Of the three "Upstairs, Downstairs" stars who came to Washington yesterday, two were from Downstairs (Jean Marsh, who plays Rose, and Christopher Beeny, who is Edward) and only one (Simon Williams, who plays James Bellamy) from Upstairs.
So when they stepped grandly from their limousines and entered the house of Gov. and Mrs. Averell Harriman, for a party in their honor, they paid their respects to Gretchen Johnson and Brooke Shallenberge before they went to say hello to the Harrimans.
Johnson is the chef and Shallenberger the assistant chef at the Harriman household, where major contributors to WETA were invited to meet the British television stars before a mam moth reception in their honor at the television studio in Sherlington.
Downstairs at the Harriman's is actually sideways, and the people in the kitchen in no way resemble the career service types of the recently concluded television series about upper and lower-class life through the decades.
Johnson went to Antioch and Portland State, and is now studying Writing, Shallenberger, a graduate of St. Joseph's College in Indiana, is a social worker. "Job are scarce - you take what you can get," she said. And having worked among the rich and among the poor, she confirmed that "Yes, the rich have the advantage."
"Count Dracula" was playing on the kitchen television set, which does not get the public television channels Emily Paul, Mrs. Harriman's personal maid, said she doesn't watch "Upstairs, Downstairs," either, and neither does Ellen Harrington, the parlor maid.
Rosina Rodriguez, a chambermaid, recommended "One Life to Live" for real drama that can grip you.
Now, Upstairs, or out back as it happens to be, the place was full of fans. "It's real life," said Chief Justice Warren Burger. "We're hooked" said Evangeline Bruce. "It's a very faithful description of what society was like at that time," said Barbara Watson. "We're hooked on it," said Anne Richardson.
"We've forgotten that life used to be like that," said Pamela Harriman. "I was brought up with a butler called Hudson. It was just like that. I got a letter from him saying that he didn't know if we had it in America, but in England there was a television series all about him.
"We love it for the nostalgia. One's forgotten it could have happened like that.
"We love if for the nostaliga.
"Of course, it couldn't be like that any more, and I don't think I'd want it to be. We don't have servants here - we have a team. It's like working in an office. Young college girls come here for a year or two, very bright people, interested in politics, and then they go on to something else.
One parlormaid just left to be a biochemist in Chicago.
In the kitchen, Johnson called the household "quite formal, although no one wears gloves." And even though she's in charge of the kitchen - Michael Kuruc, an ex-policeman, is the butler in charge of the rest of the staff - "Nobody brings me my tea in the afternoon."
Only three of the staff live in, but there are up to seven for dinner in the kitchen, only "without any hierarchy," said Johnson.
"It's very paternalistic - everything is provided," she said. "I get my room, board, furniture, untilities - what I earn is spending money." She works from breakfast at 8 a.m., through dinner which is over at 9 or 10, and later if there is a party. "I get at least one day off a week. It varies - if they're away, there might be a week off. But you don't get emotionally involved."
Shallenberger broke in, mentioning someone who had been very attached to the household.
"Oh, yes," said Johnson. "Those of us back here, of course, it's like any group who work together. We're a surrogate family." CAPTION: Picture 1, Simon Williams, Pamela Harriman and Jean Marsh at the Harrimans' party honoring the stars of "Upstairs, Downstairs."[WORD ILLEGIBLE] The Washington Post; Picture 2, Chief Justice Warren Burger, left, Simon Williams and Averell Harriman: "Downstairs at the Harrimans is actually sideways and the people in the kitchenno way resemble the career service types of the recently concluded series . . ."[WORD ILLEGIBLE] The Washington Post