We want to say thank you to our outgoing Guest Curator, Barbara Wimbush! If you missed a chance to see her fantastic artifacts, please stop by the Guest Curator Archive Page. You can also examine all of our past Guest Curators as well.
Welcome to our first Guest Curator’s Retrospective, Brandy Wilde!
Daughter of a military family I have lived in Southern California most of my life. I was a receptionist and phone order board clerk for two years after high school where I met and fell in love with a very sexy woman who had been a famous and well-paid stripper just a few years earlier. She used the name, Dreamy Darnell.
Dreamy became ill after we had been together for about a year. She was ordered to rest and not work for at least a year so I needed to support both of us. In 1961 we traveled to Houston, Texas so I could begin a career in striptease with the same agent Dreamy had seven years earlier
I danced in the Ohio area for several months to learn about strip music, makeup, costumes, and especially the movements and emotions to project to the audience from older and wiser strippers then returned to Southern California. I rose in the ranks and performed at the Club Largo for four years. The best stage, best musicians, and best dressing rooms made it the finest club in Los Angeles for me. The fact that we did not have to mix with the audience made it a very comfortable work environment. Each dancer did three ten-minute shows a night.
1968 was a most upsetting year, due to the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, who was murdered while all the girls in the dressing room were watching him on live television, and the continuing Viet Nam war and my recent breakup with Dreamy. I learned there were strippers working in Europe ( who knew ? ) I decided to try something new.
I lined up an agent in Paris and went to his office on the off chance she might be able to find me a gig. He had just found out one of his dancers had broken her leg and he needed an immediate replacement for her in Tel Aviv Israel, but first I had an audition at the Crazy Horse Saloon the finest striptease club in the world. I was offered a spot in the show if I could “stay around” until January.
My agent assured Alain Bernardin, the owner of the Crazy Horse she could find work for me and promised to get me back to Paris by mid-January. I danced in Tel Aviv for four weeks, then on to Singapore for three months as the headliner of a Parisienne Review. As far as anyone knew there had never been a European or American stripper there before.
After vacationing in Katmandu Nepal and Bangkok Thailand for three weeks, I returned to Paris and started dancing at the Crazy Horse.
Returning to the United States I started to fulfill my dream of starting college at age 32. I now have a BA in Speech and Language Pathology and a Masters’s in Health Science. Being able to work for the Los Angeles County Health Department in the Sexually Transmitted Disease department made it all worthwhile. I retired in 2007.
I met the most important woman in my life and we became a couple just before I retired from striptease in 1975. We have been together for 44 years. We have a house in Los Angeles and have filled it with dogs, cats, and souvenirs from our trips. We have traveled to 62 countries, many more than once, and 23 of the 50 United States. We are looking forward to more travel.
If you are a folklorist or a collector of folklore/popular culture artifacts, please consider becoming a Guest Curator. Your objects will be highlighted here on a rotating basis.
All we ask is that the objects be yours, you have a photograph of the objects, and all or most of the information about the object (see the guidelines below, for more details).
Guest Curator Guidelines:
1. Artifacts must fall within the subject of our website (folklore, folk art, popular culture, etc).
2. Artifacts must be a part of your collection.
3. Submissions must be limited to no more than five artifacts.
4. Submissions must contain a photograph of the artifact, as well as the title, purpose, country of origin, culture, materials, and dimensions of the artifact.
5. We also would like your photograph and a brief biography to accompany the collection.
Please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org and write Guest Curator in the subject line for further information or with any questions. We cannot wait to highlight your collection!