Chapter Twelve - 1977
Carter Containers - Boxing Champions of the World
(Equivalent to 49 pages in hard copy)
On the fourth of January, I meet with David Jones. “Carter & Company wants to offer Interpool-managed containers of a variety of types such as 20- and 40-foot standards, refrigerated, Open-sided, etc. on an exclusive basis throughout the world. The management contracts to be the same wording as CATU and TCS with no specific return guaranteed – we can’t have our clients looks as though they were in trade.”
David says they were anticipating such an agreement since before South Africa, and he would talk to Warren Serenbetz later in the day.
He calls back, “It’s agreed and all set. Please go to our New York office to meet with Mr. Serenbetz on the tenth and sign the deal.”
What could be better news?!
On the ninth, I catch TWA 701 at 5PM, arrive in New York at 7:30 PM, have dinner with Mito at Uncle Charlie’s and stay at the Waldorf Towers.
January 10, Monday. I’m at Interpool at 9AM, a sign says:
- the largest marine leasing company in the world -
leasing over 1 million containers.
I shake Mr. Serenbetz’s hand, sign the papers, and standing at the Xerox machine making copies, whoop silently and thrust my fist in the air… YES! A surge of adrenaline courses through my body – it’s one of those very few “hurray” moments of a lifetime!
Spend Tuesday on the phone all day with George at Hyde Park Gardens and dine with Mito. Drinks with Johnny Galliher on Wednesday and stay with Mito in his flat on 75th Street that night. Thursday is Mito’s birthday! Much fun with many friends and Filipino food.
Friday, I fly to Naples via Miami and dine with Mom at Piccadilly Pub. Sunday afternoon, the 16th, I fly to London via Miami and arrive on Monday at 2PM.
Tuesday, I conduct a Board Meeting to minute all the new developments, and entertain David Sulzberger that evening. The head lawyer from Interpool’s office in New York comes to visit. When he meets Denis Lanesborough, he refers to him as “your Worship!” Denis was kind.
January 19th, I fly to Nice via Paris and taxi to Residence Europa – Gerald Lubner’s Monte Carlo home. He wants to do another deal and has invited me to oversee things. Besides, his wife has sent my beige suit along with him!
We spend Thursday and Friday working out the details and negotiations with Interpool, and I return to London on Saturday afternoon. I shook out my stiffness at my banquette at Y&M that night.
The market reacted as favorably as I hoped to the Interpool arrangement. Accountants were directing their clients to benefit from the Capital Allowances and our rate of business continues to expand.
Almost every evening I was either dining in or out with a handful of friends, screaming around the streets in the moke, and having a gay old time at Yours & Mine.
New friends include Simon Trimble, an oil analyst in the City. We had matching windbreakers and would pose as either a private helicopter crew, private submarine crew, or balloon crew at any of a number of gay bars across town. Made us laugh and we occasionally met fun people.
Got to know Allen Warren, a society photographer and very funny young man. He knew everyone and photographed the most famous.
Michael Allan Warren (born 26 October 1948) is an English portrait photographer, primarily known for his images of members of high society. Warren started his photographic career at the age of 17 when he was acting in Alan Bennett's play Forty Years On with John Gielgud in the West End at the Apollo Theatre. Around this time Warren bought his first second-hand camera and began to take photographs of his fellow actors. His first major assignment was when his friend Mickey Deans asked him to cover his wedding to Judy Garland, which marked the beginning of Warren's work as a professional photographer. In 1976, he wrote The Confessions of a Society Photographer which was very well received.
I got to know Lionel Bart through Allen and, in March, gave a big dinner for him at Hyde Park Gardens. Lionel was a writer and composer of British pop music and musicals, best known for creating the book, music and lyrics for Oliver!
David Hicks dropped by from time to time to check on my design progress. I was having sofas and chairs made, pictures framed, and curtains hung.
On April first, instead of goldfish in bowls, I grilled hamburgers for John Galliher and forty others on my teeny terrace/balcony.
George was always trying to add chic to the company and invited Sir Guy Millard for lunch in mid-April.
Sir Guy Millard KCMG CVO (22 January 1917 – 26 April 2013) was a British diplomat who was closely involved in the Suez crisis, and afterwards ambassador to Hungary, Sweden and Italy.
He was appointed CMG in 1957, CVO in 1961 and KCMG in 1972.
Millard always looked the part of a diplomat, cutting an elegant figure — debonair, intelligent, sophisticated and invariably polite. But for a slight diffidence, he might have risen even further, for example to the Paris embassy; but he was content to have ended his career in Rome, where he was very much at home.
After retiring to Gloucestershire in 1976, he took on the honorary chairmanship of the British-Italian Society (1977-83), a duty which he performed with exemplary aplomb.
Ambassador Sir Guy joined Carter & Company as a director. In May, George, Elizabeth, and I went down to visit him at his home, Fyfield Manor. Do we look suitably debonair?
The next day, Ben Coleman invites me to lunch at Brooks’s. How in the world did he become a member? I like Ben a lot. I met him when I went to his flat with Johnny Galliher. Ben had a large collection of silver mustard pots arranged on the lower shelf of his glass coffee table. I thought, “Something’s wrong here.”
Later, I learned I was right – he had nothing to do with the Coleman's mustard business but didn’t mind people having that impression.
On Saturday, May 14, Tony and Chuck arrive at the Connaught from San Francisco.
On Tuesday, I give a party for them and invite David Hicks, Ben Coleman, and a few others for dinner.
The next day, after I call Walt at the House in the Woods to say I intend to come over in July, I go to lunch with Johnnie G, Tony Hail, Chuck Posey, and Marguerite Littman. Lunch seems to turn to dinner at my house and we finish the evening by carousing from Annabel’s to Napoleon to Yours & Mine. It’s a good thing these “visiting firemen” aren’t here all the time!
Then, on Friday, Tony gives a luncheon at San Lorenzo for me and most of the same group plus Henry McIlhenny of Philadelphia, County Donegal, and most points of the world.
On Saturday, the 21st, Tony and Chuck and I make our annual pilgrimage to Sissinghurst and Knole.
Wikipedia - The garden at Sissinghurst Castle in the Weald of Kent, in England at Sissinghurst Village, is owned and maintained by the National Trust. It is among the most famous gardens in England and is grade I listed. Sissinghurst's garden was created in the 1930s by Vita Sackville-West, poet and gardening writer, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. Sackville-West was a writer on the fringes of the Bloomsbury Group who found her greatest popularity in the weekly columns she contributed as gardening correspondent of The Observer, which incidentally—for she never touted it—made her own garden famous.
The garden itself is designed as a series of 'rooms', each with a different character of colour and/or theme, the walls being high clipped hedges and many pink brick walls. The rooms and 'doors' are so arranged that, as one enjoys the beauty in a given room, one suddenly discovers a new vista into another part of the garden, making a walk a series of discoveries that keeps leading one into yet another area of the garden. Nicolson spent his efforts coming up with interesting new interconnections, while Sackville-West focused on making the flowers in the interior of each room exciting.
For Sackville-West, Sissinghurst and its garden rooms came to be a poignant and romantic substitute for Knole, reputedly the largest house in Britain, which as the only child of Lionel, the 3rd Lord Sackville she would have inherited had she been a male, but which had passed to her cousin as the male heir.
Wikipedia - Knole House /noʊl.haʊs/ NT is an English country house in the civil parish of Sevenoaks in west Kent. Sevenoaks consists of the town itself and Knole Park, a 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) park, within which the house is situated. Knole is one of England's largest houses. The National Trust attributes a possibility of its having at some point been a calendar house, which had 365 rooms, 52 staircases, 12 entrances and seven courtyards.
The oldest parts of the house were built by Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury, between 1456 and 1486, on the site of an earlier house belonging to James Fiennes, first Lord Say(e) and Sele.
The Sackville descendants include writer Vita Sackville-West (her Knole and the Sackvilles, published 1922, is regarded as a classic in the literature of English country houses). Her friend and lover Virginia Woolf wrote the novel Orlando, which drew on the history of the house and Sackville-West's ancestors. The Sackville family custom of following the Salic rules of primogeniture prevented Sackville-West from inheriting Knole upon the death of her father Lionel (1867–1930), the 3rd Lord Sackville; her father had bequeathed the estate to his brother Charles (1870–1962).
Sunday, I interviewed and hired a lovely Thai couple – Add and Wit – to be cook/housekeeper and majordomo respectively at fifty pounds per week. They would start on June and, in the meantime, Wit would create a loft bedroom for them above the kitchen cabinets.
A group of us were invited for a few days at Henry McIlhenny’s Glenveagh Castle in County Donegal, in the Republic of Ireland. So I gave a warm-up cocktail for most of the group on Tuesday, the 24th. Imbibing were: Tony and Chuck, John Galliher, Vincent Friia, and a couple of others who weren’t going to Ireland like John McCarthy and his pal, Hernando. We all dined at Zanzibar’s and ended up on the dance floor at Yours & Mine.
On Thursday, the 26th, we meet at Heathrow and fly to Belfast where we are met by a large van and head off from Northern Ireland to the Republic. Tony is in the front seat next to the driver and is the first to spot the border crossing. The Republic’s Immigration police ask him where and when he was born. Glancing over his shoulder, he begins to chortle… “Ha, finally we will know when John Galliher was born!”
The policeman asks each of us in turn. By the time he got to John, there were giggles all round. John whisperingly croaks “Washington, D.C., May 24, 1914.”
Now there was applause all round. Poor John – he wanted to be ageless… he was!
On to Glenveagh…
Wikipedia et al. - Glenveagh - Captain John George Adair (1823-1885), was a native of County Laois, and a member of the minor gentry. Adair had made his fortune by chancy land speculation in the United States, and he returned to Ireland and bought up vast tracts of land in Donegal.
Adair's ambition was to create an estate and castle that surpassed Balmoral, Queen Victoria's Scottish retreat.
John Adair is remembered with scant affection in Donegal. On the heels of the Great Irish Famine and emigration on a par with the Highland Clearances, John Adair evicted 224 tenants from their blackhouses on his land. This was not for financial gain, but merely to improve the aesthetic aspect from the castle He purchased Glenveagh in 1859 making an estate of 28,000 acres (110 km2).
Glenveagh Castle is a large castellated Mansion house built in County Donegal, Ireland in about 1870. Built by Captain John George Adair, it is in the Scottish Baronial style and consists of a four-story rectangular keep, surrounded by a garden, and a backdrop of some 165.4 km² (40,873 acres) of mountains, lakes, glens and woods complete with a herd of red deer.
Henry Plumer McIlhenny of Philadelphia purchased the estate in 1938, having rented it during the summer months since 1933. Hollywood stars such as: Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo vacationed at the castle whilst McIlhenny owned it. McIlhenny left the gardens and castle to the Irish nation in the 1970s, so that Glenveagh National Park could be created. McIlhenny used the castle as a part time residence until 1982.
Henry Plumer McIlhenny (October 7, 1910 – May 11, 1986) was an American connoisseur of art and antiques, world traveler, socialite, philanthropist, curator and chairman of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Early Life and Art Collections
During his years at Harvard, from which he was graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Fine Arts in 1933, Paul J. Sachs also influenced his future collecting.
During the World War II he served in the United States Naval Reserve, with one and a half years on the USS Bunker Hill in the Pacific theater. He was photographed in his uniform by George Platt Lynes.
His passion for art and collecting was inculcated by his parents who also played an active role in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His involvement with the museum for a half century was legendary. First serving as a curator from 1939 to 1964 he became the chairman of the board in 1976.
During his lifetime his collections of French masterpieces, 18th and 19th century silver, furniture and other decorative arts were housed in both his Rittenhouse Square townhouse and at Glenveagh Castle, his country house in Ireland. Andy Warhol claimed that McIlhenny was "the only person in Philadelphia with glamour," a sentiment echoed by the Philadelphia Art Alliance, which dubbed him the "first gentleman of Philadelphia."
Estate & Legacy
McIlhenny left his entire estate to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The items not retained for the museum's collection were sold at a two-day sale held by Christie's. Prior to the sale, which brought $3.7 million, 200 guests gathered at Christie's for a benefit dinner in McIlhenny's honor. The proceeds from the auction went into a museum acquisition fund.
McIlhenny's ancestors lived near Milford, a village in the north of County Donegal, Ireland. This is most likely the reason he was originally drawn to the area and vacationed at Glenveagh. He is fondly remembered by the locals as having been a good landlord and an excellent employer. This, along with entertaining many famous guests, has made him a kind of folk hero the region.
Glenveagh today, 2017…
Wikipedia, et. al - Glenveagh is the second largest national park in Ireland. The park covers 170 square kilometres (65 sq. miles) of hillside above Glenveagh Castle on the shore of Lough Veagh, 20 km from Gweedore in County Donegal. The network of mainly informal gardens displays a multitude of exotic and delicate plants from as far afield as Chile, Madeira and Tasmania, all sheltered by windbreaks of pine trees and ornamental rhododendrons.
It takes a bit more than an hour to get to the gates of the estate - two huge stone pillars on either side of the rutted track are each surmounted by a bronze stag with flaring antlers. We have arrived at the crest of a hill. This is my first view…
Tony says, “That ain’t no pile of shit!”
The lough and the four-storey keep are clear to see.
This is Henry’s house postcard of the scene from the lough…
And my photograph taken the next day…
You can just make out the castle in the distance.
As I was shown to my room by Logan, the butler, I learned that there were fourteen staff in the house and eighteen gardeners.
And my closet…
Isn’t that cute? Houses in those days were not constructed with built-in closets – this is a great solution. Note the beautiful, fresh-daily flowers!
We gather in the garden: Henry and his companion, Peter Marshall; Johnnie Galliher; Vincent Friia - a real estate man whom I had met in San Francisco; Tony Cloughley - my architect friend who lives across the street from Johnnie on Chester Row in London - his boyfriend, Alessandro Albrizzi, couldn’t join us; Tony Hail and Chuck Posey; Tim Krusi who owns the Yellow Jacket Ranch north of San Francisco where I had spent a delightful weekend picking watercress, and his boyfriend, Alan Jones; and me.
Below are Alan, Henry, and Peter…
With eighteen men tending the gardens, you can imagine how wonderful they are.
Remember, Henry has been tending this place since he was at Harvard.
Here is Alan on a great stone staircase that leads to nowhere but a view back to the house.
As Tony would say… oh, never mind.
The Italianate Garden consisted of a maze of box hedges cut into scores of six-foot-tall plinths that appeared to support an equal number of Roman, marble busts.
The Oriental Garden was equally beguiling…
Johnnie had been here before and took me on a tour…
We dressed for dinner. The dining room glowed with the reflections of the fire and the candles off the silver. Dinner was sublime.
After Port, I was asleep almost before my head hit the pillow in my cozy, little, single room.
Friday morning, we grouped for breakfast.
“Now I’m going to do the flowers,” Henry said.
We all go out to the household flower garden.
Even this utilitarian garden is stunning. Henry has flat flower baskets on each arm. We watch as he cuts flowers and takes them into his arranging room. The room looks like a high-school, gym changing-room with lockers on three walls. The lockers are numbered - each corresponds to one of the numbered bedrooms.
In between each top and bottom locker, there’s a little sliding tray. One after another, Henry opens the top locker, slides out the tray, selects a vase from the locker, puts it on the tray, and arranges the flowers for that room… every morning!
He does the flower arrangements for the dining room, drawing room, billiard room, hall, etc., etc. on a huge, wooden table in the center of the room.
Magic… everything is!
So was dinner the next day – formal with footmen and serving girls; soup to nuts - delicious!
The formal dinner was reprised on Saturday evening. After dinner, we enjoy more Port in the library and suggest to Henry that perhaps it would be fun to have dinner in a local pub tomorrow – a relaxed Irish evening.
“What a good idea,” he says. “We’ll go to the village across the lake by boat. There are aluminum outboards and a canoe in the boathouse. We’ll meet there at 6PM. Good night, boys.”
It’s Sunday morning and I enjoy breakfast in bed served by one of Nora’s staff. After breakfast, I go down to talk to Nora, the cook/housekeeper, about the fabulous dessert she served last night.
“If you can keep a secret, I’ll give you the recipe.”
As it was printed on a small card, and with U.S. measurements, I have the distinct feeling she’s given it away before – at least in Philadelphia:
Put 2 oz. of butter and ¼ pint of milk into a stew pan to boil.
Add quickly 2 oz. flour, and stir well until it leaves the side of the pan.
Let it cool a little and flavour with vanilla;
Then add 2 eggs, one at a time, and mix thouroughly (sic).
Have ready some bioling (sic) fat,
Drop in pieces of the mixture from a spoon, turn then about in the fat.
When cooked, drain and sift sugar over them.
These can be served with hot chocolate sauce served separately or jam syrup.
“Wow, thanks, Nora!”
I meet the others outside. Henry suggests we go to a nearby mill where they weave lovely Irish linens and tweeds. We pile into four Land Rovers and set off across the fells.
The photogenic mill was quiet this Sunday morning, but a sweet gal sold me many meters of a pale tweed that I think will look good on the sofas and chairs in the drawing room of Hyde Park Gardens. Anyway, it’s always politic to support the local businesses.
We have lunch at a pub and get back to Glenveagh mid-afternoon. Peter and I decide we will paddle to the village across the lough, and we meet at the boathouse at 6PM.
Henry and the others took the fishing outboards. “See you there.” we waved.
About half-way across, we can see the outboards drawn up on the shore and, beyond, a thatch-roofed house with smoke curling out of the chimney – too quaint! There are also Land Rovers parked in front, and soon we can see long tables covered with… oh no, silver candlesticks and Henry’s flowers; and there was Logan, directing the scene!
That’s what it is, a scene, a make-believe pub in a village… while all the while it is really another McIlhenny dining room!
In any event, it was great fun, and we make it back before dark.
Here we are, almost home…
And to bed.
Today is Monday, Spring Bank Holiday, and our last day at the Castle.
We picnic in the Oriental Garden for lunch. Henry says to dress for dinner and meet in the library at 7 for drinks and a game. (?)
At the appointed hour, Henry hands out some stationery and says, “Maybe you’ve played this before. I call it the House Party Game; and now that we’ve all gotten to know each other even better than before, it should be more fun than before. It’s very simple. Using only the individual letters of each person’s name, compose a sentence that describes them. Have fun!”
And this is what they said of me…
It is more fun than the ones I’ve played before because it is at the end of an
adventure instead of being an icebreaker at the beginning of a houseparty.
Our evening was glorious and it was hard to get out of bed in the morning. But out we all get, bundle into Henry’s special Land Rover bus, wend our way back to Aldergrove airport in Belfast, and eventually return back home in London.
It’s June and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee!
Wikipedia - The Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II marked the 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the thrones of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms.
It was celebrated with large-scale parties and parades throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth throughout 1977, culminating in June with the official "Jubilee Days", held to coincide with the Queen's Official Birthday.
Berkeley Square is blocked off for several days for a charity “block party.” Carter & Company contributes enough to get a tent.
Happily, Wit & Add, the Thai couple, started full time on the 13th, just in time for the black-tie ball in the square on the 16th.
It was a glorious night with Wit running back and forth to Hyde Park Gardens in the moke topping up the Champagne supply. The music was so heady, even I couldn’t hear the Nightingale.
It is a glorious June; I get out in the country on weekends…
And give dinner parties virtually every evening at Hyde Park Gardens. Now that Wit and Add are running things, it is much easier, and the house is a magnet for all my friends and their friends too.
The entourage is growing: of course, Johnny G is here very often, as is: John Kay, potential property developer, and his two roommates – Michael Beuttler, F1 racer, and Paul Wheeler – simply beautiful; Simon Trimble – oil analyst; Richard Taylor – designer; Jeremy Norman – Head of Burke’s Peerage and gay club owner, with Derek Frost - designer; Bob Perkins and Eduardo Llanyo - bright socialites from New York; Ben Coleman – advisor at Spinks; Guy Munthe – Carter & Company container investment expert; William Thuiller – polite gent around town; Nicholas Kimber – Society designer; Max Maguire – journalist; John Schlesinger – director of Midnight Cowboy; Nicky Lane – socialite; David Hicks – DAVID HICKS; David Sulzberger – Persian rug dealer; Bobby Fryer – Broadway and Hollywood producer: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Wonderful Town, Auntie Mame, Redhead, Chicago, Sweeney Todd, Voyage of the Damned, The Boys From Brazil, and The Shining; Mark McCormick – owner of AD8 Restaurant with April Ashley; Graham White – Playboy centerfold; Dicky Fife – dentist; Christopher McDonell – simply pretty, Andre Moussoulos – dynamic businessman; Anthony Redmile – original artistic artifact artist/shopkeeper, and partner, Harold Gould, OBE JP DL BA FCA – Master of the Guild of Freeman of the City of London; Ralph Clark – stock broker and March Racing Team partner; Naim Akill – Vidal Sassoon student; Anthony Brown – Washington D.C. Society interior designer; Alan Lumsden – oil explorer; and many more from earlier chapters up till today. Each can be Googled or Wiki-searched which will reveal fascinating stories of passion and talent or vice versa. You’ll meet more along the way.
John Kay has taken to renting a house in the Cotswolds about forty minutes north of Oxford in Gloucestershire. I go almost every weekend. We usually dine at the Lords of the Manor Hotel in Upper Slaughter on Friday evening and play in the countryside all weekend.
One of my most favorite things is to visit the lovely village of Bourton-on-the-Water in which is the famous Bourton-on-the-Water Model Village.
The Model Village is a one-ninth scale replica of the heart of the village itself, containing all the buildings from the Old Water Mill down to the Old New Inn and the ford, all built in Cotswold stone. And, of course, in the model of the village is the model of the village, and in that model is the model… ad infinitum! Love it!
It’s fun to have somewhere to go on weekends and I usually bring my latest blush. Mid-July it happens to be a small Thai boy, Sompong Toomvhun. Out of deference to his shyness, we stay at the Lords of the Manor instead of bunking in with John.
I told you he was shy.
A new friend of John’s is Alan Lumsden. He works on a North Sea oil drilling platform and also has a flat in town. Recently, he came with John to a couple of dinners chez moi.
When Sompong and I get back to London, we accept Alan’s invitation to dinner. He has a modern ground-floor flat that includes a dining room – unusual.
Having drinks in the living room before dinner, I wander into the dining room – the table is nicely set and an artichoke sits on a gold-edged plate at each of the eight places. “Hmm, nice.” I thought. “I often serve an artichoke as a starter with a curried mayonnaise dip.” Then I notice… but don’t say anything.
Alan calls us to dinner. We sit and I wait to see what’s going to happen.
Alan starts to de-leaf his artichoke, and, of course, can’t do anything with it.
He looks at me and says, “What’s wrong? I’ve had this at your house before.”
“Yes, Alan,” I say, “but I cook them first.”
The artichokes are raw!
Business continues to be brisk. I come back from the country on Sunday, the 17th and George and I meet with David Jones from Interpool and Denis Lanesborough for a business update. Except for sales in Switzerland, Carter & Company is not trying to sell CATU containers or leases. Our trailer leases are growing moderately, and our Interpool deals are outpacing our TCS deals by a margin of four to one. We looked at developing fire-fighting equipment leasing but the market is too thin and sporadic. We all agree that business is good and growing.
On Wednesday July 20, I fly to Montreal, am met by my Leonard cousin, Alix, and her husband, Tom, and we drive to the House in the Woods. I sleep in HOWO.
The next day, we all go to the super market in Saranac Lake and stock up with food and booze. Charlie Keough says the outboard isn’t ready (I’d only given him a month’s notice!). We clean up Blazes, and Walt, my caretaker, and his wife, Florence, and cousins, Alix, her mother, Debbie, and her daughters, Leslie and Laura come over for chicken dinner – I can’t stop entertaining.
Next day, back to Saranac – outboard needs a part. To Ames for fishing tackle, and plates and silverware for Blazes. Caulked the Bobs II (Chris-Craft) all day and lowered it into the lake to soak.
A new neighbor, Bob Tebbutt, who had just built a house on Rainbow Lake, comes by to introduce himself. His family are from Albany, the capital of New York State, where my mother grew up; they own the funeral home of choice. Bob becomes a friend and we see each other nearly every day. He has a quiet sidekick – I’m not sure his role, and a Venezuelan wife, who used to be his maid. When I told Mother about my new friend, she said, “Why, dear, they’ve buried all our Albany relatives!”
Over the next few weeks, Bob and I talk about opening Carter & Company in the United States. He wants to run it. I suggest he come to London and meet our people.
My personal accountants are in Boston; they do my income tax filing every year. I call Moe Sherman, “Do you know a good securities law firm in Boston I could talk to about an idea?”
“Try Bingham, Dana & Gould; they’re the best in town.” Says Moe.
Bingham, Dana & Gould are intrigued about our business, have an office in London, and suggest I send some information there. I call George to follow up.
Saturday, Bobs is leaking badly, and the battery is completely dead. With Walt’s help, I tried jumping from Tom’s to no avail. Charlie suggests zapping it with a 12-volt battery… “from your car.” Dinner is a picnic with Walt and Florence on Blazes' dock.
Sunday, we all made beds and cleaned up HOWO. Got the Bobs running with the 12-volt battery and spent the rest of the day on the water. So the week went. Up at dawn, out on the water or walking the wilderness trails. The air is pure and the skies are more clear than anywhere else on earth. I think this is my 35th summer here. I missed two… maybe more, years when I was in the Army or in the Far East. Some years, I drove in, stepped out onto the land, got back in the car, and drove on to wherever I had to be; but, at least I was there.
Days are spent with cousins May and Dan Leonard, and Dan’s sister, Debbie, and her daughter Alix and husband Tom, and their daughters, Leslie and Laura. And with neighbors – picnics, water skiing off Dody and Bill’s beach, and drinks with Jack and Mary Tennant – with Bob Tebbutt looking on, Jack bought a $5000 Interpool deal from me! And jigsaw puzzles, dinners, charades, midnight paddles, and lots of general drunkenness.
Moved two beds and three lamps into Blazes and made the beds.
Tuesday, August 2, Mito arrives by bus at 4:30! We have lamb chops cooked over the fire, and end the day with a boat ride to Lake Kushaqua and back. Lovely.
Wednesday morning, George calls in a flap. I unflapped him with the facts: Carter & Company is responsible for managing nearly two thousand units of equipment at the moment and is today increasing by approximately 150 units a month.
That evening we went to Lake Placid to see a movie called “Star Wars.”
Thursday, Mito and I drive to Montreal, visit the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, the Fine Arts Museum, have lunch in the old town with cobblestone streets, see the Contemporary Arts Museum and… pick up Wit and Add at 5:30! They’ve arrived from London; we’ll all be here until September 4!
Friday is rainy; Wit and Add settle into their cottage, and work on HOWO. Mito gives me a haircut and at 6PM, I take him to the airport for his flight to New York. Cousin Danny Leonard, May and Dan’s son, comes by in his boat – his sister, Sally is here too, with children, Cary and Chad – it’s a big tribe! Next day is “happy, happy, Laundry Day” at Camp WaAwA, the Leonard’s place (my mother is a Leonard, as am I – Edward Gardner Leonard Carter).
Wit and Add have a wonderful time in the Woods. They have a separate cottage with living room, bedroom, and bath, and a cute deck looking out on the lake. Here they are delivering dinner from the kitchen in the main house to me in Blazes…
My birthday on the 16th was fun, with all my favorite people - Mito called and sang “Happy Birthday” over the phone; George and Isabel Brett, who live at the head of Clear Pond, had a drinks party, and afterwards, the tribe took me to a nice dinner in Saranac at the Steak & Stinger.
Saturday, August 27 - Go up “The Flow” (see northwest corner of map below), the source of the water supplying our lake and river system, in the Bobs II with Danny and son, Danforth (he’s the fourth Daniel in the family) towing canoes. When the inboard can’t go any further, we carry the canoes over two beaver dams until there was no navigable water left.
We return to Lone Pond Landing on the western shore of Clear Pond, and walk in to a picnic on the shore of the isolated pond that is already over coals with Wit and Add cooking.
The next day we do another “annual must.” You may remember from Chapter Eight that my great aunt, Ruth Ransom, erected a forest rangers’ tower on the top of Meenagha Mountain behind HOWO and the school. So today we Up tower cutting a new route up to the tower and find Mizzentop, the remains of a cabin built by some of the boys from the school. I had never seen it before!
Then we go down to Lake Kushaqua (off the map to the east) in the Bobs II, again with canoes in tow, and, on the way back, try to get in to Little John’s Dam. We go two to three miles up the stream - further than ever before, get out and following an ancient Indian trail, discover a logging road none of us knew was there.
When I get back to HOWO, there’s a car in the driveway – Carter cousins, Jean and Andy Jones, looking very frail, have come to see the place for the last time. We have drinks on the Piazza and reminisce. That evening, I close up Black Fly Camp for the season by shuttering the windows, covering the old pool table with the same cloth we’ve used for seventy-four years, and wind up the power cord and store it in over the old wash tubs in the basement of HOWO – a place for everything and everything in its place.
Wednesday, August 31 – I drive to Montreal to British Airways to get all our tickets endorsed, and checked at the border to make sure Wit and Add transits don’t need visas to transit to the airport from New York State. Back to HOWO for a picnic lunch with Walt and Florence on Leonard Island…
Leonard Island on the left, Leonard Dam, at the foot of Rainbow Lake,
on the horizon, center
Saturday, September 3 – I close Blazes – coil up the rubber, water-intake pipe from the lake and put in the old racoon-box nest, drain all the pipes, unplug all the lamps and kitchen stuff, board up the windows, turn off the bottled gas, and wish it well.
Walt and Florence will close up the cabin, Add & Wit’s cottage, the main house, and the boathouse.
Have one last ski, and on the way back from the last trip to Kushaqua, left food with the Leonards. We never say goodbye, just “see you later.”
I go up to the attic to get the suitcase and find a dead owl. Also, all the bats are gone; eaten I guess.
Walt drives the three of us to Montreal International Airport at 10PM. We leave on Sunday morning at 4AM and arrive at 2PM. George Lane meets us and takes us home to Hyde Park Gardens. He says Mr. Hunt, the head of the London office of Boston lawyers, Bingham, Dana & Gould, is ready to meet whenever we like. I have dinner at After Dark with Simon Trimble.
Monday, September 5th – back to the “real world.” Everyone calling; Tschudi is coming on Thursday. We grill hamburgers on the balcony for John Kay, Mike Beuttler, and Paul Wheeler, and close out the evening on the banquette at Yours and Mine.
The next day, Guy says he has a client w/£400,000 who wants to meet in Rotterdam with David Jones. I fly over, help to close the deal, and return.
Dinners again every evening – Don’t Stop the Carnival (a funny book about a New Yorker who tried to start a resort in the Caribbean!)
On October thirteenth, I have my first meeting with David Harper. He wants to join the company as a Director of Business Development. I admit he looks a bit sleazy with slicked back hair, but he talks a good game. “You should have an overdraught, and look at new directions of development. I have people with interesting ideas you should meet. I can also recruit a large number of professional salesmen.”
George is listening and agrees. “Maybe we don’t even need Interpool. Why don’t we do it all ourselves?”
David says, “I think I can help there - immediately.”
George and I call Denis and Guy - we have a Board meeting on the phone and Harper is appointed the Director of Development.
The next day, David brings Lonnie Foster to the office. She is an experienced container leasing specialist and we hire her on the spot.
We form C=Go Leasing Company in Limassol, Cyprus. Cyprus is the domicile of choice in this industry because there is no corporate tax on non-resident leasing companies. (C for Carter and/or Sea = Go!)
I had just found a unique Cambodian, hand-carved frieze in an antique shop on the King’s Road, and it fit perfectly as the crown molding in the room above the kitchen which now becomes Lonnie’s office. I also lease a Lotus Elite for her exclusive use.
We now have our own container package, several very effective salesmen, and business flourished!
David Harper set up office in our “ops” room, and we installed a telex in the adjoining store room to handle Lonnie’s traffic and Carter & Company S.A.’s sales in Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Holland, and our new sales agent in Beirut.
November 12th – Dinner party for friends John McCarthy, Ben Coleman, Simon Trimble, David Griggs, Paul Wheeler, Michael Fish and Trevor, Mike Beuttler, and Sheridan Dufferin.
Michael Simon Brindley Bream Beuttler (13 April 1940 – 29 December 1988) was a British Formula One driver who raced privately entered March cars. He was born in Cairo, Egypt.
He was a talented Formula Three graduate from the late 1960s, who then graduated to Formula Two and then to Formula One in 1971. The finance for the team came from a group of stockbroker friends from whom the team took its name – at first Clarke-Mordaunt-Guthrie Racing, and in 1973 it became Clarke-Mordaunt-Guthrie-Durlacher Racing. He raced on one occasion, at the 1971 Canadian Grand Prix, for the works March team. Beuttler's best result was a seventh place in the 1973 Spanish Grand Prix.
Beuttler retired from racing the following year and eventually moved to the United States, where he died of complications resulting from AIDS in 1988, in Los Angeles, aged 48. As of 2016 he is the only known gay F1 driver.
Sheridan Frederick Terence Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 5th Marquess of Dufferin and Ava (9 July 1938 – 29 May 1988) was a British patron of the arts.
Less formally he was usually called Sheridan Dufferin. Although he was homosexual, in 1964 Lord Dufferin married his fourth cousin Serena Belinda (Lindy) Rosemary Guinness, daughter of Group Captain Thomas "Loel" Guinness and his second wife, Lady Isabel Manners, herself a daughter of John Manners, 9th Duke of Rutland. Their wedding was at Westminster Abbey where 1,800 guests attended, including Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon.
Lady Dufferin was also passionate about art and together they were at centre of the trendy art scene in late 1960s London. Parties at their house in Holland Park "were legendary in the late 1960s. You would find yourself talking to Princess Margaret or Duncan Grant and Angelica Garnett, or Francis Bacon or Stephen Spender or the Queen Mother.
I don’t remember the menu, but the dessert course was poppers - uncontrollable laughter all round for hours!
Nov 15 –I entertain Derek Frost, Jeremy Norman’s best friend, for dinner.
Nov 22 – Bob Tebbutt arrives from Albany, and I set up a meeting with Mr. Hunt of Bingham, Dana & Gould.
Nov 24 – Brian Taylor organizes a formal wine tasting at HPG conducted by the UK’s number-one Cellar Master. Sixty people attend.
Nov 25 – Bob Tebbutt and I go to Bingham, Dana & Gould’s London office. They want to put one of their senior lawyers on studying the applicability of a similar program that could be offered in the United States. They feel there is not the antipathy to paper securities in the US as there currently is in Europe, and there are no similar tax laws to the UK’s Capital Allowances. However, U-Haul did something similar, they would research all avenues, and get back to us. It isn’t going to be cheap.
Nov 28 – Harold Gould, OBE JP DL BA FCA, Master of the Guild of Freeman of the City of London,
and boyfriend of Anthony Redmile, a brilliant designer who keeps a boa constrictor in their home, invites me to a white-tie dinner at Mansion House.
Wikipedia - Mansion House is the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London. It is used for some of the City of London's official functions, including two annual White Tie dinners, hosted by the Lord Mayor.
It was a grand affair.
Nov 30 – Warren Serenbetz comes to cocktails and tells us that Interpool has been taken over and can no longer participate in our container program. We introduce Lonnie and David, and say we have the situation well in hand. We part most amicably – nice man, Warren Serenbetz.
The beginning of December, I hold a Board Meeting to stress that we need stricter financial controls. “We need an in-house accountant and a full-time Financial Director. We also should have an in-house lawyer who could develop a legal department to deal with the internationalities of shipping container laws as well as sales operations.”
I emphasize - “David, I want to hire such people before the end of the month. Get on to the headhunters and all your contacts.”
Within a week, David comes up with Mr. Robert George, an experienced shipping line lawyer, and Mr. Clive Vlieland-Boddy, FCA (Chartered Accountant), and, as a bonus, Martin Vlieland-Boddy, Clive’s twin brother who had taken the tests to be a Chartered Accountant but has not yet received the certificate. Another meeting of the Board appoints the Vlieland-Boddys and Robert George to the Board.
The next day, David hires Mr. Ian Landless as a salesman with management ambitions.
Itching to replace the Mini Moke, I have been seeing Rolls-Royces, but this time I don’t want a limousine, I want something special that I can drive myself. I find it in the country. Lord Litchfield, cousin to the Queen, had one of only five Roll-Royce, Mulliner Park Ward, drophead, Silver Cloud IIIs ever made.
It is being offered by a speciality dealer in Oxfordshire. I go up to see it, and close the deal. The dealership is owned by George Lazenby, and besides taking the car, I also hire his son, Paul, to work in the office. Paul delivers it on December third.
Mid-December, Major Anthony Everette, a client with £100,000 worth of containers, asks to meet with me. It turns out that Major Everette is the father of the lad who was my assistant at Grosvenor Square in 1968 who, at age 24, suffered a non-fatal heart attack. Accompanying him to this meeting is another lithe, young man, with a weak handshake. Major Everette says that from his and other conservative investors’ points of view, the Chairman of Carter & Company should be a significant Englishman. It would help strengthen the business and quiet any concerns that might arise about the industry or the tax implications. “We’re just thinking ahead,” he said politely.
I say, “I am taking steps to open the business in the United States, and am systematically turning over more and more responsibilities to the blue-ribbon Board of Directors that we have here in George Lane, Lord Lanesborough, and Sir Guy Millard. Also, we have just hired a British Chartered Accountant as Financial Director, and a British, in-house, Legal Director. I will need a Managing Director, but not necessarily British due to the internationality of our business.”
That seems to satisfy him, and he and the boy get up to leave.
“I didn’t get this young man’s name.” I say to him.
“Oh, sorry, this is Rupert, he wants to be a movie star, heh heh.”
[Rupert Everette did become a star.]
You can well appreciate that there were many people coming and going in what was supposed to be my private home at Hyde Park Gardens, and the Duchess was getting upset. So upset, that she complained to the Church Commissioners.
Shortly thereafter, they formally gave me three months’ notice to cease all commercial activities. Add and Wit took this opportunity to give me their notices; they were going to work in a hospital. They had put up with a lot – whether delivering dinner by teeny outboard or serving at a popper-sniffing party - and I will always be grateful for their dedication and loyalty.
So ends 1977, a year of building new foundations, new products, new people, C=go – our own leasing company, and plans for expanding into the United States.
END OF CHAPTER TWELVE
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The Cast – Chapters Ten through Fourteen:
Mito Catral, Margaret L. Carter, Johnny Galliher,
Jacques Sarli, François Catroux, Edward Zajac,
Al Pacino, John Brewer, Jackie Kennedy, Pierre Suter,
Martha & Sam Welker, Baroness Carrie de Vendeuvre,
Prince Rupert Loewenstein, Cappy Badrutt,
Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, Gilles Dufour, Karl Lagerfeld,
Eli Wallitt, Bernie Cornfeld, Charlie Freeman,
Roy and Buthena Kirkdorffer,
Mr. & Mrs. Truman Anderson, Mr. H.A. Jacques,
Mana Weiser, Mr. Toblerone, Dr. David Trueblood,
Sir John Templeton,
Stewart Granger, Peter Herzog, David Fitts, Jerry Ratz,
Mr. Liers, Pat Minihan, Albert Moth, Nat Greenburg,
Eric Banks, John French, Frank Charlton,
Barry Fletcher, Jaime Granger, Baron Tieson, David Hamilton,
Prince Hohenlohe, Countess Obolensky,
Ron Ferri & Jean Pierre, John Stock, Duchess of Sutherland, Guy Munthe, Axel Munthe, Colin Tennant,
Brian & Peggy Taylor, George & Elizabeth Lane,
Klaus von Bülow,
Dixon Boardman, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Creighton, Ken Carr, David Jones,
Warren Serenbetz, The Earl of Lanesborough,
Sir Harmar Nicholls,
John McCarthy, Norman Gurov, Gerald Lubner, Bill Bennette, David Hicks, Selwyn Elkin, John Kay, David Warner,
Stephen Kaufmann, David Sulzberger, Simon Trimble,
Allen Warren, Lionel Bart, Sir Guy Millard, Ben Coleman,
Tony Hail, Chuck Posey, Walt & Florence Patnode,
Henry McIlhenny, Add and Wit, Vincent Friia, Peter Marshall, Tony Cloughley, Alessandro Albrizzi, Tim Krusi, Alan Jones, Logan, Nora, Michael Beuttler,
Paul Wheeler, Richard Taylor, Jeremy Norman, Derek Frost, Bob Perkins, Eduardo Llanyo, William Thuiller,
Nicholas Kimber, Max Maguire,
John Schlesinger, Nicky Lane, Bobby Fryer, Mark McCormick, April Ashley, Graham White, Dicky Fife, Christopher McDonell, Andre Moussoulos,
Anthony Redmile, Harold Gould, Ralph Clark, Naim Akill, Anthony Brown,
Alan Lumsden, Sompong Toomvhun,
Alix & Tom Dame and their daughters, Leslie and Laura,
Debbie Leonard, Charlie Keough, Bob Tebbutt, Moe Sherman,
May & Dan Leonard, Danny & Betty Leonard,
Jack & Mary Tennant,
Dody & Bill Oliver, George & Isabel Brett, Danforth Leonard,
Jean & Andy Jones, David Harper, Lonnie Foster, David Griggs,
Michael Fish & Trevor, Sheridan Dufferin, Mr. Robert George,
Mr. Clive Vlieland-Boddy, Martin Vlieland-Boddy, Ian Landless,
Lord Litchfield, George Lazenby, Paul Lazenby,
Major Anthony Everette,
Rupert Everette, Paul Littlewood, John Addey, Gil Karnig, Jackson Kelly,
Bill Hurlock, Walter Otto, Henri Tschudi, Ray LaMay,
Parker Packard, Hank Snow, Dr. Trudeau, Gary Trudeau, William Avery Rockefeller, Steve Briggs,
Joe & Clarissa Blagden, Tom Blagden, Steve Blagden,
Robert Carrier, Miss Audré, Alan Sievewright,
Michael Cowie, David Clayton, Chuck & Susie Bade,
Yves Saint-Laurent, Marc Bohan,
Moments from Chapter Twelve
YES! A surge of adrenaline courses through my body – it’s one of those very few “hurray” moments of a lifetime!
“Ha, finally we will know when John Galliher was born!”
There were fourteen staff in the house,
and eighteen gardeners.
And, of course, in the model of the village is the model of the village, and in that model is the model… ad infinitum! Love it!
Carter & Company is now responsible for managing nearly two thousand units of equipment, and is adding approximately 150 units a month.
I don’t remember the menu, but the dessert course was poppers!