THE CONCLUDING CHAPTER OF CRAWFORD
Joan Crawford fan Suzanne Page shares her meeting with Crawford at a "My Way Of Life" book signing in Boston, Massachusetts (November 16th, 1971).
(Special thanks to Suzanne for sharing her memories with this website)
"Bryan, Just came across your website which I think is a remarkable and fabulous compilation of Joan Crawford in her later years which was when I too became enamored of her and her work.
On November 16, 1971 Joan Crawford's book signing took place at a store that used to be called "Jordan Marsh" at 2:00 pm. I know this because I was 14 at the time and begged my parents to bring me in which they did for the book signing. I was 14 years old wearing an orange a-line dress lined in faux fur at the collar and cuffs.
My father wanted to bring a camera I begged him not to - a request I regret to this day.
I was second in a long line of fans to meet Joan behind a very eccentric old woman dressed in a gothic floor-length black dress carrying a dozen roses.
Joan was seated on a raised platform at a table with who I now believe was Christina.
I remember this odd old woman in front of me because when she got to Joan, she handed over the red roses, made a deep courtesy and disappeared. She never spoke to her never asked for an autograph just took off. I recall the handlers around Joan thought it was odd and scrambled a bit as well, but they moved the line on to meet her.
Even at 14 years old, I thought that would be a tough act to follow as I began to tremble and was already nervous.
Joan stayed at what was formerly the Ritz Carlton on Boston Common, now the Taj where she gave a press conference and I have that clipping somewhere. Very interesting as the reporter noted the room was absolutely frigid at Joan's request and stocked with Pepsi products.
When I arrived at the elevated platform where the table was located to meet Joan, I told her that I had many letters from her which now I realize were written by Betty Barker from the West Hollywood address you note on your website and sent to her to be signed in NY then mailed.
My mother got the address as she sent a letter to Brandeis asking them to forward her letter to Joan as I was such a fan.
Joan was beautiful, gracious and surprisingly short in stature.
I remember I was stunned by how blue her eyes were as she wore a black mink hat that covered her hair, a black empire waist dress and at the waist a beautiful diamond broach centered at the cinched waist. She stood up to meet me. She wore a perfume on her hands that lingered when she shook your hand.
Everything perfectly staged.
When I gave her my name, she said she remembered me and appeared sincere.
I had begun training as a singer at that time and went on to have a minor operatic career. I now work for the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
She was incredibly gracious, in the moment and focused directly on me. It was a very intense experience.
As I was by far the youngest fan in line, this was a tremendous photo opportunity as I see now in retrospect, the fact that a teenager came to meet her spoke to her powerful outreach and impact.
She leaned over and said to me, "would you like to give me a kiss?" I said "yes".
Again I am aware she was looking for the photo op - a product of fantastic MGM studio training.
She leaned over and all I heard were cameras clicking. To this day I have searched AP sites and photo libraries to find the photo of that moment. She wished me good luck in my career as I was professionally singing in musical theater at that time and asked that I continue to correspond with her.
It is a moment of my life I will never forget."
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Joan Crawford in front of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts on November 16th, 1971