Summer(s) of Love

I sat next to her in the park that day.

She wore a backless Indian print shirt. Might have been a scarf wrapped at the neck then tied low in the back. She reached into her one-of-a-kind (had to get one myself) hippie bag, pulled out her special pot of lip-gloss and patted her very full Bridget Bardot lips, making them appear even fuller. Then she held the lip-gloss out to me and offered a dab. I, too, wore Indian print clothes. I lived in my hippie-chic garb. I dipped my finger in. From that first hit, I was hooked. On my new best friend Libbie and her special pot.

Her opening line was, “I noticed you all last year.” I mirrored the line back. I had noticed her. Tall, unusual model-looks. I admired her great sense of style. This was the start of a mutual admiration society. Propinquity was the name of the store where she purchased the lip-gloss, and from then on the word defined us. The store became a regular stop for me. An incense, peppermints & psychedelic-vibe kind of place, where all the hippies shopped. I wore that lip-gloss for an eternity.

For years to come, we shared clothes, food, homes, friends, even parents.

We could both be a little princess-y, desiring things we couldn’t really afford. Good thing we were both so good at sharing and loved all the same restaurants. That way, there was never an argument where to eat.

One day, before any friction between the two of us, I ran into her at the L.A. County Art Museum. Libbie and I often happened to be at the same place at the same time. At LACMA she said that even if we’d never met in high school, we would have found our way to each other. We liked too many of the same things.

Eventually, we grew to be more like sisters.

For fifteen years we were estranged for slights real and imagined. But finally there was a shift, so that if we ran into each other, we were extra civil. In our hearts, we each knew the importance of the other. Libbie and I share a history. She was, for many years a superb moral compass for me and other friends. During our estrangement, because we were known as a team, people who saw me would often ask, “Where’s Libbie?” Not once did anyone inquire about my ex-husband, but Libbie was family. I’m sure she got a lot of that as well.

A turning point occurred this past year. I crashed the funeral and memorial for her brother Duke. Yes, she had a brother named Duke — what are the odds? And I crashed it. I deliberated for days. One day thinking never, I shouldn’t go. The next, I HAVE to go. I left it to the last minute. If I were to wake up that day with a headache, which I get lots of, I would not go. It was my own little game of Russian roulette. I also hate driving and this was going to be one hell of a drive. Burbank. Shoot me, I would rather get on a plane and fly to New York. I never even visit my own parents’ graves at Forest Lawn. But on that day, I woke up, no headache. At the gravesite, I stepped out of my car knowing this was the right thing to do. I walked up and stood with the rest of Libbie’s close friends. Her eyes said it even before Andy, her husband, walked over, hugged me and said, “Libbie is very happy you are here, it means a lot to her.” Hey, we’re family. I guess we’ll always be.

We got even closer when I invited her, her mom and kids to celebrate my father’s 100th birthday last October. And then a month ago, we made a real plan. Just the two of us, old friends reuniting. We had lunch, something we were always so comfortable doing. At first, it was a bit awkward, like a first date. For maybe three minutes. As I got more and more confused over just what to order, Libbie jumped in, never once looking at the menu, and told the waiter exactly what she wanted and the way she wanted it. I still hesitated because it’s not one of my regular haunts. I wonder now if Libbie read the bubble above my head that was saying we always shared our lunch, because suddenly she looked at me and said, “Do you want to just share the Cobb salad?” Oh my God, I practically shrieked from the delight of knowing how in synch we still are. You could feel the electricity in the air. I think I said it out loud to the waiter, as if he even knew our past. I sat back, my whole body relaxing as I pulled out my lip-gloss to dab a bit on. It’s a habit; I do it many times a day. Libbie looked and said “You are not going to believe this,” as she pulled from her own purse the same Kiehl’s Pharmacy lip-gloss. And so we restarted our relationship in the same way it began in that Summer of Love, 1969.


Le Pain Quotidien in Brentwood on San Vicente is where we met and ate the Chicken Cobb salad. I pick up the brioche rolls there a lot. Another dish we could have ordered (and shared) is the Mediterranean Platter which has hummus, babaganoush and taboule. It is a wonderful, comfortable and neutral place for a girls’ reuniting lunch.

me and Libbie, twins and BFF's, 70's

dueling lip-gloss at lunch

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23 Responses to “Summer(s) of Love”

  1. David Miller-Engel says:

    well done Fredde…..

  2. OK – crying. Love you both – so many separate memories of you both and so glad you reunited!! Fabulous story of the Summer of Love. I remember you two – twins and yet as unique and different as your heights!! ha ha!! Both beauties in person and soul.
    Love love love!!!

  3. Julie Phalen says:

    Great story. Small world, I was good friends with Duke and Shelly so of course I knew Libby.

  4. Augie Duke says:

    I Love this…

  5. Alan Duke says:

    Time heals….As it should be…Nice.

  6. TMiller says:

    Great story Fredde… and you know any girl who has made it to a certain age has at least one story of a sisterhood reunited. There’s nothing like a girl you can count on 15 years later! That just says it all.

  7. Grant Anthonni says:

    Thanks for sharing that Fredde.
    I think I knew Libbbie for a couple of years anyway.
    It was my first nesting experience, my “april Love” (pat boone lol)
    in fact only one of two real meaningful romances
    in my entire life.
    In fact, I wrote a couple of songs that reflected
    the love I had for her.
    do you remember, “you took the purple flowers that I found,
    now I watch the kittens follow you around”?
    from one of my early ones called, “it coulda been a sad song”.

    Your writing is in the pocket, keep it up
    your voice has blossomed and matured
    so nicely. Send my love to the Libbs.
    I’ll never forget her and the two years
    were worth it.

  8. What a wonderful friendship you share. You two look like sisters and you both look like models.

  9. Joy Aroff says:

    Freddie: It is the way it is supposed to be. With life so short there is no time to hang on and carry resentments for something past. AS humans, we are not perfect, not expected to be. Have you ever seen one flower that looks exactly like the one standing tall next to it? Have you ever known one human who looks or acts exactly like another. Even with twins. We are ALL SPECIAL because there is not another one of us, no one on earth is exactly the same as we as an individual are.

    I am very happy that you and Libbie have finally wound your way through the maze to find each other again. It really wasn’t difficult was it?

    Truth be known you didn’t really “crash” Duke’s goodbye. Libbie said afterward to me “I asked you to invite Freddie to come”. I don’t know that those words were audibly expressed, as I did not remember her saying them to me, but quite obviously it was on her mind and she wanted you there. So we all welcomed you back into the fold of old friends….such a comfortable place to be. We can JUST BE OURSELVES. For me, it is the only place to be. I will bring you some of my quite special chocolate chip cookies soon. Love and kisses….just keep writing. Joy

  10. Mogull says:

    where are my photo credits???????

  11. Jennifer Dudley Arbaugh says:

    Love of my life. Felice Fallon. Too beautiful, brilliant, sense of absurd, Londoner to my Cincinnatier. Distance of time and place makes reunions a romance of friendship. Thanx for sharing yours with Libby although Felice and I don’t share our Leon’s Chopped with one another! Too selfish. Xxx keep em coming.

  12. Eileen Mumy says:

    So glad you girls found your way back. I was one of your friends who always asked,” Hows Libby?.
    Love you.

  13. Cathy Berman says:

    Loved the blog Fredde! I too met Libbie at “Park Summer” in 1969 while sitting on the lawn making a daisy chain and life was never the same afterwards – all for the better!

    You two definitely had a special bond and I loved the nostalgia that came over me while reading your blog and seeing the great pictures of the two of you.

    Love you

  14. Joni Fox says:

    Another heart warming tear jerker. Those special bonds always come back to make life more beautiful.

    Love you,

  15. Barbara Dudley says:

    And it comes around as it should be…Patience…
    The heart never forgets…

  16. Christel Chesney says:

    Just did the same thing this past June. I reconnected with a dear, dear friend after a 20 year separation. At her son’s wedding. My Godson.

    Can not tell you how good it feels to have her in my life again.

    Christel Chesney

  17. Barbara Dudley says:

    Love. love, love…
    So glad you two dropped the 15 years of who knows what!
    Wish we still had that lip gloss…
    Great stuff Fred…xo

  18. Linda says:

    Special story … thank you for opening your heart.

  19. […] All the hippies and hippie wannabes started congregating in the park that ran along Santa Monica Blvd and North Beverly Drive.  I was morphing into a “hippie” too, and this new park called to me.  It was the Beverly Hills version of Haight-Ashbury’s Summer of Love.  Park Summer, we called that time.  It’s when I met my new best friend, Libbie (more here). […]

  20. Linda Mancini says:

    I read it again … and loved it again!!!

  21. Love this Fredde… So happy you and Libby picked up again after those years…Just not the same!
    As always…Wonderful story and written like we were all there…❤️

  22. Karen Keating says:

    I had to look up the meaning of propinquity. I love this story and all of your writing! Thanks again for sharing.

  23. Gina Ehrlich says:

    Always love your stories. Wish you and I had been closer in the early days. So much connection, so much to reminisce!

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