Jewish World Review July 14, 2003 / 14 Tamuz, 5763

Lloyd Grove

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Consumer Reports

On the auction block: JFK'S boxer shorts; love bytes the maestro | WASHINGTON Talk about airing the Kennedy family's dirty laundry!

And not just airing it, but selling it.

Former family retainers Providencia "Provi" Paredes, a longtime personal attendant to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, and Mary Barelli Gallagher, a personal secretary to John F. Kennedy when he was a senator and to Jackie when she was the first lady, are getting rid of their relics at an auction scheduled July 20 in Morris Plains, N.J.

The 331 lots -- with a low-end appraisal of $120,000 from the Maryland-based Hantman's auction house -- include one of Jackie's nightgowns ($300-$400) and a maternity blouse ($200-$300), a pair of JFK's World War II Navy-issue boxer shorts ($400-$500) and an item described in the catalogue as "summer shorts . . . stains on front and back" ($200-$300). Also on the block are numerous items of campaign memorabilia, autographed notes, private family photographs and a gold-tone cigarette lighter ($200-$300) described this way in the catalogue: "given to Provi on one of the occasions Jackie quit smoking."

The office of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., declined to comment on the collection, which goes on display Sunday. The 82-year-old Gallagher and 79-year-old Paredes, who remains especially close to Caroline Kennedy, could not be reached.

"These items put a certain kind of perspective into the internal aspect of what it's like to be devoted," said auction organizer Allan J. Stypeck. "It's a collection consisting of items that were accumulated by friendship and not by purchase."

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But, really -- ratty boxers? Is nothing sacred? "That," Stypeck replied, "was one of the reasons I almost decided not to put the boxer shorts in."


Washington's world-renowned conductor, Leonard Slatkin, is receiving some very unwelcome attention for R-rated e-mails he exchanged with famed virtuoso deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

A recent article in London's Mail on Sunday tabloid, based on information provided by Glennie's aggrieved ex-husband, claimed that in 1999 the married Slatkin carried on a "passionate affair" with Glennie. At the time, Slatkin was conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra as well as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra.

The article reports that ex-hubby Greg Malcangi discovered the incriminating e-mails on his then-wife's laptop. "One e-mail said, 'The thought of my modem inside your laptop turns my mainframe on.' It was pretty tacky," he said. In another case, Slatkin e-mailed Glennie: "Will we have to be on line to make love? I'll nibble on your bits and byte." Glennie's reply: "I need your special touch all over me." We'll discreetly draw a veil over the rest.

Slatkin was out of the country and apparently unreachable. But soprano Linda Hohenfeld, his wife of 18 years, told us she was aware of the e-mails before the Mail on Sunday printed them. "In fact they took place back in the 20th century," she said, insisting that "there was never any affair." She added: "Don't people flirt on their computers? I know they flirt at cocktail parties. . . . As gossip goes, this is nothing."


-- We hear that Washington's Doran casting agency is desperately seeking a Gerhard Schroeder look-alike who, for $3,000 and expenses, is ready for a trip to Berlin next week to impersonate the German chancellor in a yogurt commercial. "We have been having a horrible time," German ad agency honcho Suse Marquardt told us from Berlin, where filming is scheduled to take place July 19 and 20. "We are looking for someone who looks very identical." It occurs to us that Schroeder himself might be available. Instead of taking his Italian vacation, which he cancelled this week in response to an insult by Italy's tourism minister concerning Germans and belching contests, the chancellor will cooling his heels at home in Hanover.

-- Back in March, House Administration Committee Chairman Bob Ney, R-Ohio, raised a stink about those ungrateful French, and banned all references to France, notably french fries, from the menus of congressional restaurants. So we were surprised to learn that Ney has allowed those very same restaurants to sell Peace Pops, a $2.50 item from the liberal peacenik ice cream company Ben & Jerry's, complete with antiwar messages on the box. "There's a big difference," Ney told us. "One, the messages are in English, not in French. Two, I would argue that the president's policies are in support of peace. Three, when I get off an airplane at the Pittsburgh airport, I myself like to eat Ben & Jerry's ice cream."

Makes perfect sense to us!

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07/10/03: A hairy situation at Homeland Security; Van Susteren v. Orth
06/30/03: Rep. Patrick Kennedy: I've never worked a (bleeping) day in my life; Drudge's dressing down; Ken Lay's Kerry connection
06/26/03: Rapping the beat
06/23/03: Another Watergate scandal?; AL GORE TV!
06/19/03: Tony Snow, rocker?; that won't be crow on Mr. Carlson's plate
06/16/03: Missing dog, ransom demand, Hollywood ending
06/12/03: Giving both parties the needle
06/05/03: Incoming from Barbara Bush?
06/02/03: Bob Dole's plan for fighting unemployment
05/29/03: Newt's new novel
05/27/03: Hitchens & Blumenthal, together again; He still believes in a man called Hope
05/09/03: Close, but no cigar; Romeo & Juliet with a happy ending?; Geraldo to help Heebs?
05/05/03: So Bill Gates and Tom Brokaw walk into a coffee bar . . .; hotel hell; more

© 2003, Creators Syndicate