The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on January 2, 1977 · Page 169
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 169

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 2, 1977
Page 169
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Page 169 article text (OCR)

Through much of World War II, Eisenhower and his driver, Kay Summersby. 18 write of her romance with Ike. She got a S50.000 publisher's advance, hired years his junior, were inseparable. Kay, dying of cancer in 7973. decided to two ghostwriters. Sigrid Hedin and Barbara Wyden, to help. She died in 1975. to qioh o liiiiit fern by Lloyd Shearer consultant for film and TV companies, told me that she was "broke." that her medical and hospital bills were "horrendous," that "I don't have very much longer to live, Mamie's going to outlive us all," and that "if I write anvthing about Ike and me. it's only because I need the money." Past Forgetting is strategically sprinkled with some torrid passages. For example: "Yes. I loved this middle-aged man Eisenhower with his thinning hair, his eyeglasses, his drawn, tired face. I wanted to hold him in my arms, to cuddle him. delight him. I wanted to lie on some grassy lawn and see those broad shoulders above me. feel the intensity of those eyes on mine, feel that hard body against mine. I loved this man." 'Like an explosion' And later on: "It was like an explosion. We were suddenly in each other's arms. His kisses absolutely unraveled me. Hungry, strong, demanding. And I responded every bit as passionately. He stopped, took my face between his hands. 'Goddamit,' he said. 'I love you.'" No doubt these Eisenhower-Sum-mersby clinches took place. Kay Summersby was too honest a ladv to contrive them of whole cloth. Perhaps time and a ghostwriter's skill have embellished them. But according to persons who knew Kav well, who served with her in World War II. who were attached to General Eisenhower's staff the truth seems to be that the general had a great big yen for Kay Summersby but 1973 the first of six lengthy telephone interviews with her she said. "In mv first book Eisenhower Was My Boss. which she wrote with Michael Kearns in 1948 I was very discreet. If I ever write a second one, I'm going to insist that it not be published until after Mamie dies. What's the point in embarrassing her? "To tell you the truth." she went on. "there wasn't all that much between Ike and me. The big love of my life was Dick Arnold, and Ike always knew it. fRichard Roberts Arnold of White Plains. N.Y.. West Point. Class of 1932. commandipg officer. 20th Combat Engineer Regiment, killed at Sedjenae. Tunisia, lune 6. 1943, awarded the Purple Heart Dick stepped on a mine and was killed. We were scheduled to be married. I'd gotten a divorce from Summersbv for that very purpose. Ike was more than kind. He was like a father or a big brother to me after Dick died." In subsequent conversations. Kav Summersbv. who worked as a wardrobe SANTA BARBARA. CAL. In World War II Gen. Dwight Eisenhower had a chauffeur-secretary-Gir! Friday named Kay Summersbv. She was a tall, thin, flawlessly complex-ioned Irish beauty with dark red hair, blue-green eyes and a winning way. She died at 66 of liver cancer in January, 1975, in Southampton Hospital. Long Island, N.Y. The publishing house of Simon & Schuster has recently brought out a book of her memoirs. Past Forgetting: My Love Affair With Dwight D. Eisenhower. Simon & Schuster describes the book as ". . . the true story of the passionate, moving, secret love affair between General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, and Kay Summersby, the beautiful English fashion model who became his driver in wartime London, his staff aide, by his side through every crisis and high-level meeting of the war and the woman he loved." Excerpts of the book have appeared in Ladies' Home Journal, and Bantam Books has paid $800,000 for the paperback rights. Past Forgetting is the sad-sweet story of Genera! Eisenhower's sexual impo-tency at age 52, of his inability to consummate frantically grasped opportunities for sexual enjovment with his attractive confidante, and of wartime experiences they shared. Publisher's claim The publisher claims on the book jacket that Past Forgetting was "written bv Kav Summersby Morgan herself." In publishing circles the story is that two ghostwriters. Sigrid Hedin and Barbara Wyden, had a crack at it. with Barbara Wyden writing most of the book from Kay Summersby's tapes. One friend of Kav's told me, "Kay saw 75 percent of the manuscript before she died." Reportedly Simon & Schuster advanced Kav $50,000. of which $8500 went to Sigrid Hedin and S25.000 to Barbara Wvden. a free-lancer formerlv with The New York Times. When I spoke to Kav Summersbv in

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