All That Glitters
In the early 60s, the world was treated to the first exhibition of the treasures of King Tut, and the exhibit had even made its way to a museum in the greater Los Angeles area. Frank and my sister went to this exhibit, as did I, though this was an expensive outing, and as I was young I only recall impressions of gold items detailed in jet black and dark blue stone. Though just feet away from me in the glass, because of the crowds I really couldn't see the items anywhere near as well as the Life magazine article featuring them. There were images, though, of young men with deep black hair and large eyes, and I must point out that it seemed Frank saw an expression of himself everywhere in the world, sometimes. The ancient Egyptian stick figures were wrapped in what looked like white pleated skirts, some figures with their bare chests adorned by heavy amulets. The museum I recall was packed with people, and uncomfortably so, and we'd had to hover for awhile in this viewing area to kill time until being allowed to stampede en masse into an exhibition hall for the hourly tour.
In that period, white pleated skirts were a popular outfit for girls in my geography. I owned one. They were difficult item to maintain, as it turned out. The first inkling I had that Frank was a most unusual person was when I returned home one way to discover that Frank with my sister's guidance had retrieved my white pleated skirt from my closet and had tried it on. Not only that, but he had worn it a bit around the living room, much to the hilarity of my sister, and she'd adjusted the waistband with a series of safety pins and a clothes pin to accomodate Frank's beanpole waistline. I could only ask if he were practicing to become King Tut. Frank Zappa sometimes wore my clothes .... at least once when I found him out, and on the sly, when I wasn't there to protect them. This is not something I would share with the world at large back then, and wasn't so sure what to make of it ... but my Mother seemed to think the incident was ridiculously funny, so it was okay. Though neither my mom or my sister and indeed probably no one at all could answer my inevitable question, "Why did he do it?"