I just read a Barbara Bush article that dealt with her white hair. It triggered this delicious tale stored deep in my memory:
It was long ago. A sitting room in the official house of then-Vice President George H. W. Bush. Just us two. Girl talk turned to looks, cosmetics and difficulties of looking well on pressured days.
The story, hers. The memory, mine. Her words as I recall them:
“It was in Texas. Many years back. George was in another city running for Congress. I was still in our hometown, preparing to join him but, first, I was going to the hairdresser. In those days, I was brunette.
“Afterward a small plane was flying me to meet him. The day was warm. The plane had no air conditioning. As we rose, we got warmer. The tint — not dye, tint — began to drip. With a handkerchief, I dabbed my forehead.
“The plane got higher, the sun stronger, the cabin hotter, the tint wetter. It was now not leaking, it was running. The handkerchief was done so I took Kleenex. When the Kleenex finished but the tint didn’t, I panicked and didn’t know what to do. I pulled toilet paper from the loo.
“My face was perspired. And wet. The toilet paper clung to the brown spots in clumps on my cheeks. All over. It looked like I had measles. I was a wreck because we were now landing.
“A four-piece welcoming band stood on the runway. I was so nervous that, stepping out, I tripped and fell right into the tuba.”
Barbara Bush, laughing: “And that’s why I never again tried to color my hair.”
If I had to, somewhere from my deepest archives I could maybe locate and dredge out the actual date of that story.
Films on deck
Here’s another beauty. RLJE Films is bringing “Brawl in Cell Block 99” with Vince Vaughn, “I Kill Giants” starring Zoe Saldana, plus Margot Robbie and Mike Myers in “Terminal,” which is about assassins, sinister missions, fatal illness, dead of night, a strange janitor and murderous consequences.
The studio’s immediate release is “Arizona,” a dark story that follows a single mom and struggling real estate agent who witnesses a murder and goes off the rails.
Faith meets sexuality
Rachel Weisz about her new steamy religious film “Disobedience”: “I’m English, my father’s Jewish — but who needs another Orthodox Jewish lesbian film? There have just been so many.”
The London tale depicts a torrid affair. Co-star Rachel McAdams: “I was raised Protestant but invited myself to many Shabbos dinners. And this glimpses something quite secretive.”
Weisz: “It’s a universal story about freedom of finding who you want to love.”
Or to quote a rabbi: “Oy vey.”
Fodder for fights
’Tis the season for sticky subjects.
Off-B’way’s Laura Pels Theatre is getting Tony winner Stockard Channing in the October opening of the Roundabout’s “Apologia.”
This one’s about a ’60s radical activist political protester whose lifestyle threatens fights, splits her family apart, and is a clash of generations, beliefs and rebels in today’s reality.
So, qué pasa with sweet little tales about moon and June and spoon?
Judith Leiber passed last week. If you haven’t heard, her label is co-owned by Tommy Hilfiger’s designer wife, Dee Ocleppo . . . Speaking of fashion, designers now say a problem is the escorts. Men do jeans and tees, and bye-bye elegant suits and ties so it’s no more dress up. “Chic,” they say, “is on the wane.”
Dinner guest about the host: “A cheapo, he won’t even buy a soft drink in a can because on top it says, ‘To open, pick up tab.’ ”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.
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