Fancy Free In The Hollywood Bowl – 1944

“The air was cool at night. I stretched out my arms in the moonlight and flew. I raced and raced in the cool night expanse, on the largest stage in the world. Around me the mountains ribbed the sky. Under my feet lay the beat of a full symphony orchestra.”

— Agnes De Mille, Dance To The Piper, pg 174

hollywood_bowl

The Hollywood Bowl.

This excerpt below is from a letter written by my father to his parents and siblings in Detroit. You can see my mother hanging up clothes and my father smoking during that same time, up in the header photo.

2130 South Hobart Blvd. #4
Los Angeles, 7, California
September 2, 1944

Hi Folks:

It’s Sunday afternoon…hot as usual…Everything goes along about as usual (the poor get poorer and the rich get richer)…

We went to the Hollywood Bowl last night to see the incomparable “Ballet Theater”…Russian Ballet by S. Hurok. The Bowl is way out in “West h—” from were we live.  It took over an hour on the street car to get there… and the last mile took about half of the time… the street-car would move about an inch and wait for ten minutes and then move another inch.  We were late…as usual… but in plenty of time to see all we cared to see.  The Bowl is a dished out place down in between some mountains…with thousands of seats rising up the mountain sides in front of the stage.  The place was jammed!  We had the cheapest seats, naturally, which Doris purchased through the Red Cross for a slight reduction…but by climbing over the backs of the seats…very undignified…we managed to sneak into the next higher priced section..where we could see the performers… after a fashion…the section where we belonged …ran on and on…up the mountain…and the people on the stage must have looked like little ants or something…which was just as well…considering the nature of the performance.  The dancing was about what you would expect Pee Wee, Gladys and Barbara to put on after a week-end of rehearsal out in the barn.  Romeo and J. went on and on for hours…The people sitting next to us…who apparently had never heard of Shakespeare…decided the dance must be about an Egyptian princess or something.  “Fancy Free” which was supposed to be terrific…dragged on and on and on…long after the dance was finished.  All in all it was quite an evening.  We left before the last extravaganza in order to catch a street car before the mob…ran a block and a half…and finally caught what they humorously call street cars out here..and made our way home…

The Hollywood Bowl

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4 Responses to Fancy Free In The Hollywood Bowl – 1944

  1. Josna Rege says:

    Is that your father writing this letter? What a sense of humor he has. To whom is he writing?

    • Kristin says:

      How did I not put that information in??!! Yes, it was my father writing and he was writing home to his parents and siblings. Let me add that up there.

      • Andree Keneau says:

        I don’t know if you have gotten my last two emails. I have been following “Finding Eliza” for some months, and thoroughly enjoy seeing photos of you, Pearl and your parents. Last week I was in Detroit, and drove around the neighborhoods. Of course, I drove by “the Parsonage.” There have been so many sleepless nights when I have decorated and re-decorated your home on Chicago Drive. I was disappointed in the deterioration of the house. However, I have so many good memories of the house. Particularly looking (can’t believe my vanity) at the multiple images of myself in the mirrored closet doors in the dressing room between yours and your mother’s bedrooms.
        I have several photos of you and your family, and would be happy to share them. Please let me know how and where I may send to you. I am not significantly tech savvy, so don’t know if my comments will appear on public view, or if they are private to you. Please advise. Give my best to your sister.

        • Kristin says:

          Andree! I don’t know where your other comments disappeared to, I never saw them. Yes, I remember those mirrors and your fabulous Betsy McCall paper doll collection. I’m going to answer you via email.

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