THE END IS ONLY THE BEGINNING.
I had to make my first executive decision, so decided to rent the penthouse. It had vaulted ceilings, an electric fireplace, two master suites, access to a gym pool and Jacuzzi, activities room and was clean, functional and very comfortable. All I wanted after the nightmare of smoke and ash was luxury, serenity and peace. The apartment was close enough to town, so that when the building process began, I'd be close to the site.
Georgia was not happy about it, but she moved in after I decorated the place with beautiful contemporary furniture, lush green plants and filled the kitchen with everything we'd ever need.
The city of Laguna Beach, put up a fire relief outlet and
I hired an attorney who intimidated the insurance company and the builder into canceling the contract I'd signed, without getting advice first.
My dad's ideas were original, spectacular and expensive. I didn't want to stop his creative flow, but was afraid the insurance company would fight me every inch of the way and want to settle for a ridiculous amount, since I still couldn't give them a fiscal number representing my loss.
Mark and Barbara, my neighbors who had lived across the street, suggested I hire a professional who could help me present a picture of who I was and what I actually lost. I took their advice and hired the Greenspan Company, who represented me for 6% of my settlement. The Greenspan Company adjuster met with me every week to formulate a picture of my background so they could place a value on my manuscripts, family pictures and all the relics I lost from M.G.M. and the Villa Valentino.
They portrayed me as an heiress and finally my financial loss began to take on weight. My dad stood by me and Gloria, in her Rolls Royce, met me at the lot to collect checks from Mr. Anderson, my insurance adjuster, when he brought them by. He stopped treating me like a stupid middle aged divorced single parent and began treating me like a member of a well respected family.
I was addicted to returning to the lot every morning after I dropped Georgia off at school and excavate more stuff. When I found a broken cup with the word "Lawyer" printed on it, I fell apart. I'd given it to Gene after he passed the bar, right after we were engaged and had so much to look forward to. Then I pulled out the broken stem of my Wedding crystal wine goblet and just shook my head in disbelief. Things I'd taken for granted, were now as precious as ancient treasures from King Tut's tomb.
I cried over the vintage costumes I'd collected and worn since the 1970's. I cried and cried and cried, but when I was done crying all my treasures fit nicely into a little red shoe box. It was all that was left of my old life.
I told my dad what was going on and went off the deep end. Dad said, he would never hurt Uncle Lyle, by making his personal life the entire crux of the Maybelline Story after all he had done for us. Dad insisted I get out of the contract with William Morris and Michael..... forget writing the book.....and get my life back..... So once again I had to put the Maybelline Story on the back burner.
Continued next week.....