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What Would Jackie Do? She’d Make Secret Barter Deals!

A new book by Wall Street Journal editor Shelly Branch and co-author Sue Callaway, titled “What Would Jackie Do? An Inspired Guide To Distinctive Living,” gives tips on how Jacqueline Kennedy (often referred to as Jackie O) lived her life, how she handled difficult people, and who she enjoyed being around.

The book pointed out that Jackie loved to barter. She believed that lack of funds shouldn’t prevent one from acquiring the things desired. According to Jackie’s way of thinking, bartering gives one the power of handing off something that may be a trifle to you, but a hot ticket to the other party.

It was a technique she used with portrait painter Aaron Shikler. While dating Aristotle Onassis, she had the artist draw more than 30 studies of her children—without any explicit agreement that she would buy the works. She adored the sketches, but balked at paying for them.

Jackie had already tried, and failed, to get Onassis to buy some of the works. An opportunity presented itself when Jackie asked Shikler to paint her official White House portrait—a commission that brought him considerable notice, and the offer of a lucrative writing assignment from McCall’s magazine.

Knowing that she would frown on any publicity over the topic, he approached Jackie with a barter deal: “Let’s make a trade-off,” he suggested. “You give me permission for the article...you keep the studies.” Jackie got her desired art and Shikler got his subsequent payment.

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