Bostonista Loves: Barbara Walters

1211907502Last week, we were among the lucky Bostonians who got to meet The View’s Brookline-born mother hen and all around feminist icon, Barbara Walters.

At a VIP book signing for Audition, her new hit memoir of sex, lies, and heads of state, at Saks, a few dozen of the city’s most respected female journalists and social butterflies gathered to sip white wine and nibble on fennel leaves while eagerly awaiting their idol’s entrance.

Like so many things in life, she’s smaller in person. Dressed in an oversize gold knit sweater, loose black pants, pointed black satin pumps, and a chunky gold necklace, she practically scintillated impeccability. Truthfully, we couldn’t wait to get up close to see if that mound of white blonde hair was camouflaging a nascent bald spot. (We can report that it does not, and that she is, indeed, rather hot for a 70-something broad legend.)

“Just so you know,” we said shakily as she signed our copy, “We’re Tivo-ing The View right now.” It was a little white lie but, hey, we thought it was cute. She smiled gently, and, without lifting her eyes, replied, “That’s more than I can say for me.” As an afterthought, she said, this time making eye contact, “You let me know if they make any mistakes.”

The rushed, in-and-out atmosphere (one Chanel-clad attendee was heard to say, “She really is all about business, isn’t she?”) was mostly maintained by her somewhat scary coterie of handlers, who rigidly maintained a no-photo policy—though some well-connected women grappled for a shot by one of the Saks-approved paparazzi.

The memoir itself is peppered with fond references to Boston and offers a fascinating glimpse of pre-War Brookline, which, when Walters was a child, “still had some fields where you could even see a horse or two.” We couldn’t help but flip to the chapter entitled “Celebrities Who Affected My Life,” wherein Babs (we’re close now) dishes on Bette Davis and the Hepburns. While this is the kind of stuff we eat up, those of you who enjoy more current celebs will find plenty of insider info on everyone from Paris Hilton to, yes, Star Jones—in other words, it’s the perfect beach read for the Memorial Day weekend.

–William DeGregorio