Now we come to the story of my grandmother, the Almighty Louisa Norris Sullivan etc., etc. Her father built Gilded Elms, where she grew up as the pampered, adored, and strong-willed daughter of a diplomat, and where she still lives. She inherited the house after her parents died and moved in as a young bride with her husband, Alphonse Sullivan, Jr., a diplomat like her father.
As a girl, Almighty's best friend was Mary Margaret Rennert, known as Mamie or Mame. Mamie's father, James Rennert, owned a newspaper. Together Mamie and Almighty Lou ruled St. Maggie's School. They had the best parties. They rode horses and swigged champagne and jumped into fountains in their fancy clothes. They were famous for crashing stag parties at the Maryland Club wearing only bathing suits under their fur coats. (more…)