Breakfast at Jackie’s

Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan (“Jackie”) was not as eccentric as Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. She was not coquettish. She was, however, quite different from anyone I had ever met. I came to view what might be called her caustic outbursts as just being “Jackie”. She might tell the mayor’s wife in a social setting that she was too fat and should do something about it. Or, on meeting me the first time she might say “I don’t like lawyers”. Anyone who came to know Jackie came to realize that Jackie would come forth with blunt statements out of the blue. It was almost autistic. In a way, it reminded me of the roll Aubrey Hepburn played as Holly Golightly. No reason to get your feelings hurt. Just accept it, even if it caught you off-guard. It was going to happen.

I would spend many nights at Jackie’s home in Ruidoso, New Mexico, when I was doing work for her or her husband. It was more convenient in this mountain village to stay at Jackie’s than a hotel, and I appreciated her invitation and hospitality. I soon found that if you were really going to get to know Jackie it was at breakfast after a night of playing rumicube. It was then, at early mountain morning, that she came to light and made you feel like she was your friend. If a guest spent the night in her home, it was mandatory that she cook breakfast for you the next morning.

It always seemed odd, or out of character for a wealthy heiress, to see Jackie in her robe frying eggs and bacon and squeezing juice, while bringing it to the table to serve you. One morning after we had been to the horse races at the Downs to watch Jackie’s horse race the day before, I said:

“Jackie, I laughed when you told the track owner he was a cheat.”

“Well, he is. I just blurt things out sometimes. I think it’s because my Mother and Father were first cousins.”

I chose not to pursue the conversation. Jackie was a wealthy “Wall Street Journal”, Dow Jones publishing heiress. She was a wonderful lady. If she needed to “blurt out”, it was okay by me. I went on enjoying my eggs and bacon.

I write of Jackie and her marriage to Ronnie Lee Morgan in my book:  “Observer: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime”

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