16 January, 2012

Fifi and Fowler

Mr. & Mrs. Fowler McCormick in 1935

I love this short bio & quote of Edith from a Time magazine blurb dated January 15, 1931 concerning the marriage of her son Fowler to the (hours earlier) divorced Mrs. Anne Urquhart Potter ("Fifi") Stillman:

Edith Rockefeller-McCormick, mother of the groom, an extraordinary lady who eats from gold plates and indulges a fancy for advanced psychology and a faith in the real estate operations of two friends, Krenn & Dato. From her castle-home on Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, she sent word through her secretary that "she had nothing to say."

Edith in 1921

Perhaps Edith's reticence is understandable when considering a comment Fifi made to the invited press at an oceanfront get-together in East Hampton, NY, post nuptials:

"Perhaps I have a vulgar taste. I've gotten a lot of enjoyment out of reporters, riding along with me on trains, telling me about their own troubles after their long stories had been filed. I like beautiful jewelry. I love beautiful clothes, stockings that cost lots of money. I'm going to like working with my husband."

Fifi and Fowler in Milwaukee during 1925, where they would often meet while he was learning the ropes at International Harvester as a laborer.

Then again, it could stem from how it all began. Fowler and Fifi's son "Bud" Stillman were roommates at Princeton. For about eight years Fowler and Fifi denied that there was anything more to their relationship than just being good friends. Fowler called her his "closest friend and adviser." Fifi was once quoted as saying, "I am too old and he is too young for a love affair. We are just friends, Fowler and my son are the finest pals in the world." At the time of the marriage Fowler was 32, and Fifi 51.

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