- Last Updated: 12:32 AM, July 25, 2012
- Posted: 10:47 PM, July 24, 2012
Comes now all kinds of books on all kinds of presidents — Lincoln, John Quincy Adams, assorted Bushes, Roosevelt, always Obama, always Kennedy, now — HST. David Wallace, currently cranking out Uncle Harry Truman stuff, says:
“Bess Truman and my father were brother and sister. I grew up in Bess’ Independence, Mo., home, which became the Truman White House. He wanted to build a new place, but she wanted to live with her mother. They had one bedroom, daughter Margaret had one, I had one, Bess’ parents had another off the living room with one bathroom upstairs for all.
“No toaster. We just browned bread. The den was our central room. Harry S. Truman washed his own socks and underwear. We lived plainly. It’s a perspective on a different era. Like only one party- line telephone. When he became president the line became private.
“June 25, 1950. North Korea invaded South Korea. His secretary of state announced this world-shattering troubling news to the president of the United States of America. The phone rang. I answered and said: ‘Uncle Harry, a call for you. Someone named Dean Acheson.’
“His official plane ‘The Sacred Cow’ was a DC-4. His big Secret Service detail? Two agents. To assemble a dinner, he’d send a radiogram. Our compound housed the rest of our families. We were five different religions.
“Aunt Bess didn’t like White House life. She preferred her Independence bridge clubs. She had her old housekeeper come in to teach them to cook Missouri-style. Uncle Harry hated its cuisine and said: ‘Eleanor Roosevelt served the worst food in history.’
“I’m the only one left who lived there and knew their White House. Ten years ago I found an envelope with private letters. I have mementoes, his ID, cuff links, ties, badges, tons of family pictures.
“Living through WWII, dropping the atom bomb, setting up the UN, he’d say: ‘You must make a decision. Can always change it. But you must make a decision.’”
Nephew David’s book will be titled “Life With Harry.”
SEPT. “Town & Country” has a piece on Clea, Nell and Melissa, who call marriage to father Paul Newman and mother Joanne Woodward “a great romance . . . inexorably tied by every molecule of their being. Good, bad, ugly, they were stuck together.” Toward stardom he was “ambivalent.” His salad dressing began as a “joke.” He’d mix batches in his basement, give to pals in wine bottles, then it hit a local Connecticut grocery. Its $350 million earnings went to charity.
Another famous-face article is on Dolores Chaplin, Charlie’s grandchild. Lives in Paris. Loves acting. Didn’t dwell in his shadow. “As a child, I was unaware of his fame.” Later at a film festival in India she discovered “no one saw my French movies, but everyone was excited I was Chaplin’s granddaughter.”
The cover is Estée Lauder’s grandchild Aerin. Plus there’s another thing on the Young Woolworths.
So, if you’re into kids, best you spring for the whole magazine.
ANOTHER month before we’re all Hampton’d out. If you still need a fix, there’s news that New Jersey’s unreal Housewives partied at East Hampton Studio . . . So tiger bloodless Charlie Sheen, still pawing and roaring, showed at a party two hours late. Invitees mumble he wasn’t walking straight . . . Great Indian restaurant on Lex and 28th: Chote Nawab. Means “Little Prince.”
ALL these stories about bullying? It’s happened to some celebs.
Clay Aiken: “I was shy in high school. Coke-bottle glasses, hair atrocious, and I got picked on for my dressing. I was convinced wedgies were chic.”
Mike Myers: “At age 8, I did a commercial with Gilda Radner. I fell in love with her. My brothers called me ‘Sucky Baby’ and teased me. Bathed me in urine.”
Dennis Quaid admits he’d been a skinny nerd: “My brother Randy liked spitting in my face.”
Jude Law: “Because my name’s Jude, I was labeled a poof from Day 1.”
Luke Wilson: “I’m jumpy after a lifetime of Younger Brother Syndrome, having your ear flicked, getting goosed and playing basketball to see who’d clean the apartment. I always lost.”
LeAnn Rimes: “At 12, rich kids smashed eggs against my locker and beat me up every day.”
Sandra Bullock: “As a teenage dork, I was the target and got the s - - t kicked out of me. I’d cry and run.”
Kate Winslet: “In high school I weighed 180. They called me ‘Blubber.’ ”
Pierce Brosnan: “At 11, I was 6 feet and a bullies’ target because I was Irish.”
Steven Tyler: “My big lips looked feminine. The neighborhood called me Gloria. I hated that nickname.”
Will Smith: “My ears were big, so those around named me Dumbo.”
COMIC Jamie deRoy: “Doctor’s waiting room. One geezer: ‘I’m 92.’ The other: ‘I’m 97.’ The junior one: ‘Let’s stay here. Doesn’t even pay for us to go home.’”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.Follow @PageSix