Thursday, January 30, 2014


I woke up this morning thinking of Pat Nixon.  I have no idea why.

I know it's a note I've sounded more than once, but it still remains a surprise - a kind of affront, somehow - how the familiar figures of childhood and youth are receding, going-going-gone.  I'll think of someone - Captain Kangaroo, Harry Reasoner, the Merm* - and only after a moment, remember oh, of course - dead.

As for Pat, well, she always seemed far too nice for the life she ended up living.  At least here she's having a happy moment, in her inaugural Harvey Berin gown and neat white gloves.  Say what you will about her style, hers is a look that's aged rather well, don't you think?  I suppose I'm biased about this one though, if only because Mother Muscato had her dressmaker, little Miss Miner (I was about 12 before I realized that "little" wasn't part of her name) run her up something suspiciously similar in turquoise that spring for her Mother of the Bride dress at my sister's wedding.

And what a wedding it was - certainly far more successful than the marriage that followed.  Mother may have been a vision in Pat-esque blue, but I wore a stunning navy sailor suit (with shorts, natch) topped with a matching red velvet coat-and-cap set.  At the reception, everyone was so busy that my cousin (now the Serious Architect, whose 50th birthday we celebrated last summer not long after mine) and I discovered just how much fun could be had at a Champagne fountain.  It was mostly mixed with ginger ale, of course, this being 1969 and all, but still, it was heady stuff.

Why all of this comes to mind on a frosty January Thursday is a question to which answer comes there none, but it's always nice to wallow for a moment in what was...

* I originally had "Jayne Meadows" here, but - just in case you're looking for a ray of sunshine today - she's still with us!


  1. i'm slowing going thru a book about first ladies by margaret truman, so any given morning finds lou hoover, abigail adams, bess, almost any of them turning off my alarm clock.

  2. " I wore a stunning navy sailor suit (with shorts, natch) topped with a matching red velvet coat-and-cap set."

    I've just discovered that it is possible to suffer horrible envy....retroactively.

  3. I've come to think of Wikipedia as Wikideath as every time I look someone up, they are DEAD DEAD DEAD!

    Even the youngish ones.

    I feel my time on Earth is more limited each time this happens.

  4. Poor Pat. What a contrast there must have been between the early years of her marriage and the later ones (by which I mean the years after Dick went into politics). She always looked so beaten down in photos of the two of them together, but obviously she had a sense of her own style and was willing to deploy it on occasion. I love this ensemble, and she looks happy in it.