Friday, April 19, 2013

Chapter XXIV: Resort Life, October 1963 – March 1964

Stephen "Stevie" Hopkins Hensel's paintings and Peggy Reventlow's sculptures were shown at the Palm Beach Galleries on Worth Avenue. With his work already in museum and private collections, Stevie Hensel had held his first one-man show in March 1956 at the Worth Avenue Gallery, presented by Mrs. Duggett Benson and Mrs. Archibald Rayner. Countess Reventlow and Hensel's works were described as "elegant and strikingly individualistic."
Chapter XXIV: Resort Life, October 1963 – March 1964
Palm Beach: A Death in the Family

By Augustus Mayhew

Before we say good-bye to Lou Ordway, here is a look back to a welcome for a new puppy, a birthday dinner, a round of golf, Christmas at home with family, and New Year's Eve at Ta-boó with friends. Here is a brief glimpse at the time when Ellen Ordway lost the love of her life and the nation lost a president, those tragic unexplainable days in November 1963 when President John F. Kennedy's assassination changed the world.

October 1963
Palm Beach
"Introducing Miss Pamela Ordway."
"A message from Paris …" Ellen's friend Ludmila Vlasto, directrice generale of the Théâtre Bruyére from 1954 to 1970.
October 1963

"Ron and Lulu Balcom joins us in a visit to Mike and Molly Phipps's new house and Nicky and Bunny du Pont's new house on the ocean …"
450 North County Road, front entrance. Mike and Molly Phipps' new house, under construction.
Mike Phipps, Lou Ordway, and Ron Balcom.
450 North County Road, south elevation.
977 North Ocean Boulevard, west elevation, entrance facing North Ocean Boulevard. Nick and Bunny du Pont's new house. John Volk, architect; Valerian Rybar, interior décor.
977 North Ocean Boulevard. Lulu Balcom, Lou Ordway, & Ron Balcom.
October 1963
Naples


"Lou and I with the Dunns and a few Dukes join Rippie and Jan Frazer for the annual Naples gala, Swamp Buggy Races and Fiesta."
"Our Palm Beach to Naples plane …"
An aerial view of Naples before landing.
The Duke-Dunn spectators await the gala parade of swamp buggies. While today's Naples shares an ambience of sophistication much like Palm Beach, back then the annual Swamp Buggy Festival held at the beginning of hunting season in the town's" Mile O' Mud" was a popular event.
The Naples annual Swamp Buggy Parade still packs the grandstands, a tradition that began in 1949. Lower left. Miss Swamp Buggy who was treated to a mud bath in the "deepest muckiest part of the Mile O'Mud."
"We fly back to Palm Beach before the races finish …"
November 1963
Palm Beach
Good Samaritan Hospital benefit, newspaper article featuring committee members.
November 1963
Villa Bel Tramonto - Palm Beach


"Lulu Balcom's birthday dinner …"
Chris Dunphy and Dawn Coleman warm up to Pamela.
Left to right, George Coleman, Lulu Balcom, Lou Ordway, Dawn Coleman, Ron Balcom, & Chris Dunphy.
"Happy Birthday Lulu!"
November 1963
"Verner Z. Reed arrives back in Palm Beach …"
22 November 1963
The Palm Beach Times, newspaper headline. "President Kennedy Assassinated."
"The President is Assassinated as Dallas Multitude Hails Him. Suspect Pulled Screaming From Theatre; Find Rifle."
23 November 1963
Miami Herald, newspaper headline. "Kennedy Dead: Pro-Castro Subject is Seized; Johnson Sworn as President."
Monday, 2 December 1963, 12:30 p.m.
Palm Beach Par Three Golf Course

"Lou Ordway's birthday party invitation …"
Nancy Johnstone and Lou Ordway arrive at the golf club; closed for Lou's birthday party.
Palm Beach Par Three Golf Club, 2345 South Ocean Boulevard.
The luncheon tent was set up next to the golf clubhouse.
George Coleman, Lorelle McCarver Hearst, and Ellen Ordway. The second Mrs. William Randolph Hearst Jr., divorced in 1948, writer Lorelle Hearst bought a house in the North End of Palm Beach in 1963. For many years, Hearst was a columnist for the Palm Beach Daily News.
Lou Ordway and Linda Page Iglehart. In 1947 ten-goal poloist Stewart Iglehart and Linda Page were married at Iglehart's oceanfront villa La Centinela in Gulf Stream designed by Treanor & Fatio. Durie Shevlin.
Durie Shevlin and Ambassador Stanton Griffis. From 1947 until 1952, Griffis served as US Ambassador to Poland, Egypt, Argentina, and Spain. In 1969, Griffis donated one-half interest of his Palm Beach house at 231 El Vedado to Cornell University. Griffis died in 1974, the year following his brief marriage to Elizabeth Blakemore. Although there was a pre-nup, according to court documents, Griffis' widow became involved for several years in "novel and difficult" protracted litigation with his son Nixon Griffis over "destroyed codicils." In 1986, with the estate settled, Ambassador Griffis' widow married his former assistant Jay Rutherfurd.
Dorothy Hurt Meacham Eyre Price, Diana "Dysie" Marion Wing Davie, and Robert "Bob" Wickser. Part of the Southampton-Palm Beach set, Dorothy Price's twin sister Margaret "Peggy" was married to Ellen Ordway's first husband Persifor Frazer III. Dysie Davie's mother was married to Air Marshal Reginald Marix, travel connoisseur Nigel Marix's father. Mr. Wickser was a prominent poloist.
Lou and Ellen Ordway.
Florence Cudahy Spaulding and E. T. Bedford "Buddy" Davie. Sportsman Buddy Davie was named for his grandfather Standard Oil director Edward T. Bedford. Chicago heiress Florence Spaulding bought Casa dei Leoni in 1945 from Ellen Ordway and her sister and brother.
Van Johnstone.
Chris "Mr. Golf" Dunphy.
December 1963

"Buddy and Dysie come for dinner."
Married in 1959, Buddy and Dysie Davie were once described as "among the most interesting couples in Palm Beach." Dysie and Buddy opened a custom jewelry and objet d'arts shop at 343 Worth Avenue In 1966.
"… and then bridge." Buddy Davie, Dysie Davie, and Lou Ordway.
Christmas 1963
Christmas card. "Merry Xmas, Harvey Ladew." In 1939 Maryland bon vivant bachelor Harvey S. Ladew paid $25,000 for the John S. Phipps beach house in Gulf Stream. Mr. Ladew's sister Elise Ladew married to W. R. Grace III, the son of the former NYC mayor. A member-at-large of the Garden Club of America, Mr. Ladew's Maryland estate opened to the public in 1971 as the Ladew Topiary Gardens, considered by the GCA as "the most outstanding topiary garden in America."
Christmas card. "We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Edward and Wallis."
25 December 1963
Villa Bel Tramonto, Christmas Luncheon
Sally Armour and Susie Armour.
Bess Armour and John Ordway.
"The Old Table, the Young Table, and the Teenagers."
December 1963
Debutante Invitation
Invitation, Nine Cooke Emlen's debutante party. Nina Emlen was Ellen Ordway's great-niece.
31 December 1963
Pre-Coconuts Party
"Before going to The Coconuts party on New Year's Eve, I gave this gay and happy party." Left, Peter Ordway and Buddy Davie. Right, Dysie Davie, Gloria Ordway, and Lou Ordway.
John Ordway and Dysie Davie.
Leslie Ordway.
31 December 1963
The Coconuts Party, Taboó
Ephemera, Coconuts Party. 1963.
List of Hosts. Coconuts Party, 1963.
Ogden Phipps, Kirsten Oleson, Wendy Vanderbilt, and Daniel Topping Jr.
Molly and Mike Phipps.
Anita Young and Beverly A. Bogert.
January 1964
Worth Avenue


Worth Avenue was the subject of a magazine article illustrated with some of Palm Beach's local fixtures. Described in 1964 as "where important people of the world meet and do their important shopping," Worth Avenue's 1964 season included the Bill Blass Spring Collection at Martha's, Elizabeth Arden's collection at the Everglades Club tombola fashion show, and Ed Ronan's Coffee House.
Magazine photograph. Worth Avenue, looking west towards the Everglades Club.
Charles Wrightsman and his neighbor Anita Young.
Charles Munn and Milton "Doc" Holden. Mrs. Alfonso Fanjul and her son Pepe Fanjul.
Lilly Pulitzer and Peter Pulitzer.
Ellen Glendinning Ordway with a Morris Minor 1000 Traveller Woodie Wagon.
February 1963
Palm Beach
Invitation. Reventlow-Hensel opening at Palm Beach Galleries.
Newspaper article. Peggy Reventlow (Countess Court H. Reventlow).
The color photographs are Reventlow's work at the Ordways' Villa Bel Tramonto.
Lucius P. Ordway with Jimbo and Pamela. "Lou not feeling well is cared for "round" the clock."
2 March 1964
Palm Beach
"My dear Lou died."
Palm Beach Post, newspaper article. A tribute for Lou Ordway written by columnist Bob Balfe. "Ordway had been big about everything he did … He was an expert in finance, a quiet member of high society, a tireless worker in charitable campaigns … We hope he knew how many of us appreciated him"
Ellen Glendinning Frazer Ordway's photographs are courtesy of the Lucius Ordway Frazer Collection©.
Click here for NYSD Contents