Years Past, Atitudes Gave no Lattitude to Femmes to Claim Equality at Work

Back in 1972, when I joined the Miami Herald as Larry Cafiero's cohort in putting out the special sections for Herald VP of Advertising, Howard Grothe -- he gave us a salute in the Orange Bowl for putting out 86 sections in 52 weeks that beat any previous records.

We did it all--interviewing the special folks, writing their stories, doing the layouts with photos and copy reading everything in our office across from Photo. Our mailaway Special Section got a huge audience for Larry, a HUGE Dolphin fan (who took his five kids to every home game) made their Super Bowl sweep the whole front photo of the section.

Our sections looked so professional, especially each Saturday's Real Estate section which we wrote and produced, the managing editor made us put headlines across the page saying "This is not an Editorial section"

Not many women worked as Herald editors. When Larry got a raise, I went to the VP and asked for a raise for me. "We only give raises to breadwinners," he told me. I had to tell him that I was raising my four kids and was the breadwinner but he couldn't comply. I didn't fit the qualifier. You had to wear pants. And be male.
When I needed to get a Burdine's credit card, I was a young sprout working for The Miami Daily News and Burdine's said they only issued cards to men. Bill Baggs, editor of the newspaper had to call the president of Burdine's to get an exception made.

With the Supreme Court weighing the gay way of life as lawful, times sure are different today. We couldn't say the word "gay". Fairy was acceptable and so was swishy. Comics routinely did fey gay presentations, and it was a no-no in society. The Surf Club was known as the "Gay 90's Club." Meaning their (paid?) escorts were gay and the women members were 90.

Years earlier, when I rejoined the Miami News as "Scene & Heard" society columnist, it was preceded by my stint covering Jackie Kennedy in The White House for Women's Wear Daily and becoming the first "Eye" used by publisher John Fairchild.

While waiting for Jackie Kennedy to be "scoped" in public, I interviewed Washington society ladies. First up was Marjorie Meriweather Post May,whose daddy started the Post cereal company. My story about her was preceded with the lead that said "Trying to find the true socialite in a city like Washington, D.C. is like nailing jelly to a tree."
Type style for WWD was flourished by French because Fairchild had spent six years as head of the family's Paris bureau. Bylines were not carried beneath the headline but at the story's end, it would print your initials, last name and he added the word "L'oeille" after the last name.

Both Marjorie and I were stunned to see a strange name after mine.I called up John in New York and asked him, "Who stole my byline?"Marjorie called me early that day to ask the same question.

Calling John, I asked, who the heck "L'oeille" was who stole my identify? He almost purred, "My deah, don't you know the French word for the eye?"

I told him "no" and Marjorie didn't pick up on that either. He was mystified that such a socialite didn't know French. "Lah-oy-yeh," means the eye, he told me. I asked him, "Why don't you just put The Eye?"

Marjorie sent me a letter to forward to John. So my columns were signed -- The Eye -- when he so desired. It became synonymous with WWD. And from being a mere trade journal for the needle and thread industry, Women's Wear Daily entered its big toe into society's milk and honey.