The Walls Are Falling Down Around Me

Gloria Swanson

For a moment there, I felt like Gloria Swanson in that famous 1960 Life magazine photo (above), in which she stood grand and tall in her dotage amid the rubbled remains of the Roxy Theatre in New York City. (We’re talking the same theater that opened in 1927 featuring Swanson in the silent flick The Love of Sunya.) The reason for my almost mistaking myself for her doppelgänger? My Connecticut kitchen is about to be demolished—stripped bare to the dry wall—to make way for a sleek stainless-steel emporium brimming with KitchenAid appliances, custom wooden cabinets, Chroma countertops, and a bill so huge, I’ll likely have to cash in my IRA. Read more »

Fatty Daddy Cocktail

What do John D. Rockefeller, John F. Kennedy, Brigitte Bardot, and I have in common–besides enormous sex appeal and outsized egos? We all have something named after us: a building, an airport (et al), a ship, and (drumroll, please) a cocktail, respectively.

To kick off our very first LC get-together, held in Charleston, SC, and hence given the code name “Gritsapalooza,” hosts Clayton and Beth Price had a drink specially made for the occasion–and for me. They christened it the Fatty Daddy Cocktail. I was flattered and honored. After all, ever since my dreams of having my high school renamed David Leite High School for Extraordinarily Talented Children, Just Like Its Namesake never materialized, I thought I’d never be immortalized. Read more »

Corned Beef Hash-It-Out

As part of his wooing ritual, The One lured me up to his country house, in Barryville, New York, one weekend. The blush was very much on the rose back then. It was a time when I learned something new about my inamorato almost daily—such as how, on Saturdays, he would sun himself until he was the color of a number-two eraser (a practice cut short by skin cancer); how he’s constitutionally unable to lie; and how he simply must drive whenever he’s in a car, no matter whose it is. (Control issues, anyone?)

One Sunday morning, as I sat cross-legged at the kitchen table, all moony-eyed as he prepared breakfast, The One rifled through the cupboard and pulled out a can. He cranked open the lid, wrapped both hands around the inverted can, and pumped it up and down over the skillet as if he were driving a wooden post into the ground. On the third try, it happened—the long, slow can fart as the contents loosened and plopped into the pan. There it sat, a giant plug of gelatinous substance, the tin can’s bands embossed around its middle. Read more »

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