We are in the bar of Nira Montana Hotel in La Thuile, Italy. An alpine village that has kept its identity unchanged throughout the centuries. It is morning. A fire crackles in the corner as Chet Baker softly croons. On the settee are Charlotte, John and Tom; their interview is almost over. We push in on Charlotte, gesturing to John…
John: If you ever hear anybody refer to Charlotte Carlton as Char, you can be pretty sure the person doesn’t know her. She’s not Char. She’s Charlotte.
Charlotte Carlton is 37, a blue-blooded mix of Catherine Deneuve/Stevie Nicks. Her clean, modern, kinetic designs make everything she does seem effortless.
John refills Charlotte’s Champagne glass.
John Carlton is 39, tall, slender, and darkly handsome. He is urban, 40s, hair trimmed neatly, but with a feel of loose ends about him. We like him.
Interviewer: I love you drink Champagne.
Charlotte: It’s a devilishly lovely habit… a delightful way to start the day.
Interviewer: And what is your morning beverage?
John: Darjeeling with a spot of milk.
Interviewer: And you?
Tom Huston is 38, sun-kissed and handsomely rugged. He characterizes the embodiment of grace and achievement; possessing a congenital cool that makes everything he does seem effortless. Think McQueen.
Tom: Double espresso.
Tom: Chased by a habanera pepper. My mom was Mexican, claimed it cleansed the soul.
Interviewer: So, back to the group, you’re a circle of friends who jetset around the globe?
John: The ten of us are extremely close and vastly dissimilar; hence why it clicks.
Tom: We hit scarce, unique destinations….
Tom receives a text.
Charlotte: It receives messages???
John: He’s vintage Nokia.
Tom: I have it solely because your wife disturbs the staff of every hotel, saloon or plane I frequent.
John: She is rather incorrigible.
Tom: I gotta run in five, trying out a new pilot on Gran Paradiso.
Tom is bonded with metal, infused with a daredevil zeal for adventure.
Interviewer: One last question and then we can reconnect on your next jaunt. How long have you known each other?
Charlotte: Oh, God. What? 14 years?
John: 15 in June.
Interviewer: And what started it?
Charlotte: I met Tom at a children’s education gala in LA, actually. My date left and Tom being the devil he is offered me a ride on his – motorcycle.
Tom: ’52 Indian is not a ‘motorcycle.’
Charlotte: We ended up in a wrecking yard off Olympic. I was horrified. Turned out John was hosting a Campote-esq ‘Black & White’ soirée in this dreadful bunker.
James: It was speakeasy from the 20s, and still is.
Charlotte: I have two distinct memories about that evening: the entrance was beside a green corvette, and John took me home.
To be continued…