MAE WEST is enjoying eternal rest in the borough of Queens (originally known as Long Island). Ending this month is a curious commemoration.
• • The Queens Historical Society has organized “Permanent Residence: Uncovering the Cemeteries of Queens” and you can view it at the Kingsland Homestead, 143-35 37 Avenue in Flushing, Queens, NY through April 2013.
• • This "memento mori" display includes details on several of the borough’s notable permanent residents such as Mae West, black musician Eubie Blake (who knew Mae from vaudeville), jazz great Louis Armstrong (who was featured in one of Mae's movies), and baseball legend Jackie Robinson, whose gravesites can be visited in local cemeteries.
• • The final resting place of Mae West and her immediate family is Cypress Hills Cemetery, an expanse of 209 green acres with sweeping views of Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.
• • If you won't be in New York City this month, then you could learn a bit by reading "Cypress Hills Cemetery" by Stephen C. Duer and Allan B. Smith [Arcadia Publishing, 2010].
• • Mae West Trivia • •
• • Extensively quoted and often cited, Mae West is also mentioned in "The History of Tempeh and Tempeh Products (1815 — 2011): Extensively Annotated" written by William Shurtleff in 2011.
• • On Friday, 8 April 2005 in Palm Beach • •
• • In early April 2005, you could have seen "Mel Schwartz Sleeps with Mae West" onstage at the Atlantis Playhouse. The play was staged in Florida from March 23 — April 10, 2005. (Nope, we didn't see it either.)
• • On Wednesday, 8 April 2009 in The L.A. Times • •
• • This obituary was printed on Wednesday, 8 April 2009 in The L.A. Times: Bodybuilding pioneer, ex-Hawaii resident Armand Tanny, 90, dies.
• • L.A. Times reporter Jon Thurber wrote: Armand Tanny, a pioneering figure in bodybuilding who won national titles in 1949 and 1950 and was a popular figure on the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, Calif., during its heyday in the 1940s, has died. He was 90. . . .
• • L.A. Times reporter Jon Thurber wrote: During the 1950s, he was one of the original nine bodybuilders from Muscle Beach who were part of Mae West's traveling nightclub act. According to the book "Remembering Muscle Beach," by Harold Zinkin with Bonnie Hearn-Hill (Angel City Press, 1999), the nine were known as Mae's Muscle Beach Men. Also in the group were prominent bodybuilders Joe Gold, George Eiferman, Richard DuBois, Harry Schwartz, Dom Juliano, Lester "Shifty" Schaefer, Irvin "Zabo" Koszewski, and Chuck Krauser.
• • According to Hearn-Hill, Armand Tanny organized a strike with Joe Gold when Mae West cut their salaries in half from $250 a week to boost the take at a New York club. "Armand and Joe were ready to board the plane," Hearn-Hill told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. "Mae quickly caved in, and they got their full salaries." . . .
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Sex is like a small business. You gotta watch over it."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Irish Times mentioned the London run of "Diamond Lil" and Mae West.
• • Lorna Siggins wrote: "Come up and see me some time!” That infamous Mae West invitation may sound somewhat apocryphal now, but there once was a Galway man who did just that. Steve Donohue had a slightly unorthodox first encounter with the actress when he walked into her dressing room during a production of "Diamond Lil."
• • Lorna Siggins explained: Steve Donohue, from the Claddagh, had been hired as stuntman for the London show. West was working out when he entered, and wearing a “birthday” (as in, invisible) singlet; she promptly asked him if he liked what he saw. As he stumbled over the affirmative, she noted “Irish . . . you ain’t too bad yourself.”
• • Lorna Siggins continued: The late John Cunningham — — skilled journalist that he was — — would have been more than somewhat skeptical if the Claddaghman hadn’t had some evidence. Donohue had photographs of himself with the actress, and a pretty unpolitically correct explanation as to why stunt men were always in such demand. Mae West wasn’t his only famous friend . . .
• • Source: Column: "An Irishwoman’s Diary: Western exposure" written by Lorna Siggins for The Irish Times; posted on Wednesday, 3 April 2013
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started eight years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 2622nd blog post.
Unlike many blogs, which
• • Photo: • • Mae West book • • Diamond Lil • •
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