3 down, 15 more to go: Mar-a-Lago and Addison Mizner dominate December

November has started off our season very well. The reception at the Woodfield Country Club, where we presented our updated Duke and Duchess of Windsor lecture, was extremely positive. Additionally, the Second Edition of the book Noblesse Oblige was for sale at that venue for the first time. It is now available on Amazon and Classic Books in Palm Beach. 

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Woodfield has requested our return for next season, so the planning has started.

We returned to the Boca Raton Resort and Club a week later and were very happy to see Barbara and Ron again. Addison Mizner designed the “Boca Resort,” then called the Cloister Inn when it first opened in 1925, so the Life and Work of Addison Mizner was a very appropriate topic there. The audience, whom we have come to know well, was welcoming and warm. We will return to the Boca Resort twice more this season.

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Our third November presentation received a lot of promotion in the Palm Beach Daily News. René presented a specially designed, British focused lecture for the Palm Beach St. George’s Society at the Chesterfield Hotel. The British Dominance of North Atlantic Passenger Travel, contained parts of our History of Transatlantic Ocean Liners presentation, but had a significant British slant. Of course, we did compare their liners, like the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, to the French Line’s Normandie, René’s favorite ship of all time. The audience was riveted, and we thank Susan Oyer for her hospitality.

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Now on to December. We have 5 lectures lined up, and they are all in the first week of December! There are three Mizner lectures, and two opportunities to see the brand-new Mar-a-Lago, from Post to Trump lecture.

DECEMBER 1: We return for the third year in a row to the Bellaggio Club House. Leia Moses-Levine will be our gracious hostess once again, when René will present the Life and Work of Addison Mizner. We have always received a warm welcome from the membership, so we expect a great turnout.

IMG_5071 Last season at The Bellaggio 

DECEMBER 3: The official inaugural presentation of Mar-a-Lago, from Post to Trump, right in Palm Beach. The Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews invited René back after last January’s success with the Mizner lecture, and this time we are the first lecture of their Sunday Conversations Series. Moreover, it will be held in the community room of the newly renovated, landmarked building of Wells Fargo Bank on South County Road, where we are working closely with Wells Fargo’s Senior Vice-President Heath Randolph to make this a successful event. Fellowship Chairman John “Skip” Randolph, Vice-chair and Town Councilwoman Maggie Zeidman, executive director Sherri Guilbert, and board member Enid Pollak were all instrumental in making this happen.

IMG_5141 Mar-a-Lago, from Post to Trump


DECEMBER 5: René will give a private Life and Work of Addison Mizner lecture at Pizza Al Fresco in Via Mizner to the Institute for Classical Architecture & Art. We have worked with Lani Summerville to get this luncheon organized. Besides, the lunch presentation, René will also take this visiting group for a special tour through Dale Coudert’s home, Villa Dei Fiori, and the amazing La Fontana Mansion on Dunbar Road in Palm Beach.

DECEMBER 7: We return for the 4th year in a row the Lifelong Learning Society of FAU Boca Raton, and this time it is with the Mar-a-Lago, from Post to Trump presentation. It was actually Dr. Herb Shapiro, the Provost, who encouraged us to create this particular lecture. We are happy that ticket sales have gone very well since the lecture date was revealed, but, there are still tickets available so sign up now.

IMG_4870 René last year at LLS at FAU Boca 

DECEMBER 8: We finish the week with another private Life and Work of Addison Mizner lecture. This time it will be at the Gulfstream Little Club for a private Book Club. Pat Wanklyn invited us, and will be hosting together with Susan Ridgley.

Finally, don’t forget the second edition of Noblesse Oblige, the Duchess of Windsor as I knew her was just released. It’ll be a great gift for Christmas for any Royal aficionado. It is available on Amazon, but if you are in Palm Beach please drop by Classic Bookshop on South County Road, where it is now available, alongside René’s coffee table books Villa Mizner, the house that changed Palm Beach and Normandie, the tragic story of the most majestic ocean liner. Say “Hi” to storeowner Jeff from us, he’s a really cool guy!

17CFAB71-E54A-41F9-83CA-91095BA25838  Villa Mizner at Classic Bookshop  Cover of New Duchess book

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we hope to see many of you in December.


Written by Robert Versteeg, partner at Silvin Books LLC.

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