“An American Paper for the American People – The Great Newspaper of the Great Southwest—The Paper for People Who Think.” The Los Angeles Examiner was bold in its claims and, on February 18, 1930, for the Hall family, it was also the paper to read. On the front page of Section Two a short article proclaimed: “Manhattan Beach Girl, 14, Proving Literary Prodigy.” That comment may have inspired another reporter from a feature service to make an appointment with Jane the next day. “Desert Humorist’s Daughter Writes, Too,” by Donovan Roberts came out in at least one and possibly several papers. Jane told Mr. Roberts that her goal was to be a novelist, not a humorist. “‘I guess daddy was the only humorous one of the family. And besides, humorists are so glum and work so hard to be funny.’ ” During Roberts’ visit to 1148 Manhattan Avenue, he also spoke to Daysie who explained that she never saw Jane’s work until after it was published. And if the stories were rejected? “‘I don’t see them at all,’ says Mrs. Hall, quite proudly.”
Jane immediately wrote her Aunt Rose that “my picture and biography will be in 100 different papers all over the United States! It’ll probably be in some New York papers so maybe you’ll see it.” She also mailed her a clipping of an Arizona Republican story (February 23, 1930) called “An Arizona Girl Is on the Way.” Again the reference was to a “literary prodigy on the coast over whom the Los Angeles newspapers are raving and in whom Arizonans must feel a proprietary interest.” And Jane’s happy news continued. Thanks to the generosity of a family friend, she and Dickie had tickets to see “The Love Parade,” starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald. The musical comedy, director Ernst Lubitsch’s first “talkie,” had its general release in January 1930. Over the next few years all the studios would reorganize to incorporate dialogue into their pictures. In less than a decade Jane Hall would benefit greatly from this revolution in the history of film.
Throughout March and April of 1930, Jane and Dick had high hopes their mother’s health would improve. On April 27, Jane told her Aunt Rose, “Things are beginning to look much brighter, I really think mother is going to make the grade.”
And so it was a huge shock when Rose received word from her frantic niece at the beginning of May that Daysie was back at The California Hospital desperately ill and sinking fast.
On May 12, 1930, Rose sent a telegram to her sister: DARLING BE PEACEFUL AM STANDING BY WILL KEEP CHILDREN TOGETHER LOVE ROSE. But it may have been too late. There is no record of whether or not Daysie saw this message sent on the day she died. Rose immediately wired the funds for a cemetery plot and sent flowers for Daysie’s grave at the bottom of a gentle slope at Inglewood Park.
A week later, on May 20, Daysie’s 48th birthday, both Rose and Jane felt her presence. Jane revealed her despair to her aunt with a reference from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar—a speech by Cassius [Act IV, iii]: “I’d like to ‘weep my spirit from mine eyes’ if only I could! Don’t worry about me crying too much. I’d give anything if only I could cry and cry and cry. Instead I just hurt inside. Oh well, maybe it’s a good thing. Mother always said to ‘take it on the chin’ for the sake of those around me, and I hope that’s what I’m doing.” Jane and Dickie wanted to place the statue of an angel on their mother’s grave but Rose may have thought it was too expensive. As she had done for her father, Jane soon wrote a eulogy that included the words: “The scythe which cut you down/ Took two instead of one,/ For two hearts may lie / In a single grave / If those two hearts beat as one.”
You can now subscribe to the monthly Salome to Hollywood blog posts on the website home page.
You must be logged in to post a comment.