Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Imogene Coco

The other evening, I was watching a movie on TV, Summer Vacation staring Chevy Chase. One of the actresses was Imogene Coco who played the character Aunt Edna – the crotchety old lady who expires on the trip and so not to ruin the already disastrous vacation, is carted on the roof of the family station wagon to her home in Phoenix and left on the door step as the Griswold’s head for Wally World.
Seeing Imogene Coco reminded me of my neighbor Alice Bevin who resided across the street from us on Barton Hill. Mrs. Bevin was an accomplished artist who owned the 3 story Second Empire style house on the crest of Barton Hill as well as an apartment in the famous Gramercy Park section of New York City. From her wide social network, Alice met many Broadway and nightclub entertainers who were summer weekend guests in East Hampton – one being Imogene Coco!
I also remember their being a nightclub singer/owner who stayed frequently during the summer - (please excuse me as I’ve forgotten his name). One Saturday afternoon, Betty Benson, Alice Bevin’s daughter called my mother, Pauline and a couple of our friends and neighbors, Beth Hitchcock and Muriel Bailey, to come over the house. When they arrived, this swarthy gentleman began crooning a number of popular tunes – you know – the ones a Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett or Johnny Mathis would sing.
I find it humorous today that these ladies would be standing around the piano doting over this very worldly and handsome guy who had captivated 3 small town girls.

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