Sadly it’s the 50th anniversary of the shooting of President John F.Kennedy and so much is being mentioned about him and his family that, I decided to publish my blog today out of respect and my own personal interaction with the iconic Jacqueline Kennedy.
Many years ago while attending classes for design at the Parsons School of Design in New York, I worked as a catering assistant to earn some part time income. The caterer ‘Glorious Foods’ was the best in the U.S. at the time. Responsible for everything from elaborate weddings on Long Island to important functions at the White House, Glorious Foods was the ‘it’ caterer of the day. It was during one of these events that I was asked to assist at the home of Jackie Kennedy for one of her private intimate dinners.
I do remember some of the guests, her sister Princess Lee Radziwill, Bunny Mellon, her son Jon, and a couple of others I didn’t know. But it was the iconic Jackie I remember so well. Her kind and soft demeanor, her laugh particularly, and the way she moved. I never felt once that I was a mere ‘server’ as besides me, there was only the chef that looked after her and her seven guests.
In any event, we were busy preparing the dinner in the kitchen so I rarely overheard anything they were talking about around the table and because this was during the late 70’s much of that time period is now a distant past. I did remember loving her apartment at the time and when these photos became available to me, I grabbed them without hesitation.
The following photos below are from the auction of her apartment shortly after her death in 1994. Bear in mind these were shot twenty years ago, and may look dated now, but during her life, exemplified her love of French antiques ( particularly Louis XVI ) and everything of great taste and elegance.
The second time I met Jackie Kennedy was at the Ralph Lauren store on Madison Ave.
I was on the second floor looking at men’s clothing or something and just then the elevator doors opened and out stepped Jackie. She was wearing a leather cat suit, and looked fabulous.
An eerie quiet blanketed the store as she looked around then spotted me. Remembering me from her dinner party, she stepped right up to me and began speaking softly. She remembered my name and asked if I knew what floor the sheets were on. It just so happened I did, she thanked me and took off up the adjoining stairs leaving everyone staring at me and in a complete state of shock.
Even in NYC, in a store she frequented, she still had a presence that stopped people dead in their tracks. I felt sad when I heard she’d died. I do remember however how thin she was, both times we met, and thinking that she didn’t look healthy even then. Even so, I doubt any woman in the world has been as publicized as Jacqueline Kennedy. I cherished my memories of her, as small as they were. At least I had the opportunity to actually meet her.