Thursday, November 14, 2013
Birthday Girls: Bang Bangs!
Many happy returns today to two of the Café's favorite (for very different reasons) ladies...
Mrs. Eisenhower, without question the coziest first lady in living memory (if not ever - could Grace Coolidge match her? Mrs. Washington?), came into this world in Boone, Iowa, in 1896.
Ten years later and a few hundred miles south, Mary Louise Brooks was born in Cherryvale, Kansas.
The lives of these two Midwestern gals could hardly have less in common. The older had the most conventional of upbringings, married well, and went on to be an inspiration to respectable matrons across the nation (to my mother and grandmothers, she had the status of a household saint, just a notch, perhaps, below the Queen and certainly on a different plane entirely from the scarlet woman who followed her as First Lady). The younger had a fleeting taste of stardom, lived high and fell low, and ended up a recluse in Rochester, New York.
Still, they were products of a time and place, and I can't help but think that if some odd circumstance in old age had brought them together, they might have had a memorable conversation about the odd twists and turns that life can throw one as its path unfurls, whether that path takes you to the White House or the Eastman House.
Oh - and of course they do share one memorable characteristic, an important signifier in their very, very different personal styles: never have two small-town girls better rocked that trickiest of hair choices, bangs.