Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Post 2381 - Biographical Notes

It is quickly becoming a cliché.   Brewdebakers restaurant in Clayton Park has a Tuesday  night special.  It is their beer and burger night.  For ten dollars, you get a draught beer and a relatively plain burger.  I think this was the 3rd time we'd gone, and we loved it.  Next Tuesday, here we come!

After that, Patricia wanted to get some vegetation from the gardening centre at the Bayer's Lake Superstore.  The centres are closing on Wednesday, marking the end of the gardening season.  It is as if the people who run these gin joints were saying, "If you haven't planted it yet, folks, then you're screwed."

Patricia bought some groceries after that.  I remained in the car reading my kindle.  I am slowly making my way through a biography of W.C. Fields.  I just learned this evening how he came up with that name, and why he even adopted an alias.  Turns out his uncle was running for political office and it just would not do for this fellow's nephew to be running around performing in vaudeville and burlesque shows.  The surname "Dukenfield" was not that common.  His name was Claude William Dukenfield (known as Claude), so he dropped the first name, switched the initials, and cut off the "Duken" and added an s, to come  up with W.C. Fields.  Now you know... the rest of the story.

He's quite well known for saying things like, "Oh the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."  I've only read 6% of the book so far, but it's made pretty clear that he couldn't wait to get out of that city.  In the late 1800's, it was a very conservative place.  When he saw New York for the first time, he didn't want to return to his old city.  He may have changed his mind.  I will let you know as I make my way through this e-book.

I read a long time ago that Fields was so afraid of being broke that he would open up bank accounts for himself in all kinds of small towns and cities that he would visit.   After his death in 1946, not all of these accounts were found.  It's like when we found a tooney in the garage after Dad died.  Just like that.

I like reading these biographies of these nearly-forgotten actors and actresses.  Earlier this year, I read two biographies of Theda Bara, the best known "vamp" of the silent film era.  Her career only ran a few years, peaking and pretty much over by 1919.  She met her husband.  They got married.  And they spent a great deal of time at their summer home here in Nova Scotia.  They called their home overlooking the Bay of Fundy, "Baranook".  I have always wondered how many people from Harbourville felt about their summer-time neighbours.  She died in 1955, but there must be folks living who would remember seeing Bara and her husband around.  Did they venture to Halifax to go shopping?  Did they take in any films or plays here?  Did they go to the Lt. Governor's annual tea party?  The books say almost nothing about their time here.  There is a story there somewhere, and I hope it is told one day.

Hmm?  What's that?  You don't care?  That's not nice.

It is getting a little late.   Busy day tomorrow.  Do have a good evening, won't you?

See you tomorow.


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