Monthly Archives: August 2012

Secrets in the desk drawer

Remember the vintage desk that followed me home?  The one I bought at the Grady Hunt estate sale?   I had all the best intentions in the world to sell it, but then didn’t have the heart.  Now I know why.

The Lake Balboa Bungalow has one small bathroom and with two preening girls in the house – it was mandatory that we each have an area in our boudoirs dedicated to all things pretty.

Thing 2 wanted the new desk –  the pretty, girly Grady Hunt desk.  It seemed fitting for an aspiring actress to acquire a desk that belonged to a famous costume designer.  My old, kidney shaped desk has been with me a long, long time –  it has served me well and it seemed right that I remain  faithful so I placed it in my room.

Moving is hard on everything.  I think I mentioned that I packed everything to withstand the space shuttle launch.  I only lost two cheap glass vases in the move,– thankfully none of my lovely milk glass.  But the movers, as good as they were, left a big, nasty gouge in the Grady Hunt desk, a large scrape in my kidney shaped desk and a gouge in the floor.   I sent them pictures and they sent over their repair guy who was the bomb.  Joseph fixed the gouge in my wood floor – I couldn’t even tell where it was.  I believe he’s capable of restoring historic masterpieces – so fine was his work.

In order to fix the gouge in the Grady Hunt desk, Joseph had to take it back to his shop to sand it down.  I helped him remove the drawers since he wouldn’t be needing those.  As I removed the last drawer, I could see that there were some papers that had fallen back and got stuck behind.

Expecting just junk, I was stunned to find nothing less than the last will and testament of Grady Hunt and William Jobe, Jr.  The two wills, dated 4 August, 1956 were folded together and cited each other as the executor of their wills.  How lovely.  Two men, whose relationship in 1956 surely would not have been publicly accepted, obviously had formed a deep and meaningful bond.

I wondered about what their lives must have been like.  As a costume designer, Grady might have been suspected to be gay, possibly whispered about in hushed tones or alluded to with a laugh.  While there was probably more tolerance in the Hollywood community than elsewhere, I’m not sure that the two would have been open about their relationship.  Did they attend glamorous Hollywood parties together?

I wondered how these two met.  I searched census data and found the records of the parents William cited in his will.  William was born and raised in Tulsa Oklahoma – how did he find his way to Hollywood?

And I wondered about their love.  Grady’s will is marked again at the bottom of the will with a date of February 8th, 1976.  Did their love last over 20 years?  I want to believe this!  I want to believe that these two men lived glamorous, happy and love filled lives.

And the desk, which spoke to me before, tells me this is so.