memory

memory

GRAY FOY

by  Maury Yeston (© Yeston Music, Ltd.)

LET’S ALL COME CLOSE AT TIMES LIKE THIS
AND LIFT A DRINK AND REMINISCE
OF GOOD OLD FRIENDS
AND DAYS GONE BY
AND MOMENTS WHEN YOU’D CATCH THE EYE
OF ONE SLIGHT GENTLEMAN IN OUR LOBBY
FOR ME IT WAS A KIND OF HOBBY
WATCHING HIM WITH STYLISH CANE
HIS HAT FOR SUN, HIS COAT FOR RAIN
HIS GLEAMING EYE, HIS GAY ESPRIT
AND ALWAYS DRESSED IMPECCABLY
LET’S SING OF THAT ESPECIAL JOY
YOU’D FEEL EACH TIME YOU MET GRAY FOY.

THAT’S A FELLOW CATEGORICALLY
FAMOUS, WORLD-REKNOWN HISTORICALLY
ARTIST POET BON-VIVANT 
ANYTHING BUT DILLETANT
HE PLOWED A FURROW THROUGH OUR CULTURE
COLLECTED ARTWORKS LIKE A VULTURE

KNEW THE FAMOUS, SET THE TRENDS
ALWAYS SOUGHT THE HIGHEST ENDS
NEVER SHRINKING, NEVER COY
NO THAT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRAY FOY.

HE KNEW THE NEAR-GREAT, AND THE GREATEST
THE FAMED OLD-TIMERS AND THE LATEST
EVERY WORLD-CLASS ENTERTAINER
KNEW FRAU DIETRICH AS “MARLENE”
FRENCH, ITALIAN, RUSSIAN, GERMAN
AND HIS BELOVED LEO LERMAN

SOMEWHERE IN HEAVEN LERMAN SITS
PROBABLY EDITING GRAY’S OBITS
TILL HE HEARS THE DING-A-LING
OF ST. PETER’S DOORBELL RING
JUMPING FROM HIS COTTONY CLOUD
LEO LEAPS AND CRIES ALOUD
AND NOW HE’S SHOUTING “BOY OH BOY, 
IT’S GREAT TO HAVE YOU BACK
GRAY FOY!”

Remembering Gray Foy

by Louise Kerz Hirschfeld Cullman

I took some photos of a birthday party at the 95th Street Hirschfeld house. The year was 1979. Leo Lerman in a comfortable chair, chatted with playwright Marc Connally . . . Al Hirschfeld with Gloria Vanderbilt. S.J Perelman and Charles Addams traded secret comic asides . . . the radiant Dolly Haas in the middle of the theatre wives. Harold Rome played the piano . . . and there was Gray Foy . . . his hair actually grey. He was the most handsome man I ever saw. Classic looks, charming and a great addition to the birthday party. This small group was a microcosm of the kind of social and artistic life he knew so well as Leo’s partner.

Fast forward . . . years later, Leo had passed away, I married Al Hirschfeld and we attended one of many subsequent Christmas parties at Gray’s apartment in the Osborne. A new, vibrant person, Joel Kaye, was co-host . . . Gray still carried himself with the elegance that was his trademark. There was exciting talk of a new Lerman biography finally nearing completion. 

Gray was the last remaining participant of a glamorous era in New York and European cultural life . . . surrounded by the collection of paintings and magnificent objects, one viewed everything with wonderment.