Schulenberg’s Page: Late December back in ’69

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My mother’s friend from Fresno had arrived from Europe on the MS Kungsholm, her favorite ship for her frequent travels.

1969: Colleges and universities all over the US were experiencing antiwar strikes and bombings of places representing the the government or places that represented The Establishment!  Listening to WBAI—FM Pacifica Network radio made me feel as if I were on the front lines of demonstrations,  being beaten and/or tear gassed by the police!  It wasn’t that easy to think of them as being the protectors of the people when I was being made painfully aware that they were beating crowds of peaceful protesters who disagreed with the government’s aggressive war policies.

Into this metropolitan melee came my mother’s close friend from Fresno, Pauline Rodder! She had arrived from Europe on the MS Kungsholm, her favorite ship for her frequent travels.

We headed to Serendipity III for ice cream and a long recounting of the events of her trip.  She told me about the beautiful things she’d bought for Rodder’s Mademoiselle, her family’s elegant specialty shop. I was imagining how great it was to be able to go to Europe on a buying spree and not having to pay for any of it!

Annie Rieger told me about a new place that had been recommended to her.  It was called Chez Pat.  We went to check it out and immediately saw the singer/actress Lisa Kirk, who’d introduced most notably the song, “I’ll Always Be True to You, Darling In My Fashion” in Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me Kate.” We became aware of why there was some talk about the place.

It had a comfortable casual atmosphere and did appear to attract some of the regulars from Elaine’s.

This drawing says “poppers” and I don’t remember if that refers to Amyl Nitrite inhalants or not — although there were so many drugs around it could have!

John Barry Ryan was discerning and a regular at Elaine’s so I guess Chez Pat would have made the chic sheet if there were one!

After a day of recovery, I was back to work and seeing art directors!

But I had to eat and Elaine’s and was just a few blocks away  …

And D.D. Ryan, John’s hyper-stylish wife, was at her regular table!

And I was there with friends Ki Hackney, Charles and Helen Pratt, Elaine’s manager Donald Ward, and Dennis Ritz.

During those days, Buzzy King almost lived at Elaine’s!  That night he was wearing what were being called knitted baby shirts carrying the “Youthquake movement,” as Diana Vreeland had named it, to its inevitable extreme!  Infantilism!

He had layered several!

Evenings like these were always the best.


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