Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Way Back When...Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali. Mad genius. Spanish surrealist. Wearer of pin stripe suits. Fascinating eccentric who had a 'thing' for my Mom.

They met one day through Carlos Alemany, who spun Dali's surrealistic creations into jewels. By their second meeting, Dali presented my Mom with one of Alemany's jewels...a ruby pin with a LIVE incandescent beetle attached...yes. LIVE. Beauty EXPONENTIALLY increases when it is fleeting I suppose....

In the early 60's Dali gained a lot of publicity in his search for the last color to finish his Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. For weeks he searched the sewers of NYC hoping to find the missing color! Oh eccentrics....

Then Dad gets a call at home.

It's Dali. He wants to see Mom and Rudy, the parrot. He always ignored Dad completely.
marilyn bradley and black headed caique rudyMom and Rudy

Dad had had enough of Dali and his enormous entourage coming into the apartment, and suggested they meet at Rumplemeyers, a fabulous ice cream spot at the St. Moritz. It was Sunday afternoon, and Dad, Mom and Rudy often shared an ice cream after bicycle polo in the park. (yes, bicycle polo...)
Rudy would perch on the top of the tall sundae cup in absolute ice cream parrot heaven, and lick it clean.
Just as they finished, Rumplemeyers went dark...Dali and his entourage had arrived. The cloud of people stayed outside as Dali swept in through the revolving door.

And what was sewn into Dali's right shoulder of his pin striped suit? A bird perch!!! After all...how else would you meet a parrot on a Sunday afternoon...

He cupped his hand beneath Rudy now sitting on the pin striped perch and directs him to 'pew pew'. Dad has had about enough of this, and directs Rudy to 'poo poo'. Sure enough, Rudy ruffles his feathers, and dumps right in Dali's hand. (This was surely inspired by the 18th Century artist, Jauques Louis David, who finished his last great painting with the caca de dauphin, or the crown Prince's poop color...Dali might have thought Rudy's poop was a worthy 20th Century adaptation. )

Dali disappears through the revolving doors as fast as he came in, and it is suddenly light again outside as the cloud of onlookers follow him down Central Park South.
The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus is announced as finally finished soon after. And in the Bradley family, we like to think it was Rudy that did the trick...or at least got Dali OUT of the sewers.

-Love Eccentrics, Bradley.


  1. Your mother is absolutely breathtaking in this photograph! What is the story behind it?

  2. You are too sweet...it was for some shoot....but never published, and I cant even tell you the HOURS i have spent trying to get my hair to do this!!! I mean WHAT is under there??????

  3. What an amazing life you have led! Have you thought about writing a book? I bet you could uncover the "hair secrets!" HA!!!

  4. Another amazing, wonderful story! Thank you for sharing!! Your mother is gorgeous, as are you! Remind me so much of Grace Kelly.

  5. What a wonderful story! Completely wild! My mother has said that they put these puffy nets into their hair to get that look, but who knows? That hair trumps anything a Bumpit could ever do.

  6. So funny about the Bumpit...my friend bought that in CVS the other day...how long they must have spent on their HAIR!!!

  7. You look so much like your mother - how old was she in that photo? My mom's hair used to do that with a billion bobby pins and a gallon of hairspray.

    Good for your Dad, having enough of Mr. Creepy Dali!

    Rumplemeyers ~sigh~ THE best hot chocolate in all the land..........

  8. I so enjoy your stories, what a neat family you have! Please keep sharing.

  9. I just bought hair net, and it does WONDERS, but i could barely stand the smell. I think my mom was about 31 in that photo...YIKES! 3 children and my age! I'd better hop on that wagon before it leaves me behind twirling Bumpits and beehives.

  10. As I look at your mom in this picture, it suddenly struck me that while both of you share a timeless beauty and elegance, it's the mischevious twinkle in both your eyes that is mesmerizing.

  11. Anyone who says I look like my Mom will certainly see a twinkle in my eye...Dad...you're not so bad either! (if only you knew how many women befriend me to get to him...SNEAKY!)

  12. Camilla, I was your Mother's best friend in Caracas and was godmother to David's brother Philip. Please contact me: writers.inc@sfr.fr

    1. Deborah,
      I CAN"T BELIEVE THAT YOU FOUND THIS!! I am emailing you now...

  13. Hello
    I'm looking for photos of Rumplemeyers, interiors with or without Dali!
    Have you ever seen any?

    Thank you
    Jane Yeomans
    Freelance photo editor