My Darling Vivian, the insightful documentary about San Antonio native Vivian Liberto Cash, the first wife of singing legend Johnny Cash, sheds a new light on a famous relationship, according to our own Lance Avery Morgan.
Photography courtesy of My Darling Vivian and Amazon Prime
In the days before the self-imposed spotlight of the media glare, fame looked different in the 1950s and 1960s. In the new documentary, My Darling Vivian, about the love affair, marriage and children of singer Johnny Cash and his San Antonio native wife, Vivian Liberto, a thoughtful look is given at how a deep love formed under the media scrutiny on the couple. The film’s title, an homage to the plethora of love letters sent between the duo, is a valentine to the life and fortitude of its primary subject, Vivian Liberto Cash Distin, a vibrant Texas woman.
The project underscores Vivian’s childhood as the middle daughter of strict Italian Catholic parents, to her teenage romance (and subsequent three-year-long correspondence with the thousand letters) with Johnny Cash–in which she reveals to him an inferiority complex rooted in her exotic appearance. Her new life in Memphis as a woman in love; a first-time mother who finds out she’s pregnant with her second child just six weeks after the birth of her first; and as the wife of a door-to-door salesman turned-overnight-music- sensation all played out like an epic soap opera. Eventually, the family moves to Los Angeles and Johnny almost immediately becomes absent due to his devotion to performing, fame…and drugs. Told through rare home movie footage, as well as hundreds of vintage photos, the beautifully produced project, with a lush orchestral score, is devoted to their relationship as seen through the eyes of the Cash’s four daughters, Roseanne, Kathy, Cindy, and Tara.
“My mother’s own story has often been lost or misinterpreted to serve a myth,” shared Roseanne Cash. “This elegant film about her–the real Vivian Liberto, not the Hollywood version–is painful but compassionate, wrenching but true. Even though she was an intensely private woman, I think she longed to have her story told, and her place in the history of my family acknowledged with respect and love. Matt Riddlehoover and Dustin Tittle have succeeded in giving her that place. My sisters and I are deeply moved by and grateful for My Darling Vivian.” The family affair element was firmly in place since Tittle, a producer on the project, is also a grandson of Vivian and Johnny Cash.
Many recall the 2005 OscarÒ-winning film starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon and Johnny and June Carter Cash. The role of Vivian Cash, played by Ginnifer Goodwin, portrayed her as a psycho victim who was jealous of her husband’s musical career. As the documentary unfolds, nothing could be further from the truth and it’s easy to see how Vivian loathed being the “other woman” to Johnny’s career, which came first, before his family, and then, to June Carter, Cash’s second wife, with their very public relationship that helped sell millions of records.
As in all lives, there are good times and often, just as many tragedies. The seven-year nightmare of the family living in Casitas Springs in Ventura County, with four young daughters, included sleepless nights waiting up for the husband who rarely arrived. In the midst of losing Johnny to June Carter, the all-hours visits from fans deprived her of any semblance of safety, compounded by a frightening race-related scandal in 1966, which led to threatening letters from the Ku Klux Klan, eventually pushing her to a mental breaking point.
The personal toll that Vivian’s divorce from Johnny took on her was immense, which included being excommunicated from the Catholic church, and the “unspoken bargain” that was her second marriage. Happily, her trying to regain her identity led to a social and creative blossoming, despite having to witness the aggressively perpetuated myth of Johnny and June’s love story.
The heartfelt film, full of the loving retrospective of Vivian Liberto Cash Distin’s life, is a rollercoaster ride of emotions and is served up perfectly in a beautifully told story with a musical and Texas perspective. “Her life was romantic and bewildering, difficult and significant, and wholly filmatic–more than a mere footnote in the biography of Johnny Cash,” said Matt Riddlehoover, the film’s director. Visit Amazon Prime to access the film.
Now, more than ever, we welcome a refreshing stability with some favorite classic staples…as well as escapism with these noteworthy trends to represent our strength, exuberance, and optimism. Here are some of the best, and prettiest, finds emerging this season, according to our beauty expert, Ana Bribiesca Hoff.
Referred to as an overnight facelift in a jar, the Overnight Facial Mask from John Masters Organics contains natural exfoliants such as pomegranate enzymes and fruit acids. It instantly brightens skin and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and with regular, consistent use, the results are even more dramatic. $60. At John Masters.
FLOWERS AT DUSK
The drop in temperature calls for a shift in your fragrance. You will smell heavenly with The Harmonist Moon Glory, a dusk-inspired formula combining the distinctive Hawaiian Jasmine, the alluring Queen of the Night Flower, and sultry Passionflower scents. $336. At Neiman Marcus.
POWER THAT LIP
The classic red lip provides glamour and comfort during times of unrest. Offering endless possibilities with a broad range of hues, the power red pout is undoubtedly our go-to this season. Try Westman Atelier Lip Suede, a luxurious lip color palette with four vibrant shades. $85. At Westman Atelier.
This season’s naturally dewy skin and fresh-faced radiance require the right products. Try Chanel Sublimage Le Teint Ultimate Radiance, an exquisite, lightweight creamy foundation that offers flawless coverage for a glowing, healthy, and luminous look. $135. At Neiman Marcus.
Goth-punk touches from the 90s are more glamorous than ever. Moody, Bordeaux lips provide a hint of dark romance and dimension. Try Hourglass Cosmetics Confession Ultra Slim High-Intensity Refillable Lipstick in When I’m Alone. $36. At Neiman Marcus.
Pops of optimistic, bright colors give a warm welcome to the chilly months. This trend is all about the less-than-perfect eyelid, and smudgy streaks of vibrant color across the brow bone. Our favorite? Texas Made, of course. Try Anastasia Beverly Hills Alyssa Edwards Eyeshadow Palette for gorgeous looks. $60. At Sephora.
Gold is a must for all-out-fall-glam. Try Nars Limited Edition Multi-Use Gloss in Working Girl for gilded shimmer and shine that take your look to another dimension. $24. Then, take the ethereal and radiant look one step further with Diorshow Liquid Mono Eyeliner in Gold Twinkle for a touch of glittering, magical gold. $30. Both at Neiman Marcus.
Glowy, dewy skin has become a staple. But this season debuts something different for this trend with a heightened freshness. Try Lancer Dani Glowing Skin Perfector to achieve the coveted, heavenly, dewy effect without masking your naturally beautiful skin. $95. At Saks Fifth Avenue.
ALL OVER GLIMMER
As the temperature drops, make sure you incorporate a decadent, ultra-moisturizing body oil for all over soft, smooth, and glowing skin. Try Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile Shimmering Oil, a shimmering veil with subtle gold particles. At Acqua di Parma.
Dermapore Grey, from Dermaflash, is a unique two-in-one ultrasonic skincare device that deep cleans pores and infuses your favorite skincare products, revealing a brighter, healthier complexion. $99. At Dermaflash.
Center For Child Protection’s PlayBingo Raises Funds
By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Christina Murphy and Haley Plotkin
THE SETTING: Pre-COVID-19, Austin’s JW Marriott Hotel was the setting for one of Austin’s most anticipated annual events. Over 1,200 of the Capital City’s most influential female voices gathered at the PlayBingo ladies luncheon for an unforgettable afternoon of fun and fundraising…with a few dazzling prizes thrown in for good measure.
THE STYLE: The welcoming spirit of the event was felt the second guests stepped off of the escalators and into the ballroom foyer, where one could find the crowd delightfully swept up in the spirit of the occasion. While perusing over 140 silent auctions, one could spot quite a few cohesive looks, which was done by design. Most of the tables of 10 dressed thematically in complementary ensembles of white, black, and pastel colors, with several sporting feathers, which gave the event an added punch of fun. The festivities continued in the grand ballroom of the JW Marriott for the main event–bingo. As the games were played, several winners claimed their prizes, capping off the afternoon with a final award, which was a raffle ticket for a car courtesy of Mercedes Benz of Austin.
THE PURPOSE: PlayBingo, put on by the Friends of Christopher Guild, raised over $885,000 for the Center for Child Protection, which is a nationally accredited children’s advocacy center offering services such as forensic interviews, counseling, and medical exams to children who have witnessed violent crimes or are suspected victims of physical or sexual abuse. For the first time ever, the PlayBingo Ladies Luncheon is going virtual. Join them on October 24 for a fabulous afternoon benefiting the Center for Child Protection. Individual and House Party tickets start at $150 and are available, until sold out, through October 1. For more information, visit CenterforChildProtection.org/events.
World Affairs Council Event Lifts City’s International Profile
By Jake Gaines Photography by Dos Kiwis Studios
THE SETTING: Before COVID-19, the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts was the setting for the World Affairs Council of San Antonio’s 2020 International Citizen of the Year Award dinner. The event honored the Morgan’s Wonderland park’s Gordon Hartman for helping lift San Antonio’s international profile. Morgan’s Wonderland is the first-of-its-kind amusement park that is designed specifically for children with special needs and their families. The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation pursues his family’s dream of helping children and adults with special needs. His daughter Morgan, born with cognitive and physical challenges, was the source of inspiration. Over the past decade, Hartman has been recognized for his innovative designs and ingenuity in opening multiple non-profit fully-accessible theme parks for special-needs individuals.
THE STYLE: The keynote speaker for the gathering was Ambassador Roman Popadiuk, who had served as the first U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine under President George H.W. Bush. Former Ambassador Popadiuk is an expert on U.S.-Ukrainian relations and other national security issues. He is a retired career member of the Senior Foreign Service, and was executive director of the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation at Texas A&M University. He currently serves as president of the Diplomacy Center Foundation. The event featured an interview with the Ambassador by Dr. Paul D’Anieri, University of California Riverside professor and expert on Ukraine.
THE PURPOSE: This is the 35th year the organization has hosted the annual event. Founded in 1982, the World Affairs Council of San Antonio’s mission is to promote public understanding of world affairs and United States foreign policy and to enhance the ability of the community and future leaders to participate as global citizens. The Council accomplishes its mission by presenting programs such as the Distinguished Speaker Series, Global Issues Luncheons, Diplomat Salons, the Marshall Memorial Fellows, Young Professional events, and youth engagement outreach. A not-for-profit and non-partisan organization, it is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America.