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A different world
by Jo Pattison
When Eileen from Ramsgate left England to work as a nanny in Canada she never dreamt she would be mixing with presidents and celebrities.
Eileen always wanted to look after children, she knew she would never do anything else. What she didn't know was that it would take her from a tiny house with an outside toilet and a tin bath on the wall, to Canada and the home of an oil tycoon.
Picnic at the Kennedy's
In fact, Mr Frank McMahon had not one but three homes in Canada, New York and Florida as well his own jet and yacht. He was friends with the Kennedy family and Richard Nixon, and Mrs McMahon, a former writer and columnist for Cosmopolitan, was a friend to celebrities - all of a sudden Eileen found herself in a completely different world.
As nanny to the McMahon girls, Francine and Bettina, Eileen was treated as one of the family - a family who spent time with presidents and movie stars. Consequently, she has a wealth of special memories to share.
Eileen sat on the beach chatting with Jackie Kennedy, she shared a spectacular harvest moon with President Kennedy and even refused Bobby Kennedy when he asked her to be nanny to his children. She and the children sat in President Nixon's box at the Kentucky Derby and rode in the presidential car complete with outriders.
If that wasn't extraordinary enough, she gave Bob Hope a lift from the airport and when Bing Crosby visited the McMahons he came into the nursery, sat down beside her and sang a lullaby to baby Bettina.
Years later when Francine married and had her own children, she asked Eileen to be their nanny. Francine had married a French Count - this time Eileen would be mixing with European royalty and those wonderful experiences started all over again.
last updated: 22/09/2009 at 11:52