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"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 BLUEBONNET
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 convertible, too."
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.
A MINORITY OPINION
Miss Abercrombie 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 stroll.
A THRILLING INVESTMENT
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."