Photos: Who was the Witch of Wellington? The answer with amazing photos

Suzan Strauss was known as the Lava Lady in Los Angeles in the 1990's, where she let photographer Osker Jimenez capture her in her DIY couture. (Osker Jimenez Exposure House)
Suzan Strauss on a street near her Los Angeles home in the 1990’s. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Wellington, Strauss was a regular at local thrift stores. (Lourdes Cabrera)
In Wellington, Strauss was a regular at Wellington thrift stores. (Lourdes Cabrera)

In Florida’s suffocating heat, she wore head-to-toe black, as if in mourning a loss.

Consequently, locals dubbed her the Witch of Wellington.

Read the full story about this eccentric Wellington and Los Angeles icon

But in Los Angeles in the 1980’s and ’90’s, Suzan Strauss was a street style star for the colorful outfits she designed, always worn with platform boots as high as horses’ hooves and a towering hat covering her hair.

The effect, said photographer Osker Jimenez, was to make her look seven feet tall as she glided slowly along Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, among the era’s pierced punks, dark goths and glam rock kids.

Fascinated with this self-assured, eccentrically-dressed woman, Jimenez photographed her for a decade, eventually publishing two books and staging a photo exhibition of his Strauss photos.

Photographer Osker Jimenez had an art gallery show of his photos of Strauss superimposed against stark landscapers. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Photographer Osker Jimenez had an art gallery show of his photos of Strauss superimposed against stark landscapes. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

 

The Lava Lady waters her garden from the lava rock wall surrounding her Los Angeles home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
The Lava Lady waters her garden from the lava rock wall surrounding her Los Angeles home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

 

 

Strauss' Wellington home, where she constructed semi-circular courtyards at each end of the house, which was decorated with a row of upside down flower pots. (Post photo/Barbara Marshall)
Strauss’ Wellington home, where she constructed semi-circular courtyards at each end of the house, which was decorated with a row of upside down flower pots. (Post photo/Barbara Marshall)

 

(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
(Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Strauss was born to an Orthodox Jewish family. In accordance with custom, she always wore hats or wigs to cover her hair. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Los Angeles, she carefully cultivated the garden surrounding her home. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
In Los Angeles, she carefully cultivated the garden surrounding the lava rock-covered home that gave her the name “Lava Lady.” (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Another of Jimenez' photos of Strauss, superimposed on a background of fireworks. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)
Another of Jimenez’ photos of Strauss, superimposed on a background of fireworks. (Osker Jimenez/Exposure House)

Palm Beach yacht wreck brings back memories of beached freighter

Socialite Mollie Wilmot stands near the 197-foot freighter that ran aground on her beachfront home in November, 1984. (Post file photo)
Socialite Mollie Wilmot stands near the 197-foot freighter, Mercedes, that ran aground at her oceanfront home in November, 1984.
(Post file photo)
The 72-foot yacht, Time Out, beached on the sand just south of the Palm Beach Inlet on September 7, 2016. (Post photo/Lannis Waters)
The 72-foot yacht, Time Out, beached on the sand just south of the Palm Beach Inlet on September 7, 2016. (Post photo/Lannis Waters)

The 72-foot yacht that ran aground on Palm Beach last week brought back memories of the time a storm drove a far-larger freighter into a socialite’s seawall for an uninvited three-month stay.

On Wednesday, yacht owner Thomas Henry Baker’s boat, the Time Out, ended up on the beach just south of the Palm Beach Inlet as he returned from a trip to the Bahamas.  Baker, who police say admitted drinking Long Island iced teas on board, blamed his GPS for directing him to shallow waters near the beach.  He was charged with boating under the influence, his second such arrest in the last month.

Back in 1984, Mollie Wilmot’s maid awakened her the day after Thanksgiving, saying the society hostess had guests at her oceanfront mansion, one door south of what was then still the Kennedy estate.

Wilmot expected it was the photographer scheduled to shoot her house for Town & Country magazine that day.

Instead, it was the captain and 10-member crew of a 197-foot Venezuelan freighter now towering over her pool cabana as the derelict rust bucket pounded her seawall into concrete chips.

Ever the hostess, Wilmot served the crew finger sandwiches, caviar and coffee in her gazebo, becoming the glamorous star of a reality show playing out on her beach.

I was working for a Miami TV station at the time and was among the gaggle of reporters and photographers who showed up later that day.

Reporter Barbara Marshall (at left) worked for a Miami TV station while covering the beaching of the Mercedes. (Post file photo.)
Reporter Barbara Marshall (at left) worked for a Miami TV station while covering the beaching of the Mercedes. (Post file photo.)

To us, Wilmot offered hot cocoa on cold mornings and icy martinis at cocktail hour almost every evening.  (I recall the network correspondents who didn’t have a story on the air that night indulging.  The rest of us were always on deadline or preparing for live shots.)

A Venezuelan freighter named Mercedes was an uninvited guest at socialite Mollie Wilmot's seawall, Thanksgiving weekend of 1984. (Post file photo)
A Venezuelan freighter named Mercedes was an uninvited guest at socialite Mollie Wilmot’s pool pavilion on Thanksgiving weekend of 1984. (Post file photo)

In her big white sunglasses, Wilmot, a horse breeder and department store heiress who died in 2002, became a national figure as she tottered around her pool patio, always wearing white while carrying her dog, a white fur ball named “Fluff.”

While various agencies debated how best to get the freighter afloat and reporters made bets on when it would be hauled out to sea, the droll Wilmot gathered her Palm Beach friends to sip cocktails and watch the news unfold live from her back yard.

After overstaying its welcome by 105 days, the Mercedes was finally hauled away to become an artificial reef off the Broward County coast.

Disney studios hoped to turn the saga into a movie called “Palm Beached,” but Wilmot balked at the choice of Bette Midler playing her as well as a plot line that had her cavorting with the ship’s captain.

Wilmot’s house was sold and demolished after her death.  A new house on the property sold for $23 million in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RNC 2016: Ivanka Trump “terrified” to introduce her father tonight

Ivanka Trump, her brothers and half-sister Tiffany, applaud a speaker at the RNC in Cleveland Tuesday night. (Getty Images)
Ivanka Trump, her brothers and half-sister Tiffany, applaud a speaker at the RNC in Cleveland Tuesday night.
(Getty Images)

Ivanka Trump Kushner says she’s “terrified” of her role at tonight’s Republican National Convention when she formally introduces her father as the GOP’s 2016 presidential candidate.

Speaking to NBC’s Savannah Guthrie this morning, Trump’s oldest daughter said, “I’ve never spoken in a stadium like this, but really I just want to make sure I do a great job for him. So it’s a real honor and a privilege that he asked me to do this, and I think it’s a testament to him as a parent.”

Ivanka, 34, daughter of Trump’s first wife, Ivana, also said, “I’m really comfortable with my speech because it comes from my heart.”

She also commented on the controversy surrounding Melania Trump’s speech that contained plagiarized phrases from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech at the Democratic National Convention.  A Trump speechwriter has come forward to take the blame.

“I love Melania so much and I am so proud of the job that she did,” Ivanka said. “She’s a very private person and for her to come out on that stage and speak from the heart and share her story about coming to this country.

“This is such a personal experience for her and she shared it in such a graceful and articulate way, so I am enormously impressed with her ability to do that and have great respect for it.”

During the campaign, Ivanka has often been the Trump family spokesperson since Melania prefers to remain in the background with her son, Baron.

Ivanka with her father at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach in 2012. (Post file photo)
Ivanka with her father at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach in 2012. (Post file photo)

 

 

Related: Ivanka Trump: Not the Trump You’re Expecting

Related: Palm Beach Post coverage of the convention in Cleveland and of Donald Trump’s candidacy

RNC 2016: Melania Trump to speak at convention tonight

Melania and Donald Trump at a Mar-a-Lago party. (Post file photo)
Melania and Donald Trump at a Mar-a-Lago party. (Post file photo)

Melania Trump will try to repair her husband’s basement-dwelling ratings with women tonight while also talking about her own immigrant experience, say RNC organizers.

As tonight’s convention headliner, Melania will likely try to bolster her husband’s claims that women love him despite polls that show Hillary Clinton has the lead among women voters 52 to 37 percent.

As she has in the past, Melania is likely to emphasize that when she immigrated from Slovakia in 1996 to future her modeling career, she played by the rules before becoming an American citizen in 2006.

Read  What You Don’t Know About Potential First Lady Melania Trump

See photos of Melania Trump during her Mar-a-Lago years in Palm Beach

Read more stories about Donald Trump

 

Graduation: Yearbook photos of celebrities who went to school in Florida

photo burt reynolds, megan fox
Burt Reynolds, Megan Fox.

In honor of graduation time for high school students in Palm Beach County, we bring back photos of celebrities who went to school in Florida. What did those Florida-educated celebs look like in high school? Take a look:

Tom Petty
Tom Petty: The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer left Gainesville High School at the age of 17 to go on tour.
Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande: The Boca Raton native attended North Broward Preparatory School before finding stardom.

SEE ALL OUR PHOTOS FROM EVERY 2016 PALM BEACH COUNTY GRADUATION

Chris Evert
Chris Evert: The tennis champ is a 1973 graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.

 

Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan: The Miami singer-songwriter graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes Academy Catholic School in South Miami in 1975.

 

Kelsey Grammar
Kelsey Grammar: The “Frasier” actor graduated from Pine Crest School in Fort Lauderdale in 1973.

 

Mickey Rourke
Mickey Rourke: The actor graduated from Miami Beach Senior High School in 1971.

 

020408 acc burtmuseum 25 Staff Copy Photo by Gary Coronado/The Palm Beach Post 0048476A With Story by Leslie Streeter--Jupiter--Burt Reynolds Palm Beach High School senior portrait on display at the Burt Reynolds Museum in Jupiter.
Burt Reynolds: The legendary actor graduated from Palm Beach High School in 1954.

 

Donald Trump: Celebrities with Trump at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach

photo donald trump
Model Kelly Hyler grabs Donald Trump after he tossed her in the swimming pool at a party at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach. Hyler wanted to put him in the pool, but his bodyguards intervened, January 30, 1993. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

Through the years, many celebrities have appeared at Donald Trump’s Palm Beach palace, Mar-A-Lago, for parties and charity benefits.

Sometimes, they even pose for a picture with The Donald. Photographers for The Palm Beach Post and the Palm Beach Daily News have been there to snap the action over the years.

photo donald trump
Lionel Richie and Donald Trump.
photo donald trump
Alumns from NBC’s ‘The Voice’ with Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago, second from left, are Will Champlin, Sisaundra Lewis and Matthew Schuler. (Photo by CAPEHART)

Here are more photos of Donald Trump through the years:

Donald Trump in Palm Beach

Related: Donald Trump – What is ‘the season’ in Palm Beach