Vic and Marvel were one of those couples in their 70’s that you wouldn’t consider elderly by any stretch of the imagination; they were simply too much fun.
Chuck and I first met them a few months after we got married. It was at a party his boss, Armando, was throwing, to celebrate Chuck’s business partner Ed getting his architecture license. Vic and Marvel were neighbors of Armando and his girlfriend Lynn.
I thought they were an intriguing couple, especially Marvel, who was from Old Hollywood. She had been a stand-in for Bette Davis — although quite a bit younger, she possessed the figure, stature and features for the gig. She had also been a “B” player, model and had numerous friends in the industry. She had even done voiceovers, back when it was a much more obscure profession; as an aspiring voice actor at the time, I found that to be the most intriguing.
The next time I saw Marvel it was at a company Christmas party where she came unescorted by Vic. Apparently Vic had had a mild heart attack and was laid up in the hospital, but that didn’t stop Marvel from making the party in a black leather knee-length skirt, and later busting a move out on the dance floor to “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.”
Over time we began socializing with Vic and Marvel at other events, many of which were parties at their home in Newport Beach. It was there that Chuck and I got a huge glimpse of how age was just a number; not only could you have fun and get crazy at any age, but your friends could consist of all ages, as well. Usually one of youngest couples there, we were pleasantly shocked at how four-letter words, sexual jokes and lewd remarks would fly with such abandon. Marvel even flashed her breasts one time when someone took her picture.
Hat party at Vic and Marvel’s. That’s Lynn and Marvel (yellow boa) behind me
(not sure who lady in pink is on the left is, but she was fun, too)
Hat party at Vic and Marvel’s. Chuck, Vic, another friend, and Armando (front)
Me and Chuck, at Vic and Marvel’s
Such a gracious and fun-loving couple, they had met and married in their early 40’s. They never had children of their own, although Vic had a son from a previous marriage. Chuck and I, on the cusp of our thirties and still weighing in on whether or not we wanted kids, had a front-row seat as to how complete our lives could still be, should we choose a childfree lifestyle.
Marvel once told us that back when she and Vic had first met, she was dating a wealthy man who supposedly had some alcohol issues. She loved both men, and when she sought advice from close friend Jack Palance, about which one she should marry, Jack summed it up with, “Well, Marvel, you can either be a rich drunk, or you can be happy.” On that note, she chose Vic, and definitely got the latter in the bargain. Although not exactly rich with money (they were very comfortable, let’s put it that way), their lives definitely were.
Vic, although in his early 70’s still worked as an architect. Marvel kept busy on numerous projects that included occasionally modeling for print ads, sashaying down the catwalk in a number of fashion shows, and a regular job of teaching art at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo.
Marvel had many funny stories, and one that tickled us most was one from her teaching job. Apparently one young man in her class kept referring affectionately to her as “Grandma.” Finally, after about the 5th time, she sidled up beside him and whispered in his ear, “Listen, you little mother fucker, I’m not your grandma!” He referred to her as Marvel after that.
Never was there a more fitting name.
To be continued.