Friday, April 13, 2018


Hi, All,


I am posting a bit early because I need to GET BACK TO WRITING. LOL

It's been a while since I joined in a WEP challenge. But the timing could not be more PERFECT. I have some NEWS.... I was recently asked to write a most FUN and UNIQUE Memoir. This woman's story is DEFINITELY one of a ROAD LESS TRAVELED!

I have already written SIX Chapters and 10K words. Not bad for only two weeks. Well, today I plan to share a bit of the INCOMPARABLE Kay Hickman Ferrara, etc. etc. etc.... I know you will find her as OUTRAGEOUS as I do. This memoir begins Kay's journey from1955 and ends in 1980. Twenty-five years of jaw dropping events. I hope you all enjoy the TURNING POINT in Kay's life as much as I have had writing it.

But before I introduce you to her, I'd like to thank all the LOVELY people involved in the WEP and the challenges. If you enjoy wonderful writing as much as I do, then you should visit and READ all the great stories from these very talented people...and a HUGE Hug to Denise and Renee, two ladies who are very dear to me. 

MOMMY KAY... is the story of Kay Hickman, a single 18 year old woman from Queens, NY on her way to class at Hofstra University in October of 1954. She nearly runs down her soon to be Italian American husband. By January of 1955 she marries Nick, a 21 year old air force pilot. Their daughter Kim is born in December of that same year. By the end of 1956, they are divorced.

And now, without further ado....Here's Chapter Three: Titled- Watch Out World...Here She Comes!  Narrated by her daughter Kim. Take it away, Kim..

The average American woman back in 1957 kept a lovely home, cooked a nutritious meal, raised their children, and lived a quiet, simple life in the suburbs: think Donna Reed and June Cleaver. But not my mother. As a newly divorced woman, Kay Hickman Ferrara decided it was time to take the proverbial “bull by the horns” and transform herself. 

“If Lucille Ball can do it, so can I!” Kay always said.

So, she first dyed her light brown hair a stunning shade of Auburn red and added just a hint of golden highlights. Then bought her first padded push up bra,(not that she needed it), and stuffed her considerable boobs and buxom body into her first designer dress, featuring a plunging neckline.

Towering well over six feet tall in heels and “big” lacquered bouffant hair, she entered Macy’s at 34th St. in Herald Square and marched up to the Madame Tovar counter, looking for a job. Madame Tovar, who specialized in creating handmade chignons and hair pieces of every possible hair color, took one look at my mother’s incredible coiffure, and hired her on the spot. The “new” Kay learned fast how to create Madame Tovar’s chignons, but mom’s true talent laid in the application. Within a few weeks, she was the talk of Macy’s. Every customer left looking trendy and Oh so stylish. This new, clean, lacquered style had Kay’s signature written all of over it, and it became the craze of the late 1950’s, years before the fashion industry featured bouffants in the 60’s. 

Mommy Kay, as I called her at that time, was on her way up…

With all the hoopla in the store and the lines of hundreds of admirers, Kay was a shining star at Macy’s. She began traveling across the country with Madame Tovar, demonstrating her creations in Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and even Miami. But Mom loved NYC and wanted to be closer to me. She retuned to Macy’s with a thundering applause from all her coworkers and clientele.

It didn't take long, to catch the eye of a young diamond buyer. Carlton Baumann’s tall, broad shouldered frame and dark Eastern European looks, escorted the new Macy’s star all over town. They were seen everywhere together: at the opera, the symphony, and quiet dinners in charming bistros, dotting along Broadway. He had introduced my mother to a whole new world of culture, something she had never really experienced living in Middle Village, Queens. 

One balmy Saturday night, he whisked her off to the Copa Cabana. After a night of dancing and champagne, they returned to his small apartment in Murray Hill. Madly in love, my sister was conceived that night.

By today’s standards, the news of a child conceived out of wedlock is hardly shocking, but in 1957 it was scandalous. Against his manager’s advice, Carlton, the honorable Jewish man that he was, proposed to Kay.

Carlton borrowed his father’s car, and they drove to Maryland and married, without having to wait the usual three days for their blood tests. Once back in New York, Carlton packed up, moved out of his apartment in Murray Hill, and the three of us relocated to a small house in Boro Park, Brooklyn. Carlton insisted on adopting me. Mom agreed and contacted Nick, my biological father. It didn't take long to convince him to give me up, since he had never paid a cent of child support or had not seen me since the day he was arrested. 

Six months later, the adoption papers had arrived, then Mom gave birth to my sister, Stephanie. Soon after, Madame Tovar demanded her “Star” return to Macy’s, and she did. 

My baby sister and I were looked after by our sweet Jewish neighbor, Mrs. Silverman, and by my fourth birthday, I had learned how to answer the Jewish prayers of the Shabbos. My new Dad was not happy about this; he had no intention of raising us Jewish. He felt we should be raised Protestant, like our mother. Thankfully Mrs. Silverman understood and still agreed to take care of us.

At Macy's, Madame Tovar's sales had gone up, up, up, skyrocketing through the roof, and setting all kinds of store sales records. The demand for her chignons and hair pieces were hotter than ever. All of this due to Mom's incredible talent with a rattail comb and endless cans of Lacquer hair spray. Then, at the peak of her career, Madame Tovar was slapped with a huge lawsuit by a rival wig company. Since my mother wasn’t licensed to do hair by the state of NY, she was no longer allowed to demonstrate her fabulous hair styles. It was a sad situation for sure, but at least the atmosphere and the hundreds of Macy's customers, would breathe a bit easier now.

The following day, Madame Tovar approached Kay with the distressing news of her dismissal. “…but since you are my top girl, I will be more than happy to pay for you to attend beauty school, and then you can return back here to Macy's where you are so loved and admired."

Kay thought a moment. “I think it’s time for me to move on…but thank you all the same.” 

Madame Tovar’s jaw dropped, as she watched her shining “Star” pick up her Louis Vuitton bag, turn on her sparkling aqua colored high heel, and click her way down the marble aisle, never to grace Macy's or Madame Tovar’s counter again.

Well... What do you think of the NEW KAY? Fun, right?!

I hope you all enjoyed this little teaser. As you can see, Kay was definitely NOT your typical 1950's girl. Only Twenty years old and already has two marriages and two kids from different fathers. What would her Mayflower ancestors think of this... their ashes most certainly be turning in their graves. LOL.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a WONDERFUL weekend Everyone!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Hi, All

Hope everyone is well! Spring has always been one of my favorite times of year...maybe because I was born in the Spring. It is a time for rebirth....clear away all you Winter blues and let the warm sunshine and balmy breezes sweep away all the cobwebs and anxieties in your mind.

As many of you know I have had been less than inspired for the past few years, not writing a single new thing and barely keeping up  with blogging. It has been a very stressful time emotionally and physically. But I have never given up. I knew it would pass and it finally seems like it has!

But before I get into my exciting news, I would just like to THANK Alex and ALL the wonderful writers who are involved with this AMAZING GROUP... find them HERE...YOU know WHO YOU ARE... IF  it's been a while since you popped around the blogosphere do so now. There are wonderful authors with insights and support during our many crisis through our writing journey. I for one, have been mine for longer than I care to admit. Now almost ten years! I can't believe how quickly the time has flown by. I started writing my first novel back in the Spring of 2008... It took me over a year to find this wonderful community and I have never regretted it for ONE SECOND...

Inspiration come in many forms. It could be our friends, family, our surroundings, a wonderful vacation, or just a walk around town. Spending the winter at my condo in Orlando, Florida was going to be my escape. Instead, the community here has been mismanaged and basically the complex has taken a nose dive. After much stress, screaming, letter writing, and determination, things are moving back in the right direction. But during this time I had the pleasure of getting to know one of my neighbors, who just happens to be on the board for our condo complex. One day she was telling me about her childhood and the OUTRAGEOUS woman who had raised her. Her mother died a few years ago and sadly they were estranged during her passing. A hard nosed and very dominating woman, she fell ill and left Orlando to return to NY where she had lived most of her life.

She then gave me some insight about her siblings and how her mother had been laid to rest with basically no funeral and buried in a pine box with neither my friend (Kim) nor any of Kay's hundreds of friends in attendance. Kay died, and a mere few hours later was buried in her familie's plot. Sadly,Kay, the mother, had made her son, executor of his will. Needless to say, he absconded with everything and Kim- never had closure.

Then it happened, Kim just let it ALL out. I listened to countless stories about her mother's antics with fronting and selling stolen merchandise in the 50's, 60's, and 70's, her acquaintances and friendships with many well know people of the day, and about her four husbands, ranging from the first, Kim's father an Italian catholic, to a Jewish diamond merchant, then a Puerto Rican man, eight years her junior, then finally a Muslim Egyptian man, also her junior by several years. During most of her marriages between the wheelings and dealings, she opened up her own beauty Salon in Middle Village Queens in NY, where she was born and raised.

Kay also had a love affair with the arts and frequented Harlem to hear Count Bassey as well as many blues clubs where she fell in love with the voice of Carmen Mcrae. After countless visits to hear her sing, the manager of the club introduced Kay to Carmen and they were friends instantly.

One of the most amazing things I found out about Kay is that she was INCREDIBLY liberal in her life and at her salon. Many of her client's were African American. Raised in the 40's as a white Anglo Protestant in QUEENS, NY...this was unheard of. Most people then had very similar views to the famed Archie Bunker of All in the family. On a final note, Kay's grandfather actually thought ALL in the Family was a documentary! I gasped when I heard this news.

Anyway, I am sure you all see where I am going with this. Two weeks ago, Kim and I signed a contract for me to write Kay's memoir. Kay had always wanted to write about her incredible life, and now her story will be written! This is Kim's legacy. Kay would so want this. Both Kim and I know this.

I have already written the first FOUR chapters and I am so excited to continue on.... Kay will become as Famous as our beloved Auntie Mame, who was fictitious. Kay is the real deal! I cannot begin to tell you how honored and happy I am to write her story. She was an AMAZING woman for her time and to have roots from the Mayflower, Kay was definitely not anything like the typical 1950's woman.

Sorry about the LONG post, but I just could not help sharing this with all of you! I will keep you all posted. I hope to have the rough finished by the beginning of May. I am writing 6-8 hours a day... something I have not done in YEARS!