How callous to tell stories on one's Gramma. I would never do that. (She
would reach out from the grave and give my ears a sound boxing).
So instead I will tell tales on my aunt Yvonne, who won a national contest
held by Flo Zeigfield when she was 15 years old, for "Future Zeigfield
Girl." She never actually became a Ziegfield Girl, because she caught her
man early. But she did model for several artists, among them Charles Dana
Gibson, as did my mom, when they were both teens. So at least they were
both Gibson Girls.
Being a (fully clothed) artist's model back then (the late 1920's --
flappers, Charleston, and all) was considered by Gramma to be highly
risque, although she was proud of her three daughters. We made periodic
treks to Longchamps Restaurant, on the West Side, as I remember somewhere
around 50th Street, where we would dutifully listen to Gramma and Mom tell
us about the mural of Aunt Eugenie gracing the wall while we ate our lunch.
Both Longchamps and Aunt Eugenie are gone now, mural and all.
I still believe that this tale of decadence was Gramma's fault, since SHE
was the one who eloped at age 28 with the charming French artist and actor,
Eugene Beaupre, from Montreal, shaming her family. (Gramma's countenance
was as stern as her morality, hence the late marriage.)
This small exercise in memory sharing reminds me that life is rich, and
gets richer every day. I expect to be settled in Heredia this fall, maybe
to add a chapter or two.