Cherie Currie of The Runaways (right), with her twin sister Marie and Vicki Razorblade, 1977, by Brad Elterman (who was in high school with Vicki). “I think of this photo in my dreams and it reminds me of my youth. We were all from the San Fernando Valley. Some of us escaped and others never left.” 

(Check Vicki’s Bowie belt buckle!)

More of my life as a translator

I used to work as a freelance translator and host, mostly for Polish TV,  in the seventies. People I worked with usually would give me a small gift as a “thank you” at the end of the job. Some job occurrences: 

  • A Spanish film distributor, older than my father, described to me in detail, very much out of the blue, how much he loves to visit Poland because of young, beautiful and affordable prostitutes and what he does with them. He gave me an envelope with money as a gift. 
  • A journalist from Peru gave me a sealed bag, which, as I found out later, contained several pairs of lace panties and a few soft porn magazines which he bought in Spain, freshly liberated from Franco. He probably couldn’t bear to throw them out. 
  • Two Cuban officials gave me a wooden box and a book by Fidel Castro. One of them was hitting on me relentlessly during the two weeks of the job, and l found out later, complained about me commenting positively on an American movie (I think “Midnight Cowboy”). I was admonished not to say anything positive about anything American to the Cuban apparatchiks in the future. 
  • Spanish TV crew found out how much they pay to the Polish TV for my services and how little I’m getting; to express their outrage they bought me the biggest bottle of “Miss Dior” available. They came to film a documentary about Auschwitz; all 12 of us were openly crying after watching the footage from Auschwitz liberation. Our van with tons of equipment broke down at night in the middle of nowhere, with no paid phone in sight. Somehow I managed to flag a cab, the driver went to get his colleagues and a caravan of cabs hauled us and the equipment to the hotel. 
  • I translated in the studio during the first visit of the Pope John Paul II, and could se first hand how much you can manipulate and edit what you see on TV. A lovely Argentinian presenter  - we bonded over “Mafalda” - gave me her own scarf, which I have to this day.

Oh, I got all nostalgic…