As usual, during my visit with the Dowager Duchess, I looked through some of her 30 or 40 photo albums. At this stage, just about everything has been scanned, but there are a few I haven’t gotten to. My parents were a very good-looking couple — not that that should make a difference. But, I come from an extended family in which looks count for a lot. In one of the albums, I came across some early “glamour” shots of my parents. I supplemented, from the family slides I had already scanned, with early glamour shots of us kids.
|CONEY ISLAND, BROOKLYN, 1948.
(UNBELIEVABLY, THE DOWAGER DUCHESS REFUSED TO POSE FOR A CURRENT PIN-UP SHOT!)
The Dowager Duchess is still beautiful, although she still doesn’t think so. She looks back at old photos and comments, “Well, maybe I wasn’t so bad.” My father, fortunately, never seemed to be aware of his good looks. My friends all had crushes on him, as did most of the divorcées in our apartment building. But, my mother had no reason to worry. She once watched from a distance as he ordered a drink at a restaurant bar. A woman sitting at the bar crossed her legs seductively, batted her eyelashes, held a cigarette to her lips, and asked him for a light. He smiled, passed her the book of matches lying on the bar, picked up his drink, and returned to the table. I, at least, would have lit her cigarette.
|OYSTER BAY, LONG ISLAND, 1960.
I CAN’T BELIEVE WE HAVEN’T HEARD FROM “SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.”
(… AND WHAT IN HELL WAS I WEARING???)