Priests in the Attic

The Official Blog for Elaine A. Small

Monthly Archives: March 2011

Memories of Elizabeth Taylor

Elaine à la Elizabeth Taylor c. 1965

Yes; today, like others world-wide, we, Boomer/Zoomers in particular, mourn the death of Elizabeth Taylor. In our day she was it...and we all wanted to look like her (see my rendition). And again, today, like so many other mourners, looking back on her life (and mine) I have a personal story to relate. It takes place in 1965, at the King Edward Sheraton Hotel, in Toronto, Canada.

I was performing at the “King Eddy” around the time when Liz Taylor and Richard Burton married each other for the second time. (Their first marriage lasted ten years.) They stayed over at the hotel on their way to Montreal (where the marriage vows were proclaimed) and I well remember the buzz of excitement that pervaded the hotel…and why not? Toronto, at that time, was not considered the “world-class city” as we know it today.

“Dressed to the nines,” in my stage make-up, my stiletto heels and my heavily beaded gown, I gingerly stepped onto the elevator to go down to the Oak Room, one of the two elegant supper clubs in the city at that time. (The other one, large enough to host stars of the day such as Tony Bennet and Peggy Lee was the Imperial Room at the Royal York Hotel.) As it happened, I shared the elevator with only one other person—a short stocky man who stared up at me as we slowly descended three floors before he loudly blurted out:

“Well…are you Elizabeth Taylor?” A pregnant pause followed as the elevator doors slowly opened….

“Not exactly,” I murmured over my shoulder as I took my leave, turning just in time to see his puckered, puzzled look. And that’s as close as he or I got to Elizabeth Taylor that day.

PS. I hope you’ve enjoyed this reverie and the “wannabe” picture above—now 45 years old!

Yes, I did see the real Elizabeth Taylor the next day; she was much shorter than expected—but absolutely stunning!

Local author brings a taste of showbiz …

Priests in the Attic

Local author brought a taste of “Showbiz” to Belleville Public Library. Elaine A. Small took the attendees on a fascinating trip down memory lane. From the Toronto nightclubs of the 60’s, through the fashion houses of Europe to a B+B in Wellington, life for this Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Minister’s daughter from Winnipeg has never been dull. Elaine read some excerpts from her recently published memoir “Priests in the Attic” which is an open presentation of her challenges and triumphs. For further details, call Readers Advisory at 613-968-6731 X2235 or visit


Sandra Pearce (BPL Readers’ Advisory) & Author Elaine A Small

Greetings to those who have survived!

We have just returned from an eventful trip—a cruise from China and Japan via Ocean Princess. Lots of weird happenings: much inclement weather along the way (icy decks and minus zero weather in both China and Vladivostok [Siberia)] followed by a couple of beautiful days in Osaka, Japan—for me, the highlight of the cruise. Everywhere, there was an orderly calm, a quiet elegance throughout the museums visited—a peace that belied the horror of destruction and mayhem that would soon follow after our departure, when a massive earthquake cracked the earth open to expose whole families being ripped and torn apart without any relief to prepare for the second onslaught, that of an unforgiving Tsunami that swallowed all, leaving pillage and destruction within its path.. And here I pause:

What can we make of all of this destruction surrounding us? Where can we turn for some relief of the terrors of life? So many human beings innocent of any wrongdoing other than placing their dreams and hopes for survival in the future—today, for many, a nebulous place of doubt, fear and homelessness—often without recourse. I’ve posed the question. Hopefully, some of you will respond with some answers…

Meanwhile, I again leave you with these promising and hopeful words penned over four hundred years ago:

In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone. — St. John of the Cross, 1542-1591

TAKE  HEART–Spring will come!

Elaine in Dalian, China, March 4, 2011