One year and one day after A.N. Spencer’s (“A.N.”) death, Jackie Bancroft Spencer (“Jackie”) married Ronnie Lee Morgan (“Ron”), a fifty-year old gay interior decorator. Jackie was 72, a wealthy “Wall Street Journal” heiress. The wedding was small and private and held at the Ritz-Carlton, Palm Springs. I was there by invitation.
This act, after a staid, 40-plus year marriage to Dr. A.N. Spencer seemed hugely incongruous. Jackie had been and was a very wealthy heiress. Compared to her vast wealth, she lived modestly, with the exception of racing horses and building her “little gem”, the Spencer Theater for the performing arts (http://www.spencertheater.com/) in the mountains of Ruidoso, New Mexico. She was in completion phase of the theater when her husband, A.N., became terminally ill, while at the sametime she was working with Ron Morgan on decorating the theater.
Ron was loyal and supportive of both Jackie and A.N. during A.N.’s trying final year of illness. A bond of trust and companionship developed between them, and he was of great help. When I asked Jackie: “Why marriage?” She simply replied: “I want to spend the next years traveling the world. I don’t want a gigolo with me. I want a husband.”
I write of Jackie and Ron’s relationship in my book: “Observer: The Ronnie Lee and Jackie Bancroft Spencer Morgan Story, a tale of people, greed, envy, manipulation — even crime”