Accomplished poet Patricia Spears Jones recalls her first encounter with legendary jazz icon Lena Horne. "I met Ms. Horne at an event at Chartwell Booksellers on Park Avenue in the late 1990s. She was so tiny, gorgeous and dressed to the nines. I loved her classiness, sensuality and drive..."
I met Ms. Horne at an event at Chartwell Booksellers on Park Avenue in the late 1990s. She was so tiny, gorgeous and dressed to the nines. I loved her classiness, sensuality and drive. May she rest in peace, but if there is a movie set in heaven: Lena Horne always struck me as the epitome of American elegance like Fred Astaire or Jacquelne Onassis. She seemed to have an ease in her body and in her presence on the planet. Of course, there were major issues that she dealt with, such as abandonment and neglect from her parents, racism, outrage over her interracial marriage, which was not legal in many states in the United States, and changes in popular culture so that actual singing of actual songs was no longer admired for the challenges it takes to make those songs work. But through it all she evolved, yet remained Ms. Lena Horne. I hope she's resting in peace or hanging with Fred and Jacquie and Ella and the Duke and the Count at some really fabulous cocktail party in Heaven. And she is not singing "Stormy Weather."