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Page 2C COMMUNITY Hays Free Press March 8, 2017 Texas History: Stardom a long road for Joan Crawford Continued from pg. 1C vaudeville was Cassin's bread-and-butter. Lucille watched the endless parade of acts from backstage, paying special attention to the dancers. Encouraged by her step- father, she began dancing herself during the brief intermissions. Even though Cassin beat the case in court, the scandal from an embez- zlement charge caused the family to relocate to Kansas City. "Billie," as she was called, was in her teens when her parents separated. Forced to do the cooking, cleaning and other household chores, she stopped going to school altogether, ending up with an elementary education. About the time she turned 18, Billie left home to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a professional dancer. Tak- ing back her birth name of Lucille LeSueur, she joined the chorus line of a traveling revue. Producer Jacob J. Shubert happened to be in the audience the night the troupe opened in De- troit. He hired Lucille on the spot for his Broadway show "Innocent Eyes," and the next week she was tripping the light fan- tastic in NewYork City. Everything continued to fall almost magically into place for Lucille. The publicist for the Loews Theater chain arranged a screen test with Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). She was spending Christ- mas at her mother's place On her rise up the ranks of MGM's contract players, a former scriptwriter once remarked, "No one decided to make Joan Crawford a star. Joan Crawford became a star because Joan Crawford decided to become a star." in Kansas City, when the telegram came with the studio's offer of a $75-a- week contract. Excited beyond words, she bor- rowed the money for a train ticket to California and reported for work on NewYear's Day 1925. MGM kept its new-hire busy, to say the least. In her first year on the payroll, Lucille appeared in no fewer than 13 films, all silent, ofcourse. Every part was anonymous meaning her name was omitted from the credits. But the head of public- ity at MGM saw Lucille's star potential, an opinion he shared with studio boss Louis B. Mayer. Both agreed she needed a new name - LeSueur sounded too much like "sewer" - and prevailed upon a fan magazine to sponsor a contest. The winner was "Joan Arden," but that turned out to be the real name of an extra on the MGM lot. So they settled on the runner-up - "Joan Craw- ford," which the actress never liked because it reminded her of crawfish. Crawford was not one to sit back and walt for the studio to give her top billing. Understanding the importance of being seen while showcasing her original talent, she attended dances held at the Hollywood hotels and frequently won the Charleston and Black Bottom competitions. On her rise up the ranks of MGM's contract players, a former script- writer once remarked, "No one decided to make Joan Crawford a star. Joan Crawford became a star because loan Craw- ford decided to become a star." Her parts got bigger and better leading to Crawford's selection as one of the "Baby Stars" of 1926. She was in impres- sive company with Fay Wray, Dolores del Rio, Janet Gaynor and Mary Astor also on the list of female up-and-comers. In 1927 Crawford was cast as the assistant to Lon Chaney Sr. in "The Unknown," a silent classic about an armless knife thrower. Years later, she recalled learning more about acting from Chaney than anybody else in her entire career. Crawford's high-energy and rather risqu6 per- formance in the 1928 hit "Our Dancing Daughters" vaulted her to stardom. No less than E Scott Fitzgerald wrote, "Joan Crawford is doubtless the best example of the flapper." As a symbol of her ad- mission into Hollywood "high society," Crawford wed Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in 1928. Fairbanks Sr. and wife Mary Pickford were against the mar- riage, refusing for months to allow the bride to set foot in their mansion, but she proved how good an actress she really was by eventually winning over her in-laws. While most stars of the silent era never success- fully switched to "talkies," Crawford hit her stride with sound. Behind the scenes, she toiled tire- lessly to rid herself of the slightest trace of her Texan/Okie accent. "I would lock myself in my room and read newspapers, magazines and books aloud. At my elbow I kept a dictionary. When I came to a word I did not know how to pronounce, I looked it up and repeated it correctly 15 times." A box-office queen during the Depression and World War II, Joan Crawford in middle age had to fight for the choice roles usually reserved for younger actresses. But fight she did until the final curtain came down in 1977. Bartee welcomes your comments and questions at barteehaile@gmail.com or P.O. Box 152, Friend- swood, TX 77549 and invites you to visit his web site at barteehaile.com. Ask Chris Continued from pg. 1C withstand the alkalinity of our soils and water. Two parts peat to one part pine bark mulch will make a great soil mix. After planting, use additional pine bark to mulch around the base of the plant. Encore azaleas also look beautiful when planted in containers. Placed in shady entry- ways or on porches or shady decks, they will add a starting array of color throughout the year. Speaking of colors, you can choose from Encore Azaleas selection of 23 varieties, from a dozen shades of pink, to purple, lavender, white, salmon, coral, deep orange-pink, and shades of light to deep red. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't have an evergreen plant that blooms throughout the year. Encores can and they are easy to grow. A little peat, a little water, and a little (or a lot) of shade is all you need. (Be warned: some Austin folks who promote native and adapted species may frown at your beauti- ful shady patch of these amazing flowering shrubs!) Happy gardening everyone! lf you have a question for Chris, send it via email to iathyme@yahoo.com. Or mail a postcard to It's About Thyme: 11726 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX 78748 www.itsabout- thyme, corn Amplify Austin Continued from pg. 1C Police Department's Victim Services Coordi- nator, worked with Hays- Caldwell Women's Center staff through their child abuse program, sexual assault program and family violence program, Rodriguez said. "To see people donat- ing in her honor really touched me," Rodriguez said. "It shows she's not being forgotten. It's doing what I know she would want, which is people using that horrible thing that happened to give to something good." The Onion Creek Senior Center in Buda, a non-profit founded in 1984 to serve the needs of senior citizens, received $7500 through Amplify Austin and an additional $2,000 from an anony- mous donor. The donations will cover the senior center's many expenses, includ- ing bills and its mortgage, said Ann Moreland, vice chairperson of the board of directors. Moreland was chairperson of the center's Amplify Austin committee and teaches exercise classes at the center. "We did well," More- land said. "There were a lot of people that donated that I didn't know. We got some good donations." The Central Texas Tortoise Rescue received $2,300 in donations, said founder Krista McDer- mid. McDermid, who stud- ied the habits of aquatic turtles for her Master's thesis and operates the rescue out of her home, said she founded the tor- toise rescue after friends and colleagues asked her to foster turtles and tortoises. "It became to me that there was a real need for more tortoise and box turtle rescue operations," McDermid said. "Central Texas Tortoise Rescues mission is to adequately house, care for, rescue and rehabilitate land turtles who need a helping hand, and to place them into loving forever homes." The Hays County Food Bank received nearly $2,500 in donations, said Mallory Raschke, commu- nications coordinator. "It's just to fund our ev- eryday operating expenses so that we can keep providing services and programs for those that we serve," Raschke said. Of the three times the food bank has participat- ed in Amplify Austin, this year it received the most donations, Raschke said. "We are excited be- cause this year we did raise the most funds and we're excited to see how next year goes," Rasche said. Texas Crossword and Sudoku sponsored by :I ii' iii iil i i i iiiiii?',i' iiii!i',i',iii iN ................................. iii!i iiiii!iiii!i:,iii!!ilili iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iii!i i!igliiii See Solution on 3C ii!iiiiiiiiiii!i!iii!iiiiiiiiii!ii iiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiii iiii ACROSS 1 Livingston is the seat of this county 5 TX Tanya's "Texas When 6 TX-born singing cowboy Autry 7 news wrangler 8 TXism: "your hand at it" 9 Daingerfield is the seat of this county I5 TV son of TX-born Phylicia Rashad t6 these rolts are a breakfast treat 18 TXism: "passed me like I jacks in the garage" (fast) 20 TXism: "he__. __._. to be tied" (angry) 22 spilling a bowl of chifi will leave this on a carpet (2 wds.) 27 "right as " 28 pine paneling 29 "comin' a the seams" 30 " dine" 32 Dez Bryant's pes. on the Cowboys 33 TXism: "just cause a chicken has wings don't fly" (deceiving looks) 36 TX Pecos Bill's girl: -Foot Sue" 37 TXism: "a windy" 38 another cowboy state 39 Houston married the dauther of Chief -ka 41 NY QB Manning 42 " __, no glory" 45 "Famous "cookies 46 journafist, TX Rather 47 this Vance founded Houston's "Alley Theatre" 48 short yelp 49 "Dallas "is held Memorial Day weekend 52 TX Willie wrote "Funny How Time Slips" 53 Pence is President 54 dir. to Quanah frorr Levelland 55 hallucinogenic drug ! DOWN 1 TXism: "happy as11 TX hosp. nurse a _-~ in slop" 12 game interruptions 2 TX Robby Benson for the Astros or 1976 film: "to Rangers (2 wds,) Billy Joe" 13 TX B.J. Thomas re- 3 this Nora was 1st corded ~ Lone- Executive Directorsome I Could Cry" of the TX Lottery 14 TXism:" as a 4 TXism: " baby's bottom" __ between the 15 Conway Twitty's ditches" ' Two- 8 TXism:" dog Stepper~ won't hunt" 16 nickei or dime, e.g. 9 closer Joe Nathan 17 TXism: left this team to "chuckleheads" pitch for the 19 "no .... no gain" Texas Rangers 21 this TX Glenn was a 10 TXism: "fits like noted trombonist ugly _ an ape" 22 London oil co. by ChaHey & Guy Orbison Copyright 2017 Dy O~bison Bros. 23 TX Lyle Lovett's "Here "(1990) 24 actor Matthew McConaughey upinTX 25 remained behind 26 Carthage college 28 Tyler FM 31 " well that ends well" 34 TX technology co. 35 TX resident Glenn Beck is a regular contributor to this news network 37 TXism: 'takes a big __ to rope him" 40 leave o0t 43 this Scala was in "Ride a Crooked Trail" with TX Audie 44 figure out some- thing complicated 50 TXism: "cute as a white- calf' 51 TXism: "in a pig's ___" (never) See Solution on 3C III II I