RIP to a real classy lady
WHEN Liz Smith went away I was away, so my timely goodbye got away. Probably a first time either of us ever blew a deadline.
Liz began a gossip column pre-K. Before Kar
dashian. Before tweets, Twitter and TMZ. Go back. Long back. Even from her porthole in the Ark, savvy Lizzie could sniff out which donkey was an ass.
The business of minding whoever’s business began with America’s first newspaper gossip columnist Benjamin Franklin. Our most powerful was the dinosaur who pawed whatever dirt the earth had — my husband’s brother-inlaw Walter Winchell. Others sprang up, but from it all sprung Liz.
Not mean. Not hurtful. She liked most everybody . . . maybe not so much me. Without intending to or even trying, I got thrown into her sandbox. After she’d be in and out of several newspapers and landed at The Post, I invaded her queendom.
Down the line, she invited me to her events. I treated her to dinners. She asked me to projects she emceed. I included her in my black-tie whatevers.
But put it this way: Were she to have married again, she wouldn’t have picked
me as her matron of honor.
She dredged goodies on first-namers like Elizabeth, Angelina, Liza, Ma
donna, Hillary. In ’98, she hosted cocktails at Le Cirque for author Sidney Sheldon. In ’83, this powerhouse headed Shubert Alley’s Literacy Volunteers party. In ’89, she for some reason reported on Margaret Whiting’s sex life.
In 1990, she said if she’s ever out of work she’ll write the memoirs. In ’04, she paraded her live-in Iris Love’s dog at a pre-Westminster party. In ’07, she did the commentary for fotog Patrick McMullan’s “Glamour Girls” book.
In ’05, came a handwritten gushing adoring worshipful fan-letter addressed to me. I eagerly opened the envelope. Its first line read: “Dear Liz Smith . . .”