Esther Baldwin York
- I visited with Esther Baldwin York-Burkholder yesterday in her home in Los
Angeles. What a delightful 92-year-old women. She still lives alone and
takes 2 walks around the hilly neighborhood each day.
She had many of Dons books that he signed for her and she let me copy the
signings. Don must have know her well, because he mentions her husband and
daughter in a 1953 letter he sent from Ed Sawtelles in Hawaii on July 25th.
Esther only remembers Poopy Don coming to her night school classes.
However, as we talked she recalled going to his Ogden house for Chaparral
group gatherings. Then she said they met at a restaurant on the way to
Glendale that is still there but she couldnt recall the name of it.
She had some photos under glass on her desk that she let me copy. One of
her in a hula skirt for a promotion at the Clifton Cafeteria and another of
the Chaparral Group at Dons Home. The photo from the Edythe Genee material
at the Museum of the Great Plans is also of the Chaparral Group Gathering.
Esther could not find herself in it or Val & Steffy. She did identify the
lady next to Edythe as Helen Helming. Helen Helming is H.H. of the Revisers
p129 MOSTLY CALIFORNIA. The Revisers was our poetry group, all members of
Chaparral. H.H.J. is Helen Jensen.
Esther and Ray Burkholder took the photo in Edythes collect at the Museum
GP. The one I got yesterday of Don reading to the group has Esther and Ray
standing in the background. Esther remembers all the faces in these photos
but cannot remember their names. She recalled that the lady in the first seat
on the left had some kind of spastic disorder, but she loved poetry, wrote
poetry and was a very lovely lady. She (spastic lady) is also in Esthers
photo of Dons home. It appears that both photos were taken on the same day.
I will try to scan these photos and put them in our files for you all to see.
I just called Esther, and she has already misplaced the photos and list of
Revisers initials I left her yesterday. I will keep visiting with her and try
to learn more about the Hollywood Night School Group.
It appears that Don gave her the artwork for page 12 of Scarf of Stars,
however Esther cannot remember anything about it. It no long hangs on her
living room wall as it did in a photo I saw of it.
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