Portraits by Other Means

Best Friends

Best Friends

Right before I left for college, my dad told me I only needed two friends. He was wrong. I now have seven, and it’s pretty great. Among them are an old man who emails me life advice and a janitor I met in Egypt. I may not always get along with my pals, but the pros of my friendships usually outweigh the cons.

Sheryl Crow and Bob Dylan

“I called [Bob Dylan]…I said, ‘I am totally wigged out and I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing, and I’ve got a lot of pressure to incorporate what’s going on.’ He said, ‘Go back to your roots. Take out the albums that you loved and play those songs. Get your band together and rehearse those songs, and then you will start writing.’ And that’s what I did.”

Eleanor Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth

Later, Eleanor began to relax with Elizabeth during a sightseeing ride around Washington. The queen won her over by revealing that they shared common values, and that she keenly appreciated Eleanor’s controversial public role. She told Eleanor how surprised she was to read that the First Lady had been attacked in the press for attending a meeting with members of the Works Progress Administration.

Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush

Clinton said his first meeting with Bush at the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport in 1983 pretty much set the tone for their relationship for the next 20 years.

“My daughter was 3 years old, and I introduced her to George Bush,” Clinton said. “I said ‘Chelsea, this is Vice President Bush, and this is his wonderful home.’ She looked at him and she said, ‘I have to go to the bathroom.’ He took her by the hand and took her to the bathroom. It really impressed me. So I’ve always liked him.”

Michael Jackson and Brooke Shields

Jackson once told Oprah Winfrey about their relationship: “We try not to be everywhere, go everywhere. It’s mostly at home. She’ll come over. I’ll go to her house because I don’t like going out in public.”

David Beckham and Snoop Dogg

They make an unlikely double act, yet bad-boy rapper Snoop Dogg and football hero David Beckham are becoming inseparable...

Not only are they planning to produce a film together, and have discussed launching a fashion label, but 32-year-old Becks pops over to Snoop’s to give his three kids footie lessons.

Barack Obama and Angela Merkel

If there was one takeaway from Tuesday night’s state dinner honoring Germany, it came in the form of a song: “You’ve Got a Friend.”

James Taylor, the songwriter of the famed tune, told reporters that the White House specifically requested that he perform the song at the dinner, in honor of the first official state visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mark Twain and the Angel-Fishes

Late in life, Clemens collected a club of surrogate grandchildren, all girls under the age of 16.

“All the 10 school-girls...are my angel-fishes, and constitute my club, whose name is ‘The Aquarium,’ and contains no creature but these angel-fishes and one slave. I am the slave. The Bermudian angel-fish, with its splendid blue decorations, is easily the most beautiful fish that swims, I think...

The club’s badge is the angel-fish’s splendors reproduced in enamels and mounted for service as a lapel pin—at least that is where the girls wear it. I get these little pins in Bermuda; they are made in Norway.”

Credit: Crosa


TMN Editor Leah Finnegan is from Illinois by way of Texas. She splits her time between New York City and her website. More by Leah Finnegan

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