Sally Rand American Sex Symbol will be out November 1st 2020. The Sunday Express read a two page spread on the book and Sally Rands life. Enjoy!
Sally Rand American Sex Symbol will be out November 1st 2020. The Sunday Express read a two page spread on the book and Sally Rands life. Enjoy!
The President was cured by a cocktail of synthetic antibodies that knocked the virus to its knees before it could start reproducing and send him down the road to pneumonia or worse a ventilator. Then he was given a steroid to make sure his own immune system did not kick in later and attack his own body. Now he is doing rallies. They say there are vaccines that work now. The big tests are rolling and thousands of people are getting tested and some are getting sick. Scientists say there has to be more testing for Regeneron and the vaccines. I say let the people decide.
Regeneron would not have been given to a sitting President if it was not safe. Could you imagine the doctor who would give a President something that might make him sicker or worse cause him to die. No. They knew the drug would not harm him and there was a very good chance it could stop the virus. It did. And yes people are looking for the other shoe to drop. So what. He is not dying. He seems perfectly fine. Compare that to the over 200,000 people who have died. They would have taken regeneron in a heartbeat and they would take a vaccine as well.
We dont have the luxury to test as usual. We are heading into a long hard winter that could be brutal. We have the drugs. They know regeneron works and they know the vaccine works. Yes there will be some people who have bad reactions. But let the people decide. They say they only have 50,000 doses of regeneron. Thats fifty thousand people who could be treated. These are not normal times. These are dire times. The President is mortal like the rest of us. All mortals deserve the best chance to live. Let the people decide. Give people the drugs.
She was famous for being famous. We take this for granted today. But in 1933 Sally Rand was a phenomenon. She became famous overnight for crashing the Chicago Worlds Fair on a white horse with viturally nothing on. She was imediately arrested and then immediately hired. She became the biggest financial draw of the Worlds Fair and was responsible for making it profitable. She made 5000 a week in depression era dollars and ended up dancing for two years behind seven foot ostrich feathers.
She then went on the road and there she stayed for forty years. She would dance for the Apollo Astronauts end up on To Tell the Truth, give speeches at Harvard, star in movies, have cartoons built around her...but her fame all dated back to the night ride into the Worlds Fair. She had her own television show, nightclub, and flew to her gigs at a time when few people flew anywhere. She got her pilots license when most women didnt even drive a car. She was her own business manager, agent, publicist, and made over a million dollars at a time when few options were open to women besides being a teacher, nurse, or secretary.
She married three different husbands who squanderd her money. She took care of her family her entire life. She kept dancing well into her seventies. When she died Sammy David Junior gave her ten thousand dollars for her medical bills. Her name was Harriet Beck but Cecil B. Demilles changed her name for the movies and the world would remember her as SALLY RAND
Edith Wilson had a problem. The newspapers and the Congress were speculating that Woodrow Wilson was a lot sicker than Dr. Grayson had let on. In fact Senator Falls had jumped up on the Senate floor and declared A Presidentress was running the White House. A few newspapers had guessed the truth that Woodrow Wilson had suffered a massive stroke and that his wife was running the United States. Something had to be done and done quickly.
Edith had the Secret Service build a ramp in the back of the White House and the pulled the Pierce Arrow Limousine around to the ramp. The President who had been bedridden for the last four months was helped out of his bed and into a suit. His hat was put on and he was taken in a wheelchair to the back entrance and then put into the back seat of the waiting limousine. His right side faced the street which was good because his left side was paralyzed. And with that Woodrow Wilson went for a drive.
The Pierce Arrow tooled around Washington and like Donald Trump President Wilson waved to supporters. Americans saw a pale faced President who smiled uncertainly as he puttered by. The car ride lasted about an hour and then Wilson was brought back to the White House and secretly carried in and put back in his bed. But it did the trick. The New York Times reported that the President was seen taking a drive and so he must be doing better. Edith Wilson could resume her role as acting President for a while longer.
When Woodrow Wilson fell ill from a massive stroke that left him paralyzed and flat on his back, his personal physician put out a press release saying Wilson was suffering from a "nervous condition." Now we have Donald Trump who his doctors say is doing great and could walk out of the hospital. But there are other rumors swirling around that say otherwise. With Wilson his wife Edith took over ran the United States for two years all the while Grayson was saying Wilson was running the presidency from his sick room.
Watching the Presidents press conference one gets the same feeling that things are not quite what they seem. With Wilson there was hope he would get better and Edith was just standing in for him but soon it became apparent he would never recover. What is amazing is this coverup went on for two years and even today most people do not know that the United States had a woman President.
One hopes the doctors are telling the truth about President Trumps condition but the upbeat prognosis is eerily similar to Doctor Grayson who said the President was just fatigued and also said he would like to be as healthy as President Wilson. Only Edith and Dr. Grayson and a select few knew the real situation and one can be sure this is the case today. Power has the power to cover up and always has.
Sally Rand stepped into the speedboat bumping the dock outside the World’s Fair of 1933 in Chicago. The Century of Progress had ended for the year. The five-foot, 125-pound blond had single-handedly made the fair profitable and now she had to get up to the North side of Chicago, and the fastest way to do it was by boat. Lake Michigan was calm, but it was dark, and fall was in the air. She stepped down into the back of the boat, and it roared into the September night. The country was in the fourth year of the Great Depression, and some said it was the worst yet. A third of the banks in Chicago had failed. People were starving and living in tents outside the city. The city was broke. Al Capone had been hustled off to jail in 1931, but his soup kitchens had fed many all over Chicago when the city didn’t have a dime to help people.
But there had been the fair, and it had been a shining light in a coal mine of darkness. It was the second fair after the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and could not have been more different. As I wrote in Al Capone and the 1933 World’s Fair, “Forty years after the Columbian Exposition and Dr. H. H. Holmes’s macabre, psychopathic murders of many young women in 1893, Chicago decided it was time to have another world’s fair. The times and the reasons differed, though. Orville and Wilber Wright had left the earth for twelve seconds in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903. The Titanic had met black ice in the Atlantic and already been resting on the bottom of the ocean for two decades. The beau arts tradition of 1893 had been left in the dust for a modernist vision of the world promoted by industry, architecture, and advertising.”
Sally Rand sat in the boat with the wind smoothing back her hair. She looked toward the city glittering in the third decade of the American Century and felt her pulse rise. The boat veered suddenly, and Sally was catapulted out of the back into the depths of Lake Michigan. She bobbed up and saw the boat still barreling toward the North Shore. And now. Now the famous starlet of Cecil B. DeMille films, the trapeze artist, the David Sennett stunt woman, the nationally famous fan dancer of the Chicago World’s Fair found herself alone in the dark lake that was still warm from a hot summer. She stared at Chicago glittering along the lakefront. She could hear the bell from the lighthouse station but that was all. She was simply alone now, and for a girl who had come from nothing, a hillbilly from the Ozarks who had conquered the world and become famous, this was nothing short of amazing. And what a perfect metaphor. Tossed out of a speeding boat after her triumphant run at the Chicago World’s Fair, she could stare at the city that she had triumphed over.
One cannot consider the life of Sally Rand without considering that other character of equal importance in her life, the Chicago World’s Fair of 1933. It is the perfect storm of Sally Rand’s intersection with this singular event that produced the synthesis of time, circumstance, place, and personality that created the iconic symbol of hope handed down to us as Sally Rand. It is the combustion of her interaction with the phenomenon that was the Chicago World’s Fair of 1933 that made her a star and set the course of her life. The World’s Fair years gave her a platform that would run for forty years, and one could make a case that the glimmer of the fair, the fairy dust sprinkled upon her began to slowly erode after she left Chicago, until eventually, it was all gone. The Chicago Daily News on August 16, 1933, would later cover her rescue from the lake with an explanation of why she was leaving the fair. “Her descent into the waves came dramatically a few moments after Sally had left A Century of Progress Exposition following a farewell performance, having, it was reported, demanded a considerable raise in monetary emoluments for the dance. . . . having definitely concluded her appearances in the Streets of Paris, Sally dressed and boarded a speedboat for a hurried run to a north side night club.”
The accompanying photo would show a waterlogged Sally wrapped in a blanket, looking like a wet teenager though she was touching thirty. The Columbian Exposition of 1893 had really set her up. As Cheryl Ganz wrote in The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, “The 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition had served as one of Chicago’s springboards for this transformation of public entertainment. Novelty ruled the day and the public loved it. Throngs packed the fair’s beer gardens, thrilled to the Ferris Wheel, and gaped at the belly dancer Fahreda Mahzar—also known as Little Egypt, who gyrated in ways never witnessed by middle-class Americans.”3 And so, the cooch dance was added to burlesque shows, and promoters learned from the 1893 fair that a good burlesque added to the coffers of any fair. Farm towns were deserted as old and young all over the Midwest went to see the “hoochie coohie,” which often involved the dancer going topless. “The dancers appeared as part of the freak show attractions and in burlesque, providing an exhibition of direct, wordless, female eroticism and exoticism.”4 But really, we have to go back further.
To the evolving urban, commercial-driven consumer culture that would make a section of the fair known as the Midway phenomenally successful. Charles Dawes, who would finance the fair, reminded his brother Rufus, who was the president of the World’s Fair Association, “What is going to draw your crowds is not museums or scientific charts or similar museum exhibits . . . people come to see a show, the great surviving memory of the Chicago World’s Fair being the Midway.” People came to see the oddities, breathe the caramel popcorn–scented air, and duck into darkened tents to watch nude women dance or to watch a young blond dance behind two seven-foot ostrich feathers. America was in transition. “The commercialization of popular amusements earlier in the century had signaled the rise of a new expressive urban culture . . . A Century of Progress opened during the peak of the Great Depression, and though expendable resources were few to none, many fairgoers still sought ways to satisfy their new taste for thrills.”
The World’s Fair of 1933 was a creature born in the worst times with many different purposes. It was to be a fair of science, of the future, a fair to jump-start the economy. “Not unlike Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, a fair would, the planners predicted, counter the Depression’s insidious economic and psychological impact by giving Chicago and its labor force a shot in the arm . . . the fair would be a privately organized New Deal.” When twenty-eight-year-old Sally Rand is finally fished out of Lake Michigan, she is sitting in a Coast Guard station in a Chicago Tribune photo and we see the girl next door with stringy wet hair. Where did all that sex go? If you watch her comeback film, The Sunset Murder Case, you see the same daughter of America. There is a Judy Garland quality about her. She has that vulnerability. She is a bad actress in a very bad film. Her delivery is all wrong. The actors around her are B actors at best. The story is hackneyed, but there is something there that makes you root for Sally Rand if not fall in love with her. There is a determination, a sprit, a hope, an optimism, that transcends sex, that transcends the feather dance.
Sally Rand is nothing short of the hope of the early twentieth century in the worst of times wrapped up in a five-foot bundle of energy that will not stop until she draws her last chain-smoking breath in 1979. The sixty-one boxes at the Chicago History Museum of Sally Rand’s papers are crumbling letters, yellowed newspaper articles, fragile Western Union telegrams, onionskin letters, faded cursive letters, long judgments, tax liens, car titles, brochures, baby manuals. One goes through these tan boxes looking for clues, and it can be frustrating for there is no hard answer as to why Sally Rand become famous when others did not. The dancer Faith Bacon had performed the fan dance years before Sally did. Others were better dancers, better strippers, actresses, more beautiful, more intelligent. But we don’t know their names. Who then is Sally Rand? She is like the changing, silky Lake Michigan water that she was floating around in, wondering if anyone would rescue her. This is where she marveled at her rise as she stared at those glittering buildings in the night. Maybe she could hear the traffic. Maybe an approaching boat, a seagull. She had been literally sleeping in alleys just a few years before, and now she was a star who could write her own ticket.
Like Sally Rand, the World’s Fair of 1933 was a bet against logic. “When the Great Depression came crashing down, many thought people would never spend money on a fair in the bleakest times America had ever known. In 1933, when the fair opened, 15 million people were unemployed, and one-third of the banks had failed.”8 It was really based on hope. Hope that times will get better. Hope that the country will get through the Great Depression. Hope that a dream can become a reality. Hope that a hillbilly from the Ozarks could become rich and famous. And like any cultural force, we really can only define a person by their life. Anything else will be false. So, the young girl in the water will wait to be rescued while we look for a life that began almost thirty years before. Helen Beck was all of three years old when Teddy Roosevelt held her in his lap and she looked up at the man who had charged up San Juan Hill. She remembered he smelled like a cigar. Like the audacious young country that would eventually rule the twentieth century, Sally Rand changed her life by sheer will, using the only assets she had: her body, a white horse, a boat, and sheer guts.
Melanias best friend in the White House published a book telling us the dark secrets of the First Lady and President Trump. Then a disgruntled family member who was screwed out of an inheritance published a book giving us the dirt on Trump. Of course there was Rage. Then there was a flood of Trump books that hit the news cycle for a day and disappeared. Now there is Woodwards books with the earth shattering revelation that Trump knew the virus was dangerous even though he said it wasn't. Yawn. Really. The truth is there are no revelations left...but the books keep on coming.
Trump must be good for publishing but the question is who is reading these Trump books? I know of one person who said they read Rage when it came out. And I was in Barnes and Noble (remember when) and saw many people buying it. But we are probably a good twenty books beyond that and really there are no secrets left. Woodwards book for all the cache the author brings has really nothing new beyond the assertion that Trump did not say what he knew. Again. Yawn.
Everyday brings another Trump book with the authors hitting the cable circuit for a day with Rachel Maddow claiming to have read the book and Anderson Cooper dissecting the hot revelation for an hour and then...then blip. Its gone and we cue up for the next one. So Donald Trump has to be good for publishing because publishers would not keep cranking them out if they were not making money. But what will happen if he loses in November. The literary world might never be the same.