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.
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.