May 3, 1934
Cliffside, May 2 — Curious to know how the seats were going for Katherine Cornell’s performance with Basil Rathbone in the stage portrayal of “The Barretts of Wimpole Street” at the Carolina in Charlotte, I stopped by the box-office in the late afternoon of last Friday, the day of the show. I learned all the seats had been reserved and that standing room only, at a price of $1.65 was to be sold at curtain time—8 o’clock … Of course many Rutherford County folk saw this performance: I hope you enjoyed the play and that your appreciation was genuine. Yet I wonder if the popularity the show received in Charlotte was not more due to Miss Cornell’s reputation as “the foremost actress of the American stage,” rather than due to the play itself. In my opinion, the performance was received so popularly because of the indefatigable Miss Cornell… Charlotte seems excited over the home-coming of Hal Kemp and his orchestra which will play the “Queens Ball.” Kemp, who is a brother of T. D. Kemp, Jr., writer, as well as John Scott Trotter, pianist, are Charlotte boys.
I heard a local youngest doing as impersonation of Joe Penner in the Cliffside postoffice last week. His “Is Zat So” is like Joe would say it himself. He does a ravishing “Joe Penner” laugh, ho ho … A group of youngsters around town are doing the “Tarzan Call.” And a case of jitters with each yell… Among the young[,] smart sayings have become a national institution. Babies learn to say “Come up and see me sometime” before they can lisp, “da-da.” At this age, they have the correct twist… As a meal is completed and the inevitable dish washing time arrives, many youngsters today merely give their mothers the famous Greta Garbo exit time, “Ay tank ay go home now.”
I hate grits: On Sunday evening I was enjoying an aviation story about the flying boats that fly from Miami to Morro Castle, and to Havana. My pleasure was much interrupted for the moment, when the writer said abruptly: There were ham and grits and hot biscuits for supper.” The word “grits” was like medicine with a bad taste.
It is fun to turn a lavatory-plug bottom-up under a wide open faucet. The result is the duckiest geyser. (Johnny: Don’t let your mother see you; it makes the floor wet).
Aunt Betty originates the very attractive “picnic for Courier writers” at Lake Lure. If I am considered a “staff columnist,” it is “oke-doke” with me. Suggestion: The writers should meet in Forest City immediately for preparation. A sort of “Get – to – know-each-other-better” meeting
A tune we favor and which is still heard frequently: Vincent Youmans “Orchids in the Moonlight.”
We saw Slatz Randall and his Brunswick recording orchestra at The Carolina in Charlotte last week. In connection, a very entertaining new revue, unlike his previous shows, is presented. We hope this show can be brought to Forest City. We think you will like it.
An old man fell from the rear of a truck at the North Main Street railroad crossing here some few years ago. The old man evidently lost his balance as they crossed the tracks. His head was crushed. During those brief moments when preparations were being made for rushing him to a hospital, I watched him as he chewed his tobacco unconsciously. As I observed the regular pulsations of blood under the skull, for his head was bald, I noticed that the crushed bone literally rippled. On the next day he died. To me this is sad. He had made a wrong decision in his youth, decided that further education was not for him and did not continue in school. It is sad that he had been an ordinary worker for years; meager pay, long hours, home conditions very disagreeable. It is very likely that this was the case. By chance he would never have seen the then condition of Southern cotton manufacturing: by chance he would have been a Mussolini. This is a vivid accident and to me –sad.
I continually enjoy the melodies of George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Vincent Youmans. Too there is Sigmund Rombergs operettas. Youmans furnished the tunes for “Flying Down to Rio.” Kern gave the melodies to “The Cat and the Fiddle” which was shown in Forest City and Cliffside within the past few weeks. I hope, somehow, to appreciate the routine work, strenuous as it is, of the composer who brings a new work…. Maybe the popular tune does not deserve its present position in the foremost ranks. When you stop to, reflect your thoughts on such composers as Beethoven and if you are one who enjoys “music with moods,” you, of course, appreciate the so-call “better type of music.” I dare not argue with the 18-year miss, who, with a cigarette in her face, is just cuh-razy for Wayne King, Guy Lombardo and Hal Kemp. I, too, enjoy them surely. But the “classic” is not to be crowded out; today, more of this music finds its way into the programs of air and screen.