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bigger than barbie
Setting our the beaded animals
and dolls for the screening

bigger than barbie
Women in Film members
show off their purchases

My personal 4 animals, which
will be added to soon

Jim reads his Wedding Poem

All dressed up for a
Women in Film event

Jim and I in front of Jim Hester's
1936 Chrysler truck.

At our Thanksgiving lunch

We saw a film called "Bigger than Barbie" at a film festival in Los Angeles, a film that introduced us to the amazing women artists of Khayelitsha township near Cape Town. The women, many of them taking care of their grandchildren as the parents had died of AIDS, many of them HIV positive themselves, make the most beautiful beaded animals and dolls. Each piece is unique. Their work is marketed around the world by Monkeybiz, based in Cape Town.

At the screening we attended, a US based group, ArtaidsArt, brought many of the beaded objects to sell before and after the screening. We got to know Tom Harding of ArtaidsArt and he told me they were raising money to build a multi-purpose community center (eKhaya eKasi Center) in the township where the women may gather to do their beadwork together.

I determined to put on a screening of the film for my Women in Film members and also to try and raise money for the center. Raleigh Studios was kind enough to offer us the Chaplin Theatre for free and Tom came with lots of items for sale. Just before the main film, Tom showed a short film about the center and the progress in building it.

We were able to raise $1500 in sales during that evening, all of which went to Africa.

Jim and I will be able to visit the completed center when we visit Cape Town in December, as it will have opened two weeks before, on Dec. 1st, which is World AIDS Day.

Do check out:


We've been together since July 3, 2004... in April 2005 architect Jim Weeks and I decided to make it legal.

Being in love at my age is a great gift! We had a wonderful party in May at a local Italian restaurant with close friends. In 2004, when we were still in the courting stage, and I had been traveling, Jim had sent me poems by fax.

Here's a poem that was sent to Malta:

I know I've been a little lax,
About sending you a simple fax.
But there is not a lot for me to say,
Except I wish you weren't away...
And that I love you to the max,
But then, I'm only stating facts.
I know that you know that I
"know you" very well...
So anything I add can only
Be construed as hard sell.
Like: I think of you so often,
My brain begins to soften
And as my work begins to suffer
I can't use it as a buffer...
To stop thinking about you, and
Get my head out of the sand.
But that's enough of this rambling stuff.
Have yourself a good "rest of the trip"
And get back on that return airship.

So I asked Jim if he would write a poem for the wedding party. I told the guests about the faxes and read them the above poem, and then Jim got up and read the following:

Time, it appears, has been on my side,
And has saved the best for last.
Time has forgiven my meandering ways
And my rollercoaster past.
By sending me June in my twilight days
Time has, by all of the above;
Brought to my life in its final phase
My last, but everlasting love.
June. You make me bloom!

Not too many dry eyes among the female guests present, and it was the best wedding present I could have.

Martha Coolidge
and me at lunch.

As moderator I got to ask some tough questions.

Charlie and Keith on the back
terrace of the Villa Nellcote.

Jack and I at the party for the film "The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack", held at the Riverhorse Cafe, Park City, Utah.

We did a concert for some English expatriates in Majorca, Spain.

Winter in Paris. Jack loved
to look at the Seine.

We performed for the
Norwegian radio in Oslo.

We did a photo spread for an Italian Magazine and when we couldn't find a horse to ride we settled for this carriage in a Rome park.

Jack and I explored Greece
by scooter.

Mick Jagger
When I went to work for the Rolling Stones I found out that Mick, Keith and the others were big fans of Ramblin' Jack.

In November I produced and moderated another seminar for Women In Film at the AFM. The subject was Chick Flicks.

Director Martha Coolidge was one of the panelists and all of us had lunch together before the panel started. The event was very well received.

I had long wanted to do a seminar on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and was able to put one together for the day after their Golden Globe nominations were announced. Our panelists, from 4 different countries, explained the how the association functions, how they became members and how the nominations are arrived at.

Aiyana Elliott Dahl called me and asked if I remembered a photographer named Edmund Teske, from Topanga Canyon days.

She said the Getty Museum was doing an exhibit of his work and that there was a beautiful photo of Jack taken during that period.

I went up to investigate. The photo of Jack, nude except for his guitar, was hung in a very prominent place on the front panel of the exhibit. He looked like the boy I met those many years ago. A passerby took a photo of me looking at the photo with her cell phone and then emailed it to me. It brought back a lot of memories.

Looking back in time to when
I met Jack in Topanga Canyon.

Joan Quinn and June Shelley

Recent Television Interview:

I got interviewed for a local TV station about my book. It was really fun but only lasted fifteen minutes. Everyone who knows me knows that I can talk non-stop for an hour!

I am thrilled to be part of a new book called "Exile". It's about an incredible summer in the South of France when the Rolling Stones were recording their new album "Exile on Main Street". I was their personal assistant at the time so was able to contribute some stories to the book, along with Bill Wyman, Mick Taylor, Robert Greenfield and Georgia Bergman among many others.

At the core of the book are the wonderful photos of Dominique Tarlé, a Parisian photographer who spent several months in the area taking pictures of the Stones. Do check out the Genesis-Publications web site for more details on this wonderful project.

Some of you may have heard of or seen the documentary film "The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack" which recently played in theatres around the country. Getting involved with the film has been an exciting experience. Here's how it all came about:

I first heard about Jack Elliott
, later known as Ramblin' Jack Elliott in 1955, from a friend who had heard him play in Topanga Canyon at Will Geer's theatre. The friend brought me out there and I met the man who would change the direction of my life. Up to that point I had been concentrating on being an actress, earning my living as an artist's model but was really planning and saving to go to Europe. Jack came around to see me where I lived on Woody Trail in the Hollywood Hills and soon moved in. He thought the name Woody Trail (like in "Woody" Guthrie) was a significant omen. After several months he decided we should get married but I was still focused on heading abroad. We compromised; we did get married and went to Europe together. Derroll Adams, Jack's banjo playing buddy from Topanga was the best man at our wedding.
When Jack and I were young and in love and in Denmark.

We traveled all over Europe and Israel, singing on the streets (I was the one passing the hat and got real good at it) and later in small clubs. Some of this was with Derroll, whom we had brought to Europe. We also made some records in England and Italy and toured with a skiffle band through Denmark and Germany. Tours with the Weavers, Peter Seeger and the Platters followed. I finally decided to leave Jack and move on to the Far East.

There was a long period when I was pretty mad at him, because he wouldn't give me a divorce. He really earned his Ramblin' name by that time as his life was pretty much spent on the move. After a trip home to the States from Japan, where I was then living dubbing film into English and doing some acting, I managed to get my divorce. I had no further contact with Jack for several years. I did read an erroneous report in a newspaper that he had died, but found out later it was not true.

When I was back living in France, and married to Sidney, my writer second husband, I got hired to be the Rolling Stones' personal assistant in 1970. To my great surprise, they knew all about Jack, had all of his records, admired him, had been influenced by him and because of the connection, my relationship with the Stones was made much easier. After all, as they put it, wasn't I "Ramblin' Jack's ex-old lady?".

I finally returned to live in the States in the 80's after almost 25 years of living abroad. I got up the courage to go hear Jack play at McCabes in Santa Monica on a trip to California. At that point in my life I was living and working for ABC in NYC. Jack was astonished but pleased to see me and that started a friendship, uneasy at first, but now rock solid.

Eventually, his daughter, Aiyana Elliott, tracked me down and we became friends. I was taped for her film "The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack" and got involved in a small way in the production. The film was chosen for the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize. I've stayed friends with Ramblin' Jack and his new wife Jan and hope to do so for the rest of our lives.

I don't regret leaving Jack when I did, as something in me needed to go and see the rest of the world on my own. I do regret those many years when, selfishly, I did not even bother to wonder where he was or if he was well, happy or even just OK. I was not completely aware of all his albums that were out in the market. Now I own them all.

My book "Even When It Was Bad... It Was Good" goes into my early life with Jack and my working for the Rolling Stones in much more detail. The book is done, but I do consider my life a work in progress. What's next?


Read about June's other recent adventures:


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