HIGH COTTON: Seduction and Betrayal on Wall Street by Sherri Daley

HIGH COTTON: Seduction and Betrayal on Wall Street

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A soapy first-person postmortem on a one-sided, star-crossed romance. Author Daley was 28 when she encouraged Philip Hehmeyer to pick her up in the piano bar at Manhattan's Sherry Netherland Hotel one July evening in 1976. Fresh from a divorce and an affair (with a married ad man who declined to leave his wife), she was easy prey for the Memphis-born commodities trader. A Sewanee dropout and Vietnam vet, the moody but courtly Hehmeyer dealt in cotton futures. His precarious, high-pressure profession generally yielded enough big money to underwrite boozed-up, drugged-out nights on the Upper East Side and long, dissolute weekends in glamorous venues like Long Island's North Shore. Despite having been kept at arm's length much of the time, Daley fell and remained deeply in love with Hehmeyer--and, apparently, his lifestyle. Hehmeyer returned her love, the Michigan-bred lass insists, but he was unwilling (that's right, folks) to make a commitment. One abortion and many tears later, their affair petered out. Hehmeyer, who went on to become President of the New York Cotton Exchange, took his own life in 1982 for reasons Daley leaves largely to readers' imaginations. Meanwhile, the quixotic author, who seems never to have realized that the market can be a more alluring and demanding mistress than any woman, decided to quit the party-girl game and have a child by Hehmeyer's best friend. On her own, she bore a son (yclept Smith) in 1980; he and marathon running are the current lights of Daley's single-parent life as she presumably strives to get herself into high cotton. In brief, a disingenuous, essentially tawdry tale with more bathos and pathos than tragedy.

Pub Date: June 22nd, 1987
Publisher: Norton