I’m always on the prowl for fascinating females doing unusual things so I was stopped in my tracks by an article that appeared in the New York Post on Monday, September 23, 2019.
This was a full-page piece by Miranda Devine titled “Donald & Mel: a Genuine Love.” In it the writer describes the state dinner for the Australian Prime Minister and his wife, Jennifer at the White House on Friday, September 20th in Washington – in very laudatory terms.
Of course, this instantly peaked my interest because there is so much negative political news these days – something upbeat and positive was refreshing. According to this write-up, Melania Trump and her staff were responsible for this event (the second state dinner in this administration) – which was a terrific success.
WHO IS MELANIA TRUMP?
I know very little about this lovely lady so I decided to do some research. The very first thing I came across was that she is a “Slovenian-American former fashion model and the current First Lady of the United States” who was born on April 26, 1970 in Novo Mesto, Slovenia. WHAT?
The first thought that came to mind was “Eastern Block” but I was wrong. Slovenia is considered to be in Central Europe and is described this way: bordered by the Adriatic Sea, with Italy to the West, Austria to the North, Hungary to the East and Croatia to the South. I still couldn’t visualize it so I printed out an enlarged map – and there it was!
Melania married Donald Trump on January 22, 2005 (his third wife) in Palm Beach, Florida and obtained U.S. citizenship in 2006. She is only the second US First Lady in American history to be born outside the United States. Their 13-year-old son, Barron, was born on March 20, 2006.
THE TRUMP MARRIAGE
In the past, there has been endless speculation about the Donald/Melania marriage. Or, as Devine writes, “Most of it has been insulting and cruel. People who hate the president can’t believe anyone could love him. At best, they regard his wife with pity – the prisoner of a loveless marriage.” Yes, I agree with these statements. Some of the comments are downright vicious.
But, then she goes on to say, “Those who attended the state dinner tell a very different story. They say the affection between the first couple is genuine, demonstrative and mutually respectful behind the scenes. ‘It’s a real marriage, very affectionate,’ said one Australian official who observed it up close and personal during the three-day state visit.”
AN UNMITIGATED TRIUMPH
“It was the most magnificent, spellbinding magical night crafted out of the imagination of Mrs. Trump,” said Prime Minister Morrison afterward, admitting to being ‘overcome’ with tears when the military orchestra played the iconic Australian song Waltzing Matilda.”
Australian golfer Greg Norman, who had been seated next to Mrs. Trump, declared on Instagram that it was “the best event I have ever attended. EVER!”
Henry Kissinger reportedly told Trump Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney it was one of the best official functions he had ever attended. This is high praise from a 96-year-old statesman whose career began with Nixon.
Melania spent months overseeing every detail herself. She cared about the way things looked, smelled and tasted. It was her idea to have an alfresco dinner in the Rose Garden. She told one guest that she had been praying it wouldn’t rain. Alas, the weather gods delivered a balmy evening!Shaun Nelson-Henrick
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This is the first thing I saw when perusing the 50th anniversary issue of the Smithsonian magazine for April 2020. This eye-opening 10-page article (with spectacular photos) is titled, “The Ship in the Ice” and concerns a topic we’ve all been hearing about for years, e.g., global warming.
The pandemic this year has affected all of us in many ways. Two things that stand out in my mind: people definitely need people (to paraphrase the song “People” sung by Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl). The phone, email, computer, TV and all the other digital creations we use DO NOT take the place of human interaction. We all need to see and talk to each other. That said we have also learned that we can work at home very efficiently and handle our normal workload if necessary. Never commute again? I don’t think that will happen, but perhaps we’ll find a happy medium – time will tell.
I have often found that when a person achieves incredible success – after a long struggle – the back-story is almost as fascinating as the achievement itself. That’s why I was interested in, yet another, Andy Warhol write-up that appeared in the May 2020 issue of the Smithsonian magazine.
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