I’m writing a series of stories about the Great Depression years which actually began in the 1920’s. The Stock market crash came in 1929. The depression lasted through the thirties into the first years of the 1940’s
I have written bits and pieces about growing up on a farm in northeast Georgia during that period. This morning I was recalling times when I would wander around on my father’s farm, day-dreaming and wondering what life was really like for those I read about in the newspapers. I thought everyone who lived in cities must be very rich and famous.
The area we lived in must have been in the Atlanta Airport flight pattern, because frequently planes flew over our farm area. During my day-dreaming periods I would watch a plane until it was out of sight and imagine who was on the plane, where they came from, and where they were going. Because I read just about every inch of newspapers, about stories of royalty, movie stars, musicians, politicians, inventors, explorers and all kinds of people, I would imagine these people were on the airplanes flying over me. And I dreamed of the day I would graduate from high school and move off the farm and experience some of the things I could only imagine.
During the thirties was the Golden Era of Hollywood and I made scrapbooks of pictures and stories about the stars. That decade was a period when King George of England died and the Prince of Wales, Edward became king, plus the highly publicized story of his romance with Wally Simpson and subsequent abdication of the Throne to marry her. I was captivated by stories of royalty and movies stars and airplanes, The late thirties was the time period, “Gone With The Wind’ was made into a movie, and being about the south and the Atlanta area, the story of the movie and premiere dominated much of the news in the newspapers and magazines.
I graduated from high school at age 17, moved to Atlanta, worked in the office of Sears Roebuck mail order house. Sears sponsored me in contest for Miss Atlanta, and as a result received offers for part time modeling jobs. After about a year of working at Sears Roebuck, I went to work for Bell Aircraft in Marietta where B-29s were built. All the while, I was still doing part time modeling.
I recall one job was a newspaper ad for Lovable Bra Company. The ad ran every week with a picture of me in a bra only from waist up and was suppose to run a year. I was teased so much over the risqué ad, I asked them to stop running it.
I met this young, tall handsome pilot who flew the B-29s which came off the assembly lines in Marietta where I worked. He was on a short stop-over in Atlanta on his way home for a furlough to visit his parents in Florida. Later, I married him, and began traveling around in other States and eventually spent four years in Japan.
After moving to Florida, one day I went to West Palm Beach for a dental appointment. I left by the rear entrance to the dental office, and when I entered the parking lot, I saw Wally Simpson getting out of a car. She and the former King had a home in West Palm Beach. It was my first glimpse of royalty. At the time I thought this lady has no idea how much time I have spent reading about her life and romance with the King of England.
Despite the fact this was my first sighting of royalty, later on after moving to Tokyo, I played a great deal of duplicate bridge, and regularly played games at Tokyo Press Club. One of my regular partners was a lovely Japanese lady whose husband worked for the Japanese government. One day asked me if I would play with a friend of hers. Had no idea she was a member of the royal family, until she walked into the Press Club and every one bowed to her. We played many times together including playing in the Prince Takamasu Cup Tournament and we lunched together.
While I was in Japan, I did part time modeling and some television ads and was in some Japanese movies. I have pictures advertising everything from Hitachi washing machines to Japanese Kimonos. As a Result when American film companies came to Japan to film, I would take jobs working in American Movies. I have written about in other articles. One movie was about the French luxury liner The Ille De France, starring Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone.
Upon returning to the States, we lived in Reno, Nevada, at the time Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable were there filming their last movie, “The misfits.” I was in a hotel casino playing roulette, when Marilyn Monroe walked up to play and I met her.
These are some of the highlights of stories of my life, seeing and meeting, royalty and movie stars, marrying an airplane pilot, stemming from those day-dreaming years growing up on a farm, watching the planes fly over during those depression years in Northeast Georgia.
I’m writing a series of stories about the Great Depression Years as I recall experiences.
LET FREDOM RING
The Freedom Lady