Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Resort Life: Chapter XXX, May 1966 - September 1966

Down East. Labor Day weekend sailboat races, 1966. Carrie Hollingsworth, left, and Polly Howe. Mrs. Hollingsworth's pearls are essential lifesaving accessories for any nautical outing along coastal Maine.
Resort Life: The Ritz, The Rolls & Rendezvous on the Rocks
Chapter XXX - Paris, Biarritz, England, Northeast Harbor, & New York

By Augustus Mayhew

“International Nomads replace 400 in Society” headlined a 1966 newspaper story declaring extinct as a dodo “the little in-group that called the New York social tune …” Instead of family and fortune, the article claimed Money, Flair, Mobility, Persistence, and Vanity were the must-haves to join other chic high-flying hedonists.  The nouveau A-list amalgam afforded the same social standing to hairdresser Vidal Sassoon and author Gore Vidal as it did Lady Ormsby-Gore. With the guest list for Truman Capote’s masked ball at The Plaza deemed the go-go group’s Social Register, this bouillabaissed society “wants to know all sorts of people, but not too well.” The old bluebloods went underground; the new rich walked red carpets.  And in a sober moment, we learn rich husbands are important but jet setters should not underestimate the importance of “single men,” such as decorator Billy Baldwin and artist Charles Baskerville

None of this may have come as news for Philadelphian Ellen Glendinning Ordway who in 1920 was at Esther Fiske Hammond’s Bonnymede estate in Montecito horseback riding with Charlie Chaplin and in Deauville at the Grand Prix races with Lady Diana Manners and Mae Murray.   For her, the Ritz and the Rolls had become routine.  By the mid-1960s, she savored moments spent with her extended family, lifelong friends, and animals, especially during the summer months when she was at-home Down East, highlighted by no-frills picnics on cloud-nine islands along Mt. Desert’s extravagant coastline. 

But who can resist a time-out from fog horns and picnic boats for a jaunt to Paris?

27 May 1966
New York to Paris

I fly with Ethel and George Garrett to attend The Metropolitan Opera’s week in Paris; The Met’s first visit in more than fifty years.”
TWA. New York to Paris.
Paris, 1966.
Ritz Hotel, Place Vendome. Paris.
Ritz Hotel, suite.
Château de Fontainebleau, undergoing a touch-up.
Fontainebleau. Dining room, detail.
Maillot, Seine-et-Marne
Lunch with Ludmila Vlasto
Ludmila Vlasto's house, yet another view of one of Paul Cezanne's studios.
Georges "Nitey" and Colette de Moliere.
Film and stage actress Nina Gregoire and Ambassador George Garrett, perking up his ears.
Actress Nina Gregoire.
29 May 1966
Hippodrome de Longchamp
Longchamp. Ephemera. "A financially unsuccessful day at the races with George but otherwise very pleasant."
1 June 1966
Opéra de Paris.
Opéra de Paris. The Grand Foyer.
June 1966
Baron & Baronne Elie de Rothschild's party for The Met's week in Paris
Vogue magazine feature, " … the hot Paris pistol of parties."
Ethel Garrett and Ambassador Bohlen are in photograph #5; Nonie Phipps Schippers and Givenchy are in #9, lower row, second from left.
3 June 1966
George & Ethel Garrett's Dinner at Maxim's
Maxim's. 3, rue Royale.
Maxim's. Menu for George and Ethel Garrett's dinner.
4 June 1966
Dinner at The American Embassy
Ellen Ordway's longtime friend Charles Bohlen was US Ambassador to France from 1962 to 1968.
Biarritz
Hotel du Palais. 1 Avenue l'Impératrice, Biarritz.
"View from my room at the Hotel du Palais."
"Bon jour, my neighbors." Nonie Phipps Schippers and Tommy Schippers.
Hotel du Palais. "Breakfast with Nonie and Tommy."
Hotel du Palais. Bess McGrath.
Biarritz. Villa Sofia.
Biarritz. "We visit Marjorie Wilson's rose garden." In a 28 December 1964 letter to Cecil Beaton, Diana Vreeland thanks Beaton for his photographs of Marjorie Wilson and describes Wilson as " the most divinely beautiful woman that ever was."
Lunch on the terrace with Marjorie Seely Blossom Jones Wilson. London actress turned New York socialite Marjorie Wilson was first married to stockbroker E. Clarence Jones, the first vice-president of the Everglades Club. Finding Jones' County Road Villa Yalta too constraining, the couple retained architect Marion Sims Wyeth to design something more suitable. Sadly, Mr. Jones died before their Jones' oceanfront Vita Serena estate was completed. A few years later, the widow married Captain Robert Amcotts Wilson, formerly of the English Navy. The Wilsons lived there for many years, as they did at Clarence Jones' former Saratoga estate Broadview Lodge an villa in Biarritz. Capt. Wilson died in 1960.
John Ordway, Bess McGrath, and Marjorie Wilson.
Cathedral of St. Jean de Luz. "Louis XIV and Marie Therese of Austria were married here on 9 June 1660."
Adriano Miglietta, Leslie Ordway, John Ordway, and Bess McGrath.
Adriano Miglietta.
Henstridge, Somerset, England
Monmouth House at Temple Combe — John & Leslie Ordway's estate
Monmouth House. 1 Chapel Lane. "I spent a few days with John and Leslie."
"The most important room in the house."
John Ordway.
"The Dunns and the Dukes were also visiting."
Warminster – England
The Lions of Longleat


"Peer buys Lions to lure Tourists," read an April 1966 headline announcing that Lord Bath, the 6th Marquess, opened Longleat, his 97-acre estate and 90-room Renaissance castle, as a safari park with more than 70 lions set loose to roam the grounds. With ten armed wardens, Lord Bath charged $2.80 per carload to tour his unique private zoo. Among the earliest admirers, Ellen Ordway could not resist touring the adventure park, much the same way she was endlessly fascinated with Lion Country Safari, located west of West Palm Beach. A manager at Longleat became a partner in Lion Country at West Palm Beach.
Situated on grounds landscaped by Capability Brown, Longleat is considered a fine example of 16th century High Elizabethan architecture.
Wildlife on the prowl.
While many English aristocrats opened their doors to tourists, only Lord Bath installed wired double-security fences and unleashed lions.
Part of the welcome committee at Longleat.
Taking a nap, wherever. "Lions, lions everywhere. It is hard not to run over one …"
July 1966
Borderlea, Northeast Harbor


For Ellen Ordway and her family and friends, NE's social life centered around picnics and lobsters served up on the rocks on Pirate's Point, Little Cranberry Island, or one of the other countless remote idylls. Here are a few scenes from various Down East locations along the coast.
Across the street from her friends George and Ethel Garrett, Ellen thinks Borderlea should be renamed "Sheer Heaven."
Coxie Toogood has invited Ellen to join them on her mother Marjory Newbold's boat.
Anna Coxe "Coxey" Newbold Ingersoll Toogood (1915-1987). A member of several prominent Philadelphia families, Coxie spent her life supporting environmental causes. The Coxe family owned anthracite coal land and coal mining enterprises in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In 1981, Sophie Yarnall Jacobs, Coxey's aunt, wrote a fictionalized historical novel titled The Clark Inheritance that was closely-based on the family's history and vast holdings. Coxie lived in Chestnut Hill and at Ebb Tide, the family's summer house in Northeast Harbor. She was the daughter of Arthur Emlen and Margaret Yarnall Newbold Jr. Her marriage to Warren Ingersoll ended in divorce in 1942. Then, she married Granville Toogood. The Coxe Family Papers are housed at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Brandy, Coxie's beloved Dutch barge dog.
Off to "the first picnic of the season."
"Kitty 'Boo" Hopkins takes us for a jaunt to watch the sailboat races."
This many limousines must mean it is the Northeast Harbor Swim Club.
Anna Scott Kennedy and Gay Robb. The granddaughter of railroad tycoon Thomas A. Scott, daughter of diplomat Edgar Scott, and sister of Philadelphia financier Edgar Scott Jr., Anna Scott Kennedy (1907-2000) was the sister-in-law of the legendary Main Liner Hope Montgomery Scott, who inspired Phillip Barry's character Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story. Edgar Scott Jr. and Phillip Barry were enrolled in the same playwriting class at Harvard and the Scott family's estate became the model for the play's setting. In 1929, Anna Scott married banker Moorhead C. Kennedy (1902-1995), the son of Pennsylvania Railroad executive Col. Moorhead C. Kennedy. As you probably recall, their son, also Moorhead Kennedy, was one of the better known hostages during the Iranian-American hostage standoff that many thought cost President Carter the 1980 election to former movie and television actor Ronald Reagan.
Edward "Ned" Whitman.
Wayne Chatfield-Taylor. Mr. Chatfield-Taylor's namesake Wayne Chatfield-Taylor was president of the Export-Import Bank in Washington as well as FDR's Under-Secretary of Commerce and Assistant Secretary of Treasury. The family's Lake Forest mansion "Bluff's Edge" at 620 Lake Road is regarded as an architectural landmark.
Mrs. Anthony Zane and Minnie Hopkins. Sun tanning.
Lolo Pepper Lewis, Laura Pepper, and her grandson, Montgomery "Monty" Lewis.
"Mrs. Pierrepont arrives with her four dogs." Mrs. Rutherford Stuyvesant "Nathalie" Pierrepont was a longtime Mt. Desert presence.
Mrs. R. Stuyvesant Pierrepont and her dogs.
"Getting Mrs. P and her dogs ashore is no easy matter."
August 1966
Persifor "Perky" Frazer IV.
Ellen Glendinning Ordway at the wheel.
Wayne Chatfield-Taylor.
Barclay Garrett.
Mt. Desert Land & Garden Preserve
The garden mixes colorful annuals and perennials bordering the grass lawns leading to the upper pavilion at the northern end and a shallow reflecting pool at the southern end. Neva Rockefeller Goodwin is the current president of the Land and Garden Preserve.
Thuya Garden. The Entrance Gates were designed by Charles K. Savage and hand-carved in cedar by Savage and Augustus D. Phillips.
The Spirit Path is lined with Korean statues.
Thuya Garden statues.
News from Thai silk king James Thompson, an old friend from Chestnut Hill.
News from Abroad
News from Thai silk king James Thompson, an old friend from Chestnut Hill.
Flash from Palm Beach
Palm Beach Daily News. "Sisters-in-Law." Jane Sanford Pansa arrives with her sister-in-law Mary Sanford to attend a luncheon for Brownie McLean. Jane Pansa is Stephen and Gertrude Sanford's sister.
Northeast Harbor Swim Club
Charlie Pepper, Jane Scott, and Nathalie Pierrepont.
Jane Scott, Charlie Pepper, Rip Frazer, and Nathalie Pierrepont.
Labor Day Weekend
Northeast Harbor
Polly Howe. "Polly and I go off with the Granville Toogoods to watch the last sailing races of the season."
Harry Hollingsworth.
"The last sailing race of the season."
Polly Howe.
The Hobo and Causette from Seal Harbor join the impromptu party after the races.
September 1966
New York
Thomas Schippers will conduct the world premiere of "Antony and Cleopatra" for the opening of the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center. With an audience of 3,800 and 6,000 onlookers standing on the street, The Met formally opened 16 September 1966 with ticket prices ranging from $5 to $250. Rudolph Bing announced the end of the pit musician's strike between the second and third acts. First Lady Lady-Bird Johnson attended with Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. Marylou Whitney wore a ruby tiara said to once owned by the Empress of Austria. One reviewer found "Schippers conducted with zest."
New recordings by Thomas Schippers.
A view of the Lincoln Center site with the new projected buildings superimposed.
27 September 1966
September 1966. Metropolitan Opera program. View of the stage.
Next: Chapter XXXI: Resort Life - Palm Beach 1967
Ellen Glendinning Ordway's photographs are from the
Gayle Abrams Collection.
Augustus Mayhew is the author of Lost in Wonderland: Reflections on Palm Beach