I was so glad for the tip off about the HBO film Grey Gardens from Cottage Way of Life. I would have missed something great! Two minutes before showtime, Jenna and I grabbed a blanket and sat on the couch together to watch it. I knew she would love the 1930's fashion and with every wardrobe change she would let out an " oooh , I like that dress!" We even drooled over the blue entry door and the beautiful dresser in their bedroom. I've been a long time fan of Jessica Lange, but I had some doubts that Drew cold pull it off. We were not disappointed! Both actresses did a amazing job in playing their roles and the makeup artists did a fabulous job! I was curious as to who might be living in the house now and discovered that after Big Edie had died, her daughter sold the house to Benjamin C. Bradlee, then the executive editor of The Washington Post, and his wife, the writer Sally Quinn. Ms. Quinn was quoted as saying "the attic revealed a ceiling-high pile of treasure. Antique wicker chairs, a pair of upholstered chaises, a baronial table, china, lamps and a glass case that had once held Little Edie's menagerie of miniature animals were all sent to be restored." That gave me the chills when I read that! Can you imagine uncovering a stash like that? Grey Gardens is now leased to Frances Hayward, the philanthropist and animal-welfare advocate for 11 months out of the year."
After the movie was over, we discussed the similarities between our neighbor's house above) and the house in the film. Once a grand old home in it's day, it now sits surrounded by weeds and dead trees. The owner's 70's rusted Cadillac has sat in the same spot for 20 years and is usually surrounded by brush. Occasionally, a cleanup is done around the car, but still, it never moves. The front porch is in such poor condition, it is no longer used as an entrance to the home. You can see the steps are missing and there is a rope barring anyone from entering through the front entryway. My family actually lived in this house during the late 50's, but moved shortly after my first birthday. I've been inside a few times over the years, but it's condition has always depressed me. I drive by it everyday, but I rarely look over. It has gotten so bad, that people will stop to ask me if it is abandoned. Some stop to photograph it, and kids will often throw rocks through their windows. I've often dreamed of buying it and restoring it if were ever up for sale, but unless I were to win the lottery I doubt that dream will ever come true. Surprisingly, the current tenants are quite wealthy, and yet they have no plans to restore it. The owner, who turns 88 tomorrow, has lived in the home with her daughter since the 1970's. I remember them telling my parents that they used donated paint left over from a Navy shipyard. We then dubbed the paint color as Battleship Gray. It would be nice to see it restored one day, but I'm not holding my breath. :(
You can see the HBO trailer by clicking this link. Be sure to check your HBO schedule!
Sophie gave Grey Gardens 2 paws up. She's a huge Little Edie fan. `o)