Hollywood on the Potomac
“Washington is where my daughter Angélique was born and where my son Federico spent four unforgettable years of his early childhood,” First Secretary Franco Impalà, Head of the Cultural Section, told Hollywood on the Potomac at an intimate farewell party at Firenze House, residence of The Ambassador of Italy and Mrs. Armando Varricchio, for he and his wife Ingrid Bouillé. “Ingrid and I will leave here an important part of our lives.”
Ambassador Varricchio has only been Ambassador here for five months, but had this to say about his colleague: “In these months, I had really the chance to come to know a very distinguished and fine colleague. Franco has been engaged in cultural diplomacy, which for me is the most important component of diplomacy. We live in challenging times; we are confronted with many threats; the geo-political scenario is offering every single way of presenting us with new challenges. But following the Italian year of culture – a full year of activities, events, not just here in Washington, but throughout this great country – Franco did so with passion, with dedication and I have to say that in the five months I have spent here, whenever I had a possibility to talk with colleagues not just in Washington but in the country, I always received praise and admiration for [what we did] and I think that Franco played a really great role in this.”
It’s August…..a slow month….so we thought we would bring you a bit of Presidential History. Scandals fit in perfectly; no President has escaped them. Just a historical reminder: Andrew Jackson and his marriage; Ulysses S. Grant & his gold scandal; and perhaps most famous of all is ‘Ma, Ma, Where’s my Pa? Gone to The White House, Ha, Ha. Ha’ referring to Grover Cleveland’s out of wedlock child. August 2 is President Warren Harding’s birthday. Here’s the take from This Day in History. Happy Birthday Mr. President.
“In a hotel in San Francisco, President Warren G. Harding dies of a stroke at the age of 58. Harding was returning from a presidential tour of Alaska and the West Coast, a journey some believed he had embarked on to escape the rumors circulating in Washington of corruption in his administration.
Harding, a relatively unremarkable U.S. senator of Ohio, won the Republican presidential nomination in 1920 after the party deadlocked over several more prominent candidates. Harding ran pledging a “return to normalcy” after World War I and in November was elected the 29th U.S. president in a landslide election victory. Conscious of his own limitations, Harding promised to appoint a cabinet representing the “best minds” in America, but unfortunately he chose several intelligent men who possessed little sense of public responsibility.”
“Look, if your tire breaks down, don’t call me. I can’t be your man,” TV personality & Style guru Paul Wharton told Hollywood on the Potomac on the terrace of Kingbird Restaurant at The Watergate Hotel in between dinner and the lemon souffle. Wharton is more than just a personality, he’s a brand. From now on, he should just go by “Wharton” like Usher, Iman, Ludacris or Wilhelmina – as in the Wilhelmina Agency where he worked as a model, actor and stylist at the onset of his career in NYC. We’ll explain the tire thing in a minute. First, we’ll take a spin through his life.
Life began in Cleveland, Ohio …… then on to Columbia, Maryland followed by Laurel, Md. He remembers his Laurel home fondly. His dad is a builder so they lived in “a really nice house…. a Tudor thing on a hill …. really nice. Our dining room was an elevated kind of wood floor and then you step down and go to the living room, and that was my stage.” He was four when he invented his stage. “The house was full of music (Patti LaBelle) and my mom was a great cook so she loved having friends over; everyone was welcome. Whenever people came to our house, there was music that was always playing. The kitchen smelled wonderful. She was always drinking champagne or wine and it just felt like a great time. The holidays were amazing. It wasn’t until I went to some of my friends’ homes that I realized that not everybody lives like this. I would go into their homes and their moms would be walking around; it would be quiet, and I would hear the news on. There would be nothing cooking in the kitchen, and they all did self serve. They would go into the cabinets and get cereal or Twix or something. We never had any of that stuff. When it was time to eat, my mom made a fabulous meal.”