Tuesday, September 2, 2014

'When Harry Met Sally' Writer Nora Ephron: "Only White House intern Kennedy didn't make a pass at"

Nora Ephron (2nd from left) and RFK in The White House, 1961

Me and JFK - now it can be told: How NORA EPHRON was the only White House intern Kennedy didn't make a pass at (...maybe it was the dress that looked like processed cheese) 

By Nora Ephron
Daily Mail

I was an intern in the JFK White House. I was. 

This is not one of those humor pieces where the writer pretends to some experience currently in the news in order to make an ‘amusing’ point. 

It was 1961, and I was hired by Pierre Salinger to work in the White House press office, the very same place where Mimi Fahnestock was to work the following year. 

And now that Mimi Fahnestock has been forced to come forward and admit that she had an affair with JFK, I might as well tell my story too. 

I notice that all the articles about poor Mimi quote another woman in the press office, Barbara Gamarekian, who fingered Fahnestock in the oral history archives at the Kennedy Library. Gamarekian cattily pointed out, according to the newspapers, that Mimi ‘couldn’t type.’ 

Well, all I can say to that is: Ha. In fact: Double ha. 

There were, when I worked there, six women in Pierre Salinger’s office. One of them was called Faddle (her best friend, Fiddle, worked for Kennedy), and her entire job, as far as I could tell, was autographing Pierre Salinger’s photographs. 

Fiddle’s job was autographing Kennedy’s. Typing was not a skill that anyone seemed to need, and it certainly wasn’t necessary for interns like me (and Mimi, dare I say), because THERE WAS NO DESK FOR AN INTERN TO SIT AT AND THEREFORE NO TYPEWRITER TO TYPE ON. 

Yes, I am still bitter about it! Because there I was, not just the only young woman in the White House who was unable to afford an endless succession of A-line sleeveless linen dresses just like Jackie’s, but also the only person in the press office with nowhere to sit. 

And then, as now, I could type one hundred words a minute. Every eight-hour day there were theoretically forty-eight thousand words that weren’t being typed because I DIDN’T HAVE A DESK.  Click to continue reading in the Daily Mail.