Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mae West: Des Moines

This snatch of dialogue from a MAE WEST comedy will introduce a bit of news.
• • The Chump: I don't suppose you believe in marriage, do you?
• • Tira: Only as a last resort... What do you do for a livin'?
• • The Chump: Oh, uh, sort of a politician.
• • Tira: I don't like work either.
• • Surely, some elected officials work harder than others, however, eleven Oval Office residents have slept soundly at the famed Hotel Fort Des Moines, which is becoming a Hilton. The hotel has hosted both presidents and presidential candidates — — including Calvin Coolidge, Woodrow Wilson, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon.
• • Owner Jeff Miller said the renovations will take at least a year, which might inconvenience some political candidates since his rooms have been a popular stopping place for those with large entourages who need to be in Iowa. Over the years, notable guests have included the likes of Mae West, Nikita Krushchev, William Jennings Bryan, Charles Lindbergh, Liz Taylor, and others.
• • In fact, the web site shows Mae's photo and states: If our lobby could talk, it would tell you how a cast of characters including Hollywood film diva Mae West came up and saw us sometime in the 1930s.
• • If our lobby could talk, it would tell us how Richard Nixon tromped though on his way to a landslide victory in 1972, only to resign two years later. . . .
• • Opened in 1919, the hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
• • It cost $1.3 million to construct back in 1919. According to general manager Paul Rottenberg, "It was built as a 'super' hotel. Every room had its own bath; there was circulating ice water to every room; and the water passed through ultraviolet light to be purified."
• • Happy 90th Birthday to the Hotel Fort Des Moines [1000 Walnut Street | Des Moines, IA 50309].

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • none • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.

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