No foolin’

Changed the front page to one of JBK’s 1962 bedroom, with the twin mattresses belted together. If only the SelectComfort Sleep Number bed had been available—a 1 for Jackie and a 99 for Jack. As it was, Jack’s side was stuffed with horsehair and Soviet communiques and topped with a slab of concrete. Jackie’s side was stuffed with the softest angora from 300 bunnies, kept in suspension by circulating air breathed by a chorus of Catholic choir boys singing “Ave Maria.” No foolin’.

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10 thoughts on “No foolin’

  1. Derek,

    I know your are being facetious, but for us common folk from the midwest, some of Jackies’ needs were indeed extreme – trompe d’oeil closet doors in her dressing room, a Grandma Moses in Caroline’s bedroom, deer for the White House lawn, etc. She did have a flair for the dramatic. And yet, we owe her a lot for what she did to restore the White House!

    I am most grateful for her decision to seek great art. When one looks at all of the pre-JBK photos, the absence of any real art in the President’s House is depressing.

  2. Yea, but atleast the home was alot more liveable and comfortable.

    Ok, I wont start this up again. 😉

  3. Derek, man, you just ain’t rite! Ave Maria was a nice touch, though! (big grin).

    My mattress is stuffed with the shreaded promises of FEMA officials, held suspended by the Hot Air of the Mayor of New Orleans…

    We’re just simple folk down here too – I never bring my Mardi Gras crown and septer out except for special occasions. 😛

  4. Derek, man, you just ain’t rite! Ave Maria was a nice touch, though! (big grin).

    My mattress is stuffed with the shreaded promises of FEMA officials, held suspended by the Hot Air of the Mayor of New Orleans…

    We’re just simple folk down here too – I never bring my Mardi Gras crown and septer out except for special occasions. 😛

  5. Boy, for a minute there…..I thought Derek was puffing on the magic dragon! /\^^^^:>

    I’ll admit I am biased, I believe Jacqueline Kennedy’s admonition that it be “only the best” for the White House was the way to go. We have proved that we are not a monarchy, but we are a great nation and the home of the President should showcase the best of America. Even Jimmy Carter now says he was wrong to shelve the pomp and circumstance during his administration.

    I did however think she should not have made the comment about the Grand Rapids furniture of the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. Those were respectable pieces of furniture, and there was no way the Congress would have allocated any more funds for furnishing it authentically after virtually rebuilding it. I do give Jackie credit for handling it with an advisory board and public donations. Something Nancy Reagan learned very quickly is not always a guarantee of public approval.

  6. No, I think Derek was just puffing on April Fool’s Day!

    I also have to admit that I am still – after all these years – in awe of Jacqueline Kennedy – and I’ve done a good bit of reading of the biographies of historical figures. She was among the very best and the brightest that her generation of Americans had to offer. She was without question, the right person at the right moment – and she was brilliant. The more I read about her, the more I realize this.

    We are damned lucky that she came our way. Lucky that she had a background that allowed her not to be intimidated by the august surroundings of the White House. Lucky that she cared enough to elevate the standards of the White House to be in keeping with the best the world had to offer. Lucky that she deeply loved books and wanted to share her love of learning and of the White House by offering visitors to the White House a book that would not only entertain them, but teach them and challenge them.

    Because she cared enough to create the White House Guidebook, even though I never knew her, she introduced me to a lifetime’s love of American Decorative Arts and most especially of Benjamin Latrobe and his influence on American architecture. All because I was utterly facinated by the klismos chairs and the overmantle mirror, designed for Dolley Madison’s Oval Parlor, that were illustrated in Jackie’s guidebook.

    What could be a more precious gift to a rising generation of children than to instill in them a passion for learning and introduce them to things that will delight them as they journey through life?

    Jackie was most certainly a product of her genreation and she had a “thing” for French Furniture and a distaste for Colonial Revival – which I have a passion for. Whatever. What counts is that when she was up at bat – when it was her moment – that she set standards that still inform the interpretation of the White House and have yet to be surpassed, even almost 50 years later.

  7. Agreed, John. She changed the White House into an American “Crown Jewel”

    She came along as we were finally ready to see the White House become a truly magnficient structure in its own right.

    I think that change can be seen in the difference between Ike Hoovers work and later books about the White House, including West.

    Before JBK, the White House was only about what had happened within its walls – Abigail’s laundry, Dolly’s burning, Jackson’s cheese, Lincoln’s ghosts, etc.

    JBK was the culmination of a series of First Ladies – Edith Roosevelt, Grace Coolidge,Lou Hoover, Mamie Eisenhower who wanted to make the President’s House truly historic and significant.

    (At the same time, I’m sure the Grand Rapids furniture was very high quality for current manufacture. The one who seemed to be most snobbish about it was West.)

  8. Hi POTUS. You can e-mail me directly as webmaster at whitehousemuseum.org. It’s not on the blog anywhere, but it’s on the About page on the WHM site.

  9. Now, will someone please give us the Sleepnumber Bed number used by Marilyn Monroe when she was a guest?

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