Anjelica Huston’s mother, Ricki Soma, grew up over a popular Broadway Italian restaurant called Tony’s Wife on West Fifty-Second Street in New York. At 14 years of age she was already a beauty, and a ballet dancer. She looked like the Mona Lisa, in fact she was considered so beautiful that a few years later her photograph appeared on the cover of Life magazine.
Tony’s Wife was a busy, buzzing restaurant frequented by the Nelson Rockefellers, Frank Sinatra, and Mario Lanza. As a child on visits Anjelica remembers ‘the pots boiling, and the steaks sizzling, men in white shouting at one another through the steam.’
Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead!
There's none of these so lonely and poor of old,
Earlier this year Galway Diary discussed the evictions implemented by Marcella Netterville and John Gerrard on their 7,000 acre estate at Ballinlass, near Mount Bellew Co Galway. In 1846 more that 400 families were heartlessly thrown out on the road, without any compensation. The land was being cleared to fatten cattle, which would have been far more profitable than tenants; many of whom, as the Great Famine tightened its terrible grip, were unable to pay their way. The Times of London famously commented that the Ballinlass evictions showed ‘the sublime indifference to social considerations of which no one but an Irish landowner is capable.’
A more imaginative scheme to make tenanted land profitable, was introduced not too far away on the eastern edge of County Galway at Clontuskert seven years later.