Saturday, May 14, 2011

iCarly, Shirley Temple, and Bill Idelson

Kideratzi Waiting to get a shot of celebs.
The casts of the Nickelodeon TV shows "iCarly" and "Victorious" were at my place of employment today and it was really fascinating to watch kid’s response to seeing celebrities. No doubt the photos they took will end up tweeted, uploaded to Facebook or even put in scrapbooks.

This got me thinking about my grandmother’s scrapbook which includes some photos of celebrities she liked as a girl. I never actually saw the scrapbook until after her death so never got a chance to ask her about it. Much of the things she saved were for obvious reasons but a few of the items don’t really fit in with my idea of what she would have liked.

Thumbing through the scrapbook, it appears the vast majority of items were collected and pasted into the book around 1934 when my grandmother, Virginia Brantley Lovelace, would have been 17 and a junior attending Haywood County High School. While the pages represent my grandmother’s life in 1934, they also offer a glimpse of what the culture was like in Haywood County during this time.

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I never once attended a movie with my grandmother, but at 17, she liked them enough to cut out the ads and save them. Most people know Shirley Temple and the movie “Baby Take a Bow” but the movie “Stand Up and Cheer” was a new one for me. I had to look it up to discover it was about efforts undertaken during the Depression to boost morale and features a string of vaudeville acts and a few musical numbers. Shirley Temple is also in that film as well. Makes me wonder if this is why mom (Shirley) has the name she has.

I am not sure why she hung on to the ad for the pencil with the really strong lead or the piece of fabric.

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My grandmother saved her class schedule: Economics first period, Home Room third period, English fifth period, History seventh period and Study Hall second, fourth and sixth. Not sure why she had study hall for three periods. She also hung on to a promotional card of Bette Davis in the movie “Housewife,” a train ticket, a business card for Mrs. Erbon Jackson from a clothing store in Jackson, TN called Nathan’s and the Haywood County High School football team schedule of home games.

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Assuming “Russ” (it should have been Rush) of the “Vic and Sade Show” was the Justin Beeber of 1934. The show was broadcast on the radio from 1932 to 1944 and, while most people have never heard of it now, it became one of the most popular radio series in history. Despite its popularity, 2,000 recordings of the show were destroyed just before 1940 and 1,200 have been lost. Today only about 330 original recordings have survived. You can download and listen to some of the surviving clips from the show at I listened to a few and now I am hooked.

The character named Rush was played by Bill Idelson.

Years later I would watch Bill in his role as Sally’s boyfriend on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and I assume I watched shows for which he wrote the script since his credits include episodes of "The Twilight Zone," "Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.," "The Andy Griffith Show," "Get Smart," "The Odd Couple," "M*A*S*H" and "Happy Days." That's pretty much everything I watched in the '70s.

Also saved on this page was the 23rd Contest of the Phi Gamma and Delta Sigma Societies Contest at Haywood High School. The program featured a debate on whether or not “the powers of the President (Franklin D. Roosevelt) should be substantially increased as settled policy.”

They even had cheerleaders which is hard to image at a debate.

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Finally, here is a radio or television family whose identity has been tough to figure out. Of all these actors, only the little girl has a page on wikipedia.  Marilyn Erskine appeared on radio and television throughout her life and her last role was in 1972 on "Ironside." The others can be found in a few different places with small credits but not much is available and nothing that would identify the show this photo promoted.

I've often thought it will be nice for people of the future to be able to go back and read our tweets and Facebook posts so they know what we were doing and thinking. In a lot of ways, I felt like this scrapbook was a year of Tweets from 1934 from my grandmother and now I know what she "Liked."

You can read more about the Brantley family on

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