Happy Birthday, Miss D!
There is no question that the world is in a difficult place right now. I can't help but think of Miss D and how she handled difficult situations. She would always face fear, look it straight in the eye and stand up to it. What would her advice be for all of us today? Fasten your seatbelts and get to work. Work was her salvation. Whether acting or cooking, Miss D was never idle. She always had a project. Once we were stranded out on Long Island making Family Reunion and were in lockdown (so to say) at the Piping Rock Country Club. She took to knitting and taught me how to needlepoint. It's the only time I ever did needlepoint!
If ever gloomy, she would put on Broadway tunes, Liza with a Z, Two's Company or Glenn Miller. Anything that was cheerful that we could sing along too. Music has great power in changing the energy of a room and of those listening.
I imagine that many of you are taking to watching her films in this unprecedented time - and I hope that they are bringing you comfort. Looking back at my time with her has certainly brought me comfort. With her birthday today, I am starting the day listening to the old tape I recorded of the USC marching band surprising her at the Colonial House on her 76th birthday. They played "Seventy-Six Trombones" and "Happy Birthday" to her out on the lawn! I can hear her laugh on the tape as she thanked them. Then I will bring her flowers at Forrest Lawn Cemetery. It's a beautiful day in Los Angeles and Miss D always loved flowers.
Miss D taught me so much during our time together. I always saw Miss D & Me: Life with the Invincible Bette Davis as a fulfillment of my final promise to her, that I would tell our story. I saw her give so many interviews promoting her films and her own books. It's been interesting for me to be interviewed about my book and our story. Recently, I was interviewed on the podcast Thank You, Mama, and although Miss D wasn't my mother, we made an exception! I loved talking about her lessons - especially how she lived life to the fullest. I hope you take a moment to listen.
Thank you for your continued love of Miss D.