|End of an era|
"They rolled around a drinks cart an hour ago. Yep, an old fashioned drinks cart pushed by a handsome, meticulously attired bartender (bow tie, starched white shirt, starched white apron). It's Time magazine's last close in the Time-Life building before we move downtown. I'm sipping my martini as I fact-check how many terrorist attacks France has suffered this year alone. (Seven—I think. I have to call the embassy to be sure since we don't have a Paris bureau anymore.) Oh well… Here's mud in your eye."
Explanation: The times they are a changing in the magazine world, but this is a trip into the wayback machine. In the bad old days when editors were emperors and price was no object, there was always a drinks cart and sometimes even someone playing piano. By the time I arrived in the Time-Life Building for the first issue of People magazine in 1974 (cover: Mia Farrow) there was no drinks cart, but there was a refrigerator full of Heineken and wine. Later on at People, there were lines of cocaine on desks, catered gourmet meals and free massages on closing nights. And you wonder that some of us (not Otra Rubia, however) wound up with drinking problems!
And a Vanity Fair article.
|aka "the beady-eyed cruet set"|
Here, however is the link that shows the above couple in their original form when I received them, entitled "What is this, Mr. Li?" He called it a beady-eyed cruet set, but in actuality it was a shit-brown set of salt-and-pepper shakers with a mustard pot. Hideous.
For ten years, I moved the thing to increasingly hidden locales where my eye wouldn't fall on them unwarned. Somehow the mustard pot got broken—I swear not on purpose. This spring I took the big step: I gave them away.
Judy has a kitchy shop on Block Island, and she took the ugly things off my hands. "I hope CBA doesn't see these," I said. "She'll kill me. But she hasn't been on the island in a couple years, so I doubt she will."
Naturally the things didn't sell over the summer, and of course CBA showed up in the fall and became best buds with Judy, stopping in at the shop so often that she came to know the goods as well as the shopowner herself. She found the beady-eyed cruet set. (Sans beady eyes, as Judy had hoped they would sell better as the blind originals.) Irate, CBA decided that rather than hoping a serial killer would punish me for my ingratitude, she and Judy would face me with the truth. And when we gathered at Claudia's Surf City for dinner, they produced this loathsome couple. Ack!
|"Ingrate," CBA (left) accused me as Judy looked on. "You thought I would never know! But your karma is to never be rid of the beady-eyed cruets!"|
|Hannah and Ani DiFranco|
Ana and Jose winter over in the Dominican Republic, but Abra's kids go to the Block Island school and most of the rest of the kids live in the U.S. Thank goodness, as it makes Ana keep coming back.
So for the past couple of days we spent some quality time going through her treasures, from Limoge china to walrus tusks. It was sad to do so Ruthless but also an exhilarating record of a life well lived. Her great grandchildren will see her next week after swimming lessons in the assisted living facility's pool.
(FYI the boat time refers to the departure time, so it was actually five o'clock in this pic.)