Chris and Bridget’s wedding was held on a hot summer evening at the Salmugundi Club in Gramercy Park NYC. It was a festive affair, filled with delightful things to eat and drink. Queueing for champagne, I noticed that the bar was particularly striking - made of dark, glossy wood embellished with elaborate scrolls of ivory inlay. Heavy lanterns hung from a low ceiling. The tone was dark, intimate, and exotic. Soon, I began to feel the excitement of being somewhere far, far away - surrounded by kings, genies, sorcerers and beggarmen.
Two dashing gentlemen seated near the bar caught my attention. The older man, with regal bearing, wore a corn-blue suit with a bright, white shirt matching his long, white hair. Though, truly, I can’t remember - I would guess his tie was yellow, since I know, now, how this man liked to dress classically, yet with bold “accents.” At the time, my attention was focused on his eyes because they were so extraordinarily blue. His demeanor was touched with a scholarly aspect, in stark contrast to his deeply tanned face. To his right sat a small, almost petite man. His suit was stylish and tight, the color of midnight. Puckish gold curls fell loosely around his neck. Like watching Vaslov Nijinsky dance in Stravinsky’s ballet, The Rite of Spring, he exuded passion laced wildness, though just a touch. I watched as “Nijinsky” pushed his chair backward from the table and balance it on two legs. He then closed his eyes and smiled, faintly nodding his head back and forth in time to the music.
Crowds of people came to their table. They seemed to know everyone and smiling broadly, they extended their hands in greeting with calm beneficence. I wanted to extend my hand to them as well, but was too shy at the time. Fortunately, we met again later at Midtown Galleries. After being formally introduced, it became clear why these two “dashing” men had captivated me. The gentleman in the corn-blue suit with beautiful, white hair was the renowned artist and “man of letters,” Paul Cadmus. “Nijinsky” was his muse and long-time companion, Jon Anderson. For the next ten years I pursued my art career in NYC with Paul Cadmus as my mentor and friend until he died. At times, with shades of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, I felt like a young girl caught “in mysterious games, walking in circles.” My friendship with Paul helped chart a true course through it all.