My Holly Golightly and Audrey Hepburn

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Part 1 of 3  (Originally published April 2012)

Last night, during a night of deep and peaceful sleep, I suddenly awoke to the most bizarre sight.  I sat upright on my bed and began hugging my pillow in terror.

But first, let me give you a little background.

My Holly Golightly - she's a Coton de Tulear
My Holly Golightly

Holly Golightly is a Coton de Tulear.  I named her after the character Audrey Hepburn played in the classic film Breakfast at Tiffany’s (my favorite actress and movie).

Audrey and my dog Holly have two things in common – they both have beautiful eyes, and they both have a magical connection to me.

But Danny, Audrey Hepburn passed away several years ago – and Holly, your dog, is just a dog.  What magical connection could you possibly have with either?

Patience, Spanky – patience!

Several years ago, I spent a month in the Land of Toronto – on a highly-classified and very secret mission.  The organization that contracted me cannot be named – I signed a non-disclosure agreement – and I am, if nothing else, a man of my word. Let’s say the company is a significant player in the entertainment world.

I rented a furnished condo in the downtown (Yonge St & College St) area.  The condo building was very secure and had a security guard stationed at the front door, 24/7.

I also chose the condo because the Metropolitan Toronto Police Headquarters is right next door.  I scanned the surrounding area but didn’t notice any SWAT snipers on the rooftops of adjacent buildings.    Naturally, there was a Donut Shop on the same block.

However, I have already mentioned too much – so I’ll get to the part about the Audrey Hepburn and Holly Golightly connection.

About two weeks into my mission, I took a day off.

I had been working long hours in a weird part of the city known as Yorkville.  It is a corridor of trendy boutiques, galleries,  and restaurants – where the rich and famous would gather to shop, dine and giggle.  But these shoppers don’t live in Toronto. They come from the surrounding suburbs such as Mr. and Mrs. Auga (Mississauga), Niagara Falls And Sometimes It Doesn’t (Niagara Falls), Union and Nonunion Ville (Unionville), Dorothy Hamil-ton (Hamilton), and Oshawa (my birthplace).

However, I wasn’t going to spend my day off in Yorkville. I needed a change – someplace exciting.

So I was walking on Bloor Street, just west of Yonge, when suddenly I noticed the ghostly image of a beautiful woman – and she appeared to be staring at me.  I took off my mirrored sunglasses and began rubbing my eyes.

Was I having a drug flashback from the ’60s?

Nope, there she was – as real as real could be.

As our eyes met, she waved for me to come closer – but I stood there – frozen in fear.  She smiled, and it was at that moment that I became sure of her identity – it was Holly Golightly – the character I had worshiped since the ’60s!

And she was about to open the door to a store.  As she entered the store, she briefly turned and looked at me.  Her eyes seemed to be telling me to follow her.

I quickly glanced at the sign above the shop window – Tiffany & Co.  Could this be possible?

I entered the store and noticed a beautiful scent of perfume coming from this mysterious woman.  But it couldn’t be Audrey Hepburn. Heck, she died several years ago.

Who was this woman?

She stopped at the elevator and turned to see if I was still following – I was.

We entered the elevator together – and then the door closed.  Neither of us reached for the ‘floor buttons’ – we just quietly looked at each other.

My body started to shake and tremble with an excitement I hadn’t felt since reaching my first day of puberty.

Who was this woman?

She pressed the 3rd Floor button – and then continued to smile at me.  I took a couple of steps closer to her – close enough to hear and feel her breathing.  But before I could say anything, the elevator door opened.  The mysterious woman then motioned for me to follow her.

I was in shock.  The woman appeared to be Audrey Hepburn/Holly Golightly – but how could this be possible?  Who was this woman?

She was standing by a glass display case – with an assortment of rings.  She looked at me and pointed at one ring in particular. “This one,” she whispered.

And then she vanished.

My heart stopped – and so did time.  I just stood there – numb and in shock.

“Would you like to try it on?’, asked a salesclerk.

“Yes,” I replied, “but first tell me who that lady was!”

“What lady?” he answered.

Part 2 of 3  (Originally published April 24, 2012)

“The lady that was…. that was just…” I stuttered, “she was just here … a few seconds ago!”

“I am very sorry, sir, but I’m the only sales clerk working on this floor today,” he replied. “Are you feeling alright?  Would you like me to bring you a glass of water?”

He appeared to be genuinely concerned.  I knew (based on my many years of sales experience) that I was dealing with a real professional.   He was well-dressed – Brooks Brother suit and patent leather shoes – probably from an exclusive haberdashery in Yorkville.

He also appeared to be ‘edgy’ and somewhat ‘needy,’ as most salespeople paid on a ‘commission basis’ tend to be.

No, thanks.  Maybe I’ll try on the ring.”

The ring was very unusual – it was flexible, comprising of many small, interlocking-silver chains.   Inside it was a small plate with the inscription “T&Co.”

Danny's Tiffany Ring
Danny’s Tiffany Ring

The salesclerk carefully took the ring from the display case and gently handed it to me.  He then stood back (as per the Tiffany & Co. protocol) and allowed me to try on the ring.  He began smiling – which was his way of telling me that he knew he was dealing with a customer from a foreign land.

“Forgive me for the asking, but you don’t appear to be from Toronto.  Are you here for a visit?” he asked.

My body stiffened, and questions began racing through my mind.  How did the sales clerk know I was an outsider?  Was it because I had licked my finger several times, before trying on the ring?  Or was it the ‘Eagles – Hell Freezes Over Tour’ t-shirt that I was wearing?   Torontonians are die-hard fans of Hank Snow, and sadly, rock ‘n roll hasn’t caught on there yet.

“Yes,” I answered, “I’m from Rochester, New York – on a bus charter to see the CN Tower and Ontario Place.”

I felt a bit guilty for lying – but only for about two seconds.

“I’ll take the ring,” I told him. “Don’t bother to wrap it; I’ll wear it.”

Later that afternoon, I returned to the condo.  As I walked through the lobby towards the elevator, I noticed one of the doors closing. I shouted: “Please wait for me!”

The door suddenly stopped and then opened.  I was surprised to see that the elevator was empty.

“Hmmm, the elevator must have high tech voice-sensors,” I muttered to myself.  I pressed the 33rd-floor button and waited as the elevator started moving.

Suddenly I felt someone’s presence behind me – I quickly turned – and there she was –  Holly Golightly – or Audrey Hepburn – or her ghost!

She stared at my hand – and when she saw the ring, her eyes started to twinkle.

She held out her hand – and the ring that Fred had given her (from the Cracker Jack box) suddenly and miraculously changed and became identical to the ring I had just purchased.

Our eyes met, and it was at that moment that I noticed the tears running down her cheeks.  But before I could say anything – she vanished!

As I left the elevator, I noticed a couple exiting their condo and walking down the corridor towards the elevator.  With the couple was a small white, shaggy dog – who started running to me.  It had the most beautiful eyes, and it was amicable.

I introduced myself to the couple (using my alias) and asked them what their dog’s name was and what breed.  They told me it was a Coton de Tulear, and his name was Buddy.  The woman reached into her purse and wrote the name of the breeder on a piece of paper.

“Are you in town long?” they asked.

“No, I will be leaving in a week or two,” I replied.

“Maybe you can join us for dinner or drinks?” they shouted as they entered the elevator.

Buddy, the dog, turned and stared at me – with the same sad expression as the Holly Golightly mysterious woman I had just seen (or hadn’t?) in the elevator.

There was something oddly familiar about that dog – but I wasn’t sure what it was.

Part 3 of 3  (Originally published April 26, 2012)

I saw Buddy several times before leaving the Land of Toronto.  He was such a friendly and lovable dog.   Being with him made me miss having a dog.  Beau, my Pomeranian, had passed away the year before, and I was still grieving his loss.

However, I decided that if I were ever to get another dog, it would be a Coton de Tulear – just like Buddy.

Fast forward to the next year (2008).

I returned to the Land of Ontario to house sit for Linda (my sister) and Brian at their home in Ajax.   They were vacationing in the Land of the Free and had tickets to attend a live taping of the Jerry Springer Show.

Each day I would visit with my Mom at the Parkway Retirement  Home in Pickering – and we would eagerly watch the Jerry Springer Show in the hopes of seeing Linda and Brian in the audience.  Although we never actually saw them in the audience, we were pretty confident that we heard my sister’s distinctive voice screaming of “Jerrrrreeeee – Jerrrrreeeee!”

One day while visiting my Mom – we were talking about Beau (named after my Mom) and how much I missed him.   We were watching television, and the Wheel of Fortune show had just ended (my Mom’s favorite program).

We flipped through the channels – when suddenly – there she was!  No, not my sister, silly!  It was Audrey Hepburn (Holly Golightly) on the Biography channel.

I went numb with excitement and could barely speak. “Mom, that’s my favorite actress of all time,” I explained.  I then told her about my visit to the Tiffany & Co. store in Toronto and buying a ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ ring.

I didn’t mention the Holly Golightly/Audrey Hepburn sightings because she wouldn’t have believed me – who would?

But seeing Holly Golightly/Audrey Hepburn reminded me of that dog, Buddy – and that was the connection!  They both had dark and mysterious eyes.

I quickly checked my address book and found the listing for Buddy’s breeder.  It was long distance – a western Ontario area code.

I dialed the number, and a man answered.

I asked him if he had any pups available, and he indicated that he had just one left – and it was a four-month-old puppy.  I told him that I was very interested and would it be possible to go there the next day to see the dog?  He agreed and then proceeded to give me directions to his farm – it was in the Land of the Mennonites (which explains his rather odd accent).

Early the next morning, I headed out on Hwy. 401, which at that time of the morning, was a continuous 50-mile traffic jam.

I finally reached the breeder’s farm and saw the pup.  She was beautiful – and had eyes just like Buddy!

The breeder told me that she was the last in the litter – and had an issue with her hip – but she was otherwise healthy.  The kennel was a building adjacent to the barn – the dog had never been in a house.

I paid for the dog, and as soon as I got her in the car, I called her by her new name ‘Holly Golightly.’

A few days later, I was on my way back to Vancouver, with Holly in a soft pet carrier under the seat in front of me.  She never made a sound, and despite being confined for several hours – she didn’t relieve herself in the carrier.

But Danny, what about that mysterious Holly Golightly/Audrey Hepburn woman or ghost?

Well, it’s like this.

Not long after getting Holly, I saw another Audrey Hepburn movie ‘Two For The Road’ for the first time – and was ‘crushed’ by the character she played.

She was having an affair – and not being faithful is the one thing that neither Fred or I would ever be able to forgive – regardless of how much we loved her.

It shattered my attraction for Holly Golightly, although I  am sure that Audrey Hepburn was, in fact, a  beautiful woman/person – and nothing like the character(s) she played.

As for Tiffany & Co. – it lost it’s wow factor for me when I learned that Newt Gingrich had a $500,000 line of credit there.

But Danny, what about the terror you mentioned in Part 1?

Well, as I stated, I was in a deep and peaceful sleep when suddenly I awoke – frozen in terror.  The TV in my room was on (I always leave it on during the night – it helps me sleep), and Holly was awake and staring at me.

At first, it was the music – and then I saw the TV screen – it was the scene in the movie where Holly Golightly is on the outside of Fred’s bedroom window in Breakfast at Tiffany’s!  What are the odds?  Spooky!!!

And at the same time, my dog Holly Golightly was staring at me – with the saddest expression – as if she was trying to say, “Don’t give up the dream.”

I got up from the bed and went to the dresser and got my Tiffany & Co. ring.  Holly watched as I put it on my finger – and then she laid her head back down and went to sleep.

And as I laid there beside her, I thought about the mysterious woman from that day, five years ago, on the elevator at Tiffany & Co. in the Land of Toronto.

Hopefully, Fred will never see that Two For The Road movie – it would probably break his heart too!

NOTE!The part about the Jerry Springer Show is fiction – my sister Linda would never watch that show.

Holly Golightly hiding behind Danny
Holly Golightly hiding behind Danny (2007)

UPDATE: I’ll be wearing the ring when I visit Toronto in April (2016) – and who knows?  Maybe I’ll see Audrey’s ghost again.

Dedicated to my Holly



Today’s tune from Danny’s library (published):

Only You Know – lyrics

I wanna see something
That used to be in your eyes again,
I’m waitin’ to see it,
You know it’s only a question of when,
‘Cause I know how much I’m missin’ heaven,
You know that it’s missin’
And only you know where you have been to,
Only you know what you have been through,
There’s better things you’re gonna get into,
And I wanna be there too.

I know it’s not easy
For you to start to believe again
And when the day comes
Don’t let yourself be deceived again
‘Cause I know that you’ve been waiting,
For such a long time that you’ve been waiting
And only you know where you have been to,
Only you know what you have been through,
There’s better things you’re gonna get into,
And I wanna be there too.

‘Cause I know that you’ve been waiting,
Such a long time that you’ve been waiting
And only you know where you have been to,
Only you know what you have been through,
There’s better things you’re gonna get into
And I wanna be there too.
You know I do.

Songwriters: Gerry Goffin / Phil Spector
Only You Know lyrics © Screen Gems-emi Music Inc, Abkco Music Inc, Emi Blackwood Music Inc. O/b/o Mother Bertha Music, Inc.

About Post Author

Daniel (Danny) St. Andrews

An almost famous Film, Television & Stage Actor (as in almost pregnant) living in Vancouver, BC His other passions include cancer patient advocate (he had stage 3 throat cancer), walking with the Vancouver 'Venturers Walking Club, and of course, spoiling his dog, Holly Golightly. If you like the stuff he writes about - please leave a hug (or a comment).
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