Friday, February 28, 2014

Resort Life, Chapter XXXVII: Fall 1969 – Winter 1970

December 1969. Palm Beach. "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Lillian & Alfonso Fanjul & Family."
Resort Life, Chapter XXXVII: October 1969 – February 1970
London + Ireland + Palm Beach + Arizona

By Augustus Mayhew

"Once the ladies get these uniforms (terry-cloth robes) on, they're just a number to me," said Sybil "Amesy" Ames, the English drill sergeant at Elizabeth Arden's Maine Chance Farm in Phoenix, told a newspaper reporter. "Their jewels mean nothing," she added. After a jaunt to England and Ireland and the holidays at Palm Beach, NYSD's roving social diarist of yesteryear Ellen Ordway packed her camera and joined her friends for a two-week regimen of "diet and relaxation" ($900 weekly + $135 for tips), at the 100-acre Garden of Arden that included endive and carrot cocktails, broth, black tea with honey, and high-protein menus designed for three groups — Gainers, Losers, and As-Isers. The exclusive spa accommodated 38 ladies for pampering and daily treatments, popular ever since First Lady Mamie Eisenhower weighed-in during the 1958 season.

Then, a look at the royal crowns, the uncrowned royals, and Ogden Phipps.

October 1969
Palm Beach to London

Ritz Hotel
150 Piccadilly, London
"Our suite at The Ritz."
Ritz Hotel.
At The Ritz. Bess McGrath, Gayle Jennings Abrams, and Ellen Ordway.
The Royal Crowns.
Lygon Arms Hotel, High Street. Worcestershire.
Windsor Castle at Windsor.
Windsor Castle, Grand Reception Room.

"We fly to Dublin to visit Peter and Bridget Ordway at Blackcastle House, Navan, Ireland."
Blackcastle House, Flower Hill, Navan, County Meath. 1828. Peter and Bridget Ordway's new old house. Burnt in 1987, Blackcastle House is today in derelict condition, according to the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.
Blackcastle House.
Peter Ordway and Joel Jennings.
Lucius Peter Ordway and Bess McGrath.
Gayle Jennings, Bridget Ordway, Peter Ordway, and Joel Jennings.
County Laois

"A day in the country with Desmond Guinness."
Castletown House. In 1967, Desmond Guinness acquired Castletown, known as the largest Palladian-style house in Ireland.
Castletown House, interior.
County Limerick
Dunraven Arms Hotel.
"This dahlia is named for Nancy, our hostess."
"Our friend Nancy, Countess of Dunraven and Mount Earl, comes in to greet us and take us out to the homestead." At her hotel, Nancy furnishes lace-edged linen sheets and keeps the five-acre garden abloom.
Adare Manor house, c. 1840. The Dunraven family's Gothic showplace welcomed visitors while Nancy and family lived next door at Kilgobbin.
Kilgobbin. Countess Dunraven's day-to-day house.
Nancy Dunraven (1902-1994) gives Joel and Gayle Jennings a tour of the Adare gardens.
One of Nancy's prized blooms.
The Adare stud farm.
"Gayle Jennings wears Nancy's coronation crown."
November 1969
Palm Beach

"Thanksgiving in Palm Beach."
Countess "Foxie" Sefton visits, with Sloan Frazer. Villa Bel Tramonto.
December 1969
Lunch at Club Colette. Mollie (Mrs. Ned) McLean, Dysie Davie, and Ellen Ordway. Mollie, nee Manuela Hudson, was the first of three Mrs. Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilts.
Palm Beach Daily News, article. "Enrique and Lilly Rousseau back from their honeymoon."
Christmas 1969
Kitty and Luke Hopkins and family.
Gertrude Legendre. Medway Plantation. "With love – Gertie."
Norberto Azqueta family.
Kathy and Bing Crosby.
Croxteth Hall

"From England, Foxy Sefton send a few pictures of the little shack that she calls home."
Croxteth Hall. Following her husband the Earl of Sefton's death, Foxy donated Croxteth to the City of Liverpool.
Croxteth Hall.
Croxteth Hall.
General William and Francine Young and family. "Villa Vanilla, Palm Beach."
Polly Howe.
Cincinnati real estate heiress Audrey Emery, the former Princess Anna Ilyinsky, wife of Grand Duke Dmitri of Russia and mother of the mayor of Palm Beach.
Audrey Emery and Polly Howe chat on the loggia at Villa Bel Tramonto.
Polly Howe.
January 1970

"A new decade begins …"
Coconuts, New Year's Eve. "Frivolity at its finest …"
January 1970
Everglades hunt with Ogden Phipps
"Ogden Phipps flew Bess and I in his helicopter to his quail shooting preserve near Clewiston …"
Ogden Phipps. "Dogs at work."
Ogden Phipps. "Waiting for the point."
Ogden Phipps, Finger O'Bannon, and the helicopter pilot make plans for lunch.
Ogden Phipps, the helicopter pilot, and Finger O'Bannon.
"Finger mans the grill and cooks up a delicious lunch."
At table, Ogden Phipps and Bess McGrath. Bon appetit.
Ogden Phipps. "A dog is lost …"
"The helicopter goes up to find it …"
Finger with the found dog …
Atop the hunting truck, Ogden Phipps, Finger O'Bannon, and Bess McGrath.
Bess McGrath.
Finger O'Bannon.
February 1970
Western Union telegram. Anne Van Gerbig announces her marriage to Morton Downey.
Morton-Van Gerbig newspaper article, Suzy Says column.
22 February 1970
Invitation, Via Mizner gallery.
February 1970

"Gee Hopkins comes for a visit."
Gee Hopkins and neurologist Dr. Frank Elliott come for a visit. Hopkins' decade-long marriage to C. V. "Sonny" Whitney (his 2nd, her 1st) ended in a divorce in 1941. Their daughter Gail Whitney Stur died in 1963. Her second marriage to Joe Marvel, former ambassador to Denmark, ended with his death in 1953. Hopkins and Elliott married in 1977.
Bess with Harvey Ladew. Ladew is the subject of the biography "Perfectly Delightful: The Life and Gardens of Harvey Ladew," published in 1999 by Johns Hopkins University Press. His sister Elise Ladew married W. R. (William Russell) Grace in 1914.
"Gee wears a wedding-cake centerpiece."
February 1970
1486 North Lake Way

"We visit up at the Phipps house."
Eleanor "Purvy" Bostwick.
Gee Hopkins.
February 1970
Everglades Club
Ellen Ordway, Buddy Davie, Purvy Bostwick, and Bess McGrath.
News from here and there
October 1969-February 1970
Newspaper article. Eleanor Vietor Cernadas- Jay Rutherfurd wedding. Cernadas' mother was Jell-O heiress Eleanore Emily Woodward Vietor who built Southwood on Via del Lago, designed by Marion Sims Wyeth.
Charles Shipman Payson, March 1948 and June 1969.
Joe Widener with his daughter-in-law Mrs. P. A. B. Widener II.1934.
Cortright and "Tootie" Widener Wetherill, 1949 and 1970. Tootie was Joe Widener's granddaughter.
Charlie and Dorothy Munn. Hialeah, 1957.
NYT newspaper article. The Duke and Duchess chat with the BBC. "Now, the Duchess and I are a little past the age of being what they call with it."
Aimee de Heeren, Mrs. Marshall Heminway, and Rodman de Heeren (1910-1983). Rodman de Heeren's mother was Fernanda Wanamaker who married her brother-in-law Ector Munn following her divorce from Arturo de Heeren. Aimee and Rodman bought Louwana, the legendary Palm Beach house built on North County Road in 1919 by his aunt Marie Louise Wanamaker when she was married to Gurnee Munn.
February 1970
Elizabeth Arden's Maine Chance Farm, Phoenix

"I fly to Phoenix for a week at Elizabeth Arden's Main Chance Farm."
Elizabeth Arden, born Florence Nightingale Graham, opened her Phoenix spa in 1947.
"The Garden of Arden." Maine Chance Farm spa, Phoenix.
Accommodations. A Mary Cassatt painting above the marble mantle. 18th century chandelier. Meissen vases. Sevres urns. Lower two photographs are of Ellen Ordway's bedroom.
The ladies are there to work.
Joan Gardner Browne.
The machines do all the work.
Bunnie du Pont tones up.
Massages and manicures are part of the daily regimen.

"Ethel Garrett and I take a break and drive to Tucson to visit with Ben and Carola Kittredge when Ginnie and Roddy Wanamaker stop by."
The Kittredges donated the Kittredge-family's long-held Cypress Gardens plantation to the City of Charleston in 1963.
Ben and Carola Kittredge house, Tucson. In Charleston, the Kittredges owned the 1712 William Rhett House at 54 Hasell Street until 1968.
Benjamin Rufus Kittredge Jr.
Carola dePeyster Kip Kittredge was from one of New York's noted Hudson River families.
Ethel Garrett.
Rodman Wanamaker 2nd (1899-1976). Wanamaker and Virginia "Ginnie" Thaw were married (his 4th - her 1st) in December 1954. Among the upper levels of Philadelphia's celestial genealogy, Rodman's mother was Mary Lowber Welsh Wanamaker; Ellen Ordway's mother-in-law from her first marriage to Persi Frazer III was Mary Newbold Welsh Frazer.
Virginia "Ginnie" Wanamaker. The daughter of William Thaw III, Ginnie Wanamaker was a cousin of Anthony "Tony" Drexel Duke, Ellen Ordway's former step son-in-law, and Nicholas Duke Biddle.
View from the Kittredge patio.
Carola dePeyster Kip Kittredge.
Ginnie Wanamaker, Ethel Garrett, Rodman Wanamaker, Ellen Glendinning Ordway, Carola Kittredge, and Benjamin Kittredge Jr.
Gammage Performing Arts Center at Arizona State University. Tempe, Arizona. Frank Lloyd Wright, architect. Built 1962-1964, after Wright's death.
"Back to the Maine Chance in Phoenix for more … "
"Back to work."
Feets Monell and Dot Rogers. "Bingo fever."
Betty Ruckelshaus, Peggy Mime, and Bunnie du Pont. Nightlife excitement when a few pearls and diamonds add to the allure.
Around the table, Susie Gardner, Bunnie du Pont, Dot Rogers, and Ethel Garrett.
Maine Chance Farm. Phoenix. The ladies are in their formal spa robes.
NEXT: Resort Life, Chapter XXXVIII. Down East + England + Ireland + Palm Beach, 1970.

Brooke Astor charters a yacht and checks her make-up.
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