Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Spiral Stairs and Their Origin

I rang the doorbell of Sherman's two-story Georgian home in West Covina. He answered. "That's the Dynasty theme. I love it!" I said.

"Guess again." He said. "It's Masterpiece Theater." I blushed like a sun-dried tomato. We sat on his mock-70's couch our fashionable shoes resting on a soft, white, new shag rug. We had mock turtle soup and afterwards Celestial Seasonings Great Spirit ginger tea in mis-matched cups. Raw sugar packets in a cut-crystal bowl. Sherman explained how, after being fired by Jay Ward, he was quite destitute. Finally he saw an ad on a bus bench in the Flintridge-La Canada area: "Become an Interior Designer." He took the course and soon had a thriving business.

"Well," I said, "You can certainly see your touch in this home. It's lively, fresh, whimsical and has good qi."

"Thanks," Sherman said, munching on a Milano.

"I love the spiral staircase.'

"Well," he said, "quite a necessity in two-story homes. You see, horses can walk up stairs, but they can't walk down. If you put in regular stairs you are going to end up with a bunch of horses standing around the second floor. Besides, spiral staircases are very Suddenly Last Summer."

"That was an elevator." I explained.

"I'm not going to put in a spiral elevator."

"I love suspence movies with cage elevators;" I said, "even Last Tango as I recall, but wasn't there a suspense movie with Julie Harris that involved a spiral staircase?"

"That was Jackie Bisset." Sherman said, rolling his eyes. I forget he was in the business.
I thanked Sherman for part II of the interview as he walked me to the door. As I crossed the lawn to my waiting car I could have sworn I heard a dog barking in his back yard.


LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Sherman's career transition reminds me of William Haines and his quote: "I can only tell you this: I would rather have taste than either love or money." I'm seriously considering retiring from blogging and start a new charity to bring good taste to Antioch.

Bryce Digdug said...

The Williams Haines site is great, especially Joan.