(MORE magazine just announced that I am finally trending. Gray hair is in for 2015. Well, actually, I’m not grey, I’m platinum, but it’s all the same-all natural and it’s all me. I am not too sure I would’ve wound up letting my true self be exposed if I had not had a very negative thing happened to me in my late 40s that forced me to be who I am.)

Hair Today-Gone Tomorrow and Trending!


They were the most beautiful roses I had ever seen. Their perfumed fragrance drew me toward them and instantly my face caught fire. Masses of giant red ants with glowing eyes enveloped my face injecting their poison into every available inch of my face.

I woke up with my heart racing. Only a dream, I thought, but in a millisecond I realized that in my subconscious nocturnal state I was living what was happening to me in reality. I could hardly open my eyes with the heaviness of what felt like hundreds of Lilliputians weighing down my eyelids. My face burned, mimicking the toxins of swarming bees stinging my face. I got up and looked in the mirror. Everything above my neck was red, swollen and was oozing with tiny blisters. My scalp was an inferno.

It took many doctors and two weeks of sleeping upright in pain until I finally got the proper diagnosis. The culprit behind my suffering? An acute allergic reaction to paraphenylenediamine used in hair dye.

How did I know, I was never tested. With the exception of one time in New York when I had my hair dyed Swiss chocolate, I have always had natural blonde hair. Right after that I experienced what seemed to be a slight facial eczema, but didn’t connect the dots to hair dye.

My acute episode happened in my late 40s when my blonde hair began to look very monotone and faded. I decided to have my hair reverse frosted. That is a process of placing dark blonde streaks going through my colorless hair to brighten it. (Of course my hairdresser never patch tested me for PPD allergy. In addition, that reaction, for years gave me cross reactions to other substances. A real nightmare sorting out to what I was newly allergic and not.)

For awhile my agent suggested I use the vegetable based red henna so that I wouldn’t be put into an ‘aging’ category and could get more acting jobs. But eight years ago, finally getting tired of the process, I said enough is enough and decided to just be me and see what was under all that henna.

And there it was, my white hair hiding under that red mop all those years. “Free at last!”

So I guess in a weird way I can be ever grateful to PPD for forcing me to be me and appropriately age with no pretenses of being other then I am.


Copyright Sandra Hart 2014. All rights reserved.

Be Careful What you Wish



Be Careful What You Wish

Harvey Weinstein, Oscar producer/distributor and the longtime defender of human rights and political freedoms, in reference to the murders in Paris of the cartoonists at France’s satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo by terrorists wrote yesterday, “This preamble hopefully illustrates the humanity and the affection that I think people have for cartoons. From the Sunday funnies like Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie that helped us through the Depression, to Peanuts and Doonesbury, they sometimes provide better wisdom than known philosophers. I’ll take Charlie Brown over Rene Descartes, and put Linus in Socrates’ class, any day of the week. Although it’s Lucy who has the voice of a cartoonist — ironic, funny and eye-opening.”

How very much I relate to his thoughts. When I was a little girl in the late 1940’s living on a farm in Ohio, one of the popular radio shows was called “Archie Andrews” from a comic strip of the day, “Archie”.

Growing up in a farmhouse surrounded by cornfields and livestock, far away from the nearest neighbors down the dusty road, the concept of living in a place like Riverdale with best friends in the same building or next door fascinated me. When my brother clicked on the radio on Saturday mornings so we could eavesdrop on what adventure Archie and his friends were having that week, for that small moment in time, my brother and I lost our isolation and became part of Archie’s family.

Archie’s parents, Mary and Fred Andrews became our parents. His high school, Riverdale High, not the one-room schoolhouse that my brother attended, became ours. Everything about this teenager and his friends Veronica and best buddy, Jughead, were interesting to two kids living a less-than-exciting life on their grandpa’s farm. We longed to live in Riverdale and go to a school just like Archie’s.


Well, as my story unfolds, a few years later, it would be that life threw us a piece of that emancipation pie. We were headed toward Archie’s teenage dream life. I clearly remember looking back, the dust beneath the tires of Daddy’s shiny new Ford slowly obliterating the view of the house as it got smaller and smaller going away from Grandpa’s farm. We were traveling eighteen miles east to live in a real house and in a real town close to Daddy’s work.

My brother and I soon found out that life on Archie’s radio show was much more exciting than it was in our smog filled industrial town. It wasn’t the Riverdale my brother and I had dreamed about. We got our wish alright and we couldn’t wait to graduate from our high school so that we could leave. We would be free to follow our Archie dream once again.

From the time we eagerly drove away from life on Grandpa’s farm those many years ago, I have lived in exactly six places. Several were big city apartments, several suburban houses near big cities and the one that means the most to me is the house on an ocean cliff with the view that fills my heart every day I look out it’s windows. I can stretch my arms wide without touching anything, see and hear no neighbors and have the silence of only what nature brings to me. This house gifts, yes, gifts me peace from all the static in the world around me. Freedom to live where and how I want.


Now in every writer’s toolbox is a thread that ties everything together. It contains the embryo, or idea of the story you want to tell and how it sews neatly together the message you want share with your reader. A quilt of words.

This particular quilt I’m sewing today is, ‘be careful what you wish for in this life’ and be sure to be ready to protect it.

I have been able to live in what I believe to be the greatest country in the world with the best choices in life available. For me, FREEDOM is one of the most important words in the English language. Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Speech. Freedom to be me.

So little Archie girl beware of what you wish. Your dream life in your imagination from the radio or Archie comics may never come true if you and humanity are not careful to honor, appreciate and protect the right to dream.

I don’t ever want to feel stifled. I don’t ever want to feel, as a writer, that I am in a box knocking on the lid crying, “get me out of here!”

Copyright Sandra Hart 2015. All rights reserved.


The Evolution of Rock and Roll


In 1979 my son, Emerson, his sisters and I piled into the car and headed out to our local ASPCA looking for the perfect pet for them to come home to after school. They quickly picked a black furry ball who never stopped wiggling in her cage. She was definitely the one. A schnauzer poodle mix, the nameless pup was placed in the middle of two kids in the back seat and had found a forever home at the Harts.

Now, if you have ever been to any of Emerson’s solo concerts, he often gives his big sisters credit for introducing him to music of the late 70’s and 80’s. Therein lies the name of our new wiggly friend, Quiche Lorraine, from the B-52’s 1979 song of the same name. It just seemed such an obvious fit.

So, in the end Quiche Lorraine, lived for 20 years; long enough to see her young master learn to play the guitar, write songs about girls and trucks, and grow up to write his first platinum album, Lemon Parade. She stayed around just long enough.

So here is on Flashback Friday a memory tribute to the early influence of rock in Emerson’s life, the B-52’s and Emerson and his sisters’ best friend, Quiche Lorraine. A child of the 50’s Bill Haley and the Comets “Rock Around The Clock” was my introduction to Rock, and of course that older guy with whom I celebrate a birthday, Elvis. A high five to the evolution of Rock and Roll.

I Was Somebody. Honestly.


(Forty years ago, in 1975, is when my newest Face
of Miami decided this would be his last stop. Then a popular and inexpensive haven for retirees, Miami was sliding rapidly from it’s Magic City heyday into a senior citizen parking lot.
Then came along the popular television series Miami Vice with Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. When they started filming here in 1984 they opened the lid to expose it’s sunshine, beautiful architecture, turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. And in 1992 Versace settled on Ocean Drive when it was filled with boarded up hotels and snow-birds. Both entities gave exposure to the wide and empty tropical beaches and so began the Renaissance of our tropical paradise. A paradise that those of us who have lived here for at least 10 years or more know that with today’s real estate values, unfortunately, only the super rich can buy into our cherished lifestyle.)

Faces of Miami

On my way home from my morning walk with Sophie along the beach yesterday I stopped to peer into the windows of an empty space that used to be a restaurant, wondering what might be coming there next. In the 10 years we have lived here I think maybe there have been at least four different businesses that have come and gone in that same space.

“There’s a new restaurant coming in there,” said a voice behind me. I turned to see a well dressed elderly gentleman leaning against the bus stop pole with a much worn Priority envelope in his hand.”

“Another one? This corner seems not to be a very good place for any kind of business,” I replied. ‘Come and Go’ should be the name of the next one.”

He chuckled. Then he just looked at me. “Don’t I know you? I’ve seen you before.”

“Well, no, I don’t think so, but maybe you have seen me. I’ve done commercials, movies, television and things like that in New York.”

“What’s your name,” he asked leaning forward so that he could catch the answer more clearly.

I gave him my name and he knit his brows, trying to fit some kind of recognition between the face and the name. “I’m from New York, too. I lived on the upper Eastside and Hal Prince was my neighbor.”

Well, I certainly knew who Hal Prince was. The famous producer of Broadway shows with many of the best-known Broadway musical productions of the past half-century. He has garnered twenty-one Tony Awards, more than any other individual, including eight for directing, eight for producing the year’s Best Musical, two as Best Producer of a musical.

“Do you know the name Lindsay.” he continued.

“John Lindsay, the former mayor of New York?”

“Yes, that’s right. I used to work for him.”

And again I had to admit that I’m old enough to know the name John Lindsay. A U.S. congressman who was elected the mayor of New York City during the 1960s. He was known for his “ghetto walks” and clashes with labor groups. Not to mention he was very handsome in this young woman’s eyes. But eight years later, at the end of his term at City Hall and after a brief run as a Democrat for president in 1972, Lindsay retired. The New York Times Magazine featured his weary face on the cover, with crease lines highlighted by the crises he had. I still thought he was handsome.

“I’ve lived here 40 years now,” my new friend said. New York was a long time ago. See you again sometime. I have coffee at Joe’s every morning,” he offered as the bus arrived at the stop and he climbed aboard.

I continued walking the several blocks toward home once again wondering about chance encounters, the ‘blink-of-an-eye’ lives we all have on this planet and whether the brief connections we have with strangers even matter. I have always be an observer of people, remembering faces, not always names, but am I really so different from most? These chance encounters, conversations, always become the mosaic of who I am.

Copyright Sandra Hart 2015. All rights reserved.


When Love and Life Matter


The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. … However capable and skillful an individual may be, left alone, he or she will not survive. … and the healthy development of its self-confidence all depends directly upon love. Dalai Lama

Faces of Miami

She is an angel of mercy. Formerly a traveling RN from Ohio she came here after working several years in Dubai, fell in love with Miami and stayed making permanent roots under the beautiful palms and banyan-lined streets.

“I work in the ICU for new born babies at a hospital in Miami. It’s a good feeling when the babies survive and eventually go home with their parents, but it doesn’t always turn out that way, unfortunately. Sometimes I rock and cradle them in my arms in their last moments of life. I want them to at least have that comfort. It’s difficult. It never gets easier. We lost three babies last week within hours. A lot of these babies are from poor, or single mother situations. I felt they deserved a better ending, so, my mother and her friends started making baby layettes out of donated wedding dresses. We dress the babies who have passed in these beautiful outfits to give them a final meaning that their lives counted. Even if just hours. To their parents and to us, their lives mattered.”


Copyright Sandra Hart 2015. All rights reserved.