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HOME & FAMILY , What Alice Roosevelt Longworth said about John L. Lewis "He was very attractive to women. Women were very affected by him. They quivered. They wanted to be nearby." Th« Des Moines Register • Saturday, Aug. 30, 1975 / Pap * Alice Roosevelt Longworth John L. Lewis By JOHN HUTCHINSON The writer of this article is professor of industrial relations at the Graduate School of Management, University of California at Los Angeles: He is preparing a biography of the late John L. Lewis, a native of Lucas, la., who was president of the United Mine Workers of America from 1920 to 1960. In this connection the author had tea with Alice Roosevelt Longworth in June. New York Timej Special Feature* WASHINGTON, D.C.—The sexual adventures of the eminent are seldom obscure for long. They do not wait for the scholar or even the professional scavenger. Real or imaginary, they are the swiftest currency of society. Yet not in open fact, nor in all the mills of Washington, nor in all the mythology about John L. Lewis, is there any warrant that—before or after the death of his wife Myrta—he led anything but a proper life. Not that he was a misogynist. He was a courtly man, a polished and warm companion of immense animal appeal, and enjoyed in later years the company of elegant women. He dined on gold plate with Evalyn Walsh McLean; kept occasional company—in what must have been an epic running battle for the floor—with Alice Roosevelt Longworth; and for years took coffee at the Carlton Hotel, in an arms- length rite of affection and respect, with an adoring Josephine Roche. Alice Roosevelt Longworth remembered him well. "Loved making trouble" "How did we meet? Well, I suppose I sought him out. He Was a very famous man, and I had some publicity value of my own. He loved making trouble, and I loved watching him make it. It was natural that we should get together. "Perhaps my father helped. I suspect it amused John L. Lewis to think he had a friend who was my father's daughter. He wasn't socially pretentious, but interested in seeing what T. R. had produced. And then T. R. was a strong character, a strong man, and that must have interested him. He was interested in anybody who was cutting a swath. "He was very attractive to women. Women were very affected by him. They quivered. They wanted to be nearby. "But we had fun, great fun. We used to dine together, sometimes here, sometimes in Virginia, sometimes at his house in Alexandria — just us. He was eouitly and friendly and fun. I was lucky, in my middle age, to find a new and delightful companion; and in spite of all the courtliness, there was no overdue soleminity about him. "Noobdy could have been a cozier man" "Pompous? Not a bit with me. Sometimes we got a bit pompous together, but we were .aughing at ourselves at the same time. It's an odd word to use about John L. Lewis, but nobody could have been a cozier man. We had fun and we laughed and laughed and didn't pretend at all. We were suddenly fellow thieves. We could have come frcm the Arabian nights. ; "Marriage? I think that, was on his mind. It was in the wind. But I didn't take it seriously, 1 wouldn't have married him. I wouldn't have married anybody. Once is enough. "I don't know about his other women friends. I never wondered if ha was having an.v affairs. Everybody does, at one time or another. Look at Franklin Roosevelt. There was Eleanor, incessantly virtuous; a nice girl, but boring. So Franklin locked elsewhere. He loved Lucy Mercer so. "But I didn't think along those lines with John L. Lewis. Evalyn Walsh McLean? Oh, no. She was shallow, nothing a show-off, poor thing. He was very friendly with Molly Thay^r He used to talk about, her. I had the feeling she was a very real friend. She meant a good deal to him. He was pleased that he knew her. Do you know what I mean? He was a lonely man "He was a lon;;!v man, but very self-sufficient. 1 think he observed his loneliness with considerable pleasure. I would say that to him if he was around. He would have enjoyed playing with the idea for a while, turning it over and around. He would have liked that. "But for me he was a boon companion, a boon companion. He was a very dear, a very nice man. Ho'was the best company there ever was." After getting advice ;•.,£ -It. »-iWiW as*** .**fc< **Sr •••"^•- *iw**^ •'-.* «.•.•>•• ;«r*:ft»»!,?^ .JgSw^Jp".' '1 S»£_ 1l*R'l •' *'?B' soirt^ live happily By ANN LANDERS Dear Readers: You have often asked me, "Do the people you advise ever write back and let you know how their lives turned out?" The answer is yes, they do — sometimes. Today I'm going to print a letter which appeared on Aug. 6, 1971, and the follow-up which I received in a recent batch of mail. Dear Ann: It is Sunday afternoon, our 13-year-old boy went to a ball game, the 10-and 12-year-old girls are in the neighbor's swimming pool and my husband went to his favorite tavern to get drunk. I'm not writing for advice. I'm writing to thank you for your advice. A few years ago I would have been crying my eyes out, or venting my anger to a friend on the telephone. But today I am calm, content and very happy with my life. Why? Because I listened to you and joined Al- Anon. Every woman who is married to an alcoholic must at some point decide whether she is going to allow his problem to defeat her or Ifcarn how to live with it. Since I joined Al-Anon I love and understand my husband more than ever. Our marriage is better than most marriages, where no drinking problem exists. Due to a marked change of attitude toward my husband, he has become a better father and a better person. . At the moment my husband has expressed no interest in joining AA. I hope one day he will do so, but he must come to the decision himself. If he never comes to it, it's all right with me. I have learned to live with him, and I appreciate the many other wonderful blessings in my life. Please Ann, keep telling people about Al-Anon. It's a lifesaver — both literally and figuratively. — Gage Park Member Dear Ann: After reading your column for nearly 20 years, I know you take a personal, interest in your readers and like to know how things turn out. Well, I lived happily ever after! It's mbre than four years later now, but thank you for printing my letter. Our Al-Anon group got calls from other groups who wanted to invite the "author" to give a talk at one of their meetings. I became involved in the business end of the fellowship and worked on a public information committee. I am now secretary for the South Cook County Council of Al-Anon Groups and co-ordinator of our telephone answering service. We started a new group in the Bridgeport neighborhood less than twTyears ago. It has been so successful, the result is three new groups starting this month. I had never joined or volunteered for anything in my life until Al-Anon. In this fellowship, I am finding complete fulfillment, but most important, peace of mind and love of fellow man. Incidentally, my husband made a decision for sobriety on May 1, 1972 — and has been sober ever since. You are Al-Anon's best friend, Ann, and I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that when we ask newcomers where they heard about Al-Anon, three out of four say, "From Ann Landers's column." No need to ask you to give us a plug now and then — you do it automatically. The good it serves should leave you with an everlasting sense of satisfaction, God bless you and may He grant you serenity all the days of your life. — Most Sincerely, Marie Ann says: Your letter made my day. Thank you, dear. Tie together tennis shoes Hints from Heloise ByHEfolSK CRl SK Dear Folks: I have a darling friend named Panchita Thompson. And she is what I call "Sweeta"! When we go to our mountain cabins we always wear tennis shoes. Safer around the water and rock beaches, you know? Bless Panchita's heart if she riidn'l pick up a pair of mine this weekend and tie them together with one string from each shoe just as if you were tying a bow knot when you put them on! Oh, it's great. All I have In do now when I scamble through the bottom of the closet floor is pick up one shoe and pull . . . The mate is always there along with it! I think that's hunky dory, don't you? So, if you take this advice I have thrown your way today it's going to pay off in the long run. Ixx>k at the minutes we are going to save in just one year. And though you all think minutes are free, they aren't. I just wish we could buy 'em. Don't you? Heloise Dear Heloise: When two or more of us gals get together to have a garage sale, we oach choose a different color tag and that's the rolor each one uses for their items. Then at Ihe pnd of the day. it's rral easy to sort out these little different colored tags and add them up. S.S. Comforter, sheets brighten bedroom Your home, and mine By MARY BRYSON Th* RtfUler'i Furmihlntt Editor Skirts for beds used to be items you stitched up at home — simple lengths of fabric ruffled onto an old-sheeHhat fit over the mattress. Comforters were something left over from great-grandmother's day, when their down-filled puffiness kept out the frigid winter chill. today, comforters and bed ruffles (also called "dust ruffles," presumably because they hid the dust under the bed) are becoming what the bedding industry calls a "big growth category." "The trend to using bright comforters instead of floor-length spreads has made the ruffles a necessity in many homes," one manufacturer says. "A few years ago, stores usually stocked only one style in a few colors of bed ruffles, if that. "Today dust ruffles — in pinch- pleated, accordion-pleated, shirred or straight tailored styles — are available in a variety of colors and patterns." Sometimes they're in double layers of fabrics, with a patterned material peeking out below a different pattern and the whole works trimmed with scallops, lace or eyelet with grosgrain ribbon woven through it. Sometimes the ruffle is simply made of crisp white eyelet-trimmed muslin, which goes with anything, so you can switch coverlets for an easy change of pace. The dressed-up bed trend also is reviving the old-fashioned pillow sham, a decorative ruffle-trimmed covering for the pillows, beloved of the Victorians. Sheets also bright Sheets and pillow cases also are in a whole new geometry of designs and rainbow flashes of colors, many of them dreamed up by such big names in the fashion field as Christian Dior or Bill Blass. You can have bed linens strewn with flowers, cool lilies of the valley in lime greens and creamy white or flashy cabbage roses in pink or bright blue. You can have sheets that look like big red bandana handkerchiefs or gingham sheets in navy, brown or lime. There are polka dots, Renaissance scrolls or classic Greek key borders and stripes in circus tent or pin-stripe widths, and in xig-zag or straight lines. One company alone is presenting 15 different colors in small-scaled geometries, decorated with contrasting bands at top and bottom. Colors range from pastel or char-" coal and there's even white if you want it. Some manufacturers have created complete sets of correlated bedding so you can mix and match sheets, pillow cases, comforters, bedspreads and towels to hang in the bathroom. Often bed sheets end up as wallcovering, tablecloths, curtains or picture frame mats. Fancy shade A good background for hanging plants is a new roll-up window shade, introduced at the summer home furnishings market in Los Angeles. Made of burnt bamboo slats and finished in tortoise shell colors, the shades are offered in a range of six,es. Old-time look A new fabric with the look and feel of huckskin is being used as an inset in game and dinette table tops. Th« plastic-impregnated material can be swished clean with a damp cjoth.._^ Another new fabric for upholstery also has an old-time look and is called "eyelash cotton" by its designer, because tufts of heavy fringe are worked into the material. Imported from India, it will remind you of the old-fashioned chenille bedspread that used to cover half the beds in the country 35 years ago. Bright stripes, dots, plaids and solid colors are co-ordinated in a collection of eon- temporary bedding items. They're in such offbeat colors as dark brown, navy blue, orange and bright green. Elvis seeing former wife Bed skirt of ruffled eyelet is a cool companion for the daintily flowered sheets. Filigreed floral bands edge top of theet «ud outline the pillowcases. By SHIRLEY KDKR ' Km«hl Ntwipapeis Klvis Presley hns been seeing his former wife, Priscilla. She was in Memphis with him before he went inlo the hospital. They went out a lot together and it was observed thai Klvis didn't--sr.cm a.% bored looking lately. Now Klvis calls Prisoilla every day from thp hospital Linda Thompson, who was replaced In Elvis's affections by SheiJa Ryan, is also back in "swivel hips" life. Sheila has moved on to another super-star, this one a big-at-the-box-office movie star How sick can Klvis be if he can manage to call an ex-wife, be attended by a former girl friend and SPP about canceling the year's lease on a Los Angeles apartment for still another young woman?