Whatever Happened to Jane Hall’s Ocelot?

For much of my childhood and young adulthood I had an ocelot for a sibling. In fact, many of my friends remember that more than anything else about our family.  My mother, Jane Hall Cutler, was devoted to Menasha Skulnik — she named him after the famed Jewish American actor in spite of her Catholic…

Poplar Springs– “That Great Pile of Rocks”

  On this exciting September afternoon the Calverton train was likely met by Rose and Randolph Hicks’s farm manager in their Ford Model T or their Locomobile. He may have picked up a few provisions at the Calverton Market and filled his tank at W.H. Spicer’s gas station. It was a crowded car as they all five headed…

Dick Wick Hall – “A man who made the whole world laugh”

To learn more about Jane’s father, Arizona’s favorite humorist in the 1920s, scroll through to earlier posts. Check out the Such Mad Fun Gallery. And see The Laughing Desert: Dick Wick Hall’s Salome Sun. Available on Amazon, this replica of the syndicated 1925-1926 news sheet is packed with stories, poems, humor, hometown philosophy, and engaging illustrations that…

“With you, my heart and soul have flown . . .”

“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:…

“Take It on the Chin”

“Mother decided to drive it right home from the store,” Jane recalled in August 1928 when Daysie Hall bought the boxy Six -Cylinder Special. They named the Studebaker “Teresa,” but before Dickie had even seen it, they had an accident on the less-than-perfect roads. Autos still had no turn signals or rearview mirrors, driver’s licenses did not require a road test, and danger…

Where Is Dick Wick Hall Now?

On October 4, once again, the town of Salome, Arizona, and the surrounding community will celebrate Dick Wick Hall Days. I’ve been fortunate to participate in these festivities with each of my daughters. My grandfather’s most visible legacy still lies in Salome (where he’s pictured here), and in the other towns of the McMullen Valley among…

“Do Your Best” – Calamity as Inspiration

It was summer 1928 in Manhattan Beach. Thirteen-year-old Jane had just graduated from the eighth grade and remained focused on her goals. She defined herself as a writer. Her work provided a defense against the unbearable loss of a father who was also her mentor. Her stories and fairy tales about animals or other children often have…

“The Safest Beach in America”

When Daysie Hall and her children reached Manhattan Beach in 1927, the area had just begun to come into its own as a popular resort. Much of the shoreline with its massive coastal sand dunes was still undeveloped and flyers eagerly promoted “the safest beach in America.” The 928 foot long pier had been a…