Re: New Clues
- Bev, I can answer some of your questions.
I have been in contact with the current head of the Rockford Art
Guild. She has looked up some info for me (she didn't even know who
he was) and came up with some interesting stuff. She obtained Don's
address from the 1919 phone book...it was above a lawyer's office. He
also taught a course at the Rockford College in "illustrative
techniques" I believe (I'm at work, so I don't have the facts in
front of me.) She has not found any reference to his being the head
of the art league yet. I sent her a copy of 'Vagabond's House' for
her troubles....She loved it! (another fan)
Mamo Clark died in 1983 I believe...again my facts are at home.
In a book on Ruth St. Denis that I leafed through at the library, it
said that 'The Dance of Pele' was performed in Japan in 1925, when
she toured there. The author was surmising where Ruth got the idea
from...I think she performed the play just before or just after
Japan, and Blanding designed the set. We may find out the answer in
Ruth's diaries or journals.
- Someone out of the blue sent me some scans of some typed Blanding
postcards which reveal some interesting new clues.
In one card, he mentions that he has a friend in Ann Arbor, Michigan
named Donald Curtis May. He also gives the address. I had been
looking for Don May in vain for awhile (too common of a name.) With
these few clues I was able to finally locate him in the Social
Security Death Index: Donald May, b. June 24, 1889, d. July 1971 in
Blanding of course wrote a poem entitled TO DON MAY in Vagabond's
House which described their mountain climbing adventures in 1913
Bend, Oregon. I will now try to locate Don May's family.
In another card (1946) he mentions a friend named Sam Maddux, who's
mother was one of his childhood teachers in Lawton, Oklahoma. He also
states in this card that he recorded a year's worth of fifteen-minute
spots for his Castle Card radio program...quite interesting. He says
that he has come to loathe his lecture tours, and is hoping to give
He mentions living at the Roosevelt Hotel, and eating most of his
dinners at the Cinegrill, the hotel's restaurant (which still exists)
- He liked to eat marinated herring.
- In 1933 Blanding wrote the poem "Let Us Dream," which was also the
title of the book
the poem appears in. The poem was dedicated to Laura Levering, who I
also mentioned in the Maloney thesis as the person who introduced
Blanding to the
NYC art scene in 1928.
I got an email a few years ago from someone who owned a letter
written by Blanding
to Laura Levering, but unfortunately, I lost contact with this person
before I could
obtain a copy of the letter. Too bad, as it might have shed some
light on Don's NYC
years, a fuzzy period in my research.
Today I came across an obituary for Laura in the New York Times...she
died on Dec.
23, 1964 in Greewich, Conn. Through that I tracked down her son
Walter, who is still
alive and Living in NYC at the age of 98. He didn't know or remember
will ask around the family to see if any of them did.
Walter is the oldest living member of the 1933 Yale football team, a
Street Stock Broker, and an arctic explorer...a very interesting man.