"Lucille and Friends," photographer unknown, date unknown.

Lucille and Friends, photographer unknown, date unknown.

I met Lucille during my weekly visit to St. Vincent de Paul’s thrift store near my house in Los Angeles. Upon entering, I immediately spotted some expensive, ornate lamps, a pile of gaudy furniture, a tarnished silver tea set, and a crystal bowl. I realized I was shopping through someone’s estate. I tried to form an image of the deceased from the costume jewelry and exotic nick-knacks. Then there she was.

Faded and ghost-like, she looked caught off-guard, an expression of “Who invited you to the party?” I instantly embraced her. An engraved plate on the frame of the photo read “Lucille and Friends.” Then I recognized a beaming Liberace and smiling Cary Grant. Framed in Las Vegas. I wondered if Lucille had been a high roller.

The photo now hangs in my studio. I continue to channel Lucille’s spirit, triggering moments of daydreaming about her rich life complete with celebrity friends.

Kelly Thompson, Artist/Painter

Further Reading