High Jackie

Avid readers of this blog will remember my Jackie collection and my angst over what to do with all the ephemera I’ve amassed. A friend has stepped up to help me auction off some of the higher end items. The cornerstone of that part of the collection is a note she wrote to Halston.

Ben and Rags were part of the 70’s Polk Street/Chicken Little’s/Matinee social scene until they moved to New York around 1977. Ben went to work for Andy Warhol. Rags did something too, though I can’t remember exactly what other than laughing a lot and having a good time.

Rags and Ben were close with Halston and his partner Victor Hugo. They partied with them at their Lenox Hill home and vacationed with them out in Montauk. When Victor gave him the Jackie note, Rags immediately thought of my collection. The next time he was in San Francisco he presented it to me.

Jackie’s note writing was mentioned by Senator Kennedy when he eulogized her. “At the end, she worried more about us than herself. She let her family and friends know she was thinking of them. How cherished were those wonderful notes in her distinctive hand on her powder blue stationary.”

We’ll find out just how cherished when the hammer comes down at Bonhams.



The Jackie Obsession


Life of Brian

In the span of three years I lost three of my closest confidants to AIDS. Brian was the last in 1991.

We were not partners but we were both hypersexual so on occasion, out of necessity, we’d shag. Though we were never mushy. We loved to cause trouble and we were good at it.

The pictures of him passed out are from 1982 on the night I returned from my first trip to Europe. My friend Giorgio had given me two beautiful bottles of ancient Chianti. He insisted they were purely ornamental, they’d gone bad years ago.

Brian never met an order he couldn’t defy. We drank them both that night.


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Life in Retail, 1978

My best friend David owned the vintage clothing store Matinee on Polk Street. One day he needed help and asked me to fill in. My personality isn’t really suited for sales. I am always polite and courteous but I’m also honest.

I was helping a customer who hemmed and hawed over a blouse. She couldn’t make up her mind. Finally I told her, “if you don’t really like it you probably shouldn’t buy it.” David overheard this and pulled me off the floor. I worked the register the rest of the day.

He found a better use for my talents another afternoon when he asked me to live model in his window. Customers selected outfits from the store for me to try on. I obliged by doing my best to entertain both sides of the plate glass.

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The complete saga, From the Beginning