Monday, January 6, 2014

Chapter XXXI: Palm Beach 1966-1967

April, 1967. Palm Beach. Ellen Ordway, HRH Duke of Windsor, and Molly Phipps.
Chapter XXXI: Palm Beach 1966-1967
The Duke and the Debutante

By Augustus Mayhew

NYSD’s showcase of Ellen Glendinning Ordway’s epic photograph diaries began in March 2011 with “Philadelphia in Palm Beach,” the Glendinnings early 1920s arrival at Casa dei Leoni, their Mizner-designed Venetian-style villa on Worth Avenue.  As readers are aware, these chronicles have included vignettes featuring the Duke and Duchess of Windsor’s annual visits to Palm Beach that I always assumed were the result of the Ordways knowing the Windsors through their circle of friends, among them, Ellen Blair, Arthur Gardner, Anita Young, and Stanton Griffis.

For a possible feature on “A Philadelphia Debutante,” I recently perused for the first time Ordway’s 1919-1920 volume where Philadelphia debs, should I have been surprised, Ellen, her sister Mary, and Celestine Warder, along with several thousand prominent guests, were at Rodman Wanamaker’s reception for the world’s most popular bachelor, Edward, Prince of Wales, when he visited New York in November 1919.  Rodman and Violet Wanamaker were close friends of the Glendinnings.  While the New York papers reported the 25-year-old Edward had danced with Mrs. Wanamaker, the Philadelphia gossip columns were rift with the prospects of their Ellen running off with the future King of England.
21 November 1919. Invitation for Rodman Wanamaker reception for HRH Prince of Wales in New York.
Along with Mike and Molly Phipps' dinner for the Duke and Duchess, 47 years after Ellen Ordway and the Duke of Windsor first crossed paths, this chapter features a good-bye to Ellen's longtime friend Tom Evans, a glimpse at Diana Phipps' life in London, and the comings-and-goings at Palm Beach.

22 October 1966
"A very deep and tragic loss to me."
November 1966
"November sees a new excitement on Worth Avenue."
6 November 1966
"Tragedy strikes"
Richard Dunn, Ellen Ordway's step son-in-law, dies in the crash of a private plane.
Palm Beach Daily News. Ellen and Alfonso Fanjul attend an event.
December 1966
Villa Bel Tramonto
Villa Bel Tramonto, Palm Beach. "The Wanamakers stop by for a visit." Randy Frazer, Anne Chew (Mrs. J. Rodman) Wanamaker, Barbara "Babbie" Wanamaker, and Sam Chew Jr.
Anne Chew Wanamaker.
Sam Chew Jr., Perky Frazer, and Randy Frazer, with "Babbie." The following year, Sam Chew's wedding to Effie Taylor was the social event of the Newport season, according to Suzy.

The Chews moved to Beverly Hills where Sam Chew became a film actor.
December 1966
Vogue feature
Diana Phipps, the widow of Henry Phipps.
January 1967
Palm Beach
"Gussie" Harrison and Bess McGrath.
George Harrison and Augusta Harrison.
Lunch at Schrafft's with Bess McGrath.
Verner Z. Reed.
1967 Red Cross Ball
Palm Beach
Palm Beach Daily News. Rose Kennedy wearing Empress Josephine's tiara at the International Red Cross Gala.
Palm Beach Daily News. Ellen Ordway and Stanton Griffis at the International Red Cross Gala.
15 February 1967
Vogue feature
Lillian Phipps and her North Lake Way house was featured in Vogue, photographed by Horst. Interiors by Robert Denning & Vincent Fourcade.
"Zest House." Ogden & Lillian Phipps house, North Lake Way.
"Zest House." Ogden & Lillian Phipps house, North Lake Way.
"Zest House." Ogden & Lillian Phipps house, North Lake Way. Guest bedroom.
"Zest House." Ogden & Lillian Phipps house, North Lake Way. Master bedroom.
February 1967
Villa Bel Tramonto
Bess McGrath.
"Four generations." Ellen's granddaughter Gayle Dale Jennings (Abrams), Ellen Glendinning Ordway holding her great-grand Katie Carnegie Jennings, and Ellen's daughter Bettina Dale.
Gayle Jennings (Abrams) and William "Willie" Randolph Hearst Jr.
March 1967
Seminole Golf Course, North Palm Beach
Bettina Dale, her husband Robert Dale, and their daughter, Gayle Dale Jennings (Abrams).
Dysie Davie, Buddy Knowles, and Ellen Ordway. Palm Beach Daily News. James Cox Brady and George Coleman.
Ogden Phipps and Lillian Phipps.
18 March 1967
Dinner at Mike and Molly Phipps' house, North County Road

"An Evening at the Shrimp Palace"
Bess McGrath and Mike Phipps.
Ellen Ordway.
Bess McGrath.
March 1967
Palm Beach Daily News. The Alfonso Fanjuls and Norberto Azquetas' open their homes for House & Garden Day.
Palm Beach Daily News. Lillian Phipps and CZ Guest help Chris Dunphy celebrate his birthday.
Palm Beach Daily News. "Lorelle Hearst Observes."
Then and Now. Mrs. Wesson (Winifred Dodge) Seyburn, 1941 and 1966. At Palm Beach, Winifred Seyburn entertained at Casa Giravento, her Fatio designed house on Via La Selva, just south of her sister Isabel Dodge Sloane's Mizner-designed Concha Marina.
March 1967
"Les and Aleka Armour come for a visit."
Lester Armour with his granddaughter.
Alexandra "Aleka" Armour. Stephanie "Stevie" Alexander Romanoff, Aleka's granddaughter.
Bo Legendre and Landine Legendre Manigault, photographed at a Palm Beach party for Channing Hare.
March 1967
Newspaper article. Joan Dillon marries Prince Charles of Luxembourg.
March 1967
Palm Beach Daily News. Mike Phipps elected president of the Seminole Golf Club.
Lillian Phipps and Gertrude Legendre at Seminole Golf Club.
Ellen Ordway, Buddy Davie, Gertrude Legendre, and Buddy Knowles, at Seminole Golf Club.
Mona von Bismarck, the widow of Harrison Williams. " …still beautiful after all these years …," Ellen wrote. At the time of this photograph, Mona was 70.
April 1967
Villa Bel Tramonto
Verner Reed and Peggy Hurt Isham Frazer.
Peggy Frazer and her husband Persifor Frazer III, Ellen Ordway's first husband.
Lili Dale, Clare Wood, Bing Crosby, Dickie Reventlow, and Ellen Dale. "Bing comes by to pick up Bess who is going to Hillsborough to visit with the Crosbys."
Lili Dale, Clare Wood, Bing Crosby, Dickie Reventlow, and Ellen Dale, as Bess McGrath makes her way through the front door.
April 1967
Burk Bingham Lapham.
Anthony A. "Tony" Lapham. Son of Lewis Lapham, president of Bankers Trust New York Corporation as well as several shipping companies, Lapham became a prominent CIA attorney during the Ford and Carter administrations, having been affiliated with Goodwin Procter firm for many years. Lapham's brother Lewis H. Lapham was a former editor at Harper's and is the editor of Lapham's Quarterly.
April 1967
Serge Obolensky, Duchess of Windsor, Polly Howe, and Anita Berger. Either before or after heading to or from Palm Beach, where their arrival launched its own "Mini-Season," in New York the Windsors stayed at the Waldorf Towers or on Long Island at Polly Howe's house.
April 1967
Palm Beach
"Mini-Season for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor"
Edward, Duke of Windsor, at Mike and Molly Phipps' house for dinner..
George Harrison and Ellen Ordway.
Bess McGrath.
Gracie Ryan and Augusta Harrison.
April 1967
Palm Beach Daily News. Obituary. Stanton Griffis.
April 1967
Weekend at Medway Plantation
Simon Elwes, the UK's most prominent portrait artist, visits Medway Plantation.
Bokara Legendre, portrait by Simon Elwes.
Gertrude Legendre loads her camera.
"Robert to the rescue."'
May 1967
Palm Beach


"I helicopter to Seminole with Mike and Molly …"
Molly and Mike Phipps ready for take-off from their backyard helipad on North County Road.
Seminole Golf Club, North Palm Beach. Aerial, looking east, the view from the Phipps helicopter. Designed with the simplicity of a "Spanish farmhouse" by architect Marion Sims Wyeth, the golf club's construction began in June 1929. The golf course was designed by Donald Ross.
Seminole Golf Club, aerial. View looking southeast. Built at a cost of $1 million, the golf club opened 1 January 1930 with E. F. Hutton as president and Jay Carlisle, vice-president.
Seminole Golf Club, swimming pool. The one and only Polly Reed.
May 1967
Dinner at Villa Bel Tramonto
Sculptor Peggy Reventlow.
Curt Reventlow and Verner Reed.
Josephine Duke.
Chic-Chat
Ellen's son Persifor "Perky" Frazer IV and his second wife Evelyn Allen. "And so a new chapter begins …"
May 1967

"Mike and Molly Phipps' End of Season Party for Bubbles and Carl Holmes"
Molly Phipps and Jock McLean.
Alfonso Fanjul, Carl Holmes, and Mary Sanford. The grandson of Charles Fleischmann, Carl Holmes and his wife Bubbles shuttled between Glen Cove to Lyford Cay. Brownie McLean and Mary Sanford.
Lillian Fanjul.
Lillian Fanjul, Chris Dunphy, and Bubbles Holmes.
Ellen Ordway and Jock McLean.
Mary Sanford and Alfonso Fanjul.
Next: Resort Life, Chapter XXXII: Summer 1967

Tangier with Charles Baskerville –African Safari with Gertrude Legendre – Haseley Court with Nancy Lancaster


"Our hostess, the former Miss Perkins of Virginia, is flying the Confederate flag over Haseley Court."
Ellen Glendinning Ordway Photograph Collection courtesy of Gayle Abrams & Lucius Ordway Frazer.
Augustus Mayhew is the author of Lost in Wonderland: Reflections on Palm Beach