Mollie’s Moment in the Sun …
When the Mercedes I ran ashore in Palm Beach, Ted Kennedy’s next-door neighbor was made a star.
photographs b/ dave hogerty [originalnoise.org]
(1984) — Outside, the wind howled as Palm Beach socialite Mollie Wilmot sat down with her family for Thanksgiving dinner. Sitting comfortably, in her oppulent dining room, with her Picassos, Renoits, and Miros, Mollie couldn’t have imagined the group of Venezuelan sailors and the ship on which they were the crew struggle to survive the eerie, November storm that would darker and stronger throughout the dangerous night.
Late into the evening, Mollie and her company of family and friends, enjoyed the old stories, news, gossip, and plans for Christmas. Before sunrise, Mollie was sound asleep when the crippled ship broke free of its precarious mooring. With a disabled engine, the freighter was unable to resist the raging surf that grew more intense and pushed the out-of-control ship until it crashed onto the beach in front of Mollie’s ocean-side pool and cabana.
The ship was the Mercedes I, and it had come ashore next door to the Kennedy Estate (JFK’s Summer White House in the ’60s, and then occupied by Senator Ted and his infamous nephew William Smith). The TV-friendly location insured that for the next six months (time it took a salvage company to remove the ship), MOLLIE AND THE MERCEDES WERE THE TALK OF THE TOWN.
PALM BEACH, A TOWN OF MONEY AND LEISURE.
[ PALM BEACH/ LOCAL/ NATIONAL/ INTERNATIONAL/ GLOBAL/ [TV] NEWS ]
Mollie’s Ship Comes In …
loving every second of 15-minutes (half-a-year) of fame.
Interviews / Parties / Peanut & Jelly offerings
“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”
Disney buys the rights to Mollie’s story — considers making a movie.
Celebrity of Good Fortune — spontaneous fame.
making the most of it.