“My name is Sister Parish, and orders are orders.”

The legendary American Interior Designer, Sister Parish, was a force all on her own. Here is how she describes her interaction with a group of President Kennedy’s confidants:

“…I had to admit, the house did look like Jackie. I fixed the flowers, left a bottle of champagne, and sent my love to Jackie and the president, who had never seen the house. It had all been a big risk, but I felt they would both be happy there. 

As I was closing the door to leave for Washington, suddenly the biggest helicopter I had ever seen dropped out of the sky. It was marked U.S. NAVY, and out stepped a dozen men, including Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and most of the President’s closest advisors.

As they approached the house, I heard myself saying,”You cannot enter this house. It isn’t finished, and I won’t allow a single soul to enter until it is.” 

A look of surprise mixed with anger came over their faces. “Who the hell are you?” one of them asked, his eyes icy. I told them my name was Sister Parish, and orders were orders. They were not to enter.

It ended happily, as they removed their shoes and agreed not to sit on anything. They even invited me back in their helicopter when their inspection was over. They asked me where I wanted to land, and for some inexplicable reason, I said, “The Pentagon.” That sounded fine to them, and they called ahead to have a White House car meet me at the door of the plane.”

A passage from the book – Sister Parish: The Life of the Legendary American Interior Designer

Sister Parish legendary American Interior Designer