Friday, December 28, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Hi

While looking on the internet about the case of Jean Harris, I came across this old New York magazine article from 1980 about the "strange" relationship of Harris and "Hi" Tarnower.

Because they both came from upscale backgrounds, the media pounced on the murder case almost as soon as Jean pumped four bullets into the old doc:

Dr. Tarnower’s new celebrity made another change that much more conspicuous. Over the last couple of years, Hi Tarnower had begun to date another woman. She was Lynne Tryforos, 37, a comely blond employee of his Scarsdale Medical Group. She was two decades younger than the woman Tarnower had refused to marry for a dozen years.

The new affair seemed cruelly public to Jean Harris. Tarnower would take Lynne Tryforos to dinner parties like the one given by Bernard “Bunny” Lasker, former chairman of the New York Stock Exchange—the sort of upper-echelon Westchester and New York functions to which he had taken Jean Struven Harris.

Jean Harris compressed her private griefs. “Integrity” was as stressed as ever in her Monday-morning talks to the girls. If anything, she was retrenching. Last fall she was applauded by parents for announcing that she was putting that insidious district, Georgetown, off limits. She seemed to be ever more vigilant that the girls not succumb to weaknesses of the flesh.

Not everyone was favorably impressed. Some parents—like a father whose daughter was suspended for quaffing a glass of beer—were irritated by her inflexibility. The girls, by and large, decided that she was a cold fish. A few sensed something else. “She was really always a nervous wreck,” announces a pupil. “Pulling at her hair, walking bowed over. She could never joke around. I’ve never seen a woman so ill-assured. One time a kid asked some critical question, a ridiculous question. She cried onstage in front of the whole school.”

Anyway, it's a long article.

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