Thursday, August 16, 2012

Part XIX of the Ellen Frazer Ordway Collection

3 July 1961. An Afternoon with Judy Garland at Freebody Park, Newport. "Newport Throng Roars as Judy Belts-Em Out," read the headline following Judy Garland's two-hour daytime concert. "They were a wonderful audience," Garland told The New York Mirror in an article describing her as a "titanic trouper."
Resort Life, Part XIX: Palm Beach & Newport, May 1961- August 1961
By Augustus Mayhew

At the same time Palm Beach and Newport shared the spotlight and dateline as President Kennedy’s winter and summer White Houses, Ellen and Lou Ordway shuttled between the Everglades Club and Bailey’s Beach within their familiar more reserved circle.  With Jack and Jackie Kennedy’s mystique cast as a model for the nation’s new social and cultural order, Ellen Ordway’s photograph collection includes several captivating images of fascinating women known for their fame, families, fortune, or fate:  Judy Garland, Mary Crocker Whitehouse, Dorothy Knox “Dot” Rogers, Eleonora “Eleo” Sears, and the elusive Durie Shevlin, among them.  Mrs. Shevlin became the focus of uninvited rumor, she was somehow Jack Kennedy’s “other wife,” that shadowed much of her remaining life. 

During a certain era, women were too often the subjects of suggestive allegations, if not lurid gossip, until a more progressive era provided them with more opportunities than being the objects of someone else’s fantasy.  The Social Register’s 1961 edition was welcomed with a headline describing the latest ins-and-outs as, “Too many divorces, scandals drop many from New York Social Register.”  While the latest batch of deleted old-money swells pointed fingers at impulsive debs marrying actors, the most delicious among the missing was Standard Oil heir Albert C. Bostwick, 22, who was expelled after he married 35-year-old Mollie Netcher Bragno, later Mollie Wilmot.  The Bostwicks’ Palm Beach  twist-and-shout lifestyle, as recorded later by their unexpurgated divorce court proceedings, was several generations away from the Ordway’s composed South End routines.

Here are some photographic memories from Ellen Ordway’s collection depicting life in Palm Beach and Newport before they became places to hide.

May 1961
Villa Bel Tramonto, Palm Beach

“With the Reventlows as the winter crowd departs.”
Margaret "Peggy" Astor Drayton Reventlow.
Kurt Reventlow. In 1961, Reventlow's first wife Barbara Hutton was single, again, in between her marriage to Baron von Cramm and Prince Doan.
Kurt Reventlow and Gaggy Reed.
Peggy Reventlow and Verner Z. Reed Jr.
Cordelia Duke "takes a hand in the swimming department" with her cousin Lucius Ordway Frazer.
18 May 1961
The New York City Cancer Committee awarded Dorothy Hutton, founder of the group's women's division, its Clement Cleveland Award.
May 1961
Monmouth House
Somerset, England


"News from England ... Peter and Gloria Ordway visit John and Leslie Ordway at Monmouth House, their new house."
Monmouth House, Somerset, England.
Monmouth House, Somerset, England. Leslie Ordway and Gloria Ordway.
Pat Coogan, Leslie Ordway, and Cordelia Duke. Pat Coogan is Leslie's daughter from her first marriage; Delia Duke is Leslie's niece.
Peter Ordway and John Ordway.
June 1961
Villa Bel Tramonto, Palm Beach

"The Phipps family comes for dinner."
Mrs. William Thomas Lane, of London and Bombay. "Mollie Phipps' mother was visiting and joined us for dinner."
Mollie Phipps, Peggy Scott-Duff, and Michael Phipps.
Mollie Phipps, Peggy Scott-Duff, and Nonie Phipps.
"Family Pow-Wow." Mollie Phipps, Peggy Scott Duff, and Michael Phipps.
June 1961
Palm Beach


"Golf with the Vanderburgh Johnstones at the Everglades Club."
The Everglades Golf Course along Golfview Road. Lou Ordway in the driver's seat as Vanderburgh "Van" Johnstone studies an iron shot. An Everglades Island and Southampton resident, and from a prominent California family, Mr. Johnstone was an accomplished amateur golfer, a member at Shinnecock Hills, Seminole, Lost Tree and the Everglades Club.
Everglades Club Golf Course. A club caddy stands at the ready.
Nancy Johnstone. A 40-year Palm Beach resident, Mrs. Vanderburgh Johnstone was an avid golfer.
15 June 1961
One Barclay Square, Newport


"We moved into our new house."
One Barclay Square, Newport. Barclay Square is an oceanfront cul-de-sac situated off Cliff Avenue.
One Barclay Square, view from the ocean side.
3 July 1961
Music at Newport: An Afternoon with Judy Garland
Ellen Ordway and a group of her friends attended "An Afternoon with Judy Garland," a one-woman concert with a 30-piece orchestra.
Music at Newport was staged at Freebody Park, located on the other side of Bellevue Avenue's International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum at the Newport Casino. The previous year, the traditional Newport Jazz Festival was cancelled because a riot resulted in the National Guard being called out to subdue a rowdy crowd of more than 12,000. Thus, during the summer of 1961 a more intimate venue was allowed for a three-day event with more than 350 police providing security.
Scheduled to begin at 3 PM, the audience awaits Judy Garland's arrival …
The crowd still patiently waiting …for yet another history-in-the-making Judy Garland concert. And then, reportedly around 4:30, Judy Garland stepped on stage.
There she is, coiffed and dressed in an almost matronly two-piece blue outfit. She opened with "When You're Smiling" and closed the first act with "San Francisco." She returned to finish with a 45-minute set, peaked by "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and a standing ovation encore of " Swanee" and "Chicago." A reminder of when live performances were electrifying rather than much of today's over-produced lip-synch simulated high-tech productions.
Ellen Ordway was in Box 13 with Dot Rogers, Alice Stearns, Stevie Williams, and Enid Proctor.
4 July Weekend
Bailey's Beach, Newport
Lou Ordway, Jack Stearns, and Shirley Douglas.
Dot Rogers and Lou Ordway. Dorothy "Dot" Virginia Knox Goodyear Rogers was the daughter of Grace Millard Knox and Seymour Horace Knox. Her father had merged his five-and-dime store chain with his cousins Frank and Charles Woolworth to form the F.W. Woolworth Company. She was first married to railroad heir Frank H. Goodyear Jr. Frank and Dorothy Goodyear spent winters on Jekyll Island at Goodyear Cottage, designed for his father by Carrere and Hastings and owned by the family until 1942. Dot Rogers survived a tragic 1930 automobile accident that took her husband's life, killed when their Rolls-Royce hit a tree. The following year, she married Edmund "Eddie" Pendleton Rogers, living in New York, Southampton, and Aiken for many years. President of the Fulton Trust Company, Mr. Rogers died in 1966. Rye Patch, their 10-acre Aiken estate where the Duke and Duchess of Windsor stayed, is now a public garden, carriage museum, and event facility, donated to the City of Aiken by her children following Mrs. Rogers' death in 1982. Her brother, Seymour Knox II, was a prominent 7-goal polo player whose Aurora team won the national championship in 1932. After polo, Mr. Knox became a considerable art collector, donating more than 700 notable works to the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo.
Bailey's Beach. "Tablehopping to visit the Pratts and the Bancrofts …"
July 1961
Newport Country Club
Mary Whitehouse (1895-1986). In 1952, Mary Crocker Alexander Whitehouse and Mrs. Vincent Astor were the first women elected to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A descendant of Charles Crocker, one of California's most formidable railroad tycoons whose estate was valued at $400 million in 1888, she was married to diplomat Sheldon Whitehouse (1883-1965). At the 1957 Tiffany Ball in Newport, Mrs. Whitehouse wore the 124-carat multi-faceted Tiffany Diamond. Her grandson Sheldon Whitehouse was elected US Senator from Rhode Island in 2006.
Ellen and Lou Ordway. Dot Rogers and "Katie."
July 1961

"The Cushings and the Shevlins come for dinner…"
Durie Shevlin and Mrs. Howard Cushing. Although Tom and Durie Shevlin were married in 1947, newspaper reports began appearing in 1962 that Durie and Jack Kennedy were once secretly married. Based earlier on some obscure unsubstantiated genealogical record, this unbelievable story first appeared nationally in Parade magazine's Letters from Readers section where someone asked if the rumor was true. However unconfirmed and denied for decades, the rumors persisted until her death a few years ago in Palm Beach.
Lou Ordway, Durie Shevlin, Mrs. Cushing, and Howard Cushing.
July 1961
Newport Country Club, Men's Foursome Golf Invitational
Newport Country Club. An architectural touch of "Monte Carlo on the Rocks."
Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt. In 1993, "Gertie" and her husband Harold Stirling "Mike" Vanderbilt were elected to the America's Cup Hall of Fame.
"Bert" Marlborough. John Albert William Spencer-Churchill (1897-1972), 10th Duke of Marlborough, was Gertrude and Harold S. Vanderbilt's nephew.
Candace "Candy" Van Alen. Candy and her husband Jimmy Van Alen established the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1954.
Dawn Coleman, Lou Ordway, and Lulu Parsons Vanderbilt Balcom.
Lydia Buhl Melhado, later Lydia Mann.
Howard Cushing, president of the Newport Country Club.
Eleanor Hill and Elaine Pitney. Elaine Darlington Pitney was the daughter of Ethel Shields Darlington Garrett, one of Ellen Ordway's oldest friends. In 1931, Elaine, her two brothers, and her mother accompanied Persi and Ellen Frazer and their children aboard the M/V Vulcania to Europe.
Libby Pratt and General Elwood Richard "Pete" Quesada. Married to Kate Davis Putnam, granddaughter of Joseph Pulitzer, General Quesada owned the Washington Senators baseball team in 1961.
Peggy Isham Frazer and Persifor "Persi" Frazer ( Ellen Ordway's first husband) with Cyril Judge, right. An expert in Elizabethan England, Mr. Judge and his wife lived in Newport at Sulthorne, the estate previously owned by Mrs. Judge's father Charles Lyman.
July 1961
The Orchard, Newport


"Lunch and swim at Verner & Gaggy's house …"
Chez Reed's pool house.
John O'Donnell.
Gaggy Reed.
August 1961
80th Annual Invitational Lawn Tennis Tournament at Newport Casino
Newport
Home to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the Newport Casino hosted the world's top tennis players. In August, it hosted an annual Invitational Lawn Tennis Tournament.
Newport Casino. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and, the Newport Casino was designed by McKim, Mead, and White as a multi-use suburban social club, featuring lawn and court tennis, game rooms, apartments, a restaurant, a theater, and street-level commercial spaces. Built in 1880, its distinctive Shingle style serves as one of Newport's iconic architectural focal points.
Newport Casino. In 1961 top-seed Australian player Bob Mark won the tournament in a four-set final.
T. Suffern "Tommy" Tailer Jr.
The renowned Eleonora "Eleo" Sears and Jimmy Van Alen. Regarded as one of the leading most influential women athletes of the 20th century, Eleo Sears was the four-time winner of the U.S. national tennis doubles and two-time winner of mixed doubles. The subject of the biography Prides Crossing: The Unbridled Life and Impatient Times of Eleonora Sears, she was born to a prominent Boston family who accomplished many firsts as a woman athlete. Among her feats, she was said to be the first woman to ride a horse in a major polo match.
Cynthia Carey, Frances Brooks, Winnie Seyburn, and a friend of Ellen's, seeing her taking this photograph, gives a big Newport wave.
August, 1961
Newport to Boston


"A picnic trip to Boston: Destination Fenway Park …"
Lou and Ellen Ordway join Jack and Alice Stearns for an afternoon picnic and a jaunt to Boston to see the Red Sox play.
Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park. 1961.
27 August 1961
Newport


"At Chez Reed ..."
Gaggy Reed.
Dorothy Hutton.
Alice Stearns and Verner Z. Reed Jr.
Jack Stearns and Lou Ordway.
Next: The Greenbrier, Palm Beach, England, and Newport, 1961-1962.
Ellen Ordway's photographs are from the Collection of
Gayle Abrams©.
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