My Personal Photo Album

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Mom and Dad.jpg (32615 bytes)

My mother, Gertrude, and my father, Ben Busch on their wedding in 1941.  My mother died when I was seven and I don't remember her very well.  I think she looks like the 1940's movie actress, Teresa Wright.  When I see Teresa Wright on screen today as an older character actress, I wonder if that's what my mother would have looked like.  My father wanted to be an opera singer, but owned a record store in Yonkers.  He continued to sing in summer stock and community theatre.  His passion for theatre and music and old movies played an important part of my childhood.

Young Charles.jpg (31482 bytes)

A very young me with my mother.  I seem to have already found my favorite angle.

Busch Women.jpg (33391 bytes)

The women in my family circa 1974, I would guess.  From left to right that's Aunt Lil, my sisters Meg and Betsy and Aunt Belle.  Meg is a producer at Showtime and is the mother of my thirteen-year-old nephew Jimmy.  Until recently Betsy was a textile designer but now she lives half the year in France with her husband, Roger.  Both of my sisters are extremely witty and have unknowingly provided me with some of the best lines in my plays.  Aunt Belle was the model for the character of Frieda in "The Tale of the Allergist's Wife."  However, that portrayal shows only a few facets of Aunt Belle.  Though in her late eighties, she was doing volunteer work in the AIDS ward at Roosevelt Hospital.

Aunt Lillian.jpg (23318 bytes)

My Aunt Lillian, Lillian Blum, the greatest single influence on my life.  She was a truly remarkable woman who saved me when I was twelve years old and at a terrible crossroads in life.  I am continually amazed at the reverberations in my life that stem from her extraordinary insight and the depth of her love.

Ed and Charles.jpg (10506 bytes)

Ed Taussig and I in 1976.  Ed was my college roommate at Northwestern and our close friendship was immediate.  He has the most uncensored wit of anyone I've ever met.  We had so many wonderful adventures that if I ever discipline myself to write another novel, it will have to be about the two of us.  Today he's a top executive at Grey Advertising.  All modesty aside, I think we look awfully scrumptious.

Ed and Charles Sister Act.jpg (24986 bytes)

Ed Taussig and I backstage after we performed in my college play "Sister Act" in 1976.  I wonder if my somewhat haunted expression is because I'd seen a glimpse of my future.

Ed and Charles Old Coozies.jpg (34022 bytes)

The following year, when Ed and I graduated and lived together in Chicago, we put on a show at a club called La Mere Vipere.  We billed ourselves as the glamorous Van Allen Sisters.  The play was called "Old Coozies," which was very loosely based on the Bette Davis/Miriam Hopkins movie "Old Acquaintance."  Very loosely.

Andy and Charles.jpg (26837 bytes)

Andy Halliday and I in 1980.  I've known Andy since we were in summer camp in 1968.  Andy is one of the most genuinely honest people I've ever known.  He's so honest, sometimes you want to slug him.  When I first decided to do a show at the Limbo Lounge, I just assumed that Andy would be in it.  He's created roles in so many of my plays.  A highpoint was his performance as the demonic Lotte in "The Lady in Question."  Andy is the model for Perry in "Whores of Lost Atlantis."

Charles at Bernhardt's Grave.jpg (56431 bytes) One "actress" salutes another.


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