Best-Kept Secret

Celebrity Seen: The Actress and the Ambassador

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Jamie Saxon were prepared for the September 22,

2004 issue of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

A Bed That Even Goldilocks Might Find ‘Just


Last year, Best Bets found a $20,000 stove (the Aga at

Domain), so when we heard that the new Sleepy’s in Market

Square on Route 1 was selling a $20,000 bed, we had to go

check it out. (We can’t help it; our eyes are bigger than

our wallets.)

Interestingly, both the Aga and the Vi-Spring bed are made

in the land of queens and princesses – England. If you buy

an Aga, you need only buy one in your lifetime (the Aga

salesman we interviewed said proudly that he got to keep

his Aga when he divorced); same goes for the bed. "Normal

mattresses are designed to last 8 to 12 years," says

Sleepy’s regional manager Dan Thigpen. "The Vi-Spring is a

one-time purchase."

Established in 1901, Vi-Spring beds filled the staterooms

on the Queen Mary and the Titanic as well as posh London

clubs. According to Thigpen, a typical mattress factory

pumps out a new mattress every four to six minutes – it

takes one master craftsman two and a half days to make a

Vi-Spring mattress.

OK, so labor and craftsmanship definitely account for part

of the five-digit price tag. The rest is materials. The

Vi-Spring is made of all natural fibers – no foam in

sight. A funky display box in the store, like a miniature

steamer trunk, opens to reveal all the materials used to

make the bed: all-cotton Belgian jacquard damask ticking

on the mattress top; calico cotton-wrapped springs made of

premier grade vanadium-treated steel (up to 3,200 in each

bed versus the American average of 364 to 660; lambswool;

a lambswool/horsehair blend (the stiff horsehair prevents

the soft lambswool from compressing over time); and lots

more of what Mother Nature makes best.

Sure, you get what you pay for. But what does it feel

like? I plopped down on the floor model, closed my eyes,

and thought, "This is the closest thing I’ll ever feel to

being in the womb." It took all the strength I had to get

up off that bed. But wow, that’s some bucks. "A mattress

should be the best piece of furniture in your home," says

Thigpen. Sure a mattress salesman is going to say that,

but if you think about it, he may have a point. He looked

at me archly and said, "Do you sleep well at night?" I

could not reply that I do…if only I could sneak into

Sleepy’s after hours… zzzzz.

Sleepy’s, Market Square, Route 1 North,


Best-Kept Secret

It pays to get caught in the rain. During one of last

week’s downpours, I got caught at Olive’s on Witherspoon

Street. I stood in the doorway and, seeing that loathed

little parking meter vehicle parked up aways, muttered to

the man standing next to me, ‘Boy, I hope I don’t get

nabbed for a ticket waiting for this rain to stop.’ He

turned to me and I read the insignia on his shirt:

Princeton Borough Parking Enforcement. ‘Oh, that’s your

little truck,’ I said. He leaned closer and said in a

stage whisper: "You’re fine. There’s a 10-minute grace

period on Princeton Borough parking meters. If you come

back to your meter and it says "-3′ that means you’ve

still got seven minutes to go before the expired sign pops

up." Now I know: When you put in a nickel and the meter

indicates you have three minutes, you really have 13!

Editor’s note: If you know a best-kept

secret, e-mail us at

Celebrity Seen: The Actress and the Ambassador

If your strongest memory of Debra Winger is from "An

Officer and a Gentleman" or "Terms of Endearment," you can

find out what she’s been up to since then at "Thriving on

Balance: Your Health, Your Life," a one-day women’s health

conference at the Hyatt Regency Princeton, Saturday,

October 2, 8:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m. The event, sponsored by

Princeton HealthCare System, features Winger as the

keynote speaker, sharing personal anecdotes and

observations about women’s issues, social causes, and her

experiences as a woman, wife, mother, and actress.

While Winger’s talent won her three Academy Award

nominations, she says she "didn’t feel the work was

connected with her life all the time." So she married and

had children with actor/director Arliss Howard, performed

with the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge,

Massachusetts, taught a course at Harvard, and went on

tour with the London Symphony Orchestra. On the activist

front, she serves as an ambassador for Sight Savers


In addition to Winger’s keynote, the conference features

talks and panel discussions by experts and staff

physicians at Princeton HealthCare System

Thriving on Balance: Your Health, Your Life,

Saturday October 2, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency

Princeton. Register by Friday, September 24, online at or call 609-924-7621. $45.

Princeton resident Jack F. Matlock Jr. was President

Reagan’s principal advisor on Soviet and European affairs

and later served as U.S. ambassador to the USSR from 1987

to 1991. His insider’s perspective on helping broker the

thawing of relations between a president "who knew very

well what he wanted and why," and an iconoclastic and

determined Soviet leader is revealed in his new book,

"Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended" (Random

House, $27.95).

Matlock appears at Barnes & Noble on Tuesday, October 12,

at 7 p.m. His book uncovers everything from Reagan’s and

Gorbachev’s initial perceptions of each other to Reagan’s

private thoughts before he first met Gorbachev, as well as

other details of an extraordinary era in diplomatic


Jack F. Matlock, Jr, Barnes & Noble at

MarketFair, Tuesday, October 12, 7 p.m. 609-716-1570.

Previous Story

Corrections or additions?

This page is published by

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Facebook Comments