LAST MONTH I found myself researching and writing about the Pink Lady apple for the New England Apples weblog. A beautiful apple with a conical shape and distinctive pink blush, its name evoked images of the black-and-white Perry Mason television show I grew up on during the early 1960s, which I watched again and again in reruns during several other life stages. I even titled the apple post “The Case of the Pink Lady” in homage.
I could easily envision one of Perry’s blonde bombshells in distress being assigned the mysterious nickname, perhaps because of what she wore — or was alleged to have been wearing — at the crime scene, her face conveniently hidden, or because a Pink Lady cocktail (made with gin, grenadine, and egg white) was her signature drink (on which she left her lipstick at the bar to a frenetic jazz score).
In the episode’s denouement (to compound the metaphors), where Perry reveals how he caught on to the murderer, the hunk private eye Paul Drake, he of the hubba hubba school, would comment salaciously after a tomato like the Pink Lady left Perry’s office, “look at them apples!” while Della Street, Perry’s secretary, clucked mild disapproval.
So when I finished this painting recently, its title was obvious.