A bibliophile is someone who collects books.

Guilty as charged.

It’s no secret I love to read.  To disappear into a tale, true or fictional, is the best medicine there is, and it’s over-the-counter, besides.

I’ve just finished Meryl Gordon’s new bio, Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend, I didn’t want to end.   

Married to the Pittsburgh banking heir and philanthropist, Paul Mellon, who sired The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and Jackie Kennedy’s best friend, not to mention one of the most  talented garden designers and horticulturalists the world has ever seen, Rachel Lowe Lambert Lloyd Mellon, known as Bunny, was a force of nature, she completely, unabashedly, immersed herself in.

Upon JFK’s request, she renovated the famous White House Rose Garden that still exists today.

Sadly, not long after, she arranged the flowers for his funeral, as well as his brother Bobby’s, five years later.

When Jackie Kennedy, 19 years her junior, lay dying in 1994, she was the only one besides John, Caroline and Maurice Templesman, Jackie’s longtime beau, who sat vigil at her bedside.

So moved by this book, I walked to her former townhouse at 125 East 70th Street, standing in front, thinking about this amazing woman who died in 2014 at the age of 103, with her mind still so intact, she asked that her bedroom window be opened so, as she passed on, she’d be that much nearer to nature.

After leaving her house, I went and bought myself a spray of freesia that still grace my table, along with white roses for my nightstand, donning a blue scarf because blue, was Bunny’s favorite color.

I looked around at my shabby-chic decor smiling because, Bunny too, liked old, worn-out things.  She said, if a room is too perfectly done, no one is really comfortable in it.  Of course, she and Mr. Mellon were avid art collectors, so Cezannes and Diebenkorns, Turners and Rothkos lined the walls of their many homes, but it gave a boost to my own aesthetic, knowing, if Mrs. Mellon were to stop by, she’d like the place.   




About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
This entry was posted in Beauty, Books, Fashion, friendship, grace, Health, History, humanity, nature, Politics, Women and men, words, writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Bibliophile

  1. Maybe she did stop by your place on her way out of life!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never heard of her before, but that’s why I love reading your blog, I learn so much. All hail the bibliophiles.We’re an interesting lot. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It looks like Bunny enjoyed hats as much as Jackie. I’m so glad you introduced us to this extraordinary woman who made the world a more beautiful place with her grace and talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. skinnyuz2b says:

    Thanks, Susannah. Another book added to my reading list,; can’t wait.
    I know what you mean by getting immersed in a good book. I’ve had family talk to me with no response. They have to literally get in my face to break my book’s spell.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are such a beautiful soul! I am sure Bunny would like your place. I am reading a book – “The Zoomable Universe” and I love it. I read a bit slowly, but still manage to finish books in a week or so. This one would be much less if I would just read it all, but i normally read when I don’t have wi-fi when out to eat or sitting someplace, so not really often. Still, I do enjoy reading…teleports you to places and times you could never see yourself. I am a big fan of Sci-fi and, horror (of course). Fantasy fiction is a big part of my reading, also.
    Thanks for bringing all this back to my mind.


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