Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

The rare beauty and stunning self-possession that propelled Anne Howard into the Hollywood pantheon, onto the Best-Dressed List, and ultimately to Monaco's royal palace were more than captivating--they were completely genuine. OK, I stole that from the Vanity Fair article on Grace Kelly, but my mom is a total Star!! She simply chose a different path, bit less glamorous ;)

Anne Carson Rice was born in Richmond, Va. the only child of Edwin and Shirley Rice.

I think she is one of the cutest babies I've ever seen!

I know her childhood had some big ups and quite a few disappointments, too. Her mother, my grandmother, suffered from mental illness and was diagnosed with schizophrenia when my mom was a young child. I think it was a heavy burden for the family, especially during that period when even less was known about how to treat this illness.

She was fortunate to have close cousins, aunts and uncles who adored her and a father who would do anything for his daughter!

Looks like she wasn't in the mood for posing above ;)

Here, with her Aunt Mamie and Uncle Joe, they were a wonderful couple!! We spent many Christmas days at their home when I was growing up.

To me, my mother looks like the perfect model for car ads, ice tea, shampoo, you name it. Her signature look requires red lipstick and I've rarely seen her without it to this day!!

Above, my dad (far left), their friends Paul and Bernice, mom (middle) sitting with Les McCann, the great Jazz musician! My parents met in college and loved jazz, they went with friends to see countless greats, including Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis.

Alas, the miracle that was me ;)

Above, my Grandma Howard and Aunt Virginia :)

Almost can't believe how silly I look here, wonder if mom had 2nd thoughts ;)

At my grandparents' (dad's side) home in Newport News, Va.
I have to comment on mom's super cute outfits, I would wear these now. Tres avec du charme!

My mom worked at the State Capitol of Virginia for over 30 years. I think she treasures the majority of time she spent there as a Committee Clerk for the House of Delegates. I was inspired by her work ethic and enjoyed the days I got to tag along with her immensely. She has made wonderful friends there over the years, too! I remember as a teenager thinking how cool adulthood seemed. The golden years when legislators worked together in a bi-partisan way have long passed. Her office handled serious matters, but the period I recall best is when she and Barbara Hanback ran the office. It was an open, friendly and fun place to be. It seemed everyone down at the Capitol found a reason, no matter how flimsy, to stop into their office!

This was taken fairly close to her retirement in 2004. I recognize a few from this group, her friends Hudaidah, Barbara Regen and Dawn. None of them are there now, but they do stay in touch.

Above is House Resolution no. 39 Commending Anne Carson Rice Howard on an outstanding career of service to the House of Delegates, General Assembly and citizens of Virginia :) I went down for the presentation of this Resolution and could not have felt more proud!

This is the home we moved into when I was about 8. Think her favorite room is the living room, so chose to show it here. Panda, her beloved cat, sits in the window :)

Bruiser and Ilsa above and Jake (the lovable, but crazy one I left when I moved to NYC) below. If you are interested you can check out our 1st cat, Cubby and Ricky, our 1st dog on my Father's Day post from last year :) I'm lucky that my parents love animals as much as they do. Something I'm happy to have inherited :)

My mom first brought me up with her to New York when I was 14 years old. When I was a little older we upgraded and began staying at The Algonquin Hotel, home of Dorothy Parker and the famous Round Table. It was and still is a wonderful hotel. We became friends with Frank, the Maitre'd and got to know several others there over the years. Mike, Kevin and Eddie, to name a few, became almost like family. After one of the numerous renovations the hotel has been through, they gave my mom a framed cartoon from one of the suites that reads "Everyone hates to leave the Algonquin" (illustrates ladies weeping as they exit).

Above, Matilda the 1st sleeps peacefully. She once followed me to my room and hopped into a drawer :) The current Matilda (the 2nd) has her own email address and a ghostwriter!

Lunching, not too long ago :)

We often had brunch at The Ginger Man near Lincoln Center. I always liked this painting. I think the restaurant is closed now :(

My mom first came to NYC with her father when she was 18 years old. After a play, she met Robert Goulet who asked her out on a date for the next night. Her father would not allow it. If you've seen early pictures of Robert you can imagine her disappointment :(

My mom is a big fan of theater and we have seen so many amazing productions here on Broadway and off that I cannot even begin to list them all! I think my first play was David Mamet's American Buffalo with Al Pacino. It blew me away!!

She also adored Alan Bates and I love that she apparently dragged my dad to all of his movies when they were young. We had the pleasure of seeing him in Fortune's Fool and The Unexpected Man. He was an incredible actor and I forced her to say something to him at Joe Allen's one night.

Carmella's was a little Italian restaurant in the West Village that was a favorite once mom started visiting me after my move here for graduate school. I've always been lucky that my parents enjoy meeting and getting to know my friends.

Mami (above) is the sister of my mom's good friend, Bernie Caton. She lived in the city until a few years ago. Mom contacted her on a visit, before I moved up, and we've been friends with her for over 20 years now.

Wall Street, when times were good!

This was taken in London at a charming hotel (feels like your own townhouse apt) called 16 Sumner Place in South Kensington. Below, ma H poses with the garden gnome :)

Regent's Canal, lovely!

In 1998, we took a wonderful trip with my friend, Mika and her mother and friend to visit Princess Diana's childhood home and grave in Althorp, England. Above, we await our table at The Ivy (swanky!)

Below, in Lido, Venice at the Excelsior Hotel. It's a magnificent hotel on the water with private boats that take you in & out of Venice proper. You will feel like a movie star here!!

Our trips abroad together have been some of the very best experiences of my life, so far!

Mom and dad looking nifty above and walking to a sandwich shop below. I love downtown Richmond for it's variety of townhouses, shops and fantastic selection of restaurants. For a small city, you can't beat the number of great restaurants!

As most of my friends know, mom loves tennis (watching, not playing ;) She and dad are fans and I enjoy it also. It's an incredible sport, not only for the shape these players are in, but the mental toughness and capacity to make second to second decisions. A match can turn on a dime at any moment. Watching great players live is a real treat!!

Below, a couple of her favorites, the great Roger Federer and superb Carlos Moya...

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

With her grandmother, Pom Pom above. She was a terrific lady, but gave me very hot baths when I was little ;)

Thank you mom for being a true original. We have always been close, despite some stress I may have caused during my teen years. Even then, I knew how great you were!

I have been blessed to have a mother who supports everything I do, has never pressured me into anything, who is generous and kind to everyone she meets. The biggest lesson I think I've learned from her is that everyone has a story. It's important to step into another person's shoes and imagine what they've gone through. She is genuinely interested in people and especially anyone with whom I become friends. Our relationship must be the reason I've been able to establish such great female friendships. I really can't express how grateful I am that she is my mom!

Below are photographs and notes on some of my friends' moms--

Mika Inatome, with her brothers Keiji and Hiro and below in her cute duckie overalls!

"My mom, Katsuko Inatome, she never forgets to thank anybody and is always positive and smiling. She is the best mom I could ever have!!!!"-Mika

Below is Melissa Zexter's mom, Nancy, shoveling snow when Melissa was about 10.

Melissa's daughters, Mirabelle & Odille wrote this about their grandma--

"Nana is funny because she always says that I always love you with an English accent. She always giggles when the snow comes and likes the snow because she always laughs. She makes me laugh. I like her because she goes to pool with me and she plays car with Mirabelle and we have string. I like her because she plays this game with a rope called "Tie Nana to the Tree". I like her because she watches a movie with me when mommy has ladies' night. I like her because she always comes to my birthday every year. I like her because she has funny Harry Potter glasses. I like her because she plays the piano with Mirabelle."
-Mira & Odille

Below, Stephanie Ferrante's parents, Pat and Janis--

"This Mother's Day I want to let my mom know how much she means to me & how she inspired both my sister, Kristina, and me to be creative. She always loved art and would do many projects with us as kids, from painting to wax paper leaves to shrinky dinks- if we weren't involved in making cookies we were helping with the chicken soup (a big favorite in our house). Her decorating eye and love of nice clothes inspired both my sister & I to love the same and go into jobs that reflected these interests. Not surprising we both love to cook too !! I love you Mom & thank you for making us who we are today :) "-Stephanie

Kristine Lombardi and her mom--

Kristine's parents are in town this weekend, so no good moment to write a note in time for my posting. I know how close she is to her mother, so I'll hazard a guess and say "I love you mom!" -KL

Below is Zella, Melissa Stampley's mom and I've known her a long time, great lady!

"Here is a picture of my Mom from our trip to Wyoming in 2007. It is a rare photographic glimpse into Mom's sense of adventure. I admire that she is willing and eager to try new things like whitewater rafting in her 70s."-Melissa

Margaret Heidenry with her mom, Pat--

"I love my Mom because she never pressured me into getting rid of my security blanket, criticized my boyfriends (even when she had a right to) or told me I looked fat (even when she had a right to). Plus, I'm glad I'll get to look like her when I'm 69. Thanks, Mom!" -Margaret

Rika Nakaya's mom--

"My mom is a free spirit. She always lets me be who I am. I thank her for that."-Rika

Carolina Castillo's mom lives in Spain and she has no photos here, but she wrote--

"When I was younger (so much younger than today!) and I used to roll my eyes in front of my mom or make a smart-ass comment when she unintentionally annoyed me by worrying about me (have you eaten enough? have you had dinner? are you warm enough? are you getting enough sleep?), she would say: "You will understand when you become a mom". In my mind: "yeah, whatever". Years later, after being a mom myself, little does she know how right she was! I can say that now I realize that my mom is the only person on this planet that loves me so unconditionally as my daughter does, regardless of time, f*ck ups, being obnoxious, wrong choices, moving to another country... you name it. I know she is always there for me, even if it is her time to roll her eyes, and it is a great feeling!"-Carola

Thank You to my friends for participating in my Special Mom's Day Post! Happy Mother's Day to those of you who are also moms!!

I love you mom :)
xo, A


kristine said...

What a sweet, loving post! Anne is simply I know where you learned to rock that red lipstick!
I loved seeing all the old photos. How cool that Robert Goulet asked her out on a date? How did that never come up in conversation? Wonder what other tales she's been hiding. lol

Thanks for including my mom too! She is a good woman with an easy laugh and fun spirit. Happy Mother's Day to everyone! And to all the pet moms out there too--which includes you Allyn. :)

Margaret said...

How great to get to know your mother even better. Anne is a special person and I'm so glad I know her (and that she had you)! I hope I get to see her soon, I miss her charming Southern accent! Happy Mother's Day, Anne!!

Melissa said...

Very nice Allyn! You are a special daughter and your mom is amazingly fabulous! We love you both!

mika said...

Allyn, this was so beautifully written. I'm so happy to know you and your mom!! I hope we'll be traveling together soon!! lol Thank you so much for including my mom on your blog!!

jane said...

What a beautiful woman your mom is! This is such a wonderful tribute!! I thoroughly enjoyed all these old photos, too :-)


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