Duchess
The wonder Dog
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Duchess with Samantha and Torre, 

 

 


Duchess, on a mountain overlooking Nevada.

DUCHESS

Living on Miami Beach with a wild, single, young man, was not the place for a dog. Duchess was no ordinary dog, she became well known on both coasts. She traveled with me to Mexico City (twice), New York (many times), San Francisco, Los Angeles and finally settled in Sonoma, California. 

Duchess was probably eight or ten months old when we hooked up. My friends asked me what I was doing with this mangy looking, scraggly dog. I donít know why, but my response was that she was going to turn into a beautiful, wonderful lady. Thus, she was named, Duchess.

I lived in a small house behind the main house on a street North of forty-first street on Miami Beach. Yes, Duchess was mangy, her fur was in tufts and she was skinny. First, a trip to a veterinarian in Miami. The veterinarian took his scalpel and scraped a piece of skin off of her eye-brow. It was done before I could stop him, and I was furious. He said he needed to make tests to diagnose her problem. After some time in the waiting room, he came in and told me that if I didnít feel too strongly about the dog, that I should get rid of her. If I chose to keep her, it was going to cost me a whole lot of money to get her cured. Since all animals are my brothers, I would never get rid of her. My first feeling was to bash the vet in the mouth, but I held my temper and told him, "Give me my Dog! Iíll take care of her."

Back on the beach, Duchess was treated to slices of a small steak and given a bath in a product called "Bathe-away." I apologized for her wound and told her that she was going to be well, and that she would be beautiful. Early every morning we went for a swim in the ocean. Slowly she began to get her fur back.

She traveled with me all of the time. I was a happy, single guy on Miami Beach, and Duchess kept me sane. If she didnít care for the date in my car, she would squeeze in between us in the front seat. One dancer, that I was very attached to, was also Duchessís friend. Duchess approved. I was a photographer at that time and did the darkroom work for the photographers at the Deauville Hotel. Duchess slept on a shelf over the developing trays while I printed the photos.


1958
Duchess started posing at an early age.
She loved the beach. Sam also loved the beach.

Central Park, New York 1960

Darkroom, Deauville Hotel, Miami Beach
Read about Duchess and P.J. Clark's
on 55th Street and Third Avenue, Manhattan

View from our window at the Great Northern Hotel.
It was located on 57th street, NYC.
Owned by Jack Dempsey (No longer there.)

Duchess, Central Park
with some male friends 

1965
Sam, Paula, Torre, Samantha, Duchess


New York - 1968
Duchess, Torre, Samantha
Johnny Cruz, Paula

Duchess watching the streets of Brooklyn
 

                         

 

 

 

                        

As time passed, Duchess did indeed become beautiful. At that time, I had the photo concessions in three night clubs in the twenty third street area. One of them was in the Rooney Plaza Hotel... More to come soon as I find the time.

Duchess on location, Churubusco Studios, Mexico City

Duchess was very upset that I didn't wait till she quit scratching. She had an excellent pose prepared. The fellow petting her is the Gary Cooper of Mexico. And the fellow with the bandana is Ray Perez. He was a boxer and loved jazz. Met him in a club in Mexico City, He took me to a late night restaurant where the Show biz people gathered and intorduced me to the stars. Was invited to the Cherubusco Studios. 

Then one day Ray called and invited me to go on location with him. We drove to the studio and climbed on a bus that drove us to the location. I believe the director's name is Miguel M. Delgado, a well known director. I'm getting information about him, which will be posted soon.