It was the summer of 1914, when I first saw her. She was beyond beautiful with her flaming red locks and passionate green eyes. It was early in the morning, I was out on the beach with my camera to take pictures of the sunrise over the Santa Monica pier. That was where I was raised. I had never been beyond there but I always wanted to leave this place. When I first saw her, she was horseback riding on the beach, cowboy style with men's clothes. That however, wasn't strange to me; most western girls ride that way. I assumed she was from the Midwest at that first sight. She came up as I was trying to arrange my lenses to get the shot right. I looked into the camera, and there she was, with the roller coaster over her shoulders from a distance. She seemed to be at the perfect angle.
"Excuse me, miss." I stopped looking up from my camera to see one of the most beautiful faces in the world.
"Oh, don't worry I'll be out of your way," she said with the elegance of a breed lady of the East Coast. It was strange- her dress and accent did not match-but I ignored it considering she was in the most perfect picture moment.
"No, it's not that, I just wanted to ask can I take your picture," I asked a little nervous. I didn't know if she was camera shay or not but she just smiled and shrugged pulling back her horse. "Sure, why not?"
She held her horse, and I snapped the picture.
"Thank you," I said looking over from the camera. This was a place where locals tended to go, the tourists preferred to be with the fancy hotels. She wasn't a local. I could tell by her accent, she didn't grow up here. I wondered if she had just moved here or something. I had to ask ,"Do you live around here?"
"No," she answered looking towards the sunrise. " I just wanted to see the pier."
"Then why are you horseback riding at this hour?" I asked most of the tourists tended to do that after they rode all the rides.
"I wanted to do this before anything," she answered with such passion.
"Why?" I asked.
She went silent for a moment, and answered. "I am going to continue on my way."
"Wait," I stopped before she rode away from me. "Where do you want me to mail your picture?"
She was silent, as if she didn't have an answer. "Can I pick it up?" she then asked as I took a deep breath not knowing what to say. I was a little nervous to see if such an elegant woman would come to where I live. I grew up in a house with just a mother, which was rare in those days, not to mention she never married which was even rarer. I tried to think of an answer.
"Just tell me," she said firmly. "Believe me, I don't mind."
"I live in the employee tenements." I answered.
"I know where that's at." She nodded.
"Go and ask for Elizabeth," I said, wondering if she would catch on.
"The actress?" she asked.
"Yes," I answered, my mother had a reputation…..that sort of sawed good girls away from me.
"I can't wait to meet her," she said as she continued riding.
"Wait," I yelled. "Can I get your name?"
"Yours?" she asked turning.
"John Calvert," I answered.
"Rose Dawson," she responded and left.