It is hard to imagine Jackie Kennedy as a 91 year old. Like her first husband, she is forever young. But, in fact, she would have celebrated this age just two days ago. It is also difficult to imagine her as a cute little girl who was horse crazy and summered in The Hamptons.
Which got us thinking.
Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, daughter of John Vernou “Black Jack” & Janet Lee Bouvier, was born in Southampton Hospital in 1929, because her family would summer at her family’s East Hampton cottage on Further Lane. Called Lasata – because when you have more than one house, you have to give them names – the name is said to be derived from an Indian word meaning a place of peace.
Young Jackie was an avid equestrienne – something to do with horses, apparently – as was her mother, winning ribbons as early as the tender age of 5. She rode in events on the East End, as well as in Manhattan. This was to be a lifelong passion.
Jackie was a part of the Summer Colony, participating in water carnivals, beachcomber parties and of course celebrating and attending birthday parties for neighboring summer colony children. At the 1934 East Hampton Village Fair, Jackie was voted cutest child. As a young teenager, she and her sister Lee volunteered at the local Red Cross Workroom.
While many are enthralled with Jackie O and the amazing life she led, our readers may be mystified as to what this has to do with Hampton Bays History.
Well, as a young girl, Jackie, her mother and assorted relatives, including Little Edie and Big Edie Bouvier Beale – later known for their eccentric, but low-cost, renovation methods – were patrons of our favorite Hat Shop! Yes, Walter and Helen King created hats for the family. It is said that Jackie complained that her hat wouldn’t stay on due to her pigtails when riding, so Mr. Lyzon created hats with holes to accommodate her hair style.
Helen King told the story that one day in the 1960’s, a well-dressed man in a suit and sunglasses, of course, entered the shop. He asked if anyone else was on the premises and if it would be alright for him to look around. He had a patron in the car who would like to shop for hats. After a quick poke around and trip back to his car, in came then-First Lady Jackie Kennedy.
So there you have one of Hampton Bay’s rare brushes with celebrity and one not connected with the Canoe Place Inn – though it is hard to imagine that Jackie had never been there as well.. But boy would we love to know more about those hats!
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