Friday, July 18, 2008

Mae West: Playful

In March 1921, MAE WEST mailed her slim playscript "The Ruby Ring" to the Library of Congress. At 20 pages, this manuscript was more of an extended "sketch" than a play. Gloria, the female lead, is a man-trap who is able to pick the gents off with ease.
• • Her parents were living in Woodhaven, New York during 1921 [705 Boyd Avenue] and Mae used this Queens/ Long Island address when she registered the copyright.
• • In 1922, 29-year-old Mae added a full-length play — — "The Hussy" — — to these Washington, DC archives. Nona, the female lead, likes generous fellows who demonstrate their devotion to a gal by dropping jewelry on her.
• • Nona says: "Most men value you by what they spend on you."
• • Joking that she was never a gold-digger, Mae West liked to say: "I take diamonds. We may be off the gold standard someday."
• • But speaking of little gems, here's a true story from Mae West's neighbor Vinny, who was born in 1925 and who still lives in Woodhaven on 89th Street — — around the corner from where she lived. For years Vinny has been trying to take a picture inside Neer's, a saloon where Mae West used to perform, and also a photo of Mae's former residence which is a block away from his own 19th century dwelling.
• • "Mae always spoils my photo," he laughed. "Either she blanks the entire roll on me or she pulls another prank."
• • Like what?
• • "Well, last winter after a snowfall, Mae's house looked so picturesque with the trees covered in white. Around noon it was sunny and absolutely clear when I took my photo. But when the film was developed, there was interference in front of the house as if a storm were raging," explained Vinny. And on the left, there was a strange orb of light in every frame. It seems like she's watching and resisting me."
• • "I like two kinds of men," Mae used to say, "domestic and foreign." However, she said nothing about amateur photographers.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

• • Photo:
• • Mae West • • none
• •

Mae West.

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