Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Portrait of a washerwoman

Portrait of a washerwoman

(Marlene Dietrich speaks about living at the Plaza and visiting her daughter and baby grandson on Third Avenue)

"I'm the baby-sitter. As soon as they leave the house, I go around and look in all the corners and straighten the drawers and clean up. I can't stand a house that isn't neat and clean. I go around in all the corners with towels I bring with me from the Plaza, and I clean up the whole house. Then they come home at one or two in the morning, and I take the dirty towels and some of the baby's things that need washing, and, with my bundle over my shoulder, I go out and get a taxi, and the driver, he thinks I am this old washerwoman from Third Avenue, and he takes me in the taxi and talks to me with sympathy, so I am afraid to let him take me to the Plaza. I get out a block away from the Plaza and I walk home with my bundle and I wash the baby's things, and then I go to sleep."

Marlene Dietrich as told to Lillian Ross in Here but not Here, Random House, 1998.

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