Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 50

The stunning blue gem resurfaced
in London in 1812-the stone had
been recut and now weighed 45.55
carats. In 1839, a blue diamond appeared in the gem collection catalogue of Henry Philip Hope and
from that point on it's been known
as the Hope Diamond.
Charles Barbot was the first to
write in 1858 about speculation
that the Hope Diamond was the
recut French Blue Diamond. (This
claim was substantiated by Francois Farge, professor of mineralogy
at the National History Museum at
Paris. In 2009, he discovered a lead
replica of what turned out to be
the French Blue. When comparing
measurements, Farge and his colleagues could see exactly how the
French Blue was cut to form the
Hope Diamond.)
Lord Francis Hope inherited the
diamond in 1887, but debts forced
him to sell it in 1901. For the next six
years or so, it passed through several
gem dealers and ultimately wound
up in New York City where Selim
Habib bought it in 1908. The French
jewelry house Cartier acquired the
diamond in 1910 and began searching for a buyer. They showed it to
Evalyn Walsh McLean and her husband Ned, but she wasn't too keen
on the setting. When Cartier surrounded the gem in a more contemporary setting, Evalyn bought it for
$180,000 in 1912.
Evalyn's will left the Hope Diamond to Mamie Reynolds and her
cousins, with a provision that it
would be held in trust until Mamie's
25th birthday in 1967. However,
jeweler Harry Winston bought all of
her jewelry, including the Hope Diamond, in 1949, just two years after
Evelyn's death, in order to settle her
debts. That collection also included
the 94.80-carat Star of the East, also
once owned by Evalyn.
Winston created a cross-country
exhibition of his most important
diamonds and gemstones called
"The Court of Jewels," which raised
money for local charitable organizations. The tour ran for four years,
ending in 1953.
50 BlueRidgeCountry.com

MY MOTHER'S STORY
From Marla Hardee Milling:
Joseph Gregory very generously
offered to write down some
thoughts about his late mother,
Mamie Gregory, and I am
delighted, with his permission,
to include them here:
This is my sister's, Evalyn, and my
story about our mother who was
life's society fairy tale. We are the
only children of Mamie Spears Reynolds Gregory and Joseph Gregory. We
are very humble and blessed to have
such wonderful parents who taught
us about life, caring for animals, and
to never take anything for granted.
There is a quote that makes my sister
and me laugh-my mother would
always say, "If you can't afford the real
thing, wait till you can."
On October 15, 1942, a little baby
girl named Mamie Spears Reynolds
was born to U.S. Senator Robert
R. Reynolds and Evalyn McLean
Reynolds. This was a family that
shared residences in both Washington D.C. and Asheville N.C. From day
one little Mamie was labeled by the
press as "the richest little girl in the
world." Some would say yes she did
have a "rich" life, but others would
argue that Mamie's life was simple.
Especially when it came to her
grandmother, Evalyn Walsh McLean,
who was the last and the longest
private owner of the infamous
Hope Diamond and the owner of
the Washington Post and Cincinnati
Enquirer newspapers. Evalyn would
argue that little Mamie was rich with
a full life and love. In Evelyn's eyes,
money wasn't everything. The most
important thing is how you treat
others.
Mamie's life took her on the greatest
adventures around the world seven
times. As she grew up to become an
adult, Mamie had her "coming out
parties" from Washington D. C. to
New York City and last in Asheville
N. C. As Mamie got older she found

herself liking race cars and becoming very addicted to them. Her father
once said, "if she loves to race cars, why
not give it a shot." Well, she took his
encouragements and bought seven
race cars and had a crew of seven by
the end of that month. She was the
first woman to qualify for the Daytona
500. Mamie was known by her competitors as the "speed racer." She was
always in a rush to get whatever she
wanted. This little girl was growing
up very quickly. By the time she was
22 years old, she married her first
husband who was the manager of her
race team. The marriage didn't last
long. To Mamie her first marriage was
just a trial run for the real husband
she was about to know well.
In the mid sixties Mamie Reynolds
had her eye on this gentleman named
Joseph Gregory. As Mamie would
call it, "Joe was handsome, funny, a
hands-on person, and someone who
had a presence about himself." That's
exactly what Mamie liked and wanted
her husband to be. Joe Gregory
married Mamie in a simple and last
minute wedding in Mexico in 1965.
This was supposed to be a get-away
weekend. It turns out that it was more
then a simple vacation. Soon after
the wedding was over that week, they
returned to Kentucky with a vision to
buy a famous ABA basketball team
called The Kentucky Colonels. This
was great because they shared a common interest. For instance, they both
loved basketball, racing cars, living
on a farm and dog shows. With all of
that set with their relationship, it was
a sign that they would become the
"magic couple" that people admired.
In 1966 Joe and Mamie had their first
son, Joseph Charles McLean Gregory.
Then in 1969 the Gregory family
welcomed a little girl named Evalyn
Reynolds Gregory. Each child grew
up knowing about their legacy and
always applied action to dreams to
make them come true. Just like their
parents did.
-Joseph McLean Gregory


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017

Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 8
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 11
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 15
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 22
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 26
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 29
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 31
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 34
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 36
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 50
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - Cover4
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