Greenwich Gossip

Friday, June 10, 2011

There Goes Trouble...

Whenever the late Leona Helmsley used to make her appearance around Greenwich, people always said, "Here comes Trouble." Trouble, of course, was the Maltese pooch always to be found in Leona's arms wherever she went, even including Greenwich Hospital on the day the new Helmsley Wing was officially dedicated. Should dogs be allowed in a hospital? Trouble was.

Leona left Trouble $12 million in her will. Too much, the probate judge said, and lowered it to $2 million. Leona wanted Trouble buried with her in her mausoleum. Nix on that, said the cemetery officials.

Poor little rich pooch. In death, as in life, Trouble was dogged by trouble.

Leona, too, had her non-canine troubles, as everyone knows. My favorite Leona story concerns the Greenwich contractor who put in a new driveway at Dunnellen Hall, and then was stiffed by her on the bill. Finally, after many months of waiting, he took his crew up Round Hill Road and began to dig up the driveway. Leona's secretary, horrified, came rushing down to tell him to cease and desist.

He patiently explained that he hadn't been paid for his work, and was thus removing it. The secretary offered a check for the amount due. The contractor refused, saying "cash only". The work crew continued its demolition while Leona's minions rushed around town to assemble the cash. The contractor, duly paid, ordered his men to stop.

They packed up their equipment and began to leave. "Wait," the secretary said, "aren't you going to fix this mess?"

"Nope," replied the contractor. "Find someone else for the job. I'm never working for that [rhymes with rich] again." And off he drove.

Ah, the lore of Greenwich. The stories that have been written about our fair Town are only a fraction of the ones that could be written.

Here is Trouble's obituary from the New York Daily News: