"Some Harvard gymnasts had been doing stunts," said Sophomore Eaton Brooks of the University of North Carolina, nervously fingering his smartly striped tie. "The gentleman from Harvard who was on the other gentleman's shoulders was swinging the chandelier back and forth. I was up on the mantelpiece, watching people crawl on the rafters. One of the other boys up there swung to the floor on the chandelier, and about ten minutes later I guess I wanted to be a gymnast, too." That was when the chandelier collapsed and dumped Tarzan Brooks on the floor.

Eaton Brooks on the $6,000 worth of damage to the Southampton house after Fernanda Wannamaker's debutante ball

Time Magazine, Friday, April 24, 1964


porter hovey said...

Funny fact our father and uncle (who married our aunt) were both at this party. Totally out of control.

Nari said...

How very apropos - discreetly giggling right this minute

tkangaroo said...

Cost Of Living 1964:
Average Income per year $6,000.00
Average Cost of a new car $3,500.00

Passion and Property in the Hamptons
By Steven Gaines

"One of the most notorious incidents to ever take place in the Hamptons was the coming-out party of an heiress, Fernanda Wannamaker Wetherill. The party took place at her father’s thirty-five acre estate. Her father rented the Ocean Castle estate for the night, so it could be used as a dormitory for his more than eight hundred guests. This party would have put any contemporary rave to shame. It lasted all night and, when the youngsters decided to go to bed, they ended up dancing on the tables at Ocean Castle. Eventually, because they were all so drunk, they completely trashed the place, throwing stones through its windows, ripping down curtains, and smashing priceless furniture."

porter hovey said...

I can't even imagine what it must have been like. Thank you so much for adding more context to the whole evening. It's also horrible that no one got in trouble for what happened here.