Do you remember the swinging social scene of early-1960s Washington? So many parties with those fun-loving and oft-assassinated Kennedy boys! And then George W. Bush ruined it all when he was appointed president four decades later. That's the gist of this six-hundred-page Vanity Fair recollection about the glamorous good old days of yesteryear, and it prompted one Washingtonian to pen the following recollection of the glamorous Clinton years.

MAUREEN ORTH WAS DEAD ON in her depiction of the dreary state of affairs that is the Washington social scene ["When Washington Was Fun," December]. Previous administrations conveyed a level of class and taste that seems lost on more recent residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There was a trickle-down effect from those glamorous affairs that gave a sense of vibrancy and joie de vivre to Washington. For a regular, non-connected resident of the city such as myself, there seemed to be an energy in the air that has gone missing. The Clintons were much more gregarious, often being spotted around town having dinner. There was a sense of connection between them and the rest of us. The current regime treats Washington like a leper colony, venturing forth only to attend politically friendly events before retreating back to the White House. Their disdain for socializing has cast a pall over this city like a wet blanket. We can only hope that the next administration does something to lift it. --WALTER FORD, Washington, D.C.

We miss the glamor of those days, too. Your editor used to live right across the street from Betty Currie's house in Arlington, and sometimes she could be seen taking out the trash can. Ms. Currie, you'll recall, was Clinton's beloved personal secretary who controlled access to the Oval Office during the glamorous era we recall as Monicagate.

There was, indeed, vibrancy and energy those days, specifically in the "joie de vivre" that the Grace Kelly of our time, Monica Lewinsky, applied to the president's genitals between mouthfuls of greasy pizza, under his desk. We all remember the classy outfits of the day: A cheap GAP schmata stained with the president's semen was truly the "little black dress" of the mid-1990s.

And the high-flying Clinton gang certainly didn't sequester themselves inside the White House like those anti-social Bush monsters. Vince Foster was found dead in beautiful Fort Marcy Park, right out there with regular people.

The State of D.C. Social Affairs [Vanity Fair Letters]

When Washington Was Fun [Vanity Fair]


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