THE NEWPORT POSTCARD GALLERY

APC 56. "Aspen Hall" Residence of John Aspegren. The card says "Dearest Mother: This is one of the many wonderful houses on Ocean Drive. The flowers were simply wonderful. Love Gillie." Written in 1929. Soon the 'flowers' were to wither! "The Aspergrens, who made their money in edible oils, descended on Newport by Westchester and built "Aspen Hall" on Bellevue Avenue. . . . the Aspergrens . . . did own a pair of cockatoos named Mister Gallagher and Mister Sheehan. These, according to critical Newporters, made them suspect. When the Aspergrens issued invitations for a party, Mrs. William Burden of "Oakwood" and Newport's old guard promptly leaped into the breach and invited everyone to her cottage. But the Aspergrens had arrived primed for Newport; they let out word that they thought of nothing of spending twenty thousand, for something special. Newporters decided that such a price warranted at least consideration and they decided to try the Aspergrens and then "go on," as the saying went, to the Burdens. But the Aspegren party turned out to be surprisingly good. There was champagne flowing freely, tastefully lighted dancing under a marquee and all the Newport trimmings. By midnight the guests were in a quandary. They realized that it was time to move on and yet it was a close decision. Then things begin to happen on the Aspergren lawn. A dozen trucks moved up like a well-trained armored division, a hundred men suddenly began fixing lights and staging, and all at once the Russian Balle, at full New York strength, put on an unforgettable spectacle. Even after it was over, only a handful of guest went on to the Burdens. 'From that moment on,' declares Chicago's margarine man Frazier Jelke, 'the Aspergrens had arrived socially, because they knew how to play the game.'"* From "The Last Resort" by Cleveland Amory.


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