leaving one night in my new used “cream puff” car ( an $800 Olds ’88 -the kind of car Mafioso dumped bodies in an abandoned.)
When a store wouldn’t take back a gameboard I got, Mary called and ordered twenty c.o.d to a fictious address. She once reached over and bit a kid who had just bitten my brother. Once she finished with him, he never bit anyone again. She got me a publicity stunt job as Mr. Gloom and I was all dressed up in tails and a high hat and was supposed to have robbed a bank, was put in a police car and taken to jail, tried in court and excecuted and then a big parade took place to take GLOOM out of Long Branch , New Jersey. Mary once told me that if she ever had a son, she’d like him to be just like me. She and Milton had three wonderful girls who grew up on that New Jersey estate (a barn with horse stalls for the polo ponies, huge flower beds, a tennis court, a large cottage (they once offered it to me) lots of land and privacy. I would always bring visitors with me and invade them late at night when I’d see lights in the bar room. I’d sneak up and use their beach across the street (I once swam out when police came along flashing their lights at midnight)
When I was in high school I missed the NYC boat up the Hudson on a class trip and called Mary who had me disappear for 36 hours while they took me out to nightclubs (like “Bill’s Gay Nineties”) My parents and the school were not happy but I stayed with them at their NYC apt. They even came to Puerto Rico when I was married and visited. They were always close to me – I cherished them both. After Mary died, I’d see her in the back of my classrooms sitting among 30 teachers and smiling at me while I’d do model teaching for thirty students. Even death would not separate her from me. and I think of her especially when Auntie Mame comes on…..Memories….

1 Comment to “Guest blog by Pedro”

  1. I call him Tio Pedro. He is a dear friend and I love when he recreates his wonderful history. Thank you for letting your blog subscribers share in his enthusiasm and talent.

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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!"
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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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