Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mae West: Delker Not Doelger

MAE WEST used to say, "To err is human but it feels divine."
• • Robert Simonson, a journalist and blogger of the drinking life, and the originator of the "A Beer At..." column, wrote a recent column for, and it was dotted with shaky misstatements about Mae West and her family that need to be righted.
• • Why don't columnists fact check anymore? Could it be that some readers don't notice?
• • Robert Simonson writes: "Teddy's is the oldest bar in Williamsburg [96 Berry St., Brooklyn, NY]. It's been around since 1889. ... Peter Doelger was a millionaire beer baron, and probably a bit of a capitalist bastard; an anarchist once left a bomb on his doorstep. He also disapproved of his daughter Mathilda marrying a boxer named John West, even though that union gave the world Mae West. ..."
• • • • FACT: Yes, wealthy brewer Peter Doelger did have a daughter named Mathilde [American born in 1875], whose lavish nuptials were covered in the society section in The N.Y. Times. However, Peter Doelger [1832 — 1912] was neither the maternal grandfather of Mae nor the father of Bavarian born Matilda Dilker/ Delker [1870 — 1930], who wed John West, an amateur boxer and fulltime saddle and bridle maker at Brooklyn's City Hall in January 1889 when the bride was 18 years old.
• • Robert Simonson continues: One would love to picture Mae lifting one or two here at some point. But Mathilda remarried in the 1890s — — wedding the son of another local brewer (sounds like daddy's doing) — — so it's hard to say. ...
• • • • FACT: Mae's parents remained married to each other from January 1889 until Matilda's death in January 1930.
• • Source: Article: "Finding the 'Other' Williamsburg at 122 Year-Old Teddy's" written by Robert Simonson for; posted on Friday, 19 August 2011
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "One and one is two, and two and two is four, and five will get you ten if you know how to work it.”
• • Mae West said: "Virtue has its own reward — — but has no sale at the box office."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Mae West and W.C. Fields traveled the variety artist circuit, though not together.
• • Mark Hopkins writes: Oddly enough, my mind is on W.C. Fields, one of the great comedians of the first half of the 20th century. Fields was a contemporary of Mae West, Al Jolson, George M. Cohen and others who traveled the live performance circuit called vaudeville. Most of those theaters were in the northeast part of the country and Philadelphia was a usual stop on the circuit.
• • Mark Hopkins continues: No performer relished facing the raucous crowds of the theaters of Philadelphia. It was not unusual for people to be pelted with tomatoes, booed off the stage and otherwise mistreated. ...
• • Source: Article: "My Southern perspective: All things considered, Philadelphia’s not so bad" written by Mark Hopkins for Independent Mail/ Scripps News; posted on 14 August 2011

• • By the Numbers • •

• • The Mae West Blog was started seven years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2028th 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 • • 1915 • •
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