Monday, March 21, 2011

The Greatest Play of the Century??

Lillian Kemble Cooper and some unknown actress.

I have to get to work on the new website, but after spending about 20 minutes on Dreamweaver, I decided this wasn't the time. I have no idea what I am doing. Cascading Style Sheets and such.

So I spent the morning going through piles of Tighsolas material to use in the collages I am going to make for the photos at the top of each page. What are they called? And I used to work in advertising.

The house is a mess. I turned it upside down looking for that one photo of the house that is clear and perfect for the collage.

I went through all my boxes and found all kinds of stuff I had forgotten about... all good for the collages... and some letters that for some reason never got transcribed and put on the original website.

Here's one from May 11, 1912.

It's from Flora to her mother. She is still at Macdonald, about to graduate, and visiting her sisters. I have to type it out for the new website, so here goes. It's an interesting letter, as it happens.

Dear Mother,

Received yours and Edith's letters and think you are pretty sporty with your days at home and banquets.

Tucker is coming out with me. Will be on the 7:15 train. Tell Edith to invite some of the numerous young men as I want her to have a good time.

Hasn't this week been lovely. I suppose everyone has their cars out. Oh, for a ride!

Marion and Hugh went to Three Rivers Saturday, coming back today.

Tell Edith to send me a sample of her suit if she wants a decent petticoat and right off quick as I want time to look around.

Saturday afternoon Marion, Tuck and I, went to the Orpheum. They played Our Wives. It was very funny. Lillian Kemble and Chas. Mackay are as nice as ever.

This week, Tuck's brother is taking me to see Kindling. I think it will be good.

I hear you have a very swell hat and dress. How about Miss Edith. I bet she is going to swell out too.

Write soon,

Love to All,

So Father is coming home for the Masonic Affair. That will be fine.

Lovingly Flora

Let's see. Lillian Kemble was an actress who eventually went on to movies and had parts in Gone With the Wind and My Fair Lady, as Lillian Kemble Cooper

I found an ad in the May 11 Montreal Gazette that claims she and Mr. Mackay will be performing in another play at the Orpheum starting on the Friday. The Witching Hour by Augustus Thomas. That play is The Greatest Play of the Century, according to the advert. A little hyperbolic which is in turn a little oxymoronic. I've never heard of Augustus Thomas, so I went to Wikipedia where it is suggested he was a mediocre playwright who catered to the taste of the masses. And made money doing it, no doubt.

Well, whatever. The Witching Hour is supposedly his best play but he also wrote the Earl of Pawtucket, another play Flora sees in Montreal.

The Tucker Flora mentions is a girl (I recently uncovered her marriage invitation but forget her first name. ) Oh, I found it:Gwendolyn. Lovely.

Now, Tuck's brother is Herbert Tucker...and that is significant.

I have blogged about Herbert, posting his letters from the Front in 1918. He is injured in the fighting, but suffers only a hurt finger. His older brother Percy is killed. There is a huge mix up with his death. First he is declared dead, then alive, then dead. The Nicholson girls write home about it and the story also makes the pages of the Montreal Gazette.

So these two had a romance of sorts.. Hard to tell.

Oh, the same May 11th newspaper has an advert for Dominion Park. The big feature, a camp of 25 Sioux Indians. Terrific horseback riding lariat throwing.