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By Myself and Then Some, Lauren Bacall

I was first interested in reading her memoir because of Humphrey Bogart. I’ve been watching more Bogie movies recently and I was curious about the dynamics of those 15 years they were together before he died in 1957. When she arrived in Hollywood at 19, her impression of Bogie wasn’t much. There was no clap of thunder, no lightning bolt, just a simple how-do-you-do when they first were introduced to each other. Oh, but how do things change. She became in awe of him, quite aware as well of her being 19 and he 44… but as in love, when they were together, age didn’t matter. She said he had such energy and vitality he seemed to be no particular age. He could make her tremble… that feeling in the pit of your stomach, warm, protecting, full of love. Bogie had rules – one for example that the home was sacred and privacy was to be respected. Bacall through her life into the bog things of life it had become and she became consumed by Bogie.. thrusting her into the national scene with such a vengeance. Their love and marriage was a complete one for those 12 years. He was older, experienced… taught her life lessons that she admittingly needed. Her Mother did not trust Bogie at first, but as with everyone else, she soon changed her mind.  Their friends were a select group of celebrities – birthdays together, holidays, celebrations. After Bogie died Bacall was lost. And then Sinatra came calling to whisk her away, then ignored her. Thankfully that affair did not last. She ended up marrying Sam Robards for 8 years, but that was not to be – his drinking and distance not surprisingly cut that marriage short. Bacall did have 3 children and spent the rest of her life working, never remarrying. Bogie was always the continuum. Her new edition “Then Some” was written over 25 years after the initial memoir. This is mainly about loss… loss of friends, those she loved, contemplation of life and death… as we all do as we get older. She lived for purpose – each and every day there in NYC (over forty years). She ruminates on success – that the USA focuses on making money to buy the biggest things, unhappily quality does not count as number one – creativity, imagination, standards (personal) – more now money, buying, greed, power. This is in 2004 mind you, though seems now to only be getting worse. Those losses she experienced insidiously work their way into your head. A way to prepare you for what’s to come. Bacall knew before her death you do not travel this life scot-free.


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