From the Founders I
Of Greenery and Girls
By By Donna Moffly
These days, it seems that once a year every publication has a Green issue, too. This is ours. We find it exciting to write — and learn — about all things green. So does Al Gore. The pen is mightier than the sword, and it’s high time our environment received our full attention.
The current popularity of writing of all things green reminds me of a favorite Wellesley professor and her short story workshop. She liked to stimulate our creativity with offbeat assignments like: Write 600 words on “green child” and hand it in first thing in the morning. Green child? Huh?
I remember that one student wrote about an invasion of baby Martians; another composed an unappetizing piece about a carsick kid; I chose to contrast a little girl putting on the country club green and her counterpart playing with the pigeons on the city green.
Green also brings to mind Kermit the Frog, who didn’t find it so easy being green. As Muffin Zoubek and I were digging into our archives for the Scraps from the Past department — featuring debutantes this month — I couldn’t resist sharing this story with her. My niece Tracy was making her debut at the Assembly Ball in Cleveland, and Jack and I went back to my hometown for the occasion. In my search for costumes for the Grace Notes Show for Children that I was writing and producing that year, I had come across a fabulous ball gown at the Greenwich Hospital Thrift Shop. It had a black velvet scooped-neck bodice and a gold brocade skirt. Price tag? $10. I topped it off with the family necklace and felt quite smug as we sat in the audience at the Union Club watching the debs descend the red-carpeted staircase. Beside me, looking handsome in his tuxedo, was Tracy’s thirteen-year-old brother Scott. We listened politely to the announcer introducing each girl as she appeared on the arm of her father: “Introducing Miss … presented by Mr. … .” Scott has Down syndrome and was still very much into the Muppets. So when it came his sister and father’s turn, he chuckled and in a very loud voice said: “Introducing Miss Tracy Ellis Clegg and Kermit the Frog!” It brought down the house.
June is the month of the Greenwich Cotillion, and we’re proud of the remarkable job that our Junior League has done sponsoring it since 1964. Times have changed. The debs no longer have to be daughters of members, and they are now required to roll up their sleeves and work on a League project like the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Food Bank before it’s party time. But one thing has never changed. It’s always a great party.
Have a warm and wonderful June.
— Donna Moffly