Upon Death, Unearthing a “Fabulous” Washingtonienne
Former City Paper staffer Angela Valdez was on NPR's Tell Me More today to talk about an obit she wrote for the latest issue of The Washington Post Magazine. Valdez profiled Iris Bouchard, a Puerto Rican immigrant who carved out a niche with the Washington elite through the service entrance—with a self-started business that placed maids and butlers in the homes of D.C.'s finest. Bouchard's own family didn't realize the extent of her influence until her death last April. "They would sometimes sort of think that their mom was exaggerating a little bit" when she dropped names, Valdez told NPR. But when rifling through Buchard's belongings last spring, her children found "receipts from the Kennedy's and some of the biggest names in D.C." Bouchard's name will never rank among them, but she still "sounded like a sort of fabulous woman," says Valdez. "She had been a hat model, but he had this very successful business that she built on her own without very much support from her husband."