The Fortune Teller
Top left: Marjory and Twila wearing their ball gowns.
Top right: Twila Cortsen, the girl of my dreams.
Bottom: Twila and Marjory with sightseeing airplane.
Excerpt from Donald B. Johnson manuscript:
"Elsie [Evavold] suggested that we should go and see a fortune teller or reader, where she had been, and get an idea of what was in store for us [in California], before we did anything else. So the five of us all went there...."
"The fortune teller ... started right in telling me about a girl I was going to meet soon: 'tall, well-built (proportioned, I think she meant), good-looking, good morals,' -- everything, I guess. She said I would recognize her right away." [33.197-1]
"One night I walked down to the Palomar ballroom, the biggest ballroom on the west coast.... I looked around a while and there, right near the front of the standing crowd, was the tall, well-built (proportioned) girl the fortune teller had told me about. I couldn't have missed [Twila] if I'd tried."
"Twila kept house and cooked for [Mrs. Smith] an Italian lady who had an exclusive beauty parlor on Wilshire Boulevard and an English husband. [She] also tended Peter, their 8-year-old 'problem child.' Some days she would say, 'If you come down tomorrow I won't unlock the door and let you in because I've got too much housework to catch up on.' But the next day when I walked up the sidewalk she would be holding the door open as usual." [35.202-1]
"It was her day off every Thursday that nearly killed me. She would call me as soon as her bosses left for work [and] I had just gone to bed. We would spend the whole day sightseeing and shopping and then I'd go back to work at 7 p.m. I was patient sitting in dress shops, etc. waiting. I didn't mind. I was too tired to move if I could sit anywhere. I was never in a hurry for her to get ready to go, because the Smiths had good, soft chairs and I was too tired to move. She didn't know my most-used words were 'Hurry up' until we got back to Minnesota."
"Twila would start trying to send me home at least by midnight, but I was hard to send, because I was used to being up all night and could sleep all the next day. Sometimes I didn't have the car and by the time she got me out the door the streetcars were only running once an hour, so I would walk home. I was only two or three miles or so, and there was a bakery along the way." [35.203-2]
"I kept reserving the right to go out with anyone else I wanted to go out with, but Twila kept me too busy to make use of my reserved rights. I thought she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Love is blind, but maybe I wasn't. Someone on a bus came over to her once and asked her if she was Myrna Loy [a popular Hollywood movie star at the time] or Myrna's sister." [35.206-1]
"Marj went up in an airplane and had so much fun she talked Twila and me into going up in a small, open plane. There was only room for two besides the pilot, so she talked the pilot into letting her go twice for the price of one ride. Once with me and once with Twila." [35.208-7]
"'Give him plenty,' she told the pilot when it was my turn. So we stalled and dove and all sorts of things, somewhere out between old Los Angeles and Santa Monica. I felt like I was sitting in a bathtub with a propeller on it and that's just how safe I felt. I had all I wanted and Marj laughed her head off. I never went off the ground again for about 40 years. Marj had so much fun flying that later she took flying lessons [and became a pilot]." [35.209-1]