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.


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:


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]


Altoona Mirror. (1983, August 5). Retired Mirror employee dies. Death Record, p. 4. Altoona, Blair County, PA: Altoona Mirror. Retrieved from


When Grandma was a trouper with Egyptian Follies

I found these photos among my maternal grandmother’s memoirs. Her stage name was Linda Preston, and she was a singer who toured with comedian Gene Sheldon. Apparently, she was also a trouper with Egyptian Follies, a vaudeville variety show in 1940. I searched for information about Egyptian Follies, and I found this mention in a master’s thesis:

Throughout the 1931 – 1940 period scattered mention is made of vaudeville programs still being presented in conjunction with the movies. In 1931, a magic company, Rajah Raboid and His Mysteries of 1932, and the Carr Brothers and their musical follies, were presented at the Arcade; in 1932, another magician, Prince Shah Babar, and the company of Trixie Friganza and Her Discoveries; in 1934, Waxo the miracle man; Belle and Bozeman, adagio champions, and Ben Bernie and his orchestra; in 1935, a one-hour vaudeville program Broadway Bandwagon was presented as part of the Wilbur Cushman circuit, The Blue Paradise Revue, six acts of vaudeville, and The Soldiers of Fortune Revue; in 1937, still another magician, in 1939, The Rhythm Boys, RCA recording artists; and finally in 1940, the Egyptian Follies.

Patsy Ruth Heidt

Several of these photos were stamped on the back:


More on J. M. Shafer in another post. I imagine the other photos were taken by my grandmother and other members of the troupe when they were in different cities.


Heidt, P. R. (1951). The history of the theatre in Lake Charles, Louisiana from 1920 to 1950. [Master’s thesis]. Louisiana State University. Retrieved from

Shafer, J. M. (n.d.). [Photographs]. Altoona, PA: Altoona Mirror.

5 things I’ve learned about course objectives

1. Design the course with the end in sight.

no end in sight... - It's PIER day!
no end in sight… – It’s PIER day! by Mecki Mac, on Flickr

2. Display the college’s course objectives the first day.

A Rough Introduction to Circuit Bending (Garnet Hertz, 2010) - General Directions and Objectives
A Rough Introduction to Circuit Bending (Garnet Hertz, 2010) – General Directions and Objectives by G A R N E T, on Flickr

3. Discover the students’ course objectives the first day.

"Before I Die I Want To..." KS Rives/Nicole Kenney
“Before I Die I Want To…” KS Rives/Nicole Kenney by Chicago Art Department, on Flickr

4. Don’t waste time on busywork unrelated to course objectives.

BusyWork( o
BusyWork( o by chrstphre ㋛ campbell, on Flickr

5. Assess students’ achievement of course objectives.

From "Here’s a Way to Make Your E-Learning Course Objectives Interesting" by Tom Kuhlmann
From “Here’s a Way to Make Your E-Learning Course Objectives Interesting” by Tom Kuhlmann


This project was completed for EDU250, Teaching in the Community Colleges. The assignment for this project was:

Using the sites that were provided in the eTech challenge, conduct a creative commons search for 5 images that are demonstrative of what you have learned so far in this class. Then use one of the tools that you have been exposed to so far in this class to display the images and any supporting information you would like to supply. If needed provide an overview of what you are conveying through your images in the your discussion board post and provide a link to your project.