Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mae West: Brooklyn's Bombshell

Happy Birthday to MAE WEST, the Brooklyn Bombshell, the Queen of Comedy, who maintained a long career onstage and onscreen and also toured the nightclub circuit.
• • Born in Bushwick on 17 August 1893 (under the sign of Leo the lion) in her parents' bedroom, and delivered by a midwife, little Mary Jane West always said: "I was born on a cool night in a hot month so I knew I could expect anything."
• • She exceeded the income of every actress of her generation because she was paid as a screenwriter as well as a star.
• • Each day at least one publication in the world mentions her name. [We can verify it because we've tracked this daily for the past seven years.]
• • Often imitated but never duplicated, the one and only Mae West.
• • West Coast Party on 17 August 2010 • •
• • Musician Ramfis Diaz [1963 2011] hosted Mae's birthday hoe-down for years in Los Angeles.
• • His mother, Mrs. Genevieve Robles said: By the late 1980s, Ramfis had moved to Los Angeles, specifically to an older apartment tower in Hollywood, off Sunset Boulevard. An earthquake ruined some of his prize ceramic Mae West collectibles! Subsequently, he found an apartment for rent at the Gramercy Towers [in suite 701] where he had resided for a long time (until his death a few months ago).
• • Born into a musical family and with a maternal grandfather who led an orchestra and entertained at parties for many years, Ramfis developed his talents early on. He had scored many film scores for small local independent films and, over the years, had been working on recordings of his own.

• • Shown in this party portrait snapped last year, left to right: Mark Desjardins, Kevin Thomas, Chris Basinger, Gary Wares, Andre Simpson, John Beuscher.
• • On August 17th, the guests were entertained by various turns at the karaoke microphone by Ram, a Cher impersonator, and a local cabaret singer named Sonji, who transfixed the audience with her version of "All of Me."
• • Ram, who held the first Mae West Birthday Tribute back in 1984 as a small scale spaghetti supper, had an incredible array of Mae-memorabilia displayed in his apartment. Remembering a long tradition organized by a wonderful man, Ramfis Diaz, we reprint these photos taken Chez Diaz.

• • In Her Own Words • •
• • She is often quoted in Bartlett's because Mae West said it best.
• • A hard man is good to find.
• • Such a big issue — — over a little tissue.
• • Diamonds? Diamonds is my career!
• • Beulah, peel me a grape!
• • Goodness had nothing to do with it.
• • I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.
• • He who hesitates is a damned fool.
• • It's the fairy princess, ya mug!
• • When I'm bad, I'm better.
• • I like restraint, if it doesn't go too far.
• • I'm single because I was born that way.
• • Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly.
• • It's better to be looked over than overlooked.
• • I didn't discover curves; I only uncovered them.
• • When women go bad, men go right after them.
• • It's not the men in my life. It's the life in my men.
• • An ounce of performance is worth pounds of promises.
• • Is that a gun in your pocket? Or are you glad to see me?
• • Give a man a free hand and he'll run it all over you.
• • A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up.
• • Cultivate your curves. They may be dangerous but they won't be avoided.
• • Don't marry a man to reform him — — that's what reform schools are for.
• • Don't let a man put anything over you except a umbrella.
• • Every man I meet wants to protect me. I can't figure out what from.
• • Mmmm! Tall, dark, and handsome!
• • He's the kind of man a woman would have to marry to get rid of.
• • His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.
• • I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.
• • Marriage is a great institution. But I'm not ready for an institution.
• • A woman in love can't be reasonable — — or she probably wouldn't be in love.
• • All discarded lovers should be given a second chance, but with somebody else.
• • I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.
• • I'll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure.
• • Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.
• • I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you get in a diamond.
• • I only like two kinds of men — — domestic and foreign.
• • I see you're a man with ideals. I better be going while you've still got them.
• • I speak two languages — — body and English.
• • I'm no model lady. A model's just an imitation of the real thing.
• • Any time you've got nothing to do and lots of time to do it come on up.
• • Come up sometime and see me. I'll tell your fortune.
• • Come up sometime when I've nothing on but the radio.
• • My right leg is Thanksgiving. My left leg is Xmas. Come up and see me between the holidays.
• • Mae also has terrific and original one-liners in the play Courting Mae West.
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Duke Hunt writes about Saratoga, NY: During the 1920s and throughout the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, Hollywood starlets and celebrities came in droves for the magic of the minerals. Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and many others played gigs at the old Saratoga Hotel by night and attended the races by day. Mae West was said to travel there every summer for mineral baths said to keep her skin young and smooth. ...
• • Source: Article: "Memory lane filled with lost favorites, the Great One" written by Duke Hunt for The Spectrum; posted on 11 July 2011
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2025th blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1932 • •
• • Feed — —
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