It started with another blog I have and a recent post involving the old television show "Password." This posting showed a male contestant throwing his arms around Agnes and kissing her cheek. It struck me that she looked rather dismayed by his emotional outburst. At first I chalked it up to the fact she didn't know the young man but as I looked furtively through YouTube postings of this show I noticed something I had not really seen before. Agnes nearly always pats, touches or gazes directly at her female teammate but not her male teammates. Hmmm I wondered is this mere coincidence? Not so much. Just ask Francine York.
For those who don't remember Francine played Aphrodite on an episode of "Bewitched." During the shoot Agnes would repeatedly pat Francine on the hand and tell her how beautiful she was. Then it dawned on me that was the same behavior I was seeing on Password particularly with young blonde women. Hand patting and direct eye contact. All this prompted me to take a look at some of the pictures that I have and I found some really interesting things...really interesting.
Two happy people dancing, right? Not so much. Notice her body posture. Her right shoulder is highly tense and pulled backward away from him. Her head is tilted to the side back and away from him Her eyes are looking downward and her upper body is pulled backwards away from him. Her hips are tensed to the right and backwards away from him. She's only up against him because he has pulled her that way. Underneath his fingers the velvet of her gown is creased from his grip. Over all she is extremely tense denoting fear.
With few exceptions.
Believe me I could go on forever about this. It makes you look at each photograph searching for the nuances of body position, eye contact, and level of angst or comfort. It boils down to this. For the most part she was uncomfortable with men. Paul Gregory called her a "meat grinder" and said that Jack Lee never stood a chance with her. He also said that she was a "tough, tough woman." I think that Agnes spent her entire life being comfortable, for the most part, with women and chose men who were either abusive as Jack Lee was, a user as Robert Gist was, or gay as Cesar Romero was and as Quint Benedetti were. She spent her life guarding her private world from the prying eyes of the public but put herself on display at every event she attended, hosted or was involved in. Beyond the mere appearance of the photo, she was there. She was veiled but she was there in all her glory for those of us willing to look and those of us willing to see.