Old Show Biz: Dennis Hopper

A little levity from the files of Old Hollywood courtesy of my old man… and this time you can believe every word of it.

But First…

Serenity Now*, the halfway house down the road from Olive View hospital in the Westwood district of LA housed twenty men, including Pop, who had just been released from the psych ward after a second attempt on his own life. The drop off the ladder would have snapped his neck but the cross beam was weaker than the force of his weight on the rope, so the game continued.  (* Fake name)

He had graduated from the bin a hero, having accidentally drawn a seeming catatonic out of her stalled awareness by sketching her portrait. Passing the time with pencils, charcoal and oil sticks, Pop zeroed in on this patient, a young woman, twenty if a day, the perfect model under the circumstances, who sat motionless for hours in her corner of the rec room, staring at the floor a foot beyond the hem of her hospital gown.

Her colorless skin and the darkened ridges around her eyes made soft pencils the obvious choice; there was no hue to play with, only the cut-outs of her features against the off white of her skin.

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