Marie's Page

Marie's Page

Taken by Jack Lord

Bernadette Banner, Fashion Designer

Bernadette Banner is a fashion designer in New York's Garment District. Hailing from the UK, she used to design costumes for the theater. Now, she focuses on historical fashion design, perhaps most of all from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Now, she has a channel on YouTube on which she scours the rapidly disappearing fabric stores in Manhattan for natural fabrics -- wool, especially -- to use in her historical recreations. Because she does some of her work in her tiny Manhattan apartment, she has converted her living room into her studio. In fact, she shows us how she goes about doing so.

Watch these videos and see if she doesn't make you think of a new-age Marie and cause you to imagine Jack hurrying to keep up with Marie as she scoured the same shops on their trips to New York.

A New York Fashion Designer . . .

 

. . . converts her apartment into a sewing room. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d32Ypfz_5TM

 

. . . shops for fabric in the New York Garment District

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC6NCehxJIY

 

. . . shops antique flea markets

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWTFMMdtTcc

 

. . . KonMaries her sewing stash

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTQuUY-UWjI

Fashion Styles During Marie’s Career

 

 

Here’s a delightful website that shows and tells all about fashions of the 1920s through the 1960s. Plus, there’s a bonus: Some of these styles can be purchased. These are the years when Marie actively designed fashions. Although this website originates in England, the styles look pretty authentic to me. Some of the terms differ; for example, what they call an “Americana zip jacket,” we would call an Eisenhower jacket. Just saying. Be sure to follow the menu to see everything this fascinating site has to offer.

http://www.thehouseoffoxy.com/1930s/a41

 

These links from The University of Vermont’s Landscape Change Program show clothing and hairstyles for decades ranging from the 1850s through the 1950s. Here are the links for the four decades when Marie designed in the Fashion District of New York City:

 

1920s 

https://www.uvm.edu/landscape/dating/clothing_and_hair/1920s_clothing_women.php

1930s 

https://www.uvm.edu/landscape/dating/clothing_and_hair/1930s_clothing_women.php

1940s 

https://www.uvm.edu/landscape/dating/clothing_and_hair/1940s_clothing_women.php

1950s 

https://www.uvm.edu/landscape/dating/clothing_and_hair/1950s_clothing_women.php


Be sure to check out other pages on The University of Vermont's Landscape Change Program's website. They’re a fascinating look through time!  

https://www.uvm.edu/landscape/dating/get_started.php


Marie Clare magazine provided a pictorial of 1940s fashions as modeled by well-known actresses in the day. http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/fashion/1940s-fashion-the-decade-captured-in-40-incredible-pictures-108160

Style Tips from Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel calls herself a geriatric starlet. It is not a role the 97-year-old designed for herself or ever expected to have bestowed upon her. Yet, this summer, she received a contract from a modeling agency. (Maybe there’s hope for us Baby Boomers, yet!)

In this video, Mrs. Apfel gives tips for finding one’s style. She says it all begins with knowing who we are. When we do, we know which styles we can carry. This seems to be a follow-up to what she said in an earlier video about not dressing to reflect anyone but ourselves.

 

I found it interesting to note that, in photos of her in middle-age, she already wore large-framed glasses (although not as large as she now wears) and lavish accessories. I also noted that she is a tall woman. Thus, she can carry more flair than shorter women can. Marie stood about five-foot-six-inches tall and limited her accessories. Gracie Allen, wife of comedian George Burns, said we should get dressed, then take off one accessory before we go out to ensure that we are not over-dressed. She was a very petite woman. I would add something to these observations: Personality. One with a vibrant personality can carry more than one with a quieter personality. 

Mrs. Apfel goes on to describe her idea of what a home should be. The still shots illustrate her words and go far to explain the eccentricities of her décor. The way she tells it, it all makes perfect sense. Go ahead and collect and display the bric-a-brac if it makes your home feel more welcoming to you. My only exception to that would be to remind  us that we have to dust around those tchotchkes. No doubt, that enters into the minimalism that is so popular today. 

Iris Apfel : A Journey in Style. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-Q8FPbSAsc

Interesting Chefs

Chef Jack Chaplin

Initially, I named this series "Italian Chefs." There are interesting French chefs, too, so, I changed the name to "European Chefs." Well, we have interesting chefs on this side of the pond, too, I have changed the name again -- to "Interesting Chefs."  Hopefully, that will work for whichever chef I happen to come upon to share with you.

 

One of the most interesting chefs to come along in recent years is Chef Jack Chaplin. Just as the Galloping Gourmet, Graham Kerr, captured our attention fifty years ago, Cooking with the Blues Jack Chaplin captures our attention today. He's a large man, giving evidence that he samples his creations -- generously. Since 2009, he has been posting his culinary adventures on YouTube.

Chef Jack Chaplin owns restaurants in New London, Connecticut, including Daddy Jack's Wood-Fired Pizza restaurant and Chaplin’s Restaurant. His first series was known as Chaplin's Restaurant. Currently, his series is known as Daddy Jack: Cooking with the Blues, reflecting the area blues musicians who perform at his restaurants. 


Family and friends drop by regularly. His daughters drop in just to say hello and to see what’s going on, even if they don’t stay to sample the latest creation. They always give him a peck on the cheek before they leave.

Although Chef Chaplin borrows from the methods of other chefs -- from Texas and Louisiana to France and Italy -- he always puts his own stamp on each thing he prepares. He is especially fond of butter, garlic, red onion, peppers (bell and hot), Parmesan and white American cheeses, and green onions. Even his hamburger steak is sprinkled with green onions at the end.

Daddy Jack's a character whose heart is in the right place. He is quick to point out the history of New London, its deep-water port, and its Coast Guard Academy (where our Jack received his commission). He even gives credit to Amtrak, whose trains pass through town quite often.

Here are a few of Daddy Jack's videos. Two borrow from French and Italian methods, while the last is strictly his own. Enjoy!

French

Chicken Francaise (Daddy Jack-style). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5Yq5u4pkjk

Italian

Rigatoni with Vodka Sauce. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gW-mJaw4A0

 

Jack’s Own Creation

Stuffed Sirloin Burger with Brandy Barbecue Sauce. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0UMYChui_4

Interesting Chefs

Julia Child

Julia McWilliams Child wasn’t French, but she did study at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She is credited with introducing French cooking to Americans through her PBS series, The French Chef, and her cookbooks, which followed. Jack liked watching The French Chef and enjoyed Julia Child as a personality.

Perhaps, the most appealing thing about Mrs. Child’s cuisine is the division between her adherence to French techniques and her own. For example, in the following video, she breaks away from the tradition of mixing all dry ingredients together, then adding a mixture of all wet ingredients. Rather, she throws it all in together. It works!

Summer Dinner. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7CDx4ypA7o

 

Mrs. Child created a series called The Way to Cook. Each episode tells how to prepare one type of food; e.g., poultry; meat; and soups, salads and breads. They tend to stick to the French tradition and are highly informative.

The Way to Cook : Soups, Salads and Bread. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM06STUHT-4&list=PLb2FN4PHG1leipNUP87DTJtnpMXJBgXXB&index=3&t=0s

Those Beloved Ocean Liners

In the 1920s and 1930s, when Marie sailed the ocean blue, trans-Atlantic travel was made by ocean liner. Air travel was only just beginning to emerge from its infancy, and no commercial aircraft was capable of flying across the sea.

In 1935, Donald Douglas’s DC-3 made its debut, decreasing transcontinental flying time from three days and cooperation with the railroads to complete the journey to fifteen hours and three stops, coast to coast. Even flying across the pond, it had to make stops in Presque Isle, Maine; Rekjavik, Iceland; and Prestwick, Scotland, in order to refuel the plane and feed the passengers. The DC-3 still must make those stops, as evidenced by the cadre of DC-3s that flew over to participate in the 75th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion on June 6th of this year.

In those early days of passenger air travel, not many people trusted airplanes to carry them so far over water. A DC-3 could set down nearly anywhere on land, but flying over water was another matter. In short, it was much more enjoyable to make a five-day crossing by sea.

The ships were fast and competing to become faster with the winner taking the Blue Riband. Edward Marston, under the pen name Conrad Allen, recounts the speed records set by the prominent ocean liners in his series of ocean liner mysteries: Murder on the Lusitania, Murder on the Mauretania, Murder on the Minnesota, Murder on the Oceanic, Murder on the Salsette, Murder on the Chronia, Murder on the Mamora, and Murder on the Celtic. All reflect the competition among cruise lines and ships within those cruise lines, even as the wealthy lavished themselves on the upper decks, while the steerage made do with wooden benches and shared berths on the lower decks.

As an aside, the reigning Blue Riband winner is the SS United States, which has been laid up in Philadelphia since 1969. Although she has changed owners several times since, no plans to restore her to service, either at sea or in port, has succeeded. Today, she has been stripped of all her finery and seems to be failing almost daily. Still, the United States Conservancy works to raise the sums needed to bring her back. It is a steep uphill battle.

Ocean liners began to fade away in the mid-1950s, when airliners were capable of crossing oceans and continents in a matter of mere hours. The DeHavilland Comet led the pack as the first commercial jet airliner. Although unsuccessful, due to its oversized windows failing, resulting in rapid decompressions and crashes, it led the way for Boeing’s 707 and Douglas’s DC-8 jetliners, which entered service in October 1958 and September 1959, respectively.

Also factoring in the replacement of ocean liners with jetliners was the long list of tragic accidents that had occurred throughout the first half of the 20th century. The last straw was the collision of the SS Andrea Doria and the MV Stockholm in July 1956 as the ships sailed through dense fog off the coast of Nantucket. All but 46 people survived, one aboard the Stockholm and 45 near the point of impact aboard the Andrea Doria. Because the Andrea Doria listed badly to its starboard side, lifeboats on its portside could not be lowered. The Stockholm  took on passengers from the Andrea Doria. In addition, rescues were made by the freighter Cape Ann, the USNS Private William H. Thomas, the USS Edward H. Allen, the USCGC Legare, and the ocean liner Ile de France.

As the jetliners took over, the ocean liners found themselves being relegated to the role of cruise ship; that is, they began and ended their cruises from the same port. The SS Constitution, which featured grandly in the movie An Affair to Remember, was sent to Hawaii to offer inter-island cruises. In fact, she appeared in an episode of Magnum, PI entitled “All Thieves on Deck.”

As the former ocean liners began to age, they were replaced by cruise ships, such as the Princess, Carnival, and Disney ships, for short-term cruises within specified areas. No longer do they attract the wealthy. Rather, they attract families with their theme park-like features. They also have been built to gargantuan proportions. Because they have been plagued with mechanical problems and have raised serious doubt as to their safety, they are losing favor after only a few years.

A few ocean liners still cross the seas. The HMS Queen Mary 2 is perhaps the best known of these. Now, newer, smaller cruise ships are being built that offer some of the grandeur of the old ocean liners. They are also as pricey as their predecessors.

Interesting Chefs

Chef Pasquale Sciarappa

 

Marie enjoyed cooking Italian dishes. We only heard of two, lasagna and chicken cacciatore, for which McGarrett was known to take credit when he claimed to make the best in the Islands. And, so, I thought we would take a look at a few Italian chefs who prepare dishes that are as popular today as they were back in the day. First is Chef Pasquale Sciarappa.

 

Chef Pasquale was born in Orsara di Puglia, Italy, just shy of 80 years ago. Even though he now lives in New Jersey, he still speaks in a strong Italian accent and is prone to break into Italian on his YouTube videos. He calls his  YouTube channel OsaraRecipes in homage to his hometown. He films his videos in his home kitchen.

 

The chef has considerable stage presence – or should I say kitchen presence. He whistles as he works, sings (always in Italian), dances, and recalls memories of old Italy. He loves red hot chili peppers, which he fries in olive oil, and calls them “Oh, yeah, baby.” He eats them as a side to some of his dishes as though they were crackers or bites of cheese. When he signs off, he takes a sip (or more) of red wine and says, “Cin-cin. Salute.”

 

His recipes look delicious! Take a look at him preparing a few and see what you think:

 

Delicious Italian Pasta Recipes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3v4tj4MmFw

Lasagna Roll Ups with Bechamel Sauce. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9w1eVoQW2g4

Travel to Havana with Marie!

 

Marie traveled to Havana, Cuba, on two occasions (that we know about), both times in the 1930s. What was it like to vacation in Havana, Cuba? Let’s find out.

According to the literature, Havana was a popular tourist mecca for the wealthy between the 1920s and the mid-1950s. The initial beckoning call was its respite from the strict prohibition laws in the States. As Fabiola Santiago wrote, “The action unfolded at funky bars and Bohemian cafes in a city of striking architecture, earning the Cuban capital the nickname ‘The Paris of the Caribbean’” (Santiago, Fabiola. A Lively Portrait of 1930s Cuba. Chicago Tribune. November 22, 2005. https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2005-11-22-0511220156-story.html).

What the Cuban tourist industry hid was the country’s real problem, namely the inability of its workers to support themselves. Worst affected were the sugarcane workers, who received an income for only four months of the year and were unemployed – and understandably angry –  the rest of the year. It was this income inequality that later prompted the uprising that led to the establishment of the Castro regime and the end of Cuba’s position as an island paradise for the very rich. The year was 1959.

Meanwhile, half way around the world, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii became a state and took over as an island paradise for the very rich. Again, we saw anger rising as poor entertainers and domestic workers struggled to support themselves while wealthy mainlanders intruded on their island. Season 1’s “Strangers in Our Own Land” only showed the tip of a very ugly iceberg.

These films from the 1930s show us what Havana was like in the eye of the wealthy tourist:

Splendour of Havana in the 1930s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_cBT6m2pjI

Havana, Cuba 1930s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEMYLkpYxX8

Highly Efficient New York Flat

Word is that Jack and Marie met when he came across a stone house near Woodstock, New York (Yep! That’s the one!) and came to learn that she had designed it. Using her art and fashion design training, she created a retreat that was just perfect for unwinding after a week in the city.

Back in the city, apartments in the old brownstone walk-ups are selling for a king’s ransom, no matter they haven’t had a re-do in well over fifty years – and some since they were built in the late-19th and early 20th centuries. Today, they are highly sought after by those who want or need to live in Manhattan. What’s a homeowner to do?

Today’s designers have to be both highly imaginative and shrewd as they find ways to squeeze every last square inch of space out of, often, no more than 400 square feet. Incredibly, they are finding ways to have two bedrooms that are able to accommodate queen-sized beds and storage space that leaves many of us insanely jealous.

The condominium featured in the following video ticks all the boxes for living space that is both functional and appealing. Take a look.

Convertible NY Flat Expands Amid High Ceilings and Big Windows. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTKV1i7HxVc

Marie and Jack's Travels

Jack once said that he and Marie had traveled to nearly every continent. Without knowing the continents he had in mind, we can only assume that they traveled everywhere but the two poles.

 

Most of all, we know they loved Oceania, including Hawaii. After all, they visited several times even before Five-0 came along. Then, they spent the rest of their lives there.

We know they loved Asia, for we have seen pictures of them dining in Asian homes and have read of Jack's being asked to present an award at the Taiwan film awards ceremony. Too, Jack didn't miss an opportunity to have episodes of Hawaii Five-0 set in both Hong Kong and Singapore.

We know they loved Australia; in fact, we have heard that they owned a home there, although we have been unable to substantiate that. Can anyone confirm that they owned a home in Australia?

We know they traveled throughout Europe, for we have read of their love of France, the placement of one of Jack's paintings at the Tate Gallery in London, and of Marie's Italian heritage. In fact, we even have a snapshot of Jack standing before an Italian art gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack at the Museum of Art in Marguttina, Italy (1963)

Photographer unknown. Used re: Circular 3, US Copyright Office, Library of Congress, 2017

We don't know whether they traveled in South America or in Africa. It seems a possibility; after all, Jack sailed to those places with the Merchant Marine and seemed to hold the places he sailed in special regard. Can anyone confirm whether they traveled to those continents? 

 

How Much Do Fashion Designers Earn?

Well, it all depends. The determining criteria are education, skill level, location, and years of experience.  Payscale.com gives a current salary range of between $39,000 and $102,000 per year with a median salary of $64,000.

They go on to say that these sums can be increased by such factors as bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions received. These can range drastically. For example, bonuses can range from $600 to $13,000 per year. 

Read more about it: 

https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Fashion_Designer/Salary

Sew Like Marie!

Do you wish you could sew like Marie?

This pattern isn’t exactly like Marie’s, but it picks up many of the same details. With the right fabric and a little imagination, you can be your own fashion designer.

Adjust the sleeve length to suit the season and the occasion. Omit the collar, and you have an entirely different tunic. Extend the length and turn this tunic into a dress. Pinch it in a bit at the waist to show off your own 19-inch waist. The possibilities are endless.

https://www.simplicity.com/simplicity-storefront-catalog/our-brands/simplicity/simplicity-sewing-pattern-s8948-misses-blouses-with-cummerbund/

Fashions!

In The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette,[1] Miss Vanderbilt advised women not to attempt to stay up with changing fashion styles but to select a style that is good for them and to stay with it, merely replenishing one’s wardrobe as items wear out. In today’s world, that piece of advice might seem archaic – strange even.

Perhaps, with a few modern twists, Miss Vanderbilt’s advice just might be sound, even today. By updating colors as we replenish our worn items, we can remain right in style. Consider this, though: Changing fashion styles requires one to spend quit hefty sums of money that may no longer be available in retirement. Not only that, it is difficult in today’s world to find fashions that are flattering to figures that are long past their youthful best. Patterns are large, angular, and in often garish colors, giving the appearance that a figure is even larger than it is.

Many of today’s fashions were inspired by styles from the past. Today’s capri pants are yesterday’s pedal pushers. Today’s Hawaiian wedding dresses are yesterday’s mu‘mu-mu‘mu. Perhaps, it’s time to dig back through our closets to see what we have that we can bring up to date with a splash of color or a piece of jewelry.

 

A Lady of Style

I am awed by the fashion sense of our own Marie! Marie continued to design and sew her own fashions for many years after she left the Seventh Avenue rat race. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Marie made the high mandarin collar her trademark and applied it to slim-fitting dresses based on the Japanese Cheongsam dress. By altering the fabric, the flare of the skirt, and its length, she could adapt the design to suit any number of different occasions, from afternoon teas to evening dinner parties. As time passed, so did Marie’s styles. In an interview in 1996,[2] she was stylishly attired in a black turtleneck sweater over black slacks with a warm pink jacket with a matching hat.

Marie DeNarde Ryan

EMME, Inc. / KGMB-TV, 1996.

 

Wearing sweaters over slacks is still popular today. So is wearing black over black (or ivory over ivory). So is wearing colorful jackets. The advice here is to find a style that suits you, then adapt it to the occasion.

 

Iris Apfel Has Real Chutzpah!

I have to admire Iris Apfel. She’s well into her 90s, yet she ventures out and is very active in the world around her. More to the point, she dares to dress in a style that makes her happy. It is a style that most of us might have trouble working up the nerve to wear. Iris wears it with aplomb.

Iris began her career as an interior designer. When she found it difficult to find vintage fabrics, she hired a hand weaver to create reproductions of them. And, so, she and her husband opened Old World Weavers. They even helped the White House with some of their fabric needs during Jackie Kennedy’s restoration of the White House public rooms in the early 1960s.

As such, Iris looks for the details in fabric, that blend of color and texture that make one stand above the rest. But she doesn’t stop there. She uses accessories with a capital A: large, round glasses with black frames; multiple large, colorful bracelets and necklaces; and, of course, rings. She makes up her face, being not one bit shy to wear bright red lipstick. Now that she’s older, she uses a cane, but not just any old cane; Iris’s canes  have panache! Here’s the best part: Iris does some, if not most, of her fashion shopping at shops in Harlem. Oh, wait! There's an even better part: Iris was just signed by a modeling agency! And she's 97 years old!

As Iris adorns herself, Iris adorns her home. Her collection of wooden nutcrackers stays out year ‘round. A hallway is completely lined with filled books on floor-to-ceiling shelves. Chairs are overstuffed and comfortable and upholstered in rich fabrics. The walls are adorned with works of art. Not only that, but her home is a condominium apartment in a vintage building.

As many people try to dress like Iris, her advice is it’s all right if it fits who you are, but don’t try to mimic someone else. She goes so far as to say that, if you look in the mirror and see someone else, something’s not right. So, make your own statement. In an interview at Loehmann’s, she remarked on how several young women’s ensembles reflected themselves and their personalities. As Polonius said in Hamlet, “To thine own self, be true.”

Learn more about Iris Apfel in this documentary: IRIS (Magnolia Pictures, Maysles Films, Inc., 2015).

This woman wears Iris' style beautifully.

(Pinterest)

_______________

[1] Vanderbilt, Amy. The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette. New York: Doubleday, 1963.

[2] Televised interview with Marie De Narde. Emme’s Island Moments: Memories of Hawaii Five-0. Honolulu: EMME,  Inc. / KGMB-TV, 1996.

Nebulosgrafica / Pixabay

Where Did Marie Study Fashion Design?

Historical research is never easy. Too often, missing and conflicting information get in the way to leave the researcher wondering, “Just what did happen, anyway?” Such is the situation I have encountered while trying to discover where Marie studied fashion design.

We know that she studied in Paris, France. We also know that nearly 100 years have passed since she studied. Schools open, reorganize, and close. Such is what I have found as I have reviewed the list of schools in Paris that offer fashion design.

Marie was born in 1905 and was in France between 1923 and 1927. Of the six schools I found, four were established entirely too recently, and two existed in the years when Marie studied there. Here are the two that existed then:

*  Esmod, established in 1841. I could find no information about Esmod to indicate whether Marie might have been drawn there, except by its fine heritage – and it is fine!

*  Parsons Paris, established in 1921. Today, Parsons Paris is affiliated with Parsons in New York and teaches fashion design through its New School. That would indicate the school felt a strong need to update its image to compete with schools in Milan and with the newer French schools.

I also checked the Sorbonne to see if Marie might have studied there. I don’t think so. Indications are that the Sorbonne is a liberal arts university. But, then, again, it might have reinvented itself through the years.

One fact appeared several times: Fashion design schools don’t just focus on design; they also teach the business end of the fashion design industry. You may recall that Jack said that, while Marie enjoyed designing and making fashions, she did not like the business end of it. Did she receive business training while she was in school? We’ll never know, will we?

In fact, the bottom line is that we don’t know much more than we did before.

Living Simply

 

I’ve long been impressed by Jack and Marie’s simple way of living. For them, it probably originated with the Great Depression in which he grew up and she started her career. They saw no need to have the mansion on top of the hill or the latest luxury car. They didn’t throw lavish parties, although they did attend a few. A book I read portrayed them as looking rather lost at such a party, as though they weren’t quite sure why they were there or what they were supposed to do.

They lived in apartments and co-ops, now known as condominiums. That was the way most people lived – and still do – in New York City, where land is at a premium and safety is in numbers.

From the late-1930s, Marie had lived at 212 East 48th Street in midtown Manhattan. The 1920s midrise was not so very far from the Garment District, where she worked. After she and Jack married in 1949, they lived there, until they moved to California in 1957. Jack once described the apartment as being decorated in white, a design feature the couple retained throughout their lives. The idea was based on the still-prevalent philosophy to keep basic pieces simple and to pick up color in accessory pieces. In that way, one can obtain an entirely new look simply by replacing accessories. Jack took it a step further when he said they merely replaced the fabrics as they became worn.

Jack and Marie carried their white decor forward with them when they moved to California. There, there lived in the Granville Towers, located at 1424 Crescent Heights Boulevard in West Hollywood. The French Regency apartment building was built in 1930 as The Voltaire to cater to actors and other prominent figures – and still attracts them despite the passage of nearly 90 years and a massive fire in 1935 that nearly destroyed the building and killed two attending firemen.

At the Granville Towers, they still had some traditional furnishings but were moving toward the mid-century modern look they carried forward with them to Hawaii. Here is a picture of their dining room in California in 1959:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taken by Jerry Holscher for Jack and Marie 

(Fair Use Doctrine)

 

Marie's note on the back of the photograph reads,

Dining Room from foyer entrance -- we'll describe the really marvelous table

later. Blk. buffet has pink marble top -- table has white canera glass top.

 

It would appear that Marie was photographing their belongings for their insurance records.

Notice that Jack and Marie already owned the white tulip chairs that they would have throughout their time in Honolulu. These chairs were designed by world renowned architect Eero Saarinen, who designed Washington Dulles Airport. In both dining rooms, the floors were solid-surface to allow the chairs to slide without catching and turning over. Tulip chairs are not easy to use.

 

In Honolulu, Jack and Marie spent the first two years in a penthouse apartment atop the Ilikai Hotel. CBS provided it for them until they could be sure that Hawaii Five-0 would catch on. When success was in the air, they purchased a condominium in the Kahala Beach Apartments on Maunalua Bay. The apartment featured 3,500 square feet comprising a massive living room; sizeable dining room, kitchen, and master bedroom; and two smaller bedrooms, which Jack and Marie used for their respective hobbies.

Most notable is the long, curved sofa – yes, white – that occupied the massive living room. It began life as a brown sofa, but Jack and Marie had it recovered in white as the brown upholstery became worn. Over time, two coffee tables are known to have stood before it, most recently a marble-topped table on which they displayed small framed snapshots. Mid-century, upholstered chairs with bleached walnut legs finish provided additional seating.

While in Honolulu, Jack and Marie replaced the dining room table with a much starker contemporary table that featured an opaque bluish-green glass top. They also replaced the rose marble-topped sideboard with a simpler one, painted white.

Their simple way of living went beyond their apartment living. It extended to their daily lives. Marie was known for buying canned goods from the discount table. Although she was known to shop at Times Market, she also shopped at Safeway.

Marie made many of Jack’s and her clothes – not because she couldn’t afford to buy them, but because she liked making clothes. People admired her ensembles and asked where she had found them. Imagine their surprise when they learned that she had both designed and made them. The bright and colorful aloha shirts that Marie made for Jack became his trademark – they and his lauhala hats.

And, then, there is Jack’s car, which he bought  upon arriving in the islands and drove until he died, a period of about thirty years. Considering that he left an estate of $40 million, he definitely lived in a tax bracket that usually trades cars much more frequently. Reason prevailed as dictated by the few miles there are to drive on Oahu, the high import fees on new cars, and the fact that “they just don’t build ‘em like that, anymore.” He dearly loved his 1969 Cadillac Sedan DeVille.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This 1969 Sedan DeVille is identical to Jack and Marie's car.

(Provided by California Cars of Thousand Oaks)

 

Lessons Learned: Buy what you need. Take care of it. Repair it, if at all possible. Cherish it.

Just a Few Basic Facts

About a Woman Who was Ahead of Her Time

Marie was a woman ahead of her time -- fifty years ahead of her time. As soon as she finished high school, she went abroad -- alone -- to study. 

When she completed her studies, she moved to New York City to work in the fashion industry. She lived alone in an apartment, later a co-op, until she and Jack were married.

But, then she did an about face. As soon as Jack had established himself in acting, she gave up her career and became a traditional housewife. She kept their home, prepared their meals, and made sure that Jack had a proper wardrobe. She saw him through the ups and downs of a career in which 95 percent of those in the field are unemployed at any given time. She also served as Jack's business manager. All that she had learned about the business of fashion, she applied to the business of acting and, then, to managing a large income. She dropped everything and traveled with him, both on business and for pleasure. 

And, of course, in Jack's last years, she took care of him as he nursed a heart that had started giving him trouble in the middle of the Five-0 years. She continued to work to see that he received good press, too often against insurmountable odds.

 

When Jack died, she was at his side. Marie aged drastically in the first year after Jack's death. She had lost her mission. She had lost the love of her life. 

Above: Marie with Moe Keale at the 1997 H50 pilot blessing ceremony. Taken in April 1997, it shows Marie about nine months before Jack passed away. (George Kee / Honolulu Star Bulletin)

Upper right: Marie attended the Hawaii Five-0 Reunion in January 1999, one year after Jack's death. (Inside Edition)

Lower right: Marie sprang back as she regained her footing. She is seen here in the early 2000s. (Inside Edition)

Photos used under the Fair Use Doctrine.

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Vimeo Icon

Copyright (c) 2009-2020, Virginia Tolles