President Trump on Monday offered the Boy Scouts gathered for their annual Jamboree what was supposed to be a cautionary tale that involved fancy Manhattan cocktail parties and yachts in the south of France — you know, just totally relatable stuff for 14-year-olds from the Midwest.
The narrative was a bit garbled, but its gist was the downfall of real estate developer William Levitt, of Levittown fame, who sold his company, lived a lavish lifestyle on the high seas, then attempted and failed at a comeback in the business world. But, wait, let’s get back to that yacht for a hot second — Trump did make it sound pretty good to those impressionable teenage ears.
“He went out and bought a big yacht, and he had a very interesting life,” Trump said, emphasizing the “interesting” suggestively. “I won’t go any more than that, because you’re Boy Scouts, so I’m not going to tell you what he did,” the president continued, before asking, “Should I tell you? Should I tell you? You’re Boy Scouts, but you know life. You know life.”
Okay, thanks, Mr. President — so lesson learned? Yachts are babe magnets.
Levitt’s yacht was a draw, all right. According to his widow and third wife Simone Levitt, the couple entertained the A-list of their era aboard the “La Belle Simone,” which was built in 1972, including notable glamorous partiers of the time, such as Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Michael Caine, Harry Belafonte, Julio Iglesias, Gina Lollobrigida, Rex Harrison, and no fewer than two James Bonds: Sean Connery and Roger Moore.
The 250-foot Italian-designed vessel, described at the time as “the finest boat afloat,” was even used in the 1978 film “The Greek Tycoon” about Aristotle Onassis, the second husband of Jackie Kennedy. The Levitts’ good times eventually ended, and the boat was eventually purchased by former Saudi oil minister Ahmed Yamani and renamed the Lady Sarya.
In Trump’s telling, though, even such a swanky status symbol isn’t enough to aim for, and he reminded the Boy Scouts of what’s really important. Levitt, “got bored with this life of yachts, and sailing, and all of the things he did in the south of France and other places,” Trump said. “You won’t get bored, right? You know, truthfully, you’re workers. You’ll get bored, too, believe me,” he assured them. But then a caveat: “Of course, having a few good years like that isn’t so bad.”