Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer at Tiffany (copy)

Marjorie Hart wanted to do something other than go to summer school at the University of Iowa. Three of her sisters at the Kappa house were heading to New York City to work at Lord & Taylor. They would be dancing at the hippest clubs, eating at the finest restaurants, visiting the beach on the weekend, watching the latest Broadway shows, and meeting midshipmen. Marty Garrett, Marjorie’s roommate, anticipating a boring summer dropped the summer schedule in the wastebasket and declared, “We can get on a train for New York, too,”

A plan was hatched and the two decided to use their savings for summer classes and redeem empty Coke bottles. After a little figuring, they surmised in order to make it in New York City they would need a contact for references and $65 for living expenses. World War II was in full swing and they could rely on midshipmen for tickets to shows.

A discretionary fund would be set up for the following items, “Oxydol laundry soap, Woodbury hand soap, bronze stocking stick, Pond’s hand cream, Jergen’s lotion, Dubarry nail polish, Kreml shampoo, Max Factor powder, Colgate toothpaste, Tangee lipstick, Coca-Cola, Lucky Strike cigarettes, Schrafft sundae, and a drink at Sardi’s.”

With a little help from the parents, they were set up in a meager but clean apartment in the Seth Low building at 106 Morningside Drive. The first morning in the city they were polished clean as they traveled on the upstairs berth of the downtown bus. Passing by the different Fifth Avenue stores, Marjorie was dizzy with excitement. She was disoriented while stepping off the curb and a stranger pulled her back before a Checker Cab could end her career.

When they entered the employment office at Lord & Taylor all hopes were dashed. Staring at them was a room full of other young ladies their age looking for summer work. It was the same at Saks Fifth Avenue, Peck & Peck, Bergdorf Goodman, Bonwit Teller, and De Pinna. The ladies were looking a little down when Tiffany rolled into site of the bus. Always the confident one Marty said, “Let’s try here.”

Marty and Marjorie became the first female pages in the history of Tiffany. This is the story of their summer and it is well worth the read. Titled, Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart, Adriana Trigiani said of the book, “A glorious once-upon-a-time fairy tale come true…I loved every moment.”

Read an excellent review by Tiffany HERE!!! She writes the blog Considering All Things Literary.

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