Because I am not able to rest Rosemary in my soul, I find that the only relief that seems to help alleviate my chronic insomnia and melancholy is to write about her. Most of these blogs since she died December 9, 2020 have been sad ones. This one will mostly a happy one.
Whn I was
born in that past century in Buenos Aires in 1942, there was a strict division between
what boys did and what girls did. We were not allowed to play with dolls.
I had an inkling that I had a special talent in that most feminine direction when my grandmother, Dolores Reyes Reyes de Irureta Goyena, who at early youth kept telling my mother, that like her, I was an artist. My abue or abuelita, as I called her, insisted on hearing my opinion on what she was about to wear.When I was dragged by her and my mother to go to Avenida Cabildo in Buenos Aires to buy joyería de fantasía (fake jewelry ) I was always asked for my opinion.
Sometime in the summer of 1950 (December), when I was 8, the three of us went to the seaside resort of Mar del Plata. I did not have a very good time because I had the whooping cough. At the dinner table, in the fine hotel restaurant, I was told not to cough. On one of those evenings my grandmother had on some long silvery earrings. She asked for my opinion. I told her,"Parecen orejas de burro.” (they look like donkey ears). She stood up, grabbed my hand, and took me to the beach, where she threw the offending earrings into the sea.
When I met my Rosemary in Mexico City in mid December 1967, a few days before we were married on 8 February of 1968, we went to the then almost popular Zona Rosa and I chose what in our family we have always called “Rosemary’s bird dress”. She wore it when we were married in the fashionable Coyoacán neighbourhood.
For many years after, until we eventually moved to Vancouver, I was the one who did her eyeliner and other makeup. And we picked her perfume together. There was one that I would buy on international flights called Caleche made by Hèrmes that she really liked.
It was then that I first started shopping for shoes with Rosemary. She had a difficult shoe size. I was patient and I was always the one that picked the shoes she ultimately bought. This was fun.
It took our trip to Vancouver in 1975, and my eventual employment as a magazine photographer, when I specialized in portraits, that I became aware of the importance of clothing in them. It was then that I came up with the idea, that like St. Paul on his way to Damascus I, too was hit by the heavenly light.
I was playing with dolls!
It was in Mexico where I suggested to Rosemary that we buy some small panties and bra. I carefully took them apart. We bought some black latex. I cut the patterns, imitating the underwear, and Rosemary sewed up the most beautiful latex bikini anybody had ever seen in the few Mexico City swimming pools we went to. And we always went together to look for her nighties.
And so It
has been for our 52-year marriage where we always did our mutual shopping. My Rosemary was my living and walking doll. On Avenida Madero she would go to a little English store run by two old men and she would pick my ties. I trusted her "manly" taste.
In the scanograph here, there is one shoe of a pair that I remember seeing at a window on Avenida Corrientes, corner with Florida, in Buenos Aires, some years ago. I pointed at them and we bought them. Rosemary just looked lovely when she wore them. In the section of the framed photograph which I took around 1973 in the famous Bebederos by Architect Luís Barragán a block from our home in Arboledas, Estado de México, Rosemary (with Alexandra) is wearing a mauve knit dress that was tight and showed her lovely curvaceous body. I bought it for her (not sight unseen) when we both saw it a store window. The dress is in perfect condition as is the bird dress in the background of the scanograph.
There was one article of clothing accessory that was verboten for me to buy. Rosemary had a penchant for very good leather handbags. Any that I ever bought for her she said were much too big or bulky. She particularly liked good leather Italian ones.