Monday, February 04, 2019

Mae West: Horse-drawn Sleighs

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 F • •
• • A livery stable • •
• • Mae West wrote: Father established a livery stable business of carriages, surreys and coaches for hire, and maintained horse stands for business or pleasure during the summer at different beach resorts. In the winter he also had horse-drawn sleighs, complete with jingle bells.
• • Mae West wrote: It was a prosperous business until automobiles became popular, after which time my father became a private detective and established a detective agency. He developed a night alarm system for the protection of stores and warehouses, which were being frequently burglarized by thieves whom the police force could not catch. Later he went into real estate.
• • Mae West wrote: My mother, Matilda Delker Doelger, was born in Bavaria, Germany, in a town near the elf-filled Black Forest.
• • My mother Matilda Delker • •  . . .
• • To be continued on the next post.
• • Source: The Autobiography of Mae West [N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1959].
• • On Friday, 4 February 1949 on WOR • •
• • NYC broadcast journalist John Wingate interviewed Mae West backstage before the opening of a revival of "Diamond Lil" on Broadway. Their 2-minute exchange is quite funny and was heard in the NYC area over the popular radio station WOR.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • New York City's "picture newspaper" The Daily Mirror reported that Mae West "collapsed in her dressing room at the Shubert Riviera Theatre" [sic].
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "I used to like to play Post Office. Mamma didn't object. But she got mad if I started giving special deliveries to one boy all the time. She wanted me to play with them all."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • The Los Angeles Times wrote about Mae West.
• • Edwin F. Schallert wrote:  Teaming Mae West and W. C. Fields commends itself as a first-class idea in showmanship. Wherefore the picture, "My Little Chickadee," will have plenty in its favor when distributed at the theaters throughout the nation.  . . .
• • Source: Article: “Mae West, W.C. Fields Team in Comedy of Old West” written by Edwin F. Schallert for The Los Angeles Times; published on Sunday, 4 February 1940
• • 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 4141st 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 • onstage in February 1949

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