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The Des Moines Register & Tribune

A Waldorf Story by Debora Dickinson
1979

The Des Moines Register & Tribune sent the display advertising young salespeople on a trip to Chicago and New York to meet with our advertising representatives. There were approximately 18 of us. Some had never seen a hotel like this, let alone a city this large; luckily I had been to several. When we walked into The Waldorf Astoria, we were staring at all the beautiful decor and flower arrangements. We stood in line at the registration desk to check in, and told the woman at the desk said we were with The Des Moines Register & Tribune. She checked and then said, “Oh, I am so sorry, we are completely out of rooms. One moment!” The three of us women were all rooming together!! A few minutes later, she held a key up to a bellman and I swear he clicked his heels, together!!!! What?? He led us to an elevator.

Next we went in an elevator, and told the operator on this crowded elevator that we were going to The Towers. We had no idea what that meant, but the people on the elevator certainly did!!!! We got looks that would kill!! We were told to say we were going to The Towers, top floor! People were staring us down, although we had on designer suits, we just looked too young & innocent for the elevator patrons! Our bellman led us down a hall with nameplates on the door, like “Andrew Young” United Nation Ambassador!!!! And a General, wow! So we were led to a huge room with a Grand Piano in it, and our bellman said this was where Cole Porter played to small audiences!!!! What??

“But unfortunately, although it adjoins your room, I will have to lock it up.” Okay, we were already in shock!

Then we were let into the most beautiful room adjoining the Cole Porter Suite! It had 14-feet high windows, with Peach Poie De Soie Silk draperies hanging from 14-feet high on all the windows on one wall! There were two beds that were larger than king-sized and the most beautiful Carrera marble bathroom with a wall of mirrors!!!

I could not believe this, elegance!!!! So I called my mother in Des Moines (a very elegant woman from St. Louis), and I described the room we were in! She said without missing a beat, it must be the Madame Chiang Kai-shek Suite!! What!?!

How did she know this? I knew that she and my father had stayed at The Waldorf several times, but never stayed in The Towers! My mother was in Iowa, and we were in New York!!! How?

We continued to enjoy our surroundings! We slept peacefully with a view of NYC that was to die for! The next morning we were switched into small rooms with rollaways, that we had to navigate, but for one night we stayed in the most beautiful suite in America!!!!