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               MERRY MEET MY FRIENDS

                     HAUNTED MAGICK



Reminiscent of the bygone era of Old Hollywood in the 1930's. A haunted pair of earrings with a young flapper from Old Hollywood, Evelyn "Milly" Sims Earrings are butterfly shaped with blue turquoise and crystals. Dangling beauties for a lady with the famous "IT" quality.

Evelyn's tragic life is what she left behind when she passed. She brings joy, hope, kindness and love to her charges. All that she never had she now gives to you. Evelyn is one of the sweetest and most joyful spirits I have met. In spite of the fact that most of her days on earth were spent in misery and unhappiness she brings that unquenchable laughter and love to your life. 

The glamour of Old Hollywood from the 1930's was a rip roaring time in our history. Despite the continued saga of the "great depression," where New York City had over 6,000 apple sellers on street corners selling apples for five cents. Franklin D Roosevelt was sworn in as President in January of 1933. While food riots were breaking out in places like Minnesota, the dust Bowl days had started across the plains and Hollywood was a place of glitz and glamour.

Only a few of the movie star had gone broke. Mary Astor went under when her movies did not transfer well to "talkies". Loretta Young and Clark Gable would shortly have a baby despite his being married to the socialite Ria Lagham. A small time starlet, Peg Entwistle would jump off the Hollywoodland sign committing suicide. Remnants of the legendary Ruldoph Valentino still haunted the movie studios from his death in 1926. 

Speak-easys and dance halls dotted the town and liquor flowed like the rushing river. The clubs were overrun with glamorous girls, many of them photographers and "cigarette girls." Into this melee stepped a beautiful young girl from the area surrounding the Holywood Bowl. Growing up in the atmosphere of Hollywood, she always had stars in her eyes.

In her early days she was like most teenagers, taking odd jobs for babysitting, dreaming of becoming a star herself, just like thousands of other beautiful young impressionable women. " MIlly, as she was called, early on lived next door to a lady and her daughter whom Milly would babysit while the mother worked as a film cutter at the studios. 

Her tales of the famous were intoxicating. While Milly babysat the daughter, a pretty little thing, emotionally stunted, was Norma Jean Baker, AKA, Marlyn Monroe. Marlyn was around seven and Milly was eighteen. Neither of them knew just how famous Norma Jean would become.

 On Milly's nineteenth birthday she left her parents and their home and went right to work at a Hollywood movie theater as the ticket seller girl. By the time Milly , who now wanted to be called Evelyn, bcause it sounded more elegant and sophisticated. Soon she graduated to working at restaurants and then into nightclubs. 

She roomed for a short time with a girlfriend called Sally June Mosure and the two of them spent countless hours dreaming of their big breaks and the fame they wanted so badly. Sadly, in 1933 Sally was murdered by an unknown assailant. Sally who worked as an extra and a cigarette girl was also a witch. She would perform her witchy rituals with Evelyn watching. Sally June introduced Evelyn to the world of magick. Evelyn was entranced with Sally and her magick. They partied the nights away with others of their ilk. They hung around some pretty important people in the film industry. Sally drank and smoked. but Evelyn was just the opposite, she neither smoked nor drank, but she loved to be a part of the festive life style. 

One such lady of the film world was known as Thelma Todd, or "Hot Toddy" as she called herself. When Sally was murdered, Evelyn moved to another location and went to work for Thelma Todd at her newly opened restaurant, Thelma Todd's Sidewalk cafe. This was in 1934, a year after Sally's mysterious death.

 At Hot Toddys bar, Evelyn met some of the most exciting men and women of Hollywood, as well as some of the most dangerous underworld characters. Thelma was the notorious girlfriend of Lucky Luciano. Lucky was the man responsible for reorganizing the five families of the Mafia. He pretty much created the American Mafia.

The 1930's were prosperous times for Luciano, who was able to break ethnic barriers layed out by the old Mafia and strengthening their reach in areas of bootlegging, prostitution, gambling, loan-sharking, narcotics and labor rackets.

 Thelma's club was a whirlwind of the famous and not so famous. Everyone who was something in Hollywood was seen there on every night of the week.  

The club itself sits on the Coast highway looking like it was attached to the mountain. A 1930's racy roadhouse between Santa Monica and Malibu, catering to the rich and famous. There was an apartment over the club and behind it was a set of stairs, two hundred and seventy-one steps up leading to the garage where Thelma's 1935 Lincoln convertable would sit. A really terrible place to have for parking your own car. The club had a parking lot for customers. The building was a stone's throw from the beach. The stairs are gone now, but the building remains. 

Evelyn could not get over her friend's death. She became edgy and started drinking. She took pills to come down from other pills. She began to date older more influential men. Men she thought could help her climb the ladder to stardom. She kept going on audition after audition, but no one wanted the girl who was starting to look like she had already seen her best days. She drank more. The only thing that kept her going was her new dream of making herself into one of the world's best photographers. Her job consisted of her wearing a short skirt, a low cut bouncy top and high heels, carrying a snap flash camera. 

Thelma's sidewalk Cafe was a three story Spanish styled building. The cafe was on the first floor, a private club called Joya's was on the second floor and the third floor was a lovely ocean view apartment. Thelma shared this room with a man named Roland West, whose family mansion was a brooding hulk at the top of the cliff just above the club and near the garage for the apartment. When Evelyn went to work for Thelma she was already sharing her bed with two men in her life. Lucky Luciano and Roland West. She had divorced age to the playboy called Pat Dicicco. They had drunken brawls and Thelma left him after turning to drinks and drugs herself.

Evelyn took the customers' pictures to commemorate a good time, and was very well tipped by those who were having the good time. It was not uncommon for her to pick up 50 to 100 dollars every night. She soon bought her own house near Hollywood, bought herself a nifty little runabout car and all in all life was being kind to her. But sadly she was a wreck. More drinking and more pills and more pills to come down from the other pills. Going to work for Thelma Todd did not help matters. Thelma was a drinker and a drug user, also.

Lucky and his cohorts hung around Thelma's club and Evelyn got to know some of them. She even dated a couple of his "buddies." She became known as a "party girl." Life was good except for her loneliness. She still missed Sally. One evening while the club was going big, Thelma and Lucky left out the back door, just before closing. Many times after Evelyn got off at those early morning hours she would walk over to the beach and sit and amuse herself with her dreams and the waves licking her toes. This night she saw Thelma and Lucky walking hand in hand, and she thought that one day she would have that kind of a relationship with a man of her dreams. She snapped a photo from behind them and they did not know she was even there. Lucky didn't like his picture taken too often, mostly he did not want it taken at all. 

Many times throughout the year, Roland and Thelma would get into fights over her going out to other clubs. She and Roland were partners in the roadside but Thelma loved going out to other places. Roland would scream at her that she could not go out. She was the drawing card for their club and if she was not there, Roland was not making any money. The fights escalated.  

Evelyn dated a few men trying to get her career on the map, but to no avail. Most of the auditions she went on would just shake their heads no, she was not right for the part. Evelyn dated and went to parties, but her real love was collecting all the pictures she could snap. She had picture album after picture album full of signed movie star pictures. Something that today would bring her a small fortune. She spent countless hours arranging them, gathering them and making her albums perfect. The big stars, the soon to be, and the wanna be's. Spenser Tracy, Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, not to mention Thelma, Clara Bow, Loretta Young, and Jean Harlow. Clara would retired in 1933 but her movies were still going strong. Jean Harlow was the most popular along with Thelma and others. Evelyn collected them all.

Evelyn fell deeper into destruction, sometimes even beginning to miss going to work because she was so sick and hung over she could not navigate without the pills. She bemoaned the fact that everywhere she went she thought she was an outsider, one who was different from all he others. She was content to live inside her walls except for the party nights. She collected bits of conversation along with her pictures. Now she dreamed of writing a book. She had met Raymond Chandler,Dashiell Hammett, Hemmingway and they had inspired her to try writing down her notes and making them into a movie. The stars in her eyes were no longer to be an actress but now a famous writer. She would scribble bits of overheard talk down on bits of paper and stick them inside her picture albums. She wrote down things she heard as pillow talk. She wrote down quotes from famous people when they said it. She became very astute at deciphering her own drunken notes.

One night she overheard Roland and thelma at it again in the upstairs apartment. Roland was shouting she would be locked out of their apartment if she went off tonight. Thelma did not leave the property that night. The next night was a party at the Brown derby after hours for Thelma and her gang. Several of the employees went along. Evelyn went with hem and her trusty camera. During the height of the party she saw Thelma and Lucky arguing at their table.  

While Luciano may have been one of the biggest gangsters of the time, Thelma Todd turned out to be as gutsy as the characters she portrayed onscreen. Luciano made her a generous offer and in return, he wanted to transform the upper floor of the cafe into a secret casino. All she had to do was to keep business flowing by escorting her rich and famous friends upstairs to try their luck at the gambling tables. He promised that she would be well rewarded with a cut of the take.
Thelma turned him down flat.

 At dinner one night in the infamous Brown Derby, she screamed at him, “Over my dead body!,” to which he is supposed to have replied, “That can be arranged.” Toddy was dead within the week.

Evelyn snapped her picture. A few days later Thelma Todd was dead.

 The night of December 14, 1935 was a cold blustery night. The usual argument between Roland and Thelma had occurred and Thelma had left after Roland shouted that she was gonna be locked out if she left. Thelma had laughed in his face.

When Evelyn and the others closed up the club Joya's, she was feeling so bad, she hated to go home. She pulled her car over to the side of the building and walked over to the beach. Pulling her coat tight about her, she walked along the sands and listened to the waves crashing the shore. She sat down and pulled a small silver flask from her pocket and took a nip of scotch to warm her bones. After several more nips, she went to sleep on the beach. She woke up with a start and started across the coast highway back to her car.

  It was dark with a little moonlight . The moon was waning just over a full moon. She saw a lady going up the stairs and knew it was Thelma, from her coat with a big fluffy collar. It was an off-white color. Evelyn watched her as she tripped around on the stairs. She disappeared at the top of the cliff. Evelyn started across the street again and saw another shadowy figure, a man this time. He climbed the stairs pretty fast and Evelyn was struck by how fast he was moving, yet the night was as still as death. The scene was reminiscent of a mystery thriller and Evelyn automaticlly took a picture. There was somthing about him that was familiar, but the whole scene just looked eerie to her. By the time he disappeared at the top of the cliff, Evelyn was in her car and backing out. The man turned and looked down the cliff as Evelyn turned out of the parking lot and zipped off down the highway.  

That day she learned of Thelma's death. She was devastated and confused. Had she seen a murderer? She was convinced she had. She was scared. She knew all the employees and friends would be questioned. Could she believe her own eyes when she had been pretty drunk. Had he seen her when she took the picture? Would he come after her? Was she safe? Evelyn did not know, but she was scared. Sally's murder came rushing back to her. Should she go to the police? What if she was wrong? It would be horrible to accuse someone and then it turn out they were innocent.

Evelyn went through the next several days in fear and confusion.   She was questioned by the police and she did not tell them what she had seen. Evelyn went to the funeral home and saw Thelma all layed out and her casket covered in yellow roses. Thelma looked like she was going to sit up and say hey, got a hug for Hot Toddy. Evelyn cried and she left a yellow rose, everyone knew it was Thelma's favorite. She made the decision to live by Sally's creed. 

Evelyn did not go to the funeral itself, because she knew the elite of Hollywood would take up all the space and the photographers would be having a heyday. She had sneaked a picture of Thelma in her casket. It would end the saga of Thelma Todd, the ice cream blonde also known as Hot Toddy.

 A couple of weeks after the death, Evelyn quit her job and just stayed home for a few weeks. She figured she would get her act together and then find something far away from Hollywood to make a new home.  


            The Ex husband Pat Diccino

                  Lover, Roland West

                  Lover, Lucky Luciano

To this day no one really knows who killed Hot Toddy. Roland West on his deathbed confessed to "accidentally" killing her, but there are many who do not believe it. Many think Lucky Luciano was the killer over her refusal to subject her friends to his money-making schemes. And some think Pat Diciccio, her ex-husband, could not get over her divorcing him. At any rate, no one knows if it was an accident, a suicide or cold blooded murder. No one except maybe a lost starlet from Hollywood.  

Evelyn steadily went further into her wall of silence and spent time in an asylum . Ironically the same asylum that housed Marlyn Monroe's mother for fifteen years. Gladsy Pearl (Monroe) Baker entered the state-run asylum in January 1935 and Evelyn went there in 1936. By then Evelyn was a broken down terrified woman who saw murders coming at her all the time. 

Evelyn herself, believes this was all caused from a fire that almost killed her and did burn down her house and everything she had. All she remembers is that someone came into her house on the night of September 1936, hit her over the head and set fire to her home with her in it. Firemen saved her from smoke inhalation and severe burns. After that she wandered around homeless until she took her own life in December 14th 1936. Just three years after her friend Sally died and a year after Thelma Todd passed on. Evelyn was twenty-two years old when she left Hollywood behind.