Saturday, July 31, 2004
The Legend of Zelda Parker
What you are about to read is fiction ...and it’s reality. Zelda Parker is actually a dear friend of mine, but her name is not Zelda. Some of her biography that appears here is true, and some of it is pure fantasy, it is based on the spirit and personality and relationship I have with a very special person:
Ladies and Gentlemen, THE LEGEND OF ZELDA PARKER:
What can I say about my friend, Zelda Parker? She's been called a vixen, a heroine a goddess a literary genius, an international spy, and a courageous woman… as well as a hell of a good cook. She is all of these things and so much more.
An intense woman of many mysteries, the first being her pedigree; exactly who were Zelda's parents? Some say that she was the love child of Mae West and Groucho Marx, while others insist that Dorothy Parker and Clark Gable are her parents. What we do know is that Zelda spent her early years in Hollywood California, where she was hailed as the most intelligent child in "Miss Cindy's School for Foundlings". LifeMagazine did a story on the little tyke with the unheard of IQ and soon offers through out the country were pouring in to adopt the beautiful little tot with the unruly crop of pretty blond hair.
In 1961, little Zelda was officially adopted by a couple in New Jersey, her new parents were Florence and Hank Parker, a wealthy couple who made their money as therapists to the rich and Looney through out the Delaware Valley.
As soon as her life stabilized, Zelda truly began to bloom. For three years straight she was "Little Miss Garden State" (in 1964, 1965 and 1966).
In 1966 Zelda, who had never played a piano before, sat down in front of Maestro Liberace and pounded out an earth shattering version of "Rhapsody in Blue" that was supposedly so beautiful it caused the flamboyant piano player to say, "I have seen the future, and it’s name is Zelda!" Though he wanted to take her on tour with him, Zelda's adoptive parents forbade this not wanting their little girl in any "dog and pony show". The Parker's instead enrolled the little girl into a special accelerated learning course at Rutgers Universityand by the time she was fifteen, Zelda had her B.A., and Masters in Clinical Social Work as well as a specialized degree in Can -Can Dancing.
After school, Show business beckoned again, and at the tender age of fourteen, Zelda made her first appearance on Broadway in a production of “The Cherry Orchard”, apparently she upstaged the star of the show, Lauren Bacall who said of the diminutive actress, “That kid has success written all over her, baby!”
It was during this period that a young writer from the U.K. met Zelda at The Stork Club, and was so taken with her, he wrote a musical for her. That young writer was none other than Andrew Lloyd Webber.
In 1969, the elaborate production, “Zelda’s A Poppin” opened at the Francis Farmer Theatre. Variety’s headline the next morning read, “EVERYBODY LOVES ZELDA!” It was true, for ten weeks, “Zelda’s A Poppin’” played to sold-out houses until finally the young star, bored with the routine abruptly left the production. The day she left, The New York Times headlines screamed, “LITTLE ZELDA’S GONE – WILL BROADWAY SURVIVE?”
For the next few years, Zelda stayed out of the public eye, but unbeknownst to her legions of fans, she had taken to writing. Her first novel, penned under the name of Regina Rothschild was entitled, “Love’s Passion on a Windswept Cliff”. Amazingly, the novel won a Peabody award causing the literary intelligentsia to frown over the award given to what they cruelly termed, a bodice ripper that reads like “War and Peace” on LSD.
Not surprisingly, Zelda could not be held back, and on her 21st birthday, she shocked an unprepared crowd at Los Angeles’s Whiskey A Go-Go when she appeared on stage with her band, “The Lolly Pops” and stormed through a set of amazing songs that caused on-lookers to think they’d seen Janis Joplin reincarnated, though dressed much more seductively.
After the success of her album (Zelda Rocks), her country asked her to do them a favor and assist them in tracking down terrorists in South America. To achieve this end, Zelda married another American Operative only known as Bubba A. Riley. The two settled down in a small South Jersey town and lived quietly, unbeknownst to their neighbors that this seemingly middle classed couple was actually secret agents who worked mundane day jobs but spent their nights doing high espionage for the United States. Zelda worked Spain and Bubba handled Germany and Outer Mongolia. Amazingly, they both have worked so hard that they received Congressional medals of Honor … while holding down day jobs!
I met Zelda a few years back. She was working in my office under a pseudo name, but I recognized her right away. After she took me into her confidence I agreed to only call her by her code name, unfortunately, I often forget that code name so I might refer to her as Sylvia, or Angie, or Eula Mae … It does not matter, she answers to all the names.
About a year ago, Zelda faced her biggest challenge, when she discovered a small lump in her breast. It was a trying time for her, but amazingly she made it through and showed me and a lot of other people what “Grace under Pressure” is all about.
A clean bill of health recently has put Zelda back on track and she has been going to Spain again, though she confided in me it was not spy work, per se, this time it seems that Zelda has taken up with international actor and sex symbol, Javier Bardem. When I asked her how she could have time for both Bubba and Javier--- how she could have time for that many men in her life, she just shrugged her shoulders and tossed her golden locks aside and said to me in that throaty voice of hers, “It’s not the men in my life, it’s the life in my men!”
Currently Zelda Parker (when not seducing Latin film stars) is working on her latest collection of short stories and is planning a return to Broadway in her one woman show, “VA VA VA VOOM! Here I Am Baby!”
Zelda Parker; a living legend and a dear friend! They don’t make them like this every day!