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Poplar Springs Manor –New Priorities for a Historic Venue -   Happy August to you all who have been following Jane Hall’s story and other posts. Please disregard the much older post you just received about Poplar Springs history as it was not supposed to be resent.  I simply looked it up for some info. But there is news. Poplar Springs has a new owner as of…
Immigration in Context - While exercising in the condo’s pool yesterday, I noticed a small brown beetle floating in the water. When I was ready to leave, I realized it was still alive. There was a toy football on the edge of the pool, so I let the beetle climb on it and placed it in the shade. It…
A “Nation of Immigrants” in the “Good Old Days” -   Jane Hall’s experiences in Arizona and California before she became an orphan in 1930 did not expose her to as many people from other nations as  New York City. Although her guardians introduced her to an exclusive social world, when she went to art school at The Cooper Union on Manhattan’s Lower East Side,…
New Year’s Eve 1938 and 2017: Elephants and G-men (or when FBI Agents were Heroes) - The January 1, 2018, New Yorker cover, “Cramped” by George Booth, features a huge grey elephant that looms over the living room of two people trying to have a quiet evening at home. Another pachyderm appeared on the December 31, 1938, cover of the magazine. This gleeful pink elephant by Rea Irvin (1881-1972) might just as…
A Depression-Era Thanksgiving — Just as Many Calories Circa 1932 - I came across an interesting article recently about Thanksgiving in the 1930s thanks to journalist Julie Chang. She notes  that, for those who could not afford to dine in an elegant hotel or club, making recipes from scratch compensated for inflated food prices during the Depression. And many Americans remained optimistic despite their troubles.  At…
“The world is at sea on a raft in a hurricane” 1940 and 2017 - As many of you know, for quite a while I’ve been reading magazines published in the 1930s and 1940s; I’ve been interested in the values that women’s magazines, such as Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, imparted to their women readers. In those days, magazines were filled with articles about current events as well as fiction by…
Real News or Fake? In 1939 Dorothy Thompson Weighed In on the Topic. -       Dorothy Thompson on the cover of Time magazine, June 12, 1939 She was one of the most celebrated journalists of her era. On June 12, 1939, she graced the cover of Time magazine which called her “‘the second most popular and influential woman in the country behind Eleanor Roosevelt.’”  And Dorothy Thompson…
Such Mad Fun- Travel back to the Golden Age of Hollywood in this unforgettable award-winning story - What determines who a woman will become? Jane Hall was an orphan at fifteen and a “literary prodigy” according to the press. How did this daughter of Arizona’s most popular humorist become a Depression-era debutante, a successful author of magazine fiction, and a screenwriter at Hollywood’s most glamorous studio? Jane soon found that her ambition…
From Cooper Union to Harvard’s Hutchins Center: The Journey of a Painting -   For my followers, please excuse the delay in posting this past 8 weeks.  I’m well on the way to recovery from a fractured right wrist. But there is interesting news to report about an oil painting Jane Hall did while she was in art school at Cooper Union (1932-1935). It has now found a…
A Glamour Girl Hooked on Murder? - It all began when I sang parts of a grizzly ballad to my grandsons who are into gory stuff at almost 7 and 9. We wondered where the verses came from, and what the rest of the lyrics were.   I wasn’t even sure how to spell the name of the Wratten family, but the tune…