"It may not be
the easiest way to get into racing," she said, keeping an eye on Bless Pat
coming into the stretch. "But I think it's the most exciting, especially if
you can bid in the offspring of good sires and dams."
INDIGENOUS AS A
Since she paid
$44,000 for a yearling at this year's Keeneland sales, this last is a classic
example of Abercrombien understatement, a literary quality not generally
associated with the Lone Star set. In fact Miss Aber?er, Jo's?modesty would be
notable even in a non-Texan. Although she is as indigenous as a bluebonnet, she
is?upon first meeting?almost retiring, with a contempt for flamboyance that
makes Garbo seem gaudy.
She pales at the
mention of money, reddens at the words "Edna Ferber" and took to her
bed at the Hotel Pierre during a recent visit when a gossip columnist reported
her weekly allowance to be $25,000 ("absolutely fantastic!"). Even her
Cadillac is old, nonair-conditioned, and hard-topped?"Daddy says it's bad
enough worrying about a horse turning over on me without worrying about a
She is one of the
few Abercrombies extant not associated with Fitch, although fun-loving friends
try to promote unions with young men y-clept Fitch any time they can find one.
Her father, James Smathers Abercrombie but known everywhere as Jim, is one of
the quieter Houston oilmen, and Mrs. Abercrombie is a warm, unpretentious woman
of wit and charm. The remarkable size of the personal Abercrombie fortune,
which is reputed to be in excess of 50 million dollars, is in inverse ratio to
the down-to-earth simplicity of their only child.
constantly ducks photographers because she honestly doesn't think she's pretty,
which is strictly a minority opinion. Actually, she has gentian-blue eyes under
wide, brown brows, ash-blonde hair pulled into a chaste knot at the nape of her
apparently unbreakable neck and, in or out of jodphurs, a flair for clothes.
She stands 5'4" in her seamless-stockinged feet, weighs in at a
well-distributed 114 and never diets?"I substitute riding, shopping,
dancing and worrying." She was an ardent skier until she broke her leg in
17 places at Sun Valley a year ago on November 13th, a Friday. She still has
five silver screws in it, which don't interfere at all with her dancing.
An extremist, she
is happiest in either blue jeans or ball gowns with skirts as wide as the
standard nightclub dance floor. She likes to dance all night or retire at 6
p.m. with milk, graham crackers and a new novel. She discusses bloodlines and
breeding with the same enthusiasm other members of her sex accord mixed
canastas, and considers racing a serious financial venture. She never bets, and
is disturbed by people who refuse to believe she is not withholding hot tips.
"I don't know any more about it than, say, Bless Pat there," she said,
glumly, "and I have yet to make any money at it myself." Bless Pat was
named after a Southern expression to which she is much addicted?"Bless Pat
if that isn't Bernard Baruch!" she remarked recently during a Park Avenue
The only money she
has ever made in her life came from an impulsive investment in Pajama Game, the
hit Broadway musical. Although this victory thrilled her (she is always calling
the show's producers to find why her check is late), she plans no further
plunges. "I am taking my money," she said, heading back to the stable
with her long swinging stride, "and going home."