Bess Abell, White House social secretary during Johnson administration, dies at 87

The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease, said her husband, Tyler Abell, who served in the final months of Johnson’s presidency as chief of protocol. His appointment carried ambassadorial rank and, along with his wife’s position, placed the Abells among the elite Washington power couples of that era.

Mrs. Abell’s acquaintance with the Johnsons dated at least to the 1950s, when Lyndon B. Johnson (D-Tex.) was serving as Senate majority leader and Mrs. Abell’s father, Sen. Earle C. Clements (D-Ky.), was majority whip. The Johnsons feted Bess and Tyler Abell when they married in 1955, and five years later, the Abells named their second son Lyndon, after the future president.

Mrs. Abell volunteered with the 1960 campaign that thrust Lyndon Johnson to the vice presidency, under President John F. Kennedy, and became personal secretary to Johnson’s wife, Lady Bird Johnson, after their victory. Upon Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, Lyndon was sworn in as president, Lady Bird became first lady, and soon after, Mrs. Abell was named social secretary.

Perhaps the best-known woman to have previously held the role — at the time no man had served as White House social secretary — was Letitia Baldrige, a friend of Jacqueline Kennedy’s who was credited with helping the Kennedys project the aura of elegance that made their White House years known as Camelot.

By at least one account, Mrs. Abell held even greater sway than Baldrige, who had been tasked with “lifting presidential occasions to a continental style and standard,” government scholar MaryAnne Borrelli wrote in the 2011 book “The Politics of the President’s Wife.”

“Lady Bird Johnson placed tremendous confidence in Bess Abell, giving her even more responsibility than had been granted the Kennedy social secretaries,” Borrelli continued. “Comparing the administrations, Chief Usher J.B. West concluded that Bess Abell ‘did for Mrs. Johnson what Mamie Eisenhower and Jacqueline Kennedy had done for themselves. . . . It wasn’t just that Bess assumed more authority than previous social secretaries, she’d been granted that authority by Mrs. Johnson.”

Mrs. Abell set her clock five minutes fast to ensure the timely execution of her job. Her duties required military-level precision and coordination with the head usher, chef, florist and service staff of the White House — not to mention the entourages of visiting dignitaries from around the world. According to a Washington Post report at the time, she “planned, organized and staged the entertaining and feeding of nearly 80,000 presidential guests” — and that was only in her first three years on the job.

For the first couple, perhaps the most personally meaningful events organized by Mrs. Abell were the wedding reception for their younger daughter, Luci Johnson, and her husband, Patrick Nugent, in 1966 and the East Room wedding ceremony the next year uniting Luci’s older sister, Lynda Johnson, and future Virginia governor Charles S. Robb.

The fraught nature of wedding planning — coupled with political exigencies such as a requirement that Luci’s gown be pieced together so that most of the dress

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Fashion designer dies, Cleveland Browns attendance upped, White House cases, more – coronavirus timeline Oct. 3-9

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Here is our regular roundup of coronavirus facts, figures and numbers regarding Cleveland, Ohio, the United States and the world Oct. 3-9:

Oct. 3: CNN says only three states – Texas, Missouri and South Carolina – are reporting a decline in new cases compared to last week, as the country hit its highest daily rate in almost two months. Twenty-one states report an increase in cases. Chris Christie, former New Jersey governor and aide to President Trump, announces he tested positive. He joins several other prominent figures who tested positive, including Kellyanne Conway and Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee. CBS News reports that the California governor’s office, in a Tweet, suggests restaurant-goers keep their masks on “in between bites.”

Oct. 4: Trump leaves the hospital and takes a ride with Secret Service members, drawing criticism for leaving a quarantined and controlled health environment. The Ohio Investigative Unit cites Barley House in Cleveland for violations regarding sales for on-premises alcoholic consumption. Club Paradis in Cleveland receives an administrative citation for improper conduct and limitation on hours for on-premises consumption. Kenzo Takada, founder of the French luxury fashion house Kenzo, dies of coronavirus. He was 81.

Oct. 5: After seeing high infection rates, officials in Paris say bars will be shut down again today. The Ohio health department allows the Cleveland Browns to double spectators to 12,000 at FirstEnergy Stadium. For the first two home games, the Browns received an exemption on the coronavirus gathering limit and were allowed 6,000 fans in the stadium. Ohio reports 1,057 new coronavirus cases, with the total approaching 160,000. Deaths are at 4,931. Cleveland has 36 new cases. So far, 1 in 73 Ohioans are known to have contracted Covid. Dr. Mike Ryan, director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program, says about 10% of the world’s population has had the virus. That translates to about 760 million people. President Trump, upon his release from the hospital, says: “Don’t let it (coronavirus) dominate you.” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany (photo above, bottom right) says she has tested positive.

Oct. 6: Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller announces he has tested positive. Dr. Anthony Fauci says if health precautions are not followed, the United States could hit 400,000 deaths by winter. Kent State University will ask 450 random students to be tested weekly and partner with CVS. Kent campus reported 40 new cases for the week of Sept. 27.

Oct. 7: Half the U.S. states are reporting increases in Covid cases. Iranian state television reports 239 fatalities, a record number of daily deaths for the country of more than 80 million people. Ohio has 1,424 new virus cases. In all, 162,723 people have had coronavirus. The number of deaths increase 23 to 4,970. Cleveland’s Department of Public Health says it has not identified any more coronavirus infections while conducting contact tracing on 11 positive cases linked to the presidential debate in Cleveland. None of the 11 people who tested positive

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President John Tyler’s grandson, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., dies 175 years after his grandfather left the White House

For many Americans, going two generations back takes them to World War II.



a group of people sitting at a table using a laptop: Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. signs his name on the inside of a desk drawer with other descendants of past presidents who gathered in Washington in August 2018.


© Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. signs his name on the inside of a desk drawer with other descendants of past presidents who gathered in Washington in August 2018.

For Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., who died September 26, two generations stretched to a century earlier, when steam locomotives ruled the land and his grandfather was 10th president of the United States.

Tyler, 95, was the grandson of John Tyler, who served as president from 1841 to 1845.

He died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. A younger brother is among his survivors.

That someone in the 21st century could have a grandfather who knew Thomas Jefferson can be attributed to late-in-life paternity, second wives and longevity in his family: Three generations of Tyler men spanned an incredible 230 years.

While Tyler, a World War II veteran, lawyer and history professor at the Virginia Military Institute and The Citadel, was proud of his ancestor and spoke about him, it was not what defined his life.

His daughter, Susan Selina Pope Tyler, said Thursday that her father was a humble and compassionate man of faith who mentored others.

“He was kind and loving to everyone, even the marginalized,” Susan Tyler wrote in remarks planned for a memorial service next week, which she shared with CNN.

“I’ve had many share with me how my father affected their lives, through his advice or his practical help.”

Tyler lived in Franklin, Tennessee, at the time of his passing. He grew up in Virginia. His younger brother, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, 91, is now the last surviving grandson of the president.

John Tyler was elected vice president in 1840, but he was thrust into the role of commander-in-chief when President William Henry Harrison died just one month into office. His detractors consequently called him “His Accidency.”

While most historians don’t place him high in the pantheon of presidents, Tyler’s family said he should be remembered for his honesty and integrity — even if it cost him politically.

President Tyler, who served one term, fathered 15 children. His first wife, Letitia, had eight children before dying in 1842, and second wife Julia had seven. John Tyler was 63 when son Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. was born.

Lyon Sr., who went on to become president of William & Mary, was 71 when Lyon Jr. was born to his second wife.

The younger Lyon was a lawyer before turning to an academic career.

While John Tyler was a slave owner, his great-granddaughter Susan Tyler said her father and late mother, Lucy Jane Pope Tyler, championed civil rights.

Lyon Tyler Jr. himself had a bit of humor about being related to a US president.

“I heard too much about presidents growing up,” he wrote in one speech he delivered. He related that when he was three or four, a woman asked, “Are you going to be President when you grow up?” He answered, ‘I’ll

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President John Tyler’s grandson, Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., dies at 95

For many Americans, going two generations back takes them to World War II.



a group of people sitting at a table using a laptop: Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. signs his name on the inside of a desk drawer with other descendants of past presidents who gathered in Washington in August 2018.


© Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images
Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. signs his name on the inside of a desk drawer with other descendants of past presidents who gathered in Washington in August 2018.

For Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr., who died September 26, two generations stretched to a century earlier, when steam locomotives ruled the land and his grandfather was 10th president of the United States.

Tyler, 95, was the grandson of John Tyler, who served as president from 1841 to 1845.

He died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. A younger brother is among his survivors.

That someone in the 21st century could have a grandfather who knew Thomas Jefferson can be attributed to late-in-life paternity, second wives and longevity in his family: Three generations of Tyler men spanned an incredible 230 years.

While Tyler, a World War II veteran, lawyer and history professor at the Virginia Military Institute and The Citadel, was proud of his ancestor and spoke about him, it was not what defined his life.

His daughter, Susan Selina Pope Tyler, said Thursday that her father was a humble and compassionate man of faith who mentored others.

“He was kind and loving to everyone, even the marginalized,” Susan Tyler wrote in remarks planned for a memorial service next week, which she shared with CNN.

“I’ve had many share with me how my father affected their lives, through his advice or his practical help.”

Tyler lived in Franklin, Tennessee, at the time of his passing. He grew up in Virginia. His younger brother, Harrison Ruffin Tyler, 91, is now the last surviving grandson of the president.

John Tyler was elected vice president in 1840, but he was thrust into the role of commander-in-chief when President William Henry Harrison died just one month into office. His detractors consequently called him “His Accidency.”

While most historians don’t place him high in the pantheon of presidents, Tyler’s family said he should be remembered for his honesty and integrity — even if it cost him politically.

President Tyler, who served one term, fathered 15 children. His first wife, Letitia, had eight children before dying in 1842, and second wife Julia had seven. John Tyler was 63 when son Lyon Gardiner Tyler Sr. was born.

Lyon Sr., who went on to become president of William & Mary, was 71 when Lyon Jr. was born to his second wife.

The younger Lyon was a lawyer before turning to an academic career.

While John Tyler was a slave owner, his great-granddaughter Susan Tyler said her father and late mother, Lucy Jane Pope Tyler, championed civil rights.

Lyon Tyler Jr. himself had a bit of humor about being related to a US president.

“I heard too much about presidents growing up,” he wrote in one speech he delivered. He related that when he was three or four, a woman asked, “Are you going to be President when you grow up?” He answered, ‘I’ll

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“Grandmaster of the white interior” Jan des Bouvrie dies aged 78

Gallery: Untouched time warp hotel rooms from the past (Love Exploring)



Jan des Bouvrie wearing a suit and tie


© Provided by Dezeen


Dutch celebrity designer Jan des Bouvrie, known for creating the iconic Cube sofa and introducing white, minimalist interiors to the Netherlands, has passed away at the age of 78 after a multi-year battle with colon cancer.

He died on Sunday, 4 October, in his hometown of Naarden, surrounded by his children and his wife and collaborator Monique des Bouvrie.

The designer, who celebrated 50 years of working in the industry last year, created furniture, interior and architectural designs as well as hosting Dutch interiors show TV Woonmagazine until 2003.

Des Bouvrie was a well-known media personality and society figure in Holland and designed a number of residences in the Gooi area, known for housing the wealthy and famous.

At the same time, he prided himself in designing both “for rich and poor”, through collaborations with Dutch mass-market brands such as hardware store Gamma, Sigma paints and electronics company Philips.

“Surely the largest interior icon in the Netherlands”

Design industry figures have taken to social media to share tributes to Jan des Bouvrie, alongside famous fans such as football player Patrick Kluivert and celebrity stylist and makeup artist Leco van Zadelhoff.

Studio Job founder Job Smeets, shared a hand-drawn note on Instagram reading “RIP [rest in peace] Jan” (below.)

“This remarkable man has a mastery of the softer side of modernism that seems as natural as a bird whistling and a chameleon changing colour,” Smeets wrote in a foreword to the 2012 book Jan des Bouvrie: art & design.

Furniture company Bakers Zitten & Wonen mourned the death of “surely the largest interior icon in the Netherlands” while Paul Rem, art historian and curator of Paleis Het Loo museum, heralded him as “the grandmaster of the white interior”.

Dutch design studio Piet Boon posted an image of Des Bouvrie and said: “That is an incredible thing that when the Dutch think of the colour white, they think of you.”

“I have always sought the light”

Jan des Bouvrie was born in the city of Naarden, just east of Amsterdam, in 1942.

His family ran a furniture business and he decided to attend the Gerrit Rietveld Academie for art and design in Amsterdam to follow in their footsteps.

After a brief stint working for his parents’ company, he ventured into designing furniture himself.

His most well-known design is the Kubusbank or Cube sofa (below), which was created for Gelderland in 1969 and is still in production today.

The minimalist, yet expressive design jumpstarted his career and is included in the permanent collection of Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum and in the Centraal Museum in Utrecht.

Throughout his career, the designer was drawn to the colour white, using it liberally in furniture and interior designs as well as frequently wearing the colour head to toe.

“I was born in a little room above a shop with no windows. I have always sought the light,” he once said.

His first

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Legendary Charlie Trotter’s sous chef Reggie Watkins, ‘backbone’ of kitchen for 25 years, dies at 64

For 25 years, Reginald Watkins was the backbone of one of the most famous kitchens in the world, the acclaimed Charlie Trotter’s in Lincoln Park. While a stunning roster of chefs passed through the restaurant throughout the years, Watkins remained a constant, working as the primary sous chef — and kitchen confidante for owner Charlie Trotter — until he left the restaurant in 2011, a year before it closed for good.



Charlie Trotter, Margalita Chakhnashvili posing for the camera: Chef Reginald Watkins, right, holds a sign honoring his former boss Charlie Trotter, center, during a ceremony naming a portion of Armitage Avenue as Honorary Charlie Trotter Way in August 2012.


© Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Chef Reginald Watkins, right, holds a sign honoring his former boss Charlie Trotter, center, during a ceremony naming a portion of Armitage Avenue as Honorary Charlie Trotter Way in August 2012.

On Monday night, Watkins died at age 64, of unknown causes during a visit to the emergency room in his home city of Chicago, after having spent the last several years working and living in Louisiana.

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Following news of his death, many former co-workers from Trotter’s and beyond shared heartfelt memories and regards on social media about “Chef Reggie,” a man they remembered as being tough but gentle — and a necessary guide to help young chefs survive what was a notoriously demanding kitchen environment.

“He was a legend in his own right,” said his daughter, Lerita Watkins.

“He was a real icon at that restaurant,” echoed chef David LeFevre, who worked two stints at Trotter’s kitchen between 1995 and 2004.

The Los Angleles-based LeFevre was among a long list of former co-workers who shared tributes to Watkins earlier this week, along with Grant Achatz, Bill Kim, Giuseppe Tentori, Sari Zernich-Worsham and plenty more.

“My dad was in love with cooking, working, being amongst his peers who also shared his love with being a chef,” Lerita Watkins said. “He kept in touch with so many of those people that he trained. He did.”

Born and raised near 35th Street and King Drive, Reggie Watkins was raised by his mother and grandmother and lived in the city for almost his entire life. In 1987, he responded to a newspaper classified ad seeking kitchen help, which led to his meeting Charlie Trotter, who was looking to open a restaurant. The ad had published for the first time on that date, Trotter’s son Dylan said, and Watkins was the first person to respond.

“When he first met my dad, he was just going to lie and be like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ve cooked before,’” Dylan Trotter said Watkins recently shared with him. “But then when he saw my dad and saw his face, he was like, ‘I knew I couldn’t lie to this guy. I had to tell him the truth.’ They just had the connection right off the bat.”

The rest is actual history. Watkins was famously hired as the first-ever employee at Trotter’s, running the kitchen from its first day until his last day in 2011. He and Charlie Trotter grew to be close friends, almost like brothers: “We always envisioned those two getting old together,” LeFevre said. (The restaurant closed in

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Man dies in kitchen fire inside Framingham home

A fire early Tuesday in the kitchen of a two-family home in Framingham claimed the life of a man who was the sole occupant of the first-floor unit, Framingham Fire Chief Michael D. Dutchersaid.

Dutcher said the cause of the blaze remains under investigation by his department and other law enforcement agencies, but he said the initial conclusion is that the origin of the fire was an accident.

Dutcher said the man, whose name was being withheld pending notification of next of kin, was removed from the 15 Clark St. residence and rushed to Metro West Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The five residents of the second-floor unit, all adults, safely evacuated.

Firefighters responded around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday.

“The fire was knocked down and under control within about 15 minutes,” the chief said.

Dutcher estimated the 1-alarm fire caused $60,000 in damage.


John R. Ellement can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.

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Developer, Ronald McDonald House Houston co-founder Don Mullins dies at 81





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Stayton woman sentenced to 5 years after toddler dies in house fire

SALEM — A Stayton woman was sentenced to five years in prison after her toddler died in a house fire.

Jessica Marie Pearce, 27, was convicted of criminally negligent homicide by Judge Tracy Prall Sept. 17, the Statesman Journal reported. Pearce had entered a no-contest plea. Child neglect and criminal mistreatment charges were dismissed, court records show.

Pearce was away from home on Feb. 1, 2019, when firefighters responded to a house fire and found the body of 2-year-old Christopher James Pearce.

Pearce and her son had been living with roommates. She said she was running errands and left Christopher at home with a friend in addition to two other adults and a 12-year-old girl. She said without her knowledge, Bender left the toddler with the older child.

Pearce upon returning home, found it on fire and went into the house “hysterically” to find her son, court documents said. Firefighters later found the toddler.

Investigators say they found the fire originated in the bedroom where the child was found. Investigators found cinderblocks with a cast iron pan on top and several propane and/or butane canisters, according to the Office of the Marion County Public Defender.

The state fire marshal said the cause of the fire was “undetermined” because there were “multiple ignition sources” such as heating, smoking, and open flame, the statement said.

Defense attorney Sara Foroshani said Pearce was cooperative with searches and interviews.

It was found that Pearce and a roommate “used the butane to melt circuit boards from various electronics to extract precious metals,” statements show.

In the interview, Pearce said she figured it was “an honest way to make money, but that did not turn out.”

–The Associated Press

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Man dies in shooting at Maryvale house party, no suspect info known

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A man died early Sunday during a shooting at a house party in the Maryvale area of Phoenix, according to police. 

Phoenix police officers responded about 3:45 a.m. to reports of a shooting at a home near 51st Avenue and Camelback Road, said department spokesperson Sgt. Mercedes Fortune. 

Additional calls to police indicated there was “a large party” at the home, according to Fortune. Several people left the scene when officers arrived, she said. 

The man who was shot was taken to a hospital, where he died, Fortune said. Police did not identify him. 

Officers had “no viable suspect description” as of 7 a.m. Sunday, according to Fortune. 

An investigation into the shooting was ongoing. Anyone with information should call the police department at (602) 262-6151 or Silent Witness at (480) 948-6377. 

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @curtis_chels

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