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Despite the fancy apartment, the jewels, and the driver, Eppie was a true democrat. Lester Hyman recalls being at lunch with her at the Ritz in London along with a mutual friend of theirs who brought as his guest an exiled king. “‘What should I call you?’ she asked him, to which he replied, ‘You may call me Your Royal Highness.’ ‘Oh, come on, what’s your name-Manny, Moe, Harry, Jack?’ ‘You may call me Your Royal Highness.’” So she called him nothing. “I asked her later,” Hyman recalls, “‘Why did you do that? The guy is in exile. He has to feel good about something.’” But exiled king or not, she was offended by such pretensions.
For Hyman, the strangest experience of all was when he and Eppie were driving on a superhighway. A semitrailer pulled beside them, and a burly truck driver honked his horn and waved frantically. He liked her column and wanted to let her know.
“This girl had nothing more to offer than advice to the troubled,” says Martin Janis. “Pretty schmaltzy. It would be different if she were writing on the political scene, the economic scene. It wasn’t as if she was so gorgeous, so ravishing, so profoundly bright. She was not a great writer; she was not a great thinker. But she took all that, which is nothing, just dust, and made an extraordinary life because of it.”