Today would have been my friend, Rusty Dennis’ 75th birthday. I first met Rusty in 1984 while she was living in San Francisco. A mutual friend invited me to Rusty’s flat to be part of a study group of Louise Hay’s book, “You Can Heal Your Life” – and indeed Ms. Hay’s book was an inspiration and a connection to a most vivacious unique woman who would become a good friend – Florence "Rusty Dennis" Steinberg Tullis
You might remember her from the movie “Mask”, which was based on her and Rocky, her son. Cher played Rusty in the movie and did quite a good job, but wasn’t quite tough enough, I learned after meeting Rusty.
Rusty was a complex personality with many roles to play. One of which was a mother whose two children were to die before her. I never met Rocky in person although I did meet Joshua, her eldest son, before he died. When Joshua’s illness progressed and he was hospitalized, Rusty asked if I’d spend time with him at the hospital to help him transition, which I did. She bravely accepted his death with her usual, I must go on, attitude.
When people would offer Rusty condolences for the loss of her sons, she’d reply,they’re not lost. I know exactly where they are. They’re dead.
She knew her boys’ spirits stayed around her. One time she showed me a small studio portrait of her and Joshua. Behind them appeared a whitish "ghostly" image of Rocky who had been dead for some time. Was it the photographer's addition -that she denied - or was it truly the spirit of Rocky? Strange and unusual story, but that’s what I saw.
In addition to being a bodacious chick, Rusty was very funny – a quick to laugh out loud! She was an original LOL gal. She would puff up and challenge people and when doing so with me – testing my toughness -- I met her it squarely. She laughed heartily declaring, you’re okay. And darn if she didn’t test my toughness more than once. With her, you had to be on your toes, and shake off her puffing with a laugh. I could dig it and we got along just fine.
Besides a desire to heal our spirits, she and I quickly learned that we had more things in common –– we liked motorcycles (in 1975 bought my own motorcycle, a Honda 550 – big enough for me) - both of us were Gemini’s, and had a great thirst for adventure. And then the glue of the friendship - both had a keen interest in the psyche.
After Joshua’s death Rusty’s interest in spiritual and psychic realm deepened. When she learned that I was a psychic reader and ESP and tarot card teacher, she was eager to learn about her own abilities. It wasn’t long before she became one of my star students.
When I was scheduled to read at SF The Whole Life Expo I encouraged her to do tarot readings too. There she sat in her “colors” reading the cards and loving it! Like many Gemini’s, she was a bit of a ham.
When she moved back to Los Angeles, I visited her a few times driving down with my young son/ We'd had fun with psychic experiences. Once I encouraged to accept an offer to teach a psychic workshop at a fair and to my surprise, she was shy and uncertain – bold and shy. End of story, she rocked.
Another time we stopped by her father’s house and she asked me to show him and her sister an ESP game – open two coat hangers, hold in both hands held together and then point at a person to measure energy. I don’t think he or her sister was all that impressed with me, but Rusty and I had fun. We tripped around LA in her old beat-up VW bug going to metaphysical bookstores, and meeting up with other psychics. We were wild psychic girls!
I think if I had been out of broom closet with my witchcraft back then, she would have declared she was one too just to enjoy spicing up conversation that challenged the image of “society’s norm”.
In time, distance and my growing family eventually caused us to we loss touch.
I know I inspired Rusty to trust her ESP and psychic abilities but in return, she also inspired me to “show” myself more to the world because she had faith in me.
Rusty Dennis will always remain a powerful influence on my life’s work. Thank you, girlfriend.
“I have been inspired by June’s ability to awaken the awareness of many people and to train them to use their metaphysical gifts productively. Her readings and classes allowed me to recognize my own gifts and taught me how to utilize them effectively. Now I successfully do reading and healing for others. June is a loving and knowledgeable person. We could all benefit through the information she shares with us. – Rusty Dennis
Rusty’s review of my book, The Timeless Counselor: The Best Guide to a Successful Psychic Reading. ebook, kindle and other ereaders
more Rusty and me stories on this blog http://witchgoddesses.blogspot.com/2014/02/nspirations-rusty-dennis-had-my-back.html