Ever Seen a Living Legend? Birmingham Says These Women Are
What do cosmetics mogul Estée Lauder, Rep. Lindy Boggs, Girl Scout President Gloria Scott and nightclub owner Régine have in common? Not a lot, truthfully, except that they and nine others of varying prominence were named “Legendary Women of the World” in Birmingham, Ala. recently.
Selections have been made in three previous years, and ranged from Nancy Reagan and Merle Oberon to Ann Landers and Eunice Shriver. This year’s crop seems equally diverse. Gala IV, as Birmingham calls its weekend of celebration, offered local society the chance to eyeball the honorees at concerts, parties and balls for the benefit of Birmingham-Southern College.
The legendary ladies also produced some interesting moments among themselves. Régine, just back from Paris, complained of jet lag, but soon was locked into urgent conversation with Sylvia Porter (about the franc?). Designer Mary McFadden, startling in her purple eyeliner, checked out the local fashion scene.
Journalist Charlotte Curtis, who covered the civil rights movement in Birmingham in the ’60s, looked about her and said, “They’ve made great strides, but I’d still have been happier to see more black faces.” Robin Duke went off in search of a hotel pool. “I swim every day,” she said. “It’s essential.” TV personality Nancy Dickerson disclosed that the red hat she wore to the press conference cost her all of $13.
The event throughout reflected the easy charm of Lynn Wyatt, the Houston socialite who headed the nominating committee. How did Lynn pick the legendary women—and then persuade them to come to Birmingham? “I just called some of my friends,” explained the lady who knows everybody. “They were delighted to do it.”