PAST FORGETTING: My Love Affair with Dwight D. Eisenhower by Kay Summersby Morgan
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PAST FORGETTING: My Love Affair with Dwight D. Eisenhower

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The King gave up his throne for ""the woman I love""; the General put duty and ambition first, says the chic British motor-pool driver who loved and abruptly lost him. Ike Eisenhower ""was a very comfortable man to be with,"" Kay Summersby was attractive, sympathetic, vivacious (one infers, lacking evidence here), and during long drives and talks, over nightly bridge games in his hideaway cottage, they grew close in the months before the North African invasion. He arranged for her to join his retinue overseas, to become a WAC and his personal aide, to get American citizenship: he would never let her go. They had confessed their love, and between visits from an exuberant Churchill, a benign Roosevelt, a frigid George V, between ""family"" parties and trips to the front, they kissed furtively, held hands, passed notes, but two tries at consummation failed (Ike was ""out of practice in love"")-the second on the eve of his departure for Washington, to become Chief of Staff, where she was to join him. Then her orders were canceled, without explanation, without a personal word, and she never again saw him as an intimate. The 1973 disclosure, in Merle Miller's Truman biography Plain Speaking, that Eisenhower's superior George Marshall had torpedoed his plans to get a divorce and marry Kay, was news to her, she swears; but it made ""everything fall into place."" This heroine of light romance keeps a stiff upper lip; at the time of writing she was dying of cancer. Her story may have passed through more hands than most to come out, as it has, processed peanuts-and-champagne.

Pub Date: Jan. 14th, 1976
Publisher: Simon & Schuster