Instead of caviar, Blass savors company. Along his stretch of the woods, his neighbors include the Kissingers, the de la Rentas, Carolyne Roehm and Blaine Trump. Joan Rivers is building a house five doors down. “I have no comment,” Blass said. “She ‘s honest, and I like that.” Guests are still treated to hamburgers from his legendary chef, Ruth, and Blass describes how to serve them properly, with pickled green tomatoes, onion slices, red relish and Stilton. His serving goes to Barnaby, who as a result, is also now on a diet.
As inspirational as Blass’s endurance may be, there are still melancholy moments. His illness was frightening, he said, “but I have no great fear about death.”
“Motivation? I ain’t got motivation, kid,” Blass said. “I was disciplined for so many years. That’s how I held on for as long as I did, but I didn’t like the idea of being the oldest person in fashion. People are mostly surprised I’m still alive, anyway. [Pauline] Trigere can sweep into a room at 93 and still make a statement. So can Mrs. Astor, but very few gents can.
“One is motivated always, even when you’re at your most dire depression, you can snap out of it,” he said. “I’m not going to write another book after this. This will be the last year when I’m going to care about all that publicity.”
There is a life after fashion, Blass has discovered. He’s simply trying to enjoy it.
“I’m so sick of that grand old man, the Senator from Seventh Avenue and all that crap,” he said. “Isn’t it funny, trying to live?”