“The fascinated sun fondled it, petted it, glorified it.” – Mark Twain

LONDON – Mr. Clemens, had he lived 18 more years, could have been describing Woodrow. But being his sarcastic self, he was mordantly mocking a monument to Prince Albert in Hyde Park. The statuary seemed to place him above all the greats of English Literature.

Two of my teachers at Woodrow would have loved this reference: Ann McSpadden, who helped me pass the AP English test with her 100 pages per night of Huckleberry Finn, and Margaret Dunlap, who helped Cliff’s Notes sell many English Literature titles.

Mrs. Dunlap retired to a riparian antique shop in Wimberley, and Ms. McSpadden married and moved to Lakeshore Drive – no, the other one, in Chicago.

But anyway, I must confess, I recently traveled across Northwest Highway. One almost must in order to travel to this foggy fantasy.

Legend has it that architects Roscoe DeWitt and Mark Lemmon visited England to get ideas for the new high school they were designing in the Jazz Age. It’s easy to see their inspiration for an Elizabethan/Jacobean Gothic masterpiece. Better than Buckingham.

Another Woodrow truth was driven home when dealing with a concierge at the Lanesborough, owned by a lady from White Rock, Caroline Rose Hunt.

When I asked the haughty host to make a reservation for me at a less expensive hotel in Paris, he replied: “Sir, I only know the best hotels.”

Many Wildcats pride themselves on being able to go, say, from the Waldorf to Wal-Mart. Or since Ozark Emporium does not have an East Dallas location (perhaps they are afraid of hysterical preservationists), let’s say Dan’s Café to Café Carlyle. Or how about the Roma Motel to the Roman Forum (both are history).

The concierge, class-crossing, managed to get me a moderate place in Montmartre. Consolation for the Comfort Inn is champagne at the Hotel de Crillon. A class act?

One more thing before I wrap it up. Is the Haroldson Hunt listed in the 1934 Crusader Caroline’s brother, Massie?

The first Wildcat with an answer gets a matchbook from that Hemingway haunt, Harry’s Bar in Venice.


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