14
Feb
07

A Little Local Flavor

I’m holed up in my kitchen trying to get a research proposal out the door, with only the break of cleaning the newly fallen snow off my car before me. Fortunately, the M.A.S. delivered some beautiful miniature roses last night, and they’re keeping me company while I bang away at the PC. To keep you entertained on your end while I’m effectively in absentia for the next couple hours, here’s the latest and greatest from the New England region, fodder for you smart alecs and any Yankees fans out there who dare read this site…

2/13/07: Traffic official resigns after license suspended. Turns out a deputy commissioner for the Boston Transportation Dept., in a role overseeing traffic flows and parking since 2000, quit after a recent (and may I add, long overdue) background check by the Registry of Motor Vehicles that resulted in a suspended license. Seems the guy had so many outstanding fines and tickets – including driving while “impaired” and lapsed auto insurance (an uninsured boozehound, now that’s safe) – that the Registry suspended his license on Jan 17. You know, it’s stories like this that just renew the Masshole faith in our local politicians. No wonder I felt such kinship in New Orleans.

2/13/07: Wikipedia not an acceptable source for papers, rules Middlebury College’s history department. Apparently, it’s an ok start for research but not an “acceptable” end point. Fair enough, particularly since, while it might be pretty accurate, the idiosyncratic reporting more easily resembles one’s first book report in elementary school than a college paper. I particularly love this collection of info from a bio of Truman Capote that I discovered after watching the biopic of him out last year – I put in bold the statement that brings up the utterance, “Ehhh?”:

Black and White Ball

On November 28, 1966, in honor of Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, Capote hosted a legendary masked ball, called the Black & White Ball, in the Grand Ballroom of New York City‘s Plaza Hotel. It was considered the social event of not only that season but of many to follow. The New York Times and other publications gave it considerable coverage, and Deborah Davis wrote an entire book about the event, Party of the Century (2006), excerpted by The Independent. [2] Different accounts of the evening were collected by George Plimpton in his book Truman Capote. [3]

Capote dangled the prized invitations for months, snubbing early supporters like Carson McCullers as he determined who was “in” and who was “out.” In choosing his guest of honor, Capote eschewed glamorous “swans” like Babe Paley and Fiat heiress Marella Agnelli in favor of Katharine Graham. Actress Candice Bergen was bored at the ball. Capote’s elevator man danced the night away with a woman who didn’t know his pedigree. Norman Mailer sounded off about Vietnam, and Frank Sinatra danced with his young wife, Mia Farrow.

Not that the tidbits about the elevator operator or the rest of the celebs is anymore cohesive, but the imagery of Murphy Brown sighing against the wall in the corner thinking that she shouldn’t have bothered getting that manicure is just priceless, and totally random.

Other than that, Sam Adams unveils a new beer glass, having a boyfriend is so over, and the local-turned-radical Muslim trend hits Boston.

Oh, and as always, the T sucks.

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3 Responses to “A Little Local Flavor”


  1. February 14, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    The Candy Bergen bit isn’t so random… it’s actually from her own memoir, Knock Wood. She was apparently somewhat bewildered to be invited, wound up borrowing a mask from Halston that was made for someone else (a real fur bunny mask), and was, well, bored. She probably got Truman’s attention because she was just starting out and had just gotten the pivotal role of Lakey in The Group. Plus, she was considered pretty high society, not so much part of the film crowd in LA as part of LA’s non-film upper class (such distinctions) – she’d been to a Swiss finishing school, and at the time was going back and forth between working and Bryn Mawr (eventually getting kicked out).

    The really randomk part, for me is the part about his elevator man – I think the woman is someone important, but I can’t think of who it is. Also I’m surprised that the entry doesn’t mention that The Black and White Ball was meant to be Truman’s celebration of finishing In Cold Blood, and he invited a number of residents of the town in Kansas who he’d met and befriended there.

    Kay Graham also has a long bit about the party in her memoir – it was shortly after her husband had committed suicide, leaving her in charge of The Washington Post, and while she was uncomfortable, I think she was grateful to Truman for helping to bring her out of her shell.

  2. February 14, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    Right, it may make sense to you, but you’re not researching Capote since you already know all this. I didn’t know much about him, and the lone sentence about Bergen in isolation of any context anywhere else in the entry is a riot.

    Sounds like you should be updating the wiki entry…


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