Monday, March 23, 2020

Mae West: A Vigil Light

Reporters who met MAE WEST during the 1920s and early 1930s — — before stardom cloaked her utterly — — have a refreshingly different take than those who met her as a bonafide movie queen.
• • New York Herald Tribune reporter Stanley Walker came up to see Mae West often in New York.
• • A section in Stanley Walker’s 1935 memoir discussed Mae West. This is Part 8 of 19 segments.
• • “Sex Comes to America” • •
• • a vigil light in Mae’s apartment is never extinguished • •
• • Stanley Walker wrote: One of the robbers, Edward Friedman, was caught, convicted and sentenced to twelve years in San Quentin [sic] prison. Friedman's uncaught pals have threatened to throw acid in her face, so she is guarded wherever she goes.
• • Stanley Walker wrote: The guards even follow her to the Roman Catholic church near her home, where she goes almost every morning. The religious touch in her nature is illustrated also by a vigil light in her apartment which is never extinguished.
• • Mae West’s father was a bouncer at Fox’s Folly • •
• • Stanley Walker wrote: Miss West likes to go to prize-fights, and follows the work of the pugilists with the eye of an expert. Her father was Battling Jack West, a Brooklyn middle-weight. Between fights in the summer, he worked as a bouncer in a Coney Island dance hall. And in the winter he threw out the rowdy ones at Fox's Folly in Brooklyn.
• • Miss West is fond of fighters • • . . .
• • This long chapter by Stanley Walker will be continued on the next post.
• • Source: Chapter “Sex Comes to America” from "Mrs. Astor's Horse" written by Stanley Walker [NY: Frederick A. Stokes, 28 October 1935, 320 pages].
• • On Friday, 23 March 1934 • •
• • French magazine Hebdo (No. 50), released on a Friday, 23 March 1934, flashed a beautiful Mae West cover. At the time, Jean Esters was the Editor-in-Chief and Hebdo was being published by Baudiniere, Paris.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Mae West is cast as a Western cattle rancher who inherits a small fortune when her partner-to-be in matrimony dies suddenly. She decides to become a lady, hence the title "Now I'm a Lady."
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: "Love conquers all — — except poverty and a toothache."
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • An article on "dirt plays" mentioned Mae West.
• • "Mae West Trial Opens" • •
• • The Frederick News Post wrote: Mae West with her attorney Nathan Burkan are shown as they enter General Sessions court in New York after opening day of her trial before Judge Amadeo Bertini. She is being tried on charges of producing an ''indecent, immoral, improper and obscene'' play. Several others of the cast also face prosecution. The case's most important angle is in its probable effect on …
• • Source: The Frederick News Post; published on Thursday, 20 March 1930
• • The evolution of 2 Mae West plays that keep her memory alive • •
• • A discussion with Mae West playwright LindaAnn LoSchiavo — —
• •
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 15th anniversary • • 
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past fifteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 4,400 blog posts. Wow! 
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started fifteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 4,436th 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 • • film scene (1934);image from Courting Mae West Comic Book, Michael DiMotta, illustrator • •
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