Saturday, November 27, 2010

This photo almost got me kicked out of Hearst Castle!

A few years back I took in the sights at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California. About 10 of us took the tour and it was really amazing. The opulence cannot be adequately described … it was so over the top. Everywhere we turned there seemed to be something made of gold or gilded with gold leaf, as in this bedroom.

When we entered this room I couldn’t help but envision Dorothy Parker here. Some of you may remember that, while a guest at the castle, she had asked for a 2nd martini before dinner. This was a definite “no, no” since Mr. Hearst’s rule allowed for only one drink per person in an evening and she was told to leave at once. It is reported that before she left she inscribed a bawdy poem in the guest book about the hypocrisy of a married man (Hearst) living with his mistress (Marion Davies), but considering it a sin to have a 2nd drink.

With this anecdote in my mind I thought it would be fun to take a picture of the room to take back home, so I took out my trusty little camera out and snapped a quick flash shot. WELL … you wouldn’t believe the uproar this produced. I was thoroughly reprimanded and threatened with expulsion !

I had to meekly hang my head and swear to obedience to the rules before we could continue on the tour. It felt like nothing much had changed since the Hearst days, but secretly I was gloating. I had what I wanted and the result is this photo of that garish bedroom where Dorothy Parker may, or may not, have stayed..

Much more interesting, to my mind, than this stock shot of the castle:


Blogger KGMom said...

I have been known to sneak a photo or two in a forbidden zone. I do set my camera to NO FLASH, so as not to be discovered.
Hearst Castle is one place I have heard about, have not seem, but want to...

12:59 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

In Florence, we went to the museum where David is housed. All over the place there are signs saying "NO Photos" and guards calling out every few minutes. I couldn't believe how many people were snapping pix right and left in total defiance. I wanted a photo, but I couldn't bring myself to do it - so I bought a postcard of the statue.

I would have no compunction about doing it in Hearst Castle, however. If Versailles lets anyone take photos, why should Hearst Castle people say no?

6:16 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Naughty Ginnie, but I loved the story about Hearst, Dorothy Parker and seeing the photo. It's fun to break the rules sometimes, especially when no real harm is being done.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

You are no flash in the pan, Ginnie. Good for you; this no-pictures kind of thing is so annoying.

5:47 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Glad that you got the shot. Maybe one of those little hidden cameras next time!

3:37 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Oh Ginnie what a fabulous story! I love what Dorothy wrote and that you got away with a photo! Good for you!
Love Di ♥

4:59 PM  
Blogger possum said...

Oh, shame on you! LOL!
Imagine the notariety of being kicked out of Hearst Castle! Puts you right up there with Dorothy Parker minus the martini! LOL!

Yeah, many of us do sneak shots. You will just have to get a quiet camera with no flash.
I love it!

4:21 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

You have to be careful about taking pictures in important places. I got reprimanded for taking a picture in a museum in Belgium. It was humbling moment.

1:07 PM  

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