Sunday, July 25, 2010

Celebrating Hepburn

The Philadelphia Story

When it became clear to me early in my career that I was not going to be able to work with Katharine Hepburn on a project due to her advanced age and declining health I was bummed. After expressing my disappointment that the fates could not grant my wish I began to hope there would be some way I could celebrate the life of a woman whose presence on the screen drew me into the movie business, brought a sense of strength and character and whose performances captured the imagination of a young girl enthralled with a glorious era of black and white films. There is no doubt in my mind, through watching her performances I developed a love of snappy dialogue, wicked intelligence and smart pointed action.

To my surprise a formal note arrived albeit a 'form letter' from the law offices that represented her through which I had made my initial request...
Dear Ms. Lutz ... Ms. Hepburn is no longer in sufficient health to read material and consider projects. That said, she still enjoys getting flowers. Rose Royce Florist (140 Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475; (860) 388-1052 is happy to deliver to Ms. Hepburn any arrangement you would care to order. A few hints: Kate likes lilacs, stargazer lilies, Casablanca lilies, dark pink roses, fire ice roses, larkspur, ferns and bowls of small sweetheart roses, but dislikes carnations, gladiolus or anything yellow. The owner of the florist shop is Susan, and it is open 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 4:30pm Saturday--all times Eastern. ~ Regards...
My first thought was what a gift ~ an opportunity to say thank you. My second thought was what a fabulous collection of favorite flowers and I love how Ms. Hepburn was sure and steadfast in her dislikes.

In every community on quaint street corners of this country a florist lights up a neighborhood with its burst of sunshine exploding our tiny worlds with color and inspiration offering a surprise around each petal.

I picked up the phone and dialed Rose Royce Florist and inquired after Susan... She warmly took my order and waited patiently as I thought about what I wanted to say... To this day I cherish the silence and patience that met me on the other side of the phone as I started... Dear Ms. Hepburn... then stopped... tongue tied and started again.

Finally it came to me, a thought from the movie I was working on... and the simple truth.

Memories are a strange thing, they blip into importance when you least expect it. Wanted you to know your work is an inspiration to us all.

- Melanie
I suggested that Susan send Casablanca Lilies but to use her discretion on the most vibrant and alive fresh flowers in her shop and thanked her for her help. Making the gesture and having that time was the total and complete gift to me.

A simple white envelop arrived from an Attorney in NY. I had no idea that it would bear a short sweet note of thanks....

Katharine Hepburn holds the record for the most Best Actress Oscar wins with four in a career that puts her at the top of any list of the greatest actors of all time.

Having seen all of her movies it is impossible for me to pick a favorite.

Please feel free to search for Katharine Hepburn and find yours...
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