Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dirty Laundry in 1927

Silver, or is it pewter? flask, with initials EHF. Elizabeth Hardy Fair, my husband's great aunt.

I don't have the flask belonging to his grandmother, May Hardy Fair, Elizabeth's sister, which is  too bad because she figures largely in my eplay Milk and Water about Montreal politics in 1927, the era of US Prohibition.

But I can safely guess she owned one or two or more.

May Hardy Fair  and her sister Elizabeth were  the first cousins of General Douglas MacArthur. May was the wife of  one Thomas G. Wells (my husband's grandfather of course)the President of Laurentian Spring Water, a Montreal company, indeed the first bottled water concern in North America.

May and Elizabeth were socialites from Norfolk Virginia , and they liked to imbibe, big time. In my play I reveal how May defied the police on her trips back home from Montreal to Virginia in the 1920's my sewing flasks into her skirts and by hiding booze under her children's pillows.

Milk and Water features a long conversation about ethics and business and family between this Thomas Wells, my husband's grandfather, a Westmount businessman and Jules Crepeau, the Director of City Services, my own grandfather.

Not quite Two Solitudes, as these upper middle class men are more alike than you'd think. It's their wives who are very very different.

Below: Crepeau crystal. I now use the  giant water glass to drink wine. Many shady people likely sipped from these glasses.

Below: Jules and Alice in around 1916. In 1927 they sat on the steps at City Hall to watch a ceremony involving Mayor Mederic Martin in his purple robes and the Princes of Wales, David, future Edward VIII. Milk and Water involves the infamous Prince.

Below. The Crepeaus circa 1927 in Atlantic City. 

Below May Hardy Fair, with kids 1921. She employed nannies for her kids and she did not like boys.