One day while sitting at my desk, doing some boring administration work, I got a call from Murray Neitlich, head photographer of the CBS Photo Department. A nice man, who was known for his relaxed personality and creative talent behind a photo lens. Not only did Murray shoot all the publicity shots for CBS, but he did album covers for Simon And Garfunkel, Sly and The Family Stone, and Neal Diamond, too.
Murray started the conversation with, â€œBobbie, can you come down to the Photo Gallery. I have some hand models here that Iâ€™m shooting for the Emmyâ€™s, but then I remembered your hands . . . and I want to try something differentâ€
I looked at my hands . . . yep, my nails were polished — and luckily they werenâ€™t chipped, like they usually are. Keep in mind this was before nail salons popped up on every street corner like a Starbucks does today. Most people back then did their own nails. And as a matter of fact, up until about ten years ago, I never had a professional manicure in my life. Also keep in mind, I have a bit of Dennis the Menace in me, as I find it hard not to get in trouble–Iâ€™m always into something, using my hands. So to sit still while waiting for my nails to dry is a challenge in itself. And when I do my nails itâ€™s usually very fast, using quick strokes of the brush. Iâ€™ve never cut my cuticles, and only use hand lotion when Iâ€™m reminded by seeing someone else using it. I know, Iâ€™m hanging my head in shame, as Iâ€™m writing this.
Knowing I could never compete with professional models I was hesitant, but then realizing it was a way to get out of the office, I jumped at the chance.
The whole session took less than an hour. Most of the time was spent on choosing the right back drop to match my nail polish color and to calibrate the lighting for the right effect. I was given instructions on how to hold the Emmy for several different poses and that was about it. Except I do remember thinking how heavy the little sucker was. After the session wrapped, I happily went back to my office. When I returned to work, I told my boss â€œthese handsâ€ (posing them in the air) were too important to be doing office work today. â€œDonâ€™t think so,â€ he replied, as he handed me a stack of stuff that needed to be typed.
Three weeks passed and I heard nothing about the photo shoot. So I just assumed they had decided to go with a professional. After all, it was for the cover of the LA Times’ TV Guide.
The Sunday that the cover came out, I was on my way to Hugh Heftnerâ€™s Playboy Mansion for an all day charitable event, benefiting the John Tracy Clinic (named after the deaf son of the late actor Spencer Tracy). On my way to Hefâ€™s place, curious to see my competitionâ€˜s photo, I double-parked in front of a news stand in Westwood. The first opportunity I got to open the papers was when I stopped for a red light. Staring back at me was an 8 x 10 color photo of my hands inside the paper, on the cover of the TV Guide. After I got over my shock, I went back to the newsstand and bought five more copies.
******************************* Bobbie Cimo is the OCC/RWA Programs Director who has brought us such notable speakers as Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, Jackie Collins and Robert Crais.
Bobbie, My name is Holly Walter and Murry was my uncle. I was surfing the web and came across this blog. It was nice to see the comment about how nice my uncle was. I certainly thought so. I miss him very much. Thanks for that. If you have any other memories of him, I love to hear them.
on June 14, 2008
IF you are, so am I. I do remember those ads. Too bad, I wasn’t smart enough to know there was money in being a hand model.
Thanks for your comments, Bobbie
on June 13, 2008
I love it, Bobbie! Your hands look like the ones in the Lux ads! Remember Lux soap? Am I dating myself? 🙂 – Sue