Gone…Up In Smoke! – Barbara LeMay doing a reprise of the ‘hoochie show’ she performed in the carnival.

Article Dedication

in honor of

Irving Penn & Annie Leibovitz

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” A society without jaywalkers might indicate a society without artists.”

Paul Theroux

Barbara LeMay Gone Up in Smoke 1975 Daniel D. Teoli Jr. mr

This is a freeze frame documentation of Gone…Up In Smoke! A student film by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. made in 1975 showing Barbara LeMay doing a partial reenactment of the ‘hoochie show’ she performed in the carnival. It was my final exam film for beginning filmmaking class at Los Angeles City College.

Unfortunately, when it came time to show the film for my final exam, the film department stopped me from screening it.  The teachers said the school would shut down the film department if they allowed me to show it.

It was a different world in the 1970’s. Almost no one had tattoos or piercings. Being transgender was under the table. Tuition at L.A.C.C. cost $6.50 a semester and Cal State L.A. was $63 a trimester. For one tuition fee a student could take as many classes as they liked. Houses near the Pico / Fairfax district in L.A., that sell for a million dollars now, only cost $25,000.

 

The film was shot on Super 8mm and has gone through many cycles of degradation, although it was not that high quality to start with. I thought Gone…Up In Smoke! was lost, but it eventually surfaced after being stored for 20+ years in an outdoor garden shed at my mom’s house. When I found it, I put the film on VHS video by projecting it on a blank wall and recording it with a video camera. Years later I copied the video tape onto a DVD. For the stills you see here, I played the DVD and shot the images off the TV screen.

Synopsis of Gone…Up In Smoke!

Barbara is shown enjoying her birds. She hears a knock at the door. Richard shows up. She grabs Richard by the collar and tells him to sit down. He makes some advances towards Barbara which she rebuffs. Barbara does a little modeling for Richard. She powders her privates then hits Richard in the face with the puff. Richard has lunch while he watches Barbara model and dance around. After lunch he lights up a cigarette and offers it to Barbara. Barbara tells him she does not smoke, but is willing to smoke it ‘down below.’  The smoking is so intense that when Richard goes in for a close-up inspection he takes in a lung full of smoke. After watching Barbara smoke the cigarette, front and back, Richard is in for a shock and passes out.

I used the song Always sung by the Ink Spots for music to accompany the film. I had a more livelier version of this song to use for the original film, but it has been lost. Here is a similar version to play while you view the stills.

Filmmaking is tedious work. It requires a good deal of patience and usually lots of cooperation from others. Being kinda shy and having to deal with ADD and a dislike for tedious work, I could see making movies was not for me. The refusal of the film department to allow me to screen my film was also a big turn-off. I felt why should I waste my time making movies that no one will see. So, I gave up on film classes and went back to documentary still photography which proved to fit my personality and skills perfectly.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/biography-of-daniel-d-teoli-jr/

Only last month I realized what an opportunity I missed. Being friends with Barbara, I could have made an artists’ book just about her. Nowadays, with inkjet printing I pop out artists’ books like popcorn. But, back in the old days if we wanted to make a hand-printed photo book we had to do it with wet prints made in the darkroom.  We would get 2 silver gelatin prints and dry mount them back to back to make a page. I did it one time to make a book called A Family Portrait. It is very time intensive and after that, I never made another book from darkroom prints.

I also didn’t have the’ book mentality’ in me until recently. I would get one photo I liked of a subject and then quit shooting them…I was satisfied.  Barbara used to make costumes for the strippers and show girls, she had many interesting friends, her makeup and hair styling – all that could have been documented. Well, I was in my late teens and early 20’s when I knew ‘Babs’, so I just didn’t have the experience.

We can learn an important lesson from Josef Koudleka when it comes to our photography.

“What interests me is taking photographs to the maximum – the maximum that exists in a situation and the maximum that I myself can produce from it.” Koudelka goes on to say he will re-shoot a project repeatedly “to reassure me I have in fact achieved the maximum.”

From the 1981 book World Photography by Bryn Campbell.

Well, the original Super 8 film of Gone Up in Smoke has gone underground again – I tend to lose things a lot. But if and when it resurfaces, I will get a digital transfer made to post online.  In any case, I’m glad a sample of Gone…Up in Smoke! survived and I was able to share some of it with you.

1 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 2 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 3 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 4 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 5 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 6 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 7 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 8 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 9 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 10 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 11 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 12 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 13 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 15 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 16 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 17 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 18 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 19 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 20 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 21. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 22. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 23. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 24. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 25. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 26. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 27.Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 28 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 29.Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 30.Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 31. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 32. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 33. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 34.Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 35. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 36. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 37. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 38. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 39. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 40. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 41 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 42. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 43. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 44. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 45. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 46. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 47. 30 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 48. 31 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 49. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 50. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 51. 32.2 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 52. Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 53 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 54 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 55 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 56 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 57 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr  60 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 61 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 62 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr 63 Barbara LeMay in Gone...Up In Smoke! 1975 mr
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Barbara LeMay was born Sammy Hoover in Morgantown W.V. and died in the early 1990’s.
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64 Barbara LeMay Copyright 1974 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

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The photos below are of Barbara LeMay at an artist ball in Hollywood, CA. They are scans from beat up work prints, as the original negatives were lost. I had more photos of Barbara, but they got destroyed in 2001 from a flood in Ohio.

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http://thelostyearsdt.tumblr.com/

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Batbara Lemay 1 1973 mr Barbara Lemay 2 1973 mr Barbara LeMay copyright 1972 Dnaiel D. Teoli Jr. mr

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*UPDATE: 5.12.16

I found the lost film, had it digitally transferred and put  a copy of the film on the Internet Archive. Here is the link:

https://archive.org/details/GoneUpInSmoke

Photos used herewith are from the following limited edition artists’ books by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

Gender Benders from the 1970’s

Peephole: Peering into the World of 1970’s Hollywood and L.A.

 De Wallen Graffiti copyright 2014 Daniel D. Teoli Jr.