Sunday, March 09, 2008

Grey Gardens...

Once again I am going to discuss some sort of memory/media item. My Husband likes to call it "media baby". We are from one of the first latch key generations, some of us are from a generation of single working parents, and television provided some of our generation with a lot of company. Seems as though at times I find myself having strange attachments to songs I hear, or movies I have seen.

In todays brain file, I have been needing levity...

And I was lying in bed last night listening to Rufus Wainwright sing

And although I love the sound of Rufus Wainwright's voice, he is really an obvious talent.

I saw the documentary Grey Gardens, in about 1978-1979, on public television. At the age of 8 or 9 I doubt if I immediately knew that Grey Gardens was a documentary. I am doubting at that age I knew what a documentary was...until Grey Gardens.

I am unsure where in the film I figured out that these WERE REAL PEOPLE, but I did. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and at the age of 8 or 9, one can discern the difference.

For those of you unfamiliar with Grey Gardens....

here is the Wikipedia breakdown.

Grey Gardens is a 1975 documentary film by the direction/cinematography/editing team of Albert and David Maysles, Susan Froemke, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer. The film depicts the everyday lives of two women who lived at Grey Gardens, a decrepit 28-room mansion at 3 West End Avenue in the wealthy Georgica Pond neighborhood of East Hampton, New York.

Edith "Big Edie" Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale were the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. The two women lived together at Grey Gardens in squalor and almost total isolation.

In the Fall of 1971 and throughout 1972, their living conditions were exposed as the result of an article in the National Enquirer and a cover story in New York magazine after a series of inspections (which the Beales classified as "raids") by the Suffolk County Health Department.

Grey Gardens was purchased in 1923 by Phelan and Edith Bouvier Beale, aunt and uncle of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The Beales occupied the house for over 50 years.

The house itself, a traditional shingled cottage of 14 rooms and 3 bathrooms, was designed by Joseph Greenleaf Thorpe in 1897 and completed several years later. The grey color of the dunes, the hue of the cement garden walls, and the sea mist gave the garden its color and the house its name. With the Beale women facing eviction and the razing of their home, Jacqueline Onassis and her sister, Lee Radziwill, provided the necessary funds to stabilize and repair the dilapidated house so that it would meet Village codes in the Summer of 1972.

I think I will see if I can get this in my Netflix.

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