October 26th, 2008

Tempus fugit

More on mothers and daughters and the passage of time.

The following photo, however, is my favorite in the piece. What carriage and natural elegance the woman had!


[NOTE: Oops! Trying to have a nonpolitical weekend, and here I somehow slipped back into the political again---sorta.]

12 Responses to “Tempus fugit”

  1. csimon Says:

    Ahh….this is one of the few times our opinions diverge, neo. I never understood the big deal of Jackie O, and really didn’t admire her much most of her life.

    I was only 6 yrs. old when JFK was assassinated. I rememer coming home from first grade and the soap “The Doctors” was on TV when it was interrupted with the news.

    As I grew up, and even as I read more about her, I always viewed her as rather a society snob (she and her sister were brought up that way) whose mission in life was to marry well, as they had the pedigree…but no longer the money. In later years when I learned of JFK’s continuous infidelities, I might have felt a pang of empathy, except for the fact that money and position in society was more important than her personal integrity.

    My respect for her grew even lower when she married Onassis — someone I viewed at my young age as an ugly very much older man, with tons of money. Later still, when I learned of their “marital agreement” — that he was admitted to her bed once per month in exchange for his gaining the her prestige as his wife (he was still a scrappy Greek from nowhere who had made a fortune; also, it was well-known that the love of his life was Maria Callas, the opera star. It was clearly a marriage of convenience.

    I grew to have some respect for her when she went to work in her later years as a book editior. She finally grew more private — not the fashion star ogled on magazines while waiting in the grocery check line. (somewhat the pre-tabloid, pre-Hollywood worship era). I did find it ironic, however, that her longest and most lasting relationship was with Maurice Tempelsman, a Jew — once of “those Jews” that the society in which she had spent most of her life looked down upon. Mr Tempelsman, a very bright and successful business man, was the person who really increased her fortune which she ultimately left to her children. He also never married her, because his religion — I believe he was Orthodox — would not grant him a “get” which was essentially a divorce in the Jewish religion, so lived together for many of her last years.

    When she died, I, along with many others felt sad because she was relatively young; It was also the end, more or less of an era in which the public was encouraged to stand in awe of not character, but “breeding” and money. Tho’ I grew up to immerse myself in the fashion world where I made my living, I could admire her style (or rather the way she was styled by designers such as Oleg Cassini), but I never found myself admiring her for her character.

    Note: I, also, find the efforts to cast the Obamas as the “New Kennedys” rather amusing, even as they enlisted early on members of the Kennedy family to endorse this image in the public’s mind. (So gimmicky — and tacky as far as I’m concerned).
    As we have watched in recent weeks the press yet again attack Sarah Palin with the “news story” of her $150,000 campaign trail wardrobe, I wonder just how much was spent early on — even now — on Michelle Obama’s wardrobe. I’d bet it wasn’t she who paid for it!
    (Meantime how many have noticed how she, and those such as the Reverend Wright and Rev. Phleger have completely disappeared from public view these last months? been Locked in some vault lest they remind the public of Obama’s unsavory and very close ties to the racism and bigotry that have been constants in his world. Lucky for him, that the Feds took care of Reczko.
    Get those folks out of sight so they will be out of mind!
    And said to say, it’s worked

    Sorry, neo, the politics just found their way in. I’m rather depressed myself, as I wonder at the cluelessness of the American electorate, their willingness to swallow whole the pablum that the campaign cooks up who what which the MSM feeds them. I’m afraid we’re in for some big trouble — a great deal more than that of which the conservative economists have been warning. And that’s only one facet of the problem, with Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, in charge. (And G-d help us if something should happen to Obama beause the alternative is even worse in that bumbling bonehead, Biden! (Oy vey!)
    have been

  2. Tatyana Says:

    I’ll stay within fashion and mother/daughter topic.

    I never considered Jackie beautiful. That is, her face is plain ugly: those unfocused too-widely set eyes, the low forehead, bushy eyebrows that give her Neanderthal look, meaty nose and square jaws. Yes, she always looked elegant – but that is probably to the credit of her stylist; although I’ll give her that she indeed had taste – taste in selection. A very important quality. Another plus she had – she could move beautifully, wear her clothes well and keep a graceful posture. [btw, as I said some time ago on another friendly blog, JFK and Jackie was quite a couple: his face is the opposite of hers, with the eyes set too close and sensual lips vs. her thin ones, etc]

    As to aging – they should have juxtapose the photos of Jackie in her last years to the picture of Caroline – then we can see the future for daughter in her mother’s advanced years. As they did for Paltrow and her mother. That pair is the most beautiful, in my opinion. Or maybe just the most beautifully photographed..

  3. jon baker Says:

    Speaking f the Kennedy’s, It appears Ayers republished a book in 2006 that was dedicated to the assassin of Robert Kennendy. At least according to an article on Thursday at Little Green footballs. They provided a link to the amazon site where you can buy the book, but it does not show the dedication page. See here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1583227261/ref=sib_dp_pop_fc?ie=UTF8&p=S001#reader-link

  4. vanderleun Says:

    Natural elegance doesn’t really enter into it. Proper finishing does.

    Miss Porters knows how to turn girls into ladies.


    As for the marraige to Onassis marriage, it always seemed to me to have to do with security and the ability to hide from the press at will. Nothing like owning a lot of islands for that purpose.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    Tatyana: what I admire about Jackie is a bit hard to state, but it boils down to the fact that despite the milieu in which she was raised (snobbery and money and all of that) she did pretty well with the hand that was dealt her. Whatever Jack’s infidelities, she kept her mouth shut and never spilled the beans to the tabloids. She always put her children and their welfare first—that, I believe, is why she married Onassis. For their safety and protection, and her own.

    She also had great charm and intelligence, and in later life she apparently was an excellent editor when she could have lapsed into a jet-setty life of emptiness. My impression is that she didn’t really seek the extreme fame and celebrity that came her way, although she had wanted a life of glamour and interesting activities among interesting people, especially in the arts.

    In this respect I think Caroline has followed in her footsteps, living a dignified and quiet life in which she’s followed her own intellectual and artistic interests, dealt with a host of tragedies while keeping a good public face on it, and kept her personal business as private as possible.

  6. neo-neocon Says:


    Agreed about the function of the Onassis marriage—she married him just a few months after Robert Kennedy was assassinated, which seems a telling fact.

    As for Mrs. Porter’s—I went to that website, and I’m not so sure about that “turn girls into ladies” bit. After all, I discovered that their literary magazine is named “Haggis/Baggis.”

  7. csimon Says:

    Really never regarded Onassis as a “safety zone.” I believe, at the time, Onassis was regarded as the richest man in the world. If anything, her marriage to him drew enormous attention and I remember tons and tons of photos in the papers all the time ( I actually think this time was pre-People Magazine, if you can imagine it) of he aboard his yacht w/ Jackie O., as she was dubbed by the press, and frequently the children. She also made quite the headlines with her frequent shopping sprees in Europe. As for the kids, they both were packed off to boarding schools as soon as old enough.

    Agree that Caroline has kept rather a low profile, after her very newsworthy society marriage to Ed Schlossberg, and has guarded her family’s privacy — especially that of her children.

    (By the way, Tatyana, Caroline does not resemble her mother at all. As for Gwyneth Paltrow, she does look somewhat like her mother, altho, in my opinion, Blythe Danner has always been far more beautiful.)

  8. Beverly Says:

    OT, but I have to pass this on to anyone who might be interested:

    This was posted on another neoconservative blog (Discarded Lies), and it’s hair-raising. A Chicago Public Radio interview with BHO on “the redistribution of wealth.”

    Just over four minutes of pure Communism:


    He’s shockingly frank that this is his aim and goal, and his interlocutor assumes just like he does that OF COURSE this is the correct and proper thing to do. They spend these four minutes talking about how to go about it.

    No ambiguity here, people. AT ALL. Pass it on.

  9. Helen Says:

    Well, I don’t know. There seems to have been rather a lot of Caroline Kennedy around the Obama campaign. Somehow she has become the keeper of the Kennedy flame, whatever that might be.

  10. Tatyana Says:

    Neo, I believe you wanted to address *csimon’s comment, not mine: I didn’t say anything about Jackie as a person, or her marriages, or her daughter beyond the topic of the post. I have no opinion of her beyond what I said – she doesn’t interest me, never did.

    Csimon – no, I disagree. Gwyneth’s face is exquisite, its beauty is in proportion and expression, not the ever-popular but slightly vulgar features like big eyes that mother has. She could be a princess – her mother, maybe, a pretty milkmaid.

  11. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Whenever I see pictures of Jackie from that era, all I can think of is Vaughan Meader’s “The First Family” comedy album. Okay, rip the top button off those 5,000 “First Ladies” and put ‘em on the rack!

  12. silver Says:

    You admired Jacqueline Kennedy? She struck me as vapid shallow woman, who ended up in the role which reflected all that she was actually capable of being: the mistress of a diamond merchant.

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