Much of it was published in Eva Beale’s Edith Bouvier Beale of Grey Gardens: A Life In Pictures!
I don’t believe it was Big Edie’s, but I don’t know that for certain. The wedding band, much like the now-iconic brooch, was used more-or-less by Edie as a prop— it’s been discussed that she perhaps wore it to symbolize her dedication to her mother and to Grey Gardens, itself. She may very well have continued to wear it later in life, but not with the same consistency as she did during filming.
I’ve posted some of Edie’s original poetry and writing here, and will continue to post more, but I’m not aware of any other place online that does!
Devon’s dances were the club’s main attraction. Held every Saturday night, they stole the show from the Maidstone’s bigger, more formal parties. The sailing crowd was younger and more wilder than the golf and tennis people, and the yacht clubhouse was small enough to produce the intimate confusion of a boite. They packed them in under the rustic wooden rafters at Devon Saturday nights, and the Bouviers were usually there in force. As at the Maidstone by day, the queen of the Bouvier young at Devon those Saturday nights was Little Edie. The envy of her younger cousins, she was going out with J.P. Kennedy, Jr. You couldn’t dance with her for more than twenty seconds at a time. To Jackie, who was just beginning to go out with boys, she was it.
Al: Your eyes look very Loretta Young-ish. Remember her?
Edie: Listen, I was mad about Loretta Young. Until I met her.
Little Edie creates a Valentine for Big Edie, featuring a glamorous portrait of her young mother. c. February, 1930.
And here is Little Edie, slimmer than the film suggests. Vibrant red lipstick covers her full lips. She does not look 58 and her little-girl voice, breathless and languid at the same time, is youthful. But Little Edie has changed.
"Now I feel well," she confides. "I haven’t felt well in a long time. Not since i got stuck here in 1952 with poor mother and the cats and all the family problems," whispering at times so that Big Edie, taking the sun in a room off the porch, won’t hear.
“I like anything that is even near show business. I don’t feel well unless I’m near it. Even 5000 miles away, if I just get a whiff of show business, I’m all right. I just feel well all over.”
"I feel the opposite about society," she continues. "Isn’t that funny? Why is it? I should have been a professional years ago. I should have gone to professional children’s school instead of social school. But now I feel well. I went to New York. I made some appearances on TV and I feel that I’m working again and that I’m more or less a professional. I just feel well in mind and body. I don’t think it has anything to do with money. It’s when you do what you want to do or you’re getting close to what you want to do. I can’t explain it."
The film, she says, has changed her life in several ways. The 20 percent of the gross that the Beales will eventually get— and Little Edie scans Variety each week to check on business— will supplement what they contend is a meager income.
"The picture made $10500 the first week or so," says Little Edie, obviously delighted with her box-office success. "And that was after I went on TV. And we’re a smash hit in Boston, playing for three months. We just haven’t seen a penny yet, and Mother is furious."
The film, which Little Edie vehemently insists does not, as several critics suggest, exploit them, has changed her self-image.
"Here, I guess I’ll always be Little Edie," she says. "In New York City, I’m Edith. Edith. I don’t think the last name enters in so much. I mean, not in my mind. Maybe in other people’s. Here, I’m mother’s little daughter. In New York I see myself as Edith."
"One is a lone woman who hasn’t got much money and she’s fighting to get the same thing she always wanted— recognition as a dancer, singer, and entertaining artist. Here, I’m mother’s little helper, cleaning up after the cats."
Someone calls from the porch off the second-floor landing which serves as Little Edie’s sitting room. “Mother wants to get into the act,” she says. “She’s awfully funny. She competes with me every single time.”
When she speaks of her current life, Little Edie’s face lights up with unbridled enthusiasm. “I’m enjoying all this,” she says. “I couldn’t tell you why. But I am. It has nothing to do with the money, although I guess maybe that’s the main reason we did the picture. It all worked together.”
Interiors for the 1936 portion of HBO’s Grey Gardens (2009) by Kalina Ivanov:
"There is a large fan base of the original documentary and Little Edie is a true icon in the gay community. I had a huge responsibility of getting the look right. The house needed to be both authentic and poetic. My main goal was to create an environment that captured the Edies’ personality perfectly.
On my interview, I brought Michael [Sucsy] an image of a purple French Art Deco room. He immediately fell in love with it and this image became the base for our design concept. I felt strongly that since Big Edie was a Bouvier by birth, her taste would be influenced by European design. American Art Deco is much more masculine and geometric; European Art Deco is fluid and organic.
I also wanted to introduce the idea of a garden inside the house, which is why we painted Big Edie’s bedroom with trees and birds. An astute viewer would notice that the colors of that room are yellow and pale turquoise. These colors show up later as the famous yellow bedroom and turquoise staircase in the documentary.”