Klosters

 

Selfranga T-bar, 1952. Klosters is still... Klosters: cow barns, deep snow, wooden
skis with red lacquered soles and screwed-on edges. Summer farmers doubled as
winter ski teachers, apres-ski was clumpy dancing in heavy boots to a Italian
trios at the Chesa (or the old Vereina). and apartment building pretending to be chalets
were not yet on the horizon.
 
 
 
Capa and Irwin on the Chesa terrace, January 1952. Could it really be that Capa had taken
those pictures in in Omaha Beach only eight years ago?  Life was good. Tola Litvak sent this
snapshot to both his friends. But it would be from Klosters, two years later,  that Capa would
leave for his last assignment, for one war too many. At the Klosters train station, there'd been
a band, and champagne...
 
 

Noel Howard, (?), Marian Shaw, Irwin, Jacques Charmoz, Jacqueline Tesseron

 

 
 The ski school meeting place, the old ice rink, and Selfranga painted by Marian
from Haus am Talbach.
 
 
 
 

 

Father and son. 1953

Irwin, Marian Winston Churchill, Peter Viertel at Ruth Guler's Wynegg. 1953 or '54

 

 

Dinner in Chalet Mia, circa 1956 with our Paris neighbors. Left to Right: Charlie and 
his father Bill Trueheart, Marian, Fedora (standing) and Phoebe Trueheart (sitting between
Adam and Irwin). An ex Army captain and State Department intelligence officer, Bill
was then at NATO. Later, named Deputy Chief of Mission in Saigon during the Viet Nam
war, his clear-eyed assessment of disaster would sink his career.
 
 

Marian and Irwin at home in Chalet Mia 1958 

 

Berri (Robert) Berenson (Marisa and Berri-B's fatther), Irwin, Bobby Charmoz,
Rica Charmoz and Adam.
 
This was when Virginia Hill rented half a chalet next to the Houstons, when Mr. Meilhem's local bank
doubled as a grocery store, when Peter and Bettina drove from Paris in the dead of winter in his
rag-top green MG, when Jim flew F-86s in Korea (Chaumont, half way between Kloters and Paris
would come later...). Jeff Kessel was just back from Afghanistan. No one bothered Garbo when she came
to visit Salka

 

 

Peter and Deborah's wedding lunch at Chalet Mia.
Left to right back row: Peter, Deborah Kerr, Irwin (hidden) Doris and Yul Brynner, Tola (kneeling)
Mel Ferrer, Marian. Front row: Adam and Christine, Peter's daughter with Jigee (ex-Schulberg)
 
 

Marian and Gene Kelley New Year's Eve in Klosters

 

Irwin beating the Gotschna into submission.  
 
"The love of speed and motion is deeply seated among the primal instincts of mankind and skiing,
an activity in which you move on your own two feet, the prisoner of no machine, using the earth's
rich gift of gravity to rush you toward the valley floor, gives the fullest play to that instinct."
-- Irwin writing in the New York Times.
 
 
 
.
Marian always loved pretty Cars. Here she and Adam are waiting for Irwin in front of the Chesa
in her Karman Ghia... the one in which she'd almost die, a few months later, when a drunk ran a red
light in Paris. It was on the day Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth in Sputnik. Irwin was driving and,
after being ejected through the roof, he too flew through the skies... 
 
Taking the picture, Marian cut Fedora in half and lopped off Nadine's left ear though
it was her 2nd birthday. Irwin and Marichu beam. Adam knows he's about to be sent
off to boarding school...
 
 
 

Irwin, Kathy and Bob Parrish, Peter Viertel. Klosters 1964

 

In his studio at the bottom of the garden, Irwin humors the photographer but obviously
wants to get back to work.

 

GORE VIDAL by Fred Kaplan

 

Moshe Perleman, Irwin and Salka Viertel. Irwin's friendship, respect, and admiration 
for "Moish" and Salka was on a par with his for Martha Gelhorn; they could do no wrong.

 

 

Irwin with Jacques Graubart after lunch at the Chesa.
 
During an adjournment of the 1961 Eichmann trial, Irwin and Jeff Kessel invited a pretty girl sunning
herself on a beach to lunch. She said sure... "with my friend." And pointed to a diminutive athlete
emerging fromt the sea. Jacques, though Belgian, had joined the French resistance (the real one...) at
the age of 19. He'd  saved hundreds of Jews by smuggling them into Switzerland. Finally cornered near
Grenoble, he was tortured and deported to Buchenwald. After the war, Jacques (115 llbs of bones but
tons of chutzpah) "commuted" between Antwerp and West Africa to create a diamond business. Least
visible of his many decorations for heroism: the number on his arm, and the awful and permament ringing
in his ears, courtesy of the Nazis.

 

 

Irwin on his 67th birthday with Adam

Magazines began to run glitzy pieces (they still do...). Real estate prices exploded, skis got short,
the lines at the bottom of the Gotschna got long, the dollar plunged, and snow-cats rolled the powder
into concrete boulevards. Klosters had become "in."
 
And the village under the mountain was no longer magic, just famous.
 

Irwin on the balcony of his last apartment above the Maissen's store, facing the Chesa in the
center of town. Chalet Mia had been left to Marian during the divorce. She sold it some years later.