Treasure Chest contains more information created
by Pamela and Hugh to further develop the ideas and techniques you've
read in the book. Find out how to correct your allergies in people
and pets. Learn more about hypnosis, past lives and much more.
|Do you have allergy problems?
Learn about the Allergone Allergy
Correction® and how it can help you with your allergies. It's
free and it doesn't involve pills or shots or inhalers.
Well, I was 19, and an Elvis Party, no matter what
the circumstances, sounded exciting so I hurried back over to the Presley
set at my next break. The guard at the door, who had let me pass before,
stopped me. "Your name Pamela?" he asked, looking down at his
I was impressed my name had been discovered so quickly.
"Yes, it is," I answered eagerly.
"You can´t come in here," he barked,
and shut the door. I never did find out which one of my "protectors"
managed that one.
Despite their efforts, however, I wasn´t "saved".
Unbeknownst to me, an actor on our set was watching me closely. It must
have been quite clear I was ready for something to happen to me in Hollywood,
and he happened. He was very discreet. He had to be. He was married, and
I had people watching out for me. Ms. Andrews and Mr. Von Sydow either
never found out or they gave up trying to help someone obviously intent
on experiencing more than just movie making. Even after I discovered the
actor in question was married the affair continued. I, young and dumb,
thought his wife didn´t understand him, and he didn´t love
her. She did, and he did. Their marriage lasted another twenty years,
during which time he became a big star.
My affair with him ended when I went to New York with
Bette Midler. We´d become acquainted on the set and friends the
day she tried to teach me to smoke in Grauman´s Chinese Theater.
I managed to smoke two cigarettes, half of a third, and never smoked again.
Bette had bigger plans for us anyway. The first phase of the plan was
to take the money we´d made in the movie (slightly over $3,000 each)
and conquer New York. She could conquer New York; she had no doubts about
that. And she´d take me right along with her. Why go to New York;
why not stay in Hollywood? Bette declared herself, "Too Jewish, too
short, and too homely for Hollywood." (Bette´s line, not mine,
and NOT my opinion.) "But," she added with astute foresight, "when
I´m too famous, they´ll HAVE to put me in the movies."
Being in the movies in Hollywood had always been Bette´s main plan.
It took Bette only five years to conquer New York.
We began those years together, in a once grand, by then seedy, hotel in
skid row on Bowery Street. We shared a small room with a sink and a bed
and not much else. Bathrooms were down the hall, and going to them at
any time of day or night meant stepping over drunks or druggies passed
out in the hallways. Bette loved it. It was cheap and adventurous. I hated
it. It was too cheap and too adventurous. Besides, we shared the one single
bed that dipped to the inside. Whoever slept on the outside of the bed
- usually Bette - would roll onto the one sleeping on the inside - usually
me. After a week of suffocating in Bette´s breasts, I found us a
studio apartment, with two beds.
We were so excited to be in New York, living our dreams
at last, that we found it hard to sleep, or even read, when we went to
bed. We had no TV. We would lie in our beds and talk into the night. Often
Bette would sing. (She´d sing in the shower, too, which obviously
was beneath ducts that went through the whole building as she would frequently
get "requests" in our mailbox the next day for particular songs.)
One night we were fantasizing about how we would each accept our Academy
Awards for "Best Actress". We discussed whom, beside each other,
we would absolutely not want to compete against. We agreed it would be
someone "really nice and really sweet". We decided, mutually,
on Sally Fields, whom we´d both adored as Gidget and The Flying
Some time later, we went to see Janis Joplin perform
on stage at the Fillmore East. As I watched her, I saw Bette Midler. "It´s
eerie," I told Bette afterwards. "She could be you." "I
know," Bette agreed. "I saw that too." Wouldn´t it be
weird," I mused, "if you played her in a movie someday?" Fifteen
years later, watching the Academy Awards on TV, I watched Bette lose the
Best Actress Oscar for her part as Janis Joplin in THE ROSE to Sally Fields.
We lived in that studio apartment a couple of months,
just long enough to experience the power outage that knocked out all the
electricity in the whole North Eastern Seaboard. Caught uptown, I walked
the fifty blocks home. I found Bette in bed reading with a flashlight.
"I´m sorry," she apologized, looking up from her book. "I
didn´t pay the electric bill, and they´ve turned off our lights."
I took her by the hand, pulled her outside, and pointed to the buildings
on the street, all dark. "Damn," she quipped, "they´re
tough. I´ll pay it tomorrow."
We moved when I found us a bigger apartment, with a
bedroom for each of us, in Greenwich Village. Living in the Village, in
the 60´s. with Bette Midler! Wild times, right? Actually, the only
wild times we shared were the go-go dancing gig at a bar in New Jersey
and the night we killed the two "maiden aunts" and their parrot.
The go-go dancing lasted a month or so. We´d
dance on a platform "stage" placed on the end of the bar. During
our breaks, a country western group would play. It didn´t take Bette
long to join them. I could hear her yodeling happily on "stage"
while I hid in the bathroom and read a book. Somewhere, unless it has
been destroyed, there is life size cardboard cut-out of Bette and me,
in our identical go-go outfits of black and white mini-skirts, white sweaters,
and white boots.
The "maiden aunts", as we took to calling them,
lived beneath our sixth floor walkup apartment on the corner of Bedford
and Christopher. (The parrot, we were to later surmise, lived directly
below Bette´s bedroom.) We met the "aunts" as we walked
by their door one day on the way up to our apartment. The door opened,
and a crisp voice called out, "Young ladies!" Bette and I turned.
Two elderly ladies stood there, one tall and lean and the other shorter
and considerably less lean. "Our parrot has a bad heart," the
taller, leaner "aunt" announced. "Loud noises and sex could
kill it." They both stepped back and closed the door.
It is the ONLY time I´ve seen Bette tongue tied.
After a stunned moment, we broke up laughing. "Well," Bette gasped
out finally, "Hurrah for the parrot."
After that, the "aunts" took to pounding -
with brooms we supposed - on Bette´s bedroom floor whenever they
deemed the activity above offensive. As just walking across the floor
or dropping a book on it could elicit mad "brooming", they were
kept quite busy protecting their parrot´s sensibilities. Bette and
I would often chuckle at the thought of them sitting, broom sticks in
hand, with their eyes, ears, and imagination glued to the ceiling.
One night, impulsively thinking to add additional excitement
to their lives, we began making "suspicious sounds", including
dragging ourselves across Bette´s bedroom floor. Suddenly, merciless
in our mirth, we leaped together onto Bette´s big double bed. The
bed broke with a loud crash. We waited breathlessly. No pounding. We looked
at each other. "The parrot!" we whispered in tandem. We tiptoed
down the stairs and put our ears to the door: dead silence. We had obviously
killed the parrot.
It seems we killed the maiden aunts too. We never heard
from or saw them again. Every time we passed their door, we´d put
our ears on it and listen: nothing. For all we know, they lie there still,
two fossilized old ladies, brooms in hand, and a stiff parrot.
The next year, Bette moved out and my boyfriend moved
in. Bette´s and my relationship had been wounded in a grave misunderstanding.
It recovered, but only after our mutually hurt feelings had subsided,
which took some time. Even before our friendship resumed, Bette remained
generous in her concern for my welfare. She called me to tell me she had
talked a casting director into casting me, sight unseen, for a play she´d
been cast in upstate. I declined. I didn´t want to leave my boyfriend.
Bette was horrified. "You´ll never get anywhere in this business,"
she lectured, "if you don´t take it seriously."
That was the problem exactly. I didn´t take it
seriously. I thought I did. But I was really waiting and hoping; waiting
for someone to notice me and put me on the stage, for which I had little
training, and hoping someone would notice me and put me in the movies,
for which I definitely was not in the right place. Still, Bette tried
hard to pull me along her path, the path we were both convinced I wanted
too. "Your attitude is all wrong," she warned me, with wise and
shrewd counsel I would neither understand nor heed. "You present yourself
as ´I´m young, I´m pretty, and I think I´m talented.
Please give me a chance.´ On the other hand," she continued,
"I let anyone and everyone know: ´Hey, I´m going to be
a star. If you want to hitch yourself to me, this is your chance.´
Sure," she conceded, "they all laugh at me, but someday, somebody
Someday came, and everybody laughed ~ and applauded.
In the Green Room of the Tonight Show, after Bette´s first appearance
on Johnny Carson, we looked at each other. Johnny hadn´t asked her
to sit with him, this first time, but we both knew she´d be back.
Her star was definitely beginning its orbit. Neither of us, however, had
any inkling she would someday bid Johnny "Aloha" as his last guest
on his last show.
That I was not ready for "show biz", despite
Bette´s best efforts, became even more clear when she called me
to tell me she was leaving Fiddler On The Roof, the Broadway play in which
she played one of the daughters. "I´ve set up a private audition
for you with the producer and the casting director," she said, "Be
"I can´t sing!" I protested, panicking.
"Anyone who can carry a tune can sing," Bette
argued. "I TOLD you to take singing lessons when we first got here."
She paused, clearly exasperated. "Well, you can act and you can dance.
These people can help you, Pamela. Do something, anything. Let them know
who you are. It´s an opportunity few people get. USE IT!"
I´m ashamed to say I declined yet again. I am
so thankful for Bette. She provided me a chance (several chances) to attain
what I thought was my dream. Today, I have very few regrets that I did
not attain that particular dream for I understand clearly, because of
Bette, the sacrifices, focus, discipline, and belief in oneself that being
a "star" requires. I did, however, put what Bette taught me to
good use. I know how important sacrifice, focus, discipline, and belief
in oneself are for making any dream come true. I have also learned, through
experience, that the only dreams worth the effort and the hard work are
the dreams in which one finds JOY.
I left New York when my joy was seriously disrupted
by a broken heart. I loved my musician boyfriend, but he loved his guitar
more, so I left him and returned home for a summer of mending. As is too
common in the mending of a broken heart, I turned quickly to another man.
Ten months later, we had a daughter; a magical being I named Bambi. Yes,
there was rhyme (Bambi Birnbaum) and reason (she looked like a little
dear, with large, beautiful, soft eyes) to the name. Nevertheless, I can´t
count the number of people who asked if we were going to name her brother
- born three years later - Thumper. We named him Tyson, this soul whose
spirit has walked with mine in many lives.
When Bambi was two, I visited Bette in New York. She
asked if she could be Bambi´s Godmother. I laughed. I thought she
was kidding. The "Divine Miss M", a Godmother? Bette, looking
crestfallen, replied, "I could help her financially, you know."
I was confused. Surely she was joking. Godparents were a "Catholic
Thing," weren´t they? Too late, I discovered Godparents were
not just for Catholics and Bette had been serious. I had, once again,
deeply hurt her feelings. I don´t think she´s forgiven me
completely for that one. I don´t think Bambi has either.
My relationship with my children´s father lasted
five years. Though we cared deeply for one another, we were clearly incompatible.
Gifted athletically, he wanted to play sports more than he wanted to play
house. While I wasn´t certain I wanted to play house, I did know
kids were a major responsibility, so I devoted myself to them. Of course,
the trouble with devoting yourself to your children is someday they grow
up and move away.
I´d held many jobs raising and supporting my
children, including "ghost" writing. I wrote a script for a Hollywood
producer for a play, The Orbitor, which UNICEF was to stage at the United
Nations for "The Year of The Child." The director had a heart
attack and as I had not received script credit, I never followed up on
whether the play was ever staged. However, the script did bring me an
offer of a studio job in Hollywood in the script writing department. This
time, I turned down Hollywood. A place where you couldn´t breathe
the air didn´t seem a place to raise children.
I cleaned houses and apartments in Honolulu for seven
years instead. In most of those years I cleaned, by myself, ten to twelve
residences a week. It was hard work. However, it provided the opportunity
to write my own novels instead of the articles and stories I´d been
writing for others. I´d mentally work on a book while I scrubbed,
dusted, and vacuumed, then I´d write into the night at home.
My kids were patient. They believed me when I said
my novel would make our dreams come true. Unfortunately, it didn´t
happen that way. The first novel I wrote was lousy. The second book was
better, but not good enough. The third book was, I thought, good enough.
I paid a literary agency to critique it. The verdict: "A dark and
extraordinary work.. We took a long time arguing about it. In the end,
we decided it is too badly flawed, with the parts considerably greater
than the whole. You can imagine our regret in this case." The critique
went on for several pages. I couldn´t decipher whether they thought
my writing was brilliant or awful.
I was devastated. My plan had been to fly to New York,
sign the book contract, pick up the kids in Oklahoma, where they were
spending the summer with my sister, and all of our dreams would come true.
I´d been so certain of our "destiny", I´d given up
the house we´d rented for ten years and given away all the furniture.
Now what? I sat on the floor and cried all night. The next morning, I
knew there was nothing to do but start over again. The kids would have
to learn about not giving up when dreams don´t come true.
That morning is when Bette called me for the first
time in ten years. "Hello, is Pamela Chilton there?" The voice
on the phone inquired.
"Yes" I responded and asked who was calling.
"Bette" the voice answered.
"Bette who?" I asked, not recognizing her voice.
"Bette Midler," she said, not recognizing my
We agreed to meet on a corner in Waikiki, near her
hotel. Impishly, I asked, "How will I recognize you?"
Never one to be "up-quipped", Bette answered,
"I look just the same, only fatter."
A new momma, Bette looked great. We strolled leisurely
through Waikiki, with no one bothering us since people smiled at the adorable
Sophie in the stroller, barely glancing at "mom". We ended up
near the studio apartment where I was staying, so Bette came up to chat.
We laughed, and cried, about old times. Those that know Bette know she
is, arguably, an even greater listener than she is an entertainer. That,
in itself, is a rare talent.
After Bette and Sophie left, I found several one hundred
dollar bills on the rug where we´d been sitting. I called Bette´s
hotel. "Oh," she said, when I got her on the phone and explained
what I´d found, "Sophie is always playing with my hand bag.
She must have pulled them out. Why don´t you just keep them?"
I was puzzled. Why would I keep Bette´s money? Then I looked around
the apartment. It was tiny and bare. I was only borrowing it, for free,
from a friend while the kids were away, so I hadn´t bothered to
fix it up at all. Bette must have thought I´d fallen on hard times,
which I had; just not as hard or in quite the way she envisioned. Embarrassed,
I left her money at the hotel for her.
When my children returned, I rented a two bedroom furnished
apartment in Waikiki and began cleaning and writing again. I decided no
more "dark, extraordinary novels". I began writing about a plain
looking, brilliant, girl named Beth, who grows up feeling homely, unloved,
and unlovable. Beth dreams of becoming an actress and moves to New York
when she is 19 to pursue her dreams. I sent Bette the first chapter to
read. She was aghast. She felt Beth was a thinly disguised portrayal of
her. Worse, she felt I´d betrayed her even more by naming the character
Beth. I´d, unfortunately, forgotten about Bette´s dearest
childhood friend, Beth, who had been killed in an automobile accident.
I´d had very good reasons for naming my character Beth, none of
which had to do with Bette or her Beth. Nor was the book about Bette.
After all, I was smart. I´d grown up feeling homely, unloved, and
unlovable. I´d dreamt of becoming an actress. I had gone to New
York at 19 to pursue my dreams. Still, Bette didn´t believe me and
it added yet another page to the saga of misunderstandings between us.
I gave the first chapter to my best friend, Paula,
from High School to read. She, too, thought herself to be Beth, which
astonished me. Bette had once been plain, so I could see how she thought
herself to be Beth. I had a pretty face, but never pretty enough, and
I always had a fat ass and thick thighs, so I definitely thought myself
to be Beth. But how did long and lean Paula, with her gorgeous legs and
beautiful face think she could be Beth? Perhaps, I thought, Paula, like
Bette and I, compared her looks far too harshly with the Asian, Polynesian,
and other Island Beauties that surrounded us in Hawaii. I sent the first
chapter to an editorial assistant I knew in the Mainland. She thought
SHE was Beth! Thus encouraged - clearly women related to Beth - I sent
the novel to a New York literary agent.
The phone rang some months later. It was the literary
agent. "I´ve been agonizing what to do about your book,"
she said. "First, let me say, I´m Beth. I gave it to my assistant
to read and she thinks she´s Beth. Obviously, we liked the book.
But I just don´t know what to do with it." I was confused. What
else would a New York literary agent do with a book women clearly related
to but sell it to a publisher. "This book," she continued, "is
what we call a mid-list book. Without a well known author, it is unlikely
to make any money for the publisher. Publishing is about profits. I´m
I was sorry too, but I wasn´t ready to give up.
Bambi was spending her sophomore year in Germany. Her father had a friend,
I´ll call Gunther, visiting him from Berlin who worked for an airlines.
Gunther said I could fly with him, free, to Germany to visit Bambi for
Christmas and fly back with him, free, if I could get to Berlin by New
Year´s. I decided I would take him up on his offer, but get off
the plane in New York. I would rent a room, get a waitress job, and knock
on publishers´ and agents´ doors for two months while Tyson
stayed with his dad. I believed in Beth´s Book. I was determined
I would get someone else to believe in it enough to get it published.
Then we´d see just how many women related to Beth.
It didn´t work out that way. Bambi, despite the
fact she was doing very well in school and adored living in Hamburg with
her uncle and aunt, insisted she had to return with me. She wasn´t
sure why, she said, she just knew she "had to". It meant the end
of my New York plans, but I had learned long ago to trust Bambi´s
instincts. So we traveled through East Germany together as soldiers scrutinized
passports and large dogs sniffed under the train at every stop. We didn´t
leave Berlin on New Years, as planned. We didn´t leave the next
day either, or the day after that. Gunther, whose flat we were sharing
with his girlfriend, had become very nonchalant about returning to Hawaii.
We rarely saw him and when we did, he said he was so busy he didn´t
know when he´d be able to get back to Hawaii. As we couldn´t
fly back without him (unless we paid, which would be extremely expensive),
we just had to wait until he was ready.
Finally, desperate after a month in Berlin surviving
mostly on canned soup and filling our time with very long walks every
day, I concocted a story. Gunther was a big Bette Midler fan and he knew
she was a friend of mine. I told him Bambi and I had decided to stay in
L.A. with Bette for a few days on our way home. I told him Bette would
pick us up at the airport, and he could meet her. "The only catch
is," I told him, "we have to be there this Friday. Otherwise,
she´ll have to send her driver and you won´t get to meet her."
On Friday, we were on the airplane, winging into L.A.
I made certain Bambi´s and my seating passes for Hawaii in two days
were in my pocket. As soon as we landed, I went to the phones to ´call
Bette´. After a few moments of pretending to talk into the phone,
I hung up, and walked back to our host with a sad face. "Bette is
so sorry," I lied, "but she can´t be here to meet you after
all. She got hung up at the studio." Gunther turned on his heels and
left us without a word.
Bambi and I spent the next two days with Yee Sun, my
"adopted" daughter and Bambi´s "adopted" sister.
Yee Sun had lived with us from when she´d left Malaysia at barely
17 years old to go to The University of Hawaii. She stayed with us until
her graduation - and wedding - four years later. She became, in that time,
a part of our family, hearts, and lives forever.
We did see Bette while we were in town. We met her
for lunch near the Roosevelt Hotel, where Bette and I had stayed while
making the movie Hawaii. (Bambi and I searched out Bette´s star
along Hollywood Blvd. and I was delighted to discover it was just across
the street from the Roosevelt.) It was the first time Bette had seen Bambi
since she was a baby. Bambi told Bette a Jay Leno joke that caused Bette
to laugh so hard, she threw back her head and bumped it - hard - on the
wooden back of the booth we were sitting in. (The joke: "Have you
ever read the expiration date on a loaf of Wonder Bread? It reads, "You
should live so long.")
Later that night, I met Bette in a Hollywood Coffee
shop. We each ordered a cup of tea. The "you should live so long"
faced waitress pointed to a sign: $1.50 minimum per person. "Can you
manage that?" she snapped.
Bette - Disney´s #1 star - and I looked at each
other. "I think I can," she said to me solemnly, "I´ll
Afterwards, Bette drove me to Yee Sun´s in her
suburban station wagon. The only "star" accessory was an elaborate
car phone provided by Disney studios. "They like to be able to get
in touch with me any time", she apologized. We stopped at the nearest
station for gas. Bette pumped it. Then we got lost, driving aimlessly
in the midnight hour around the empty streets of Glendale. Finally, we
located the house. "You´ll always have a friend," she promised
as I got out of the car.
"I know," I promised back. "So will you."
I knew she´d just told me she´d forgiven the hurts between
us. Bette´s theme song "Friends" is well penned. Bette has
friends because Bette IS a friend.
Almost as soon as we got off the plane in Hawaii, Bambi´s
appendix burst. Only the doctors didn´t realize it until they cut
her open. They´d been reluctant to do surgery, thinking it wasn´t
her appendix, but Bambi, and I, had insisted they do it. Had she remained
in Germany, they would have delayed the operation long enough to get written
parental permission. She would have died before they´d received
it. Bambi´s premonition had saved her life.
The next several months became extremely challenging.
I´d gambled once again - and lost once again - on a dream. I´d
expected to stay in New York and return with a book contract. Now I´d
returned with a sick daughter and no money. We didn´t even have
a house to live in. It took great discipline, and the help of family and
friends, to get me out of that mess.
Bette helped me directly and indirectly. Her song,
Wind Beneath My Wings, became popular. I´d seen Beaches in L.A.
with Bambi, and I couldn´t help but note the similarities in the
movie to our friendship. No doubt the similarities were, as with Beth
in my book, more circumstantial than intentional, but I chose to believe
Bette´s movie and song were - not coincidentally - in my life at
that time to inspire me, and inspire me they did. Working feverishly at
two full time jobs, I made my way out of debt. When I had enough to buy
an old car and begin cleaning again, I quit both jobs.
Bette called about then, saying she´d had a brainstorm
in the shower: she´d figured out a way to help her brother, Danny,
and me. Danny, who couldn´t cook, loved home cooked meals. Whenever
she was in Hawaii, she would fill his refrigerator with home cooked meals.
"But I can´t get there often enough," she said, "so
I thought, why don´t I pay you to cook for him." She offered
me a scandalous amount of money, especially since I was barely a cook.
I took half that amount, bought some cookbooks, and began supplying home
cooked meals to Danny.
One day I arrived with Danny´s food and found,
not him, but his and Bette´s sister, Susan. I´d never met
Susie before, though I´d heard a lot about her. Unlike the private
Bette, she prefers talking to listening, and like the public Bette, she
is very entertaining. At one point, she got up and walked into the kitchen.
"Oh wow!" I exclaimed, "you´ve got Bette´s walk!!"
She paused, turned with hands on hips, and said, "My
dear, I´m the older sister. She´s got MY walk."
Cooking for Danny for a year, plus cleaning six days
a week allowed me to save enough to pay for Bambi´s first Semester
in Community College and for me to take a three week intensive course
in hypnosis in Glendale. I´d discovered the school while I was in
L.A. Hypnosis as a career seemed to me a better way than cleaning to support
my writing. I would leave my kids under the watchful eye of my sister,
who lived with us, and would leave three weeks worth of meals for Danny.
I sent in my deposit money for the school.
Next, I went to the library reference room, to look
up in the Glendale Yellow Pages places I could stay while I was at the
school. I was writing down names of motels when a voice whispered in my
ear, "Palm Springs". I turned around. No-one was there. I began
looking at the Glendale Yellow Pages again. Again a voice whispered, "Palm
Springs." I looked up. Again, no one was there. I wondered about it,
but psychic experiences are not that unusual for me, so I decided to ignore
the voice in my ear. Besides, I had no reason to go to Palm Springs. I
looked down at the Glendale phone book. This time the voice shouted in
my ear: "PALM SPRINGS!"
I got up and looked for the Yellow Pages for Palm Springs.
When I found it, I returned to the table, sat down, and opened it to Hypnosis
Schools. There was a hypnosis school, The Academy For Instruction In Mind
Motivation, in Palm Desert, right next to Palm Springs. (I´d have
never known where Palm Desert was, which was why - I figured out later
- the voice kept saying Palm Springs.)
When I got home, I called for the brochure, which arrived
three days later. The courses - Master Hypnotist, Hypnotherapist, Age
Regressionist, Past Life Therapist, Sexual Abuse and Multiple Personality
Disorder - all interested me very much. However, taking all of the courses
would take three months. How would I ever get away for three months? My
sister could keep an eye on Tyson, but what about rent, utilities, and
food while I was gone? What about rent, utilities, and food in Palm Desert?
Besides, I would need $1,800 more than I had saved for the courses in
Glendale. Going to Palm Desert was impossible, I decided. But the "voice"
bothered me. Why had it insisted on leading me to Palm Desert?