Gallery

Grandma’s clippings re: singing with comedian Gene Sheldon

My maternal grandmother, née Linda Preston, traveled as a singer with comedian Gene Sheldon in 1941. Unfortunately, it seems her tour with him was cut short when her brother, my Uncle Peter, took a curve too fast while driving her and ran the car into a tree. I remember Grandma told me her leg was broken, and got infected. She told me she begged the doctors in the hospital to save her leg rather than amputate it, and they gave her Sulfa drugs — brand new at the time — to kill the infection. They worked, mostly, but she was prone to getting infections in that leg in her old age.

Gallery

Photos by J. M. Shafer, Altoona Mirror staff photographer, 1940

I found these photos among my maternal grandmother’s memoirs of her time as a vaudeville performer. They were all stamped on the back:

J. M. SHAFER
STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
ALTOONA MIRROR

These nine photos were among my grandmother’s photos of her time as a trouper with Egyptian Follies. I searched the Internet for information about J. M. Shafer and found this mention of his time as a staff photographer with the Altoona Mirror in an obituary:

Mr. Shafer retired as photographer on May 21, 1980 [sic. Must have been 1970.], after more than 41 years’ service. He began his service with the Mirror on March 8, 1929, as a messenger to Daniel N. Step, president and publisher.

On March 8, 1933, he became the first staff photographer under the late J. Edward Benney, then city editor.

–Altoona Mirror [edits mine]

References

Altoona Mirror. (1983, August 5). Retired Mirror employee dies. Death Record, p. 4. Altoona, Blair County, PA: Altoona Mirror. Retrieved from http://boards.ancestry.com/surnames.shafer/739/mb.ashx

Video

Singing “Some Other Time” in memory of Mom

My mom, Jonni Greene, died two weeks ago. She was a singer, and singing was something we shared with love. This song came into my head yesterday, and it’s no wonder. The sad thing is, there is no other time after a person is gone. Still, we did spend quality time together before she died, and we did tell each other everything we wanted to– up til then. I’m sure there will be many more things I want to tell or ask my mother as the years go by, and who knows? If there is such a thing as life after death, or reincarnation, we might actually catch up some other time.

The song “Some Other Time” is from the 1944 Broadway musical On the Town, with lyrics by Betty Comden & Adolph Green, and music by Leonard Bernstein.