"the" Mrs. Astor

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Henrietta's Birthday

At first it seemed the event had The Sword of Damacles above it. Our Easter luncheon had gone off spectacularly, even if it was judged necessary to move it inside. The sumptuous feast went on as the rare March rains resumed with thunder and lightening, but we all looked at each other with every clap of thunder wondering what this would hold for the birthday party. Baroness Seitzinger rang me up with the not-so-cryptic message, "I know you have something to do with this." No doubt, this was the spawn of an off-handed remark I made on Friday night at a meeting of The Daughters of The American Revolution book swap. "I curse The Palace with a weekend of rain" I said in a haze of Stoli and literature. Well, it rained and rained and rained to the point that I got so wet carrying Henrietta's home-cooked trays of food to the car that Mr. Astor had to go out and buy me a new, dry outfit. (Note to self: Use Rain to Advantage.)
But--as always--we made it and Twist was ready to set up a grand setting for the diva, who wore a vintage, Mexican dress from the 70's.
Weather did not stop the high and mighty from getting in line for the first plates of food and the whimsical basket of "eggs" Leopoldo and I had put together, each containing candies, toys, and sex paraphernalia was a great hit.

Thomas Barker cut his honeymoon in Key West short to attend with hubby, Jonathan. They argued about who was to be the "housewife" until I mentioned to Jonathan that I live a scant half block away and that he could come over with The Enquirer, exchange recipes with me, and sip gin by the pool every day. Suddenly, "housewife" didn't sound all that bad after all.

The bungalow bar soon got packed with the best South Beach night life had to offer, which pleased us so much. Unless you live here, you can not imagine how hard it is to get people to out in the afternoon; you have to do a sort of Salome' dance OR have a big-name celebrity like Henrietta on the marquis. I did both and felt satisfied and relieved that I had, indeed, delivered in this time of confusion and change.

It was one of those happy afternoons I always tried to maintain.
Sadly, I heard over and over stories about the mis-steps and confused signals the new owners of The Palace were sending. Cancelled shows and DJ's with offers by customers to pay for the drag queens themselves, sent knives through my body. Those fools have no idea that South Beach is not Lansing, Michigan. This is a close community that is well-off, bitchy and not accepting of eradict behaviour on the part of those supposed to entertain them. As the previous owner remarked, "They are in way over their heads", but--as the previous owner learned--the place, by virtue of its location, can defy even the most stubborn owners and decisions. We will all see.


At 10:39 PM, Blogger Countess du Barry said...

I am so happy for Henrietta she is truly a Miami Beach legend . Is so nice to see everyone having a good time. I only hope to to be half as loved as she at her age.

At 3:31 AM, Blogger Jeremiah Andrews said...

Where ever you go, your minions will follow. I was saddened to hear of your break from Ocean Drive, their loss I guess.

They who do not know - will surely loose in the end. You have great power and loyalty amongst your keep, just remember that to be better than those who you curse, You must always strive to rise above them in all things...

South Beach is a den of vipers, and it seems that some have been sucked in to the venom, but not you. Be wise with your words, be sharp with your decisions and stay loyal to all that you hold dear, and that will serve you well.

You should be proud of all you do - like a traveling show, you walk, and your minions follow, Twist should be a fine location for court to gather now.

Don't get into the pit with the vipers, you are better than that.


At 12:07 PM, Blogger "the" Mrs. Astor said...

So right, Jerimiah; like all humans I can engage in emotions like bitterness. However, I really am relieved and released from that stress-filled position. And, I will use my magic for only good the next time Stoli convinces me that I'm Merlin.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Countess Bedelia said...

Henrietta looks fabulous as always! Another great party...I am sorry I missed it...boohoo!

Wait! Thomas Barker is married ?!? That must be why those pigs are flying past my castle windows...LOL

At 5:32 PM, Blogger Tosca15 said...

Somehow I've never had the honor and pleasure to meet Henrietta, and I hope to remedy that in the near future.

Don't feel badly about the Palace -you are its loss, and perhaps the customers will be as well. A sad state of affairs. Know that you are loved and supported by your friends and extended family, wherever you go.

PS Please post more photos of Leo.

At 10:41 PM, Blogger LARMOT said...

It was great to see so many old friends there in one place at the same time. Henrietta and The Mrs. Astor are the only two I know who can summon and unite the daytime and nightime creatures. They come running. You never earn these many friends by deceit, but by the good heart you both have.


Post a Comment

<< Home