Spending time with Cleo Melchior at the Melchior residence in July 2012. This photo was taken the night before I left Los Angeles.
Born on June 1, 1927, Cleo worked as a landscape architect who specialized in designing swimming pools. She had several celebrity clients, some of whom she told me about over many dinners we would have together.
I first met Mrs. Melchior in September 2009 when I traveled to Los Angeles to visit some friends. This was shortly after I relocated to Rancho Mirage, CA, after a four-year stay in North Dakota. In 2008, I interviewed Ib Melchior for G-FAN magazine about his monster movies, and shortly thereafter I also reviewed his book Melchior A La Carte for the magazine. When I moved back to California, Ib kindly invited me to stay at his home if I wanted to come to L.A. Of course, I readily accepted the invitation.
I spent the night at Ib and Cleo's house and was privileged to get to know them. But that was only the beginning. Over the next year and a half, I would visit the Melchiors several times, staying at their home when I would come to the L.A. area.
With Cleo and Ib Melchior at a book signing for Ib's book Six Cult Films from the Sixties in June 2010.
Thoughts of my last moments at the Melchiors' home has been running through my mind ever since I read the heart-breaking news. Cleo Melchior was like a grandmother to me, and I'll always remember her warmth, kindness, and humor. She and Ib were a great couple, and I'm so glad they were able to find each other. If you didn't believe in the concept of soulmates before meeting the Melchiors, you would have afterward. They were a perfect pair.
As much as I could go on about Cleo, words seem so futile to me now. Those of us who knew and loved Cleo mourn her loss, and we send our condolences to Ib.