Thursday, May 19, 2016

A Tribute to One of the Finest First Ladies

To commemorate today, the 22 year mark of Jacqueline Kennedy's passing, enjoy this tribute.

There was no one like her. In every way, she epitomized grace, elegance, and beauty.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Jackie!

Hard to believe, but if she were still alive, our favorite First Lady, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, would've been 86 today. It's not a stretch to imagine what her life might've been like: reading, spending time at Martha's Vineyard, traveling to Paris to visit with her sister, Lee; enjoying dinners and walks in Central Park with Maurice Templesman. Maybe she'd be retired from editing, or only taking on that rare, occasional project that she was passionate about.

What's most difficult is picturing her without John Jr. Would his fate had been any different, if Jackie had lived longer? Impossible to say.

But in Jackie's memory, enjoy a few of my favorite pictures.

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Drive-by of the Kennedys' Palm Beach Home

Hi Everyone! I'm just returning from a family vacation in Palm Beach, FL, and I couldn't resist doing a drive-by of the Kennedys' former home. Wanted to share my (somewhat 'ehh') pictures with the group. The first three were taken from inside the car. This was as 'close' as we could get driving by. I didn't realize until later that the picture of the door (pic #3) was the same location where the family paused for pictures for Easter Sunday 62 and 63 (pic #4 & 6). How fun! Pic #5 shows the door from the curb. The other pics (#1 & 2) show what you can see from the road, but this is not the main house. Sadly, the Kennedys no longer own the home, and it does give the impression that it's in need of TLC. Amazing to think of the history that home represents.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Jackie - Ethel...Friendship

If you’re a Kennedy fan like me, then you’re well aware of the (hmm, how best to say it…) friendship / contrast between Jackie and Ethel Kennedy. Scrolling through my newsfeed one day, I happened upon this pic of the two of them.
For me, so many things come to mind. First off, they both look genuinely happy with each other’s company and as though they’re having a pleasant conversation. Don’t worry. Jackie and Ethel weren’t the kind of ladies who would brawl or scrap, but apart from their roles as Kennedy wives, they had a hard time finding common ground.

Ethel was quick to tease Jackie and to make fun of her, especially around the other Kennedy women. Ethel, and eventually a few of the other Kennedy gals, enjoyed ribbing Jackie for her Debutante of the Year title, her ‘big feet’, and her taste for fine things, which included art and French cuisine.
Ever the graduate from Miss Porter’s finishing school, Jackie wasn’t one to return the jabs. She endured the comments and remained the quiet one among the Kennedy clan. The other ladies often mistook her demeanor as being snobbish. But there are three things to always remember about Jackie Kennedy: Her kindness never faltered; she was a near-perfect wife, mother, and full-blooded American patriot; and she had a sharp, quick wit.

However, Jackie struggled to fit in, or more precisely, to be accepted for who she was, in the Kennedy family. They were boisterous, enjoyed heated debates during dinner and physical games after, and believed in public service. Challenging qualities for Jackie, who was reserved, notoriously private, and had no passion for politics. You’d have a hard time remembering Ethel wasn’t Kennedy-born, as she was a natural fit: she gave birth to 11 children (surpassing family matriarch Rose and her 9 children), once jumped into a swimming pool during a dinner party, and desperately wanted to be first lady.

But in the picture above, another interesting element is Ethel’s ensemble. Jackie became known for her fashion choices, but in this photo, Ethel’s dress has a better fit–and she’s accessorized with gloves and pearls! Is she mocking Jackie? (Probably not, but it’s too fun NOT to say it.)
And who knew they would have the same taste in handbags? When you think of alligator bags, it definitely takes you back to a long-gone era, where ladies mopped all day, shopped, and watched soap operas. (Are alligator bags still stylish, or has PETA outlawed them?)

If you’re interested in reading more about Jackie, Ethel, and their conflicts, check out my novel, O! Jackie , where they clash over more than dinner etiquette and accessories.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Marilyn Monroe and James Dean

I recently posted a few pictures / paintings that featured Marilyn with James Dean. While it was obvious that most were photoshopped (the pics, that is), it did get me wondering, What was the relationship between Marilyn and James, and did they ever date???

Here's what I found:


Marilyn Monroe and James Dean never dated. They never even met each other when they were alive. Monroe was several years older than him. While Dean was starting to establish his career and status in Hollywood, his life ended abruptly. Monroe died several years later as well. They each lead their own lives.

 However, both Monroe and Dean are considered icons in Pop Culture.
Both died very young. They are often depicted in art indicating that their beauty and tragic lives.

Monroe and Dean allegedly met once during the premiere of his debut film East of Eden(1955) and apparently disliked each other over 'Hollywood differences' (she enjoyed the spotlight and he hated it). They would've made an attractive couple though.


Interesting, isn't it? And for some reason, it almost makes sense that they knew each other and dated briefly. But, didn't happen.

Just something else to dream about.....

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Marilyn and Joe...Crazy Love?

Have you ever heard of The Wrong Door Raid? Possibly, if you're a Marilyn fan or Rat Pack fan, but surprisingly, many haven't heard of this outrageous tale.

Although Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had quite the love affair, their union ended in divorce after less than a year of marriage. However, it's fair to say that Joe had a hard time getting over Marilyn.

(The following info / retelling is from June 5, 2011 L.A. Time article by Steve Harvey)

One version of the story holds that Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra were having dinner at the Villa Capri restaurant in Hollywood on a November evening in 1954 when they got the tip: A private investigator phoned to say the ballplayer's estranged wife, Marilyn Monroe, was inside a nearby apartment building, possibly with a lover.

Without bothering to pay the bill, DiMaggio stormed out of the eatery, followed by Sinatra and various associates, as well as Billy Karen, the restaurant maitre d'.Someone volunteered to pay the bill later, but the maitre d' responded that the bill was no problem, he just wanted "in on this thing."

A few minutes later, the group kicked in an apartment door on Waring Avenue. They found not Monroe but a lone resident, Florence Kotz, who was in her bed, screaming in terror, witnesses later related.
One of the fascinating aspects of the Wrong-Door Raid, as it came to be known, was how easily it was covered up. Half a century ago, paparazzi didn't stake out celebrity haunts, so there was no initial alert that anything was up.
Later, police were called to the apartment building but, as was their job back then when big celebrities were involved in some sort of mischief, they just took a report and calmed everybody down.
No charges were filed.
Kotz didn't rush out and file a lawsuit.
And the scandal-wary Times published no story on the affair for more than two years.
 Pictures of Marilyn from the press conference, where she announced her separation / divorce from Joe.
I've read a few accounts of The Wrong Door Raid. Some contend that Sinatra stayed in the car, others say he was part of breaking down the door--and that the door was broken down with an axe!
I've also read that Florence filed charges a year later and settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. 
Marilyn WAS in the apartment building, which was not a typical apartment complex that we tend to think of nowadays. She was in the apartment next door, visiting her friend Sheila.
Ah, the scandals of Old Hollywood.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Marilyn's Lost Loves, pt. 3

Joe DiMaggio

(most info from

It was the ultimate All-American romance: the tall, handsome hero of the country’s national pastime captures the heart of the beautiful, glamorous Hollywood star. But the brief, volatile marriage of Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio–the couple wed on this day in 1954–barely got past the honeymoon before cracks began to show in its brilliant veneer.

In 1952, the New York Yankees slugger DiMaggio asked an acquaintance to arrange a dinner date with Monroe, a buxom blonde model-turned-actress whose star was on the rise after supporting roles in films such as Monkey Business (1952) and a leading role in the B-movie thriller Don’t Bother to Knock (1952). The press immediately picked up on the relationship and began to cover it exhaustively, though Monroe and DiMaggio preferred to keep a low profile, spending evenings at home or in a back corner of DiMaggio’s restaurant. On January 14, 1954, they were married at San Francisco City Hall, where they were mobbed by reporters and fans. Monroe had apparently mentioned the wedding plans to someone at her film studio, who leaked it to the press.

While Monroe and DiMaggio were on their honeymoon in Japan, Monroe was asked to travel to Korea and perform for the American soldiers stationed there. She complied, leaving her unhappy new husband in Japan. After they returned to the United States, tension continued to build, particularly around DiMaggio’s discomfort with his wife’s sexy image. One memorable blow-up occurred in September 1954, on the New York City set of the director Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch. As Monroe filmed the now-famous scene in which she stands over a subway grate with the air blowing up her skirt, a crowd of onlookers and press gathered; Wilder himself had reportedly arranged the media attention. As her skirt blew up again and again, the crowd cheered uproariously, and DiMaggio, who was on set, became irate.

DiMaggio and Monroe were divorced in October 1954, just 274 days after they were married. In her filing, Monroe accused her husband of “mental cruelty.”

In February 1961, she was admitted to a psychiatric clinic; it was DiMaggio who secured her release, and took her to the Yankees’ Florida spring training camp for rest and relaxation. Though rumors swirled about their remarriage, they maintained their “good friends” status. When the 36-year-old Monroe died of a drug overdose on August 5, 1962, DiMaggio arranged the funeral. For the next two decades, until his own death in 1999, he sent roses several times a week to her grave in Los Angeles.

Although Joe made his mark as husband no. 2, it's fair to say that their relationship lasted beyond their marriage. In fact, Joe and Marilyn had reconnected, and shortly before her death, there was even talk of them reuniting. Perhaps, despite his flaws, Joe was the love of her life. They made a decent couple, both had a lot going for them. Even in this picture, it's obvious they had chemistry and seemed to be a good fit. Reportedly, the last words on Joe's lips? "At last, I get to see Marilyn."