Monday, February 11, 2019

Mae West: Batterman's on Broadway

MAE WEST dictated a fanciful retelling of her life to her secretary Larry Lee. The material was reshaped by ghostwriter Stephen Longstreet and published as "Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It" in 1959. For Mae mavens interested in a factual, insightful account, The Mae West Blog recommends the riveting biographies written by Jill Watts and Emily Wortis Leider. Meanwhile, enjoy these (uncorrected) excerpts below from the pen of Mae West.
• • "Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It" by Mae West • •
• • Chapter 1: Take the Spotlight — — Part K • •
• • Batterman's department store on Broadway • •
• • Mae West wrote:  A little later Mama took me to Batterman's department store on Broadway, to buy a doll. At the counter they had twenty-five dolls on display, identical in every way except for color of hair. The one that took my fancy was not among them. It sat high and lonely like a cloud up on a top shelf near the ceiling. It had blonde hair and fascinating blue eyes, and was the only one dressed in satin of a shade between pink and lilac.
• • Mae West wrote:  Being exclusive even then, I said, "That one. Only that one."
• • Mae West wrote:  There didn't seem to be anyone handy to climb up and get that doll.
• • Mae West wrote:  My mother then offered me a more expensive doll.
• • Mae West wrote:  I insisted: "That one."
• • I embarrassed my mother • •  . . .
• • Note: Batterman’s was Williamsburg’s largest department store, located on the corner of Broadway, Graham and Flushing Avenues [Brooklyn, NY], in the heart of the neighborhood’s shopping district. Founded in 1867 by Henry Batterman, his emporium moved to this location in 1881. The store served the Williamsburg community until the end of World War I.
• • To be continued on the next post.
• • Source: The Autobiography of Mae West [N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1959].
• • John Edwin West, Jr. [11 February 1900 — 12 October 1964] • •
• • Born in February — — on Sunday, 11 February 1900 — — in Brooklyn, John Edwin West died on 12 October 1964. He was 64. Mae made arrangements for the body of her beloved kid brother to be sent back to Brooklyn to the family crypt.
• • Two weeks later, Mae — — who hated to think about death — — made a Will.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Joe Breen told Motion Picture Daily that there's only one Mae West.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “I have found men who didn't know how to kiss. I've always found time to teach them.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Motion Picture Daily mentioned Mae West.
• • “Talbot, LaRue with Mae West” • • 
• • Hollywood, Nov. 12. — Lyle Talbot and Jack LaRue will appear as part of Mae West's act at the New York Paramount, starting Nov. 18th. . . .
• • Source: Motion Picture Daily; published on Friday, 13 November 1936 
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 14th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fourteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,100 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fourteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4146th 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:


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • during the trial in 1930

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1 comment:

  1. Hello Mae,
    Actually I am writing a speech for my Toastmasters Club on Body Language, and am using your quote as my opener. Loved it... we speak with our bodies as much as with our mouths!
    Would love to visit, but am in the UK at the moment! Looking after my 93 year old father!