This December all our presentations were squeezed into the first week, and what a great week it was.
Our first lecture was our third appearance at the Bellaggio Club House. Leia Moses-Levine hosted the event with about 100 people in attendance. The Life and Work of Addison Mizner presentation was well-received. We did get the sad news that the wonderful Shannon Emmel, who was co-host the prior years, passed away unexpectedly. She was much too young, and we surely did miss her. She was a force to be reckoned with.
René with Leia Moses-Levine Speaking at Bellaggio Shannon Emmel last year. She is missed:(
Just two days later we had the highly anticipated Palm Beach premier of our new project: Mar-a-Lago, from Post to Trump. René was introduced by the fabulous Maggie Zeidman, who is the vice-chair of the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews and a remarkable Town Council Woman here in Palm Beach. She is running for re-election and we are throwing our total, unequivocal support behind her campaign. The event was in the community room of the newly renovated, landmarked building of the Wells Fargo Private Bank on South County Road, and the Senior Vice-President Heath Randolph made this a very successful event. Around 100 people were in attendance, including several club members of Mar-a-Lago. All of them said they learned so much about the club they had been frequenting for many years, which validated the method we use to explore this amazing structure.
The packed room at Wells Fargo With Maggie
Since then we met with the Regional Managing Director of Wells Fargo, Ted Brown, who is interested in having René do some events with and for their clients. We are working out those details with Ted directly.
What followed was a three-day involvement with the Institute for Classical Architecture & Art. Classical Excursions leaders Lani Summerville and Tom Hayes hosted a tour group through Palm Beach, and René and I facilitated several of the home visits. Additionally, during a lunch at Al Fresco, René gave his Mizner presentation. Of course, we got to know the group well, and we hope to work with them for some presentations next summer in New York and the Berkshires.
René presenting at Al Fresco
Then we had another big event at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of FAU Boca Raton, where we did our second Mar-a-Lago presentation of the week. This time for over 200 attendees, and again the lecture was very well-received. This is not a political lecture, and our goal is to be neutral, so that no one knows our political leaning when the lecture is over. I think we accomplished that because several attendees later asked what our party affiliation was. Clever, non-committal answers were used. We thank provost Dr. Herb Shapiro for his continued support of our endeavors.
Herb Shapiro introducing René
We finished the week with an intimate Mizner presentation for the Delray Book Club at the Gulfstream Little Club. Pat Wanklyn and Susan Ridgley hosted some 30 stunning and charming women, whom we got to know well by the end of the fabulous luncheon. We hope to do some further events with them next season.
Pat and René The intimate room at Gulfstream
January will bring three more lectures. The first will be on January 8th at the Valencia Shores Club House, and is the Duke and Duchess of Windsor lecture. With the Netflix series “The Crown” airing its second season, the hype around the Windsors has gone sky high. Although we love the series, the Duke is not portrayed favorably, and at times the truth is stretched just a little too far. Our good friend and Royal biographer Hugo Vickers has written a paperback about the errors in the series. If interested, you can buy it here on amazon. It details all the story’s inaccuracies and is a great read.
One day later, January 9th, René will be the secretary of the town caucus in Palm Beach, where the nominees for three seats on the Town Council will be presented. It is an honor to have been chosen for this position.
Then on January 24th, we return for a fourth time to the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Hosted by the lovely Barbara Chase, we will present our lecture The History of Transatlantic Ocean Liner Travel, from necessity to glamour to recreation.
Finally, on January 30th, we give another Duke and Duchess lecture, this time at the Polo Club of Boca Raton. Another prestigious event.
We are in negotiations with The Society of the Four Arts here in Palm Beach to return next season to the Dixon Education Center. It will most likely be the Mar-a-Lago presentation, but of course we will keep you posted on the progress about this.
Last year at Four Arts
Lastly, don’t forget the second edition of Noblesse Oblige, the Duchess of Windsor as I knew her was just released. If you are in Palm Beach you can still get them in time for Christmas if you 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!
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and we hope to see you in 2018: Happy & Healthy.
Written by Robert Versteeg, partner at Silvin Books LLC.