So, Ginger’s gone. Flown away.
Long ago, some thousand or so years it seems, the Firesign Theatre was forming itself through a series of accidents in the hills of Los Angeles and making friends among the artistic communities of Hollywood and Mixville and Silverlake. In those hills live and have lived and will live many most inventive and strange people and generation by generation, the hills absorb these people and house them in the jungle of little bungalows that dot the twisting lanes and canyons. We made friends with a number of women, younger than ourselves by seven or twelve years or so, the girls of the Class of ’67 (in Oona’s case) and of the years and classes surrounding. In a couple of cases, we married into them (Oona and I, Tiny and David for a time) or lived with them (Phil Proctor and Cathy Cozzi) or romanced them (Peter and Liz Plum) but most were friends and associates and Ginger Russell was chief among them along with her friend Cappy, now known by her real name of Kathy O’Mara. And the three friends from Nightinjail Jr.High – Tinika and Cappy and Ginger – were in attendance at virtually every early FST performance, had their pictures taken in strange masks, were witnesses to an older world that, I suspect, they barely noticed through the hilarious fog of their youth and beauty and charm and – sorry – innocence.
And Ginger had the laugh. She had such a ringing of a laugh, such a stunning laugh. And it’s on every recording of everything we did; on all the old shows, the old radio recordings. And I’ll always remember Ginger for her amazing forthright intelligence, for her immense kindness and mostly for her friendship. She was one hell of a girl, among a bunch of women who were somehow smart and funny and exceptional. We were lucky, us guys.