In which Sarah tells an inconsequential story about Donald TrumpPosted: April 15, 2011
As I have mentioned before, I first met Bitsy Trump back when she was plain old Mary A. MacLeod and we were both hunting eligible husbands. She was pretty fresh off the boat and still had a brogue on her you could cut with a claymore and an unsullied British citizenship.
Old Fred Trump was a catch, and the two of them were so in love. It was very sweet.
Of course, what none of us knew was that Fred was already married.
He’d got himself into a shotgun wedding back in April 1925 with a girl called Ethel who worked in the typing pool of his construction company. Ethel was beautiful alright, but she had a soul of pure bile, and the marriage broke up very soon after that. Ethel got paid off to move to Idaho and shut the hell up. However, she was a good catholic girl and the marriage had obviously been pre-consummated, so she refused point blank to give Fred a divorce and even he couldn’t manage to buy one.
1937 rolled around. Fred and Bitsy were now happily married, in practice and name if not in actual legal effect.
One day, Ethel showed up one day at their house while Fred and Bitsy were having lunch. Fred hustled Ethel out of there as quick as Rush Limbaugh shepherding a hooker into his bedroom.
Old Fred continued paying Ethel large amounts of money every month for the next eight years. In all that time, he never asked to see or meet his first born son, and Ethel never offered.
Then one day, when Bitsy was about four months pregnant with young Donald, she found out about Ethel. I have no idea how – even years later she wouldn’t talk about that day. All I know is that she called me, and within about seven hours, she and the children and I were all on a plane to San Miguel de Allende.
Bitsy made it clear to Fred that she wasn’t coming back until he was a single man and could marry her properly. There was a discreet little article in one of Hedda Hopper’s columns that suggested that Bitsy had been having “women’s problems” during her pregnancy and was going abroad for her health.
Life went on in both Mexico and New York for the next four months.
Fred made money.
We sat around in cafes and spent Fred’s money on booze and blow.
I happily carried on three separate love affairs with three separate GI Billers – a negro muralist from New Orleans with a ten inch cock and a passion for making love on the beach, and identical twin Brooklyn-Italian brothers with lean hairy chests who both painted exquisite miniature landscapes and both cried out for their mother when they came.
Then, one day late in May 1946, several things happened.
In the morning, I met Keith, my husband. He was down there destabilizing the government for the KGB, or stabilizing the government for the CIA. Or maybe it was the other way around. It’s all so long ago now, it’s hard to say. We saw each other first through a haze of hash smoke, then fell in love over one too many margaritas, and ended up in a foursome that afternoon with both Gino and Alberto.
As if that wasn’t enough for one day, when I got back to the hotel, Bitsy was already packed and a taxi was waiting. She’d got a letter from Fred informing her that Ethel had died in a freak stenography accident and begging her to come back to him in New York straight away.
We kissed each other goodbye and hoisted her luggage and we all piled into the taxi. Then, suddenly, Bitsy’s water broke so hard I thought it had started to rain.
Fifteen minutes later, by my count, we were all gathered around a dirty bed in the nearest hospital and little Donald was screaming blue fucking murder and crapping himself, while a chicken watched from the bed-head and scratched itself.
I have never seen an uglier or a crabbier baby. He was covered in long, yellowish hair that was matted in all directions all over his body, and he cried constantly from the moment he came out, a strident, pulsating, never-ending wail at the unfairness of the world.
It was just like the sound Megan McArdle makes when the gluten-free muffins have sold out.
An hour later we were all standing in the Civil Registry, having been hustled there by the doctor (who was a paranoid about being shot if the forms weren’t right) and an hour after that, they were all on a plane to New York – Bitsy in first class with the older children and with a pillow stashed down her skirt, and Donald being carried by Bitsy’s Mexican maid Rosita back in coach.
Shortly thereafter, in an empty and very private lunch room just inside Immigration, Bitsy and Fred were married, and then Bitsy walked through into America, trying to keep the pillow from falling out, and clutching the documents that proved she was, finally, Mrs Fred C. Trump.
Donald was smuggled out a back door in a large handbag and about two weeks later there was another discreet announcement in the papers that young Donald had been born at the Jamaica hospital, safely within the boundaries of New York.
Of course, by this point, Fred was so rich that I’m sure he had no trouble obtaining the requisite American birth certificate and hushing things up properly.
Hark at me rabbiting on about unimportant things. It happens when you get old.