Resurrecting Memories of JFK's Slain Mistress

A mysterious memorial to Mary Pinchot Meyer recently popped up near the site where her body was found in 1964.
A mysterious memorial to Mary Pinchot Meyer recently popped up near the site where her body was found in 1964. (Amy Argetsinger - The Washington Post)
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By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Someone has Mary Pinchot Meyer on the mind.

A makeshift memorial to the Georgetown socialite and former JFK paramour -- whose mysterious 1964 murder launched more than a few conspiracy theories -- recently appeared on the C&O Canal towpath near the spot where she died.

Georgetown resident Frances Zwenig spotted the white wooden cross while jogging Sunday. She told us she used to see similar memorials at the same spot through the mid- to late '90s. "And then I stopped seeing it," she said. "I just assumed that the person who put it up was in a nursing home or dead. Then it popped up yesterday."

The new one, about a half-mile upriver from the Whitehurst Freeway, is a little weird. Tacked to the cross is a folded red notecard with the United States seal embossed in gold. Inside, a photocopy of a well-known image of Meyer and the scrawled words "cherries in the snow."

Meyer, whose ex-husband Cord Meyer was a high-ranking CIA official, was shot to death while walking the towpath alone on a bright October afternoon. A diary found the day after her death contained details of liaisons with President Kennedy but was later destroyed; a young day laborer charged with her murder was acquitted.

National Park Service spokesman Bill Line said park supervisors weren't aware of any memorials to Meyer -- but noted that any such unauthorized structures are routinely disposed of, in keeping with nationwide parks policy.

Jenna and Henry, Showered With Still More Good Wishes

How much premarital excitement can a girl handle in one day?! We've learned that Jenna Bush and Henry Hager were toasted at a big engagement party Saturday night, just hours after the bridal shower hosted by her aunt Doro Bush Koch. About 100 friends, including many who had flown in from N.Y.C. or Texas, turned out for the festivities at Peacock Cafe (the original in Georgetown, not the new one downtown), which was closed to other patrons that night. The crowd was dressy and young -- no family members other than twin sister Barbara. The shower, meanwhile, was a smaller affair: About 15 friends who bunked at the White House the previous night, according to grandma Barbara (who dished to reporters during an appearance at the National Archives on Friday).

Ms. Peters Puts on a Show!

I see London, I see France, I see. . . Bernadette Peters's underpants. Broadway's sexiest kewpie doll flashed a pair of sequined panties at Friday's intimate dinner party at the Academy of Achievement's downtown headquarters. The 59-year-old singer was performing for three dozen guests (including Sen. Thad Cochran, Tom Daschle, super-lawyer Bob Barnett and hosts Catherine and Wayne Reynolds) when she climbed on top of the piano to sing Peggy Lee's iconic "Fever." At one point, we're told, Peters shimmied in her skin-tight champagne gown slit up the front and slyly revealed her matching undies. So not Washington -- the crowd, of course, loved it.

Maybe She Watched at Home

So, what happened to Michelle Rhee? The White House announced yesterday that the D.C. Schools chancellor was one of the two dozen guests offered a high-profile seat with Laura Bush at the State of the Union address. But Rhee -- who sat in the box two years ago as head of the New Teacher Project -- was nowhere to be seen last night. Her rep told us Rhee was forced to cancel just hours before the speech because of sudden illness -- not clear if it was a virus or food poisoning, but she was in no condition to leave home. And in case you're wondering: Yes, that was Jenna and Barbara Bush sitting with their mom; first time both twins have attended the annual event.

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