16
My
Way

Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.

—Micah 6:8

In March 1987, Millicent Fenwick returned from Rome to her beloved Bernardsville. “I'm back where I belong—where my political career began, where my roots are deeply planted, where I love the townspeople—and here I intend to stay.” 1 Where, exactly, was another matter. Her home was uninhabitable.

Before she went to Rome she had decided to economize. Against the advice of Bernardsville friend David Neill, she had her house sealed with plastic and insulation. Only one area in the back—a kitchen, bedroom, and small sitting room—where a groundskeeper stayed, was left untouched. Everything else, including access points into the main part of the house, was literally closed. Millicent had the heat and water turned off while she lived abroad. Her rationale was that she did not want to be wasteful by heating an empty home.

David Neill, who ran his family's local oil business, pleaded with her not to board up the house. He explained to her that it would cost approximately $2,000 to keep the home heated at 50 to 55 degrees while she was in Italy. Fenwick was steadfast about her decision. It wasn't about money, it was about being wasteful. “It's sticking in my head that she spent $2,500 with us,” said Neill, and “she spent another couple thousand dollars with the plumber, to drain and winterize the house…. She spent probably between $5,000 and $6,000 because she figured she'd be there [Rome] for two to three years. We tried to tell her it would be cheaper to heat the house but we just argued back and forth and around and around.” 2

-223-

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Millicent Fenwick: Her Way
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgements xiii
  • Millicent Fenwick *
  • 1 - A Gilded Past 1
  • 2 - Battle Cry 16
  • 3 - A Blended Family 26
  • 4 - Building Character 37
  • 5 - Ambassador's Daughter 45
  • 6 - Love, Scandal, Marriage 60
  • 7 - The Vogue Years 75
  • 8 - Retreating to the Country 99
  • 9 - Outhouse Millie 116
  • 10 - A Geriatric Triumph 134
  • 11 - The Conscience of Congress 147
  • 12 - Pursuing Human Rights 162
  • 13 - Lacey Davenport 184
  • 14 - Seeking the Senate 196
  • 15 - A Little Bit Useful 213
  • 16 - My Way 223
  • Notes 239
  • Selected Bibliography 263
  • Index 271
  • About the Author *
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