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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  14/11/2010  :  06:41
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Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 24/07/2011 : 05:11
In the bar where she sang on Fifth Avenue when she made her comeback. I've told the story elsewhere, I'll have a look for it.

Here's the story Brad: I was in NY in 1979 with a Jewish lady called Ethel.... 
'We went on the Circle Lines boat trip around Manhattan, this included a concert by Arlo Guthrie at which he sang ‘Alice’s Restaurant’, I was thrilled. Ethel picked up on the fact that I knew about Arlo and, more importantly, his dad, Woody and she arranged for us to go to a little concert in New Jersey in aid of the clean-up of the Hudson River. When I got there I found the artist was Pete Seeger and that he was a friend of the Sussman family. I’ve always liked Pete’s stuff and it was great to meet him. We went later to a political meeting outside the United Nations where he was a speaker and also sang some songs. I shame to say it but I have forgotten what the meeting was about, I know it was connected with El Salvador.

It turned out that Ethel’s father Jack Sussman was a card carrying member of the American Communist Party and had been since the thirties. In his younger days he had associated with Paul Robeson and Woody Guthrie and at the time of the Committee on un-American Activities under the leadership of the notorious Senator Joseph McCarthy he had been hauled up in front of one of the hearings. Jack was a dentist in the Bronx and his exposure as a ‘commie’ led to some interesting decisions for his clients. Many of them tried to remove their custom to other dentists but found that these were mostly friends of Jack and wouldn’t treat them. They were left with the choice between their toothache and being treated by a red, in most cases Jack said that the toothache won! Jack didn’t spend a lot of money on his office, when a film crew came to the town looking for locations and enquired where the oldest and barest dental office was in the town for some reason everyone they asked in the profession pointed them at Jack. They visited him, liked what they saw and used it for a crucial scene in the film they were making. They also paid Jack to coach the male lead in the correct use of the instruments. The film was ‘The Marathon Man’ the star was Laurence Olivier and the scene was where he tortured Dustin Hoffman in the dentist’s chair!

One evening Ethel took me to a jazz club on Fifth Avenue just above Washington Square where a lady called Alberta Hunter sang twice nightly, five nights a week. Ethel didn’t tell me what I was in for when we went into the club. It was a very plain room, no frills at all and the main seating was on long benches at matching tables on the right as you went in. To the left there was a piano and a couple of smaller tables. We settled down with a couple of beers and after a short wait a man came in supporting an incredibly old and frail looking black woman. He managed to get her across to the microphone and she grabbed the stand to support herself while he sat down at the piano. He played a few bars and suddenly there was a miracle, Alberta (for it was she) straightened up, squared her shoulders and launched into her repertoire. I swear she shed thirty years when she started to sing, she was wonderful. She had been an established blues singer during the Second World War and I think either wrote or first performed “Nobody knows you when you’re down and out”. She fell out of favour and went nursing for 25 years but was then re-discovered, re-united with her old pianist and established in the jazz club. I got to know her quite well and corresponded with her for years. She was about eighty years old then but was possibly the sexiest woman I have ever met in my life!'

Ethel and I went to the bar frequently and after she had finished her set Alberta used to sit at a small table in the corner so one night I doorstepped her. After that we always had a drink with her when we were in there and she told us a lot about her early years and how she dropped out of favour. Just after I left NY she fell and broke her hip and that's when we started corresponding. I'll still have the letters in my files I think. She was an interesting woman and when she sang you were riveted!  Something about the voice and the experience behind it. She had it hard in her early days but it was good to see her get recognition before she died.

Sorry about that kids, Brad and I drifted off piste!


 
 


Stanley Challenger Graham




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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 24/07/2011 : 08:51
Thanks to the miracle of Spotify - I'm actually paying to use it now - I've had a good listen to this lady.  Great stuff.


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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 24/07/2011 : 09:48
So many Thanks Stanley , for taking the time to (re-tell) a Great Story .....I'm very jealous !...

Funnily enough my Daughter recently described a room as "sort of Early American Dentist style " ! (bet she read it somewhere ....eh.....Good though. )


BRADDERS BLUESINGER Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 25/07/2011 : 06:06
I get a kick every time I see Marathon Man, they didn't do a thing to Jack's 'surgery'. Ethel also took me to the Left Wing Bookshop in NY. (Very hard to find and get into) The two proprietors told me a wonderful story about watching the HQ of the American Boy Scouts Association over the street from them being raided by CUA thought police during the McArthy era.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Cathy
Senior Member


4249 Posts
Posted - 27/07/2011 : 04:29

Does anyone know what to sallyforth means, was there a Sally involved.  Heard it on an English tv show, but missed the context.


All thru the fields and meadows gay  ....  Enjoy   
Take Care...Cathy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 27/07/2011 : 06:04
Cath it's two separate words which you wouldn't pick up by ear, 'sally' is an archaic term for going so 'sally forth' means to set off or start a journey. The small heavily defended doors low down in castle walls used for allowing small raiding parties to go out during a siege were called 'Sally Ports' Port comes from the French word for door.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Cathy
Senior Member


4249 Posts
Posted - 27/07/2011 : 11:11
Oh, very interesting, there's a lot more to sally forth than I expected. Through the door and we are on our way.  Thanks Stanley.   :)


All thru the fields and meadows gay  ....  Enjoy   
Take Care...Cathy Go to Top of Page
Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 29/07/2011 : 00:21
I remember when ever I aked my mother where something was, she always replied up a nick in Ashton. I thouht for years that what she said was up a Nicky Nashton.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 29/07/2011 : 04:44
Robert, my mother used to say "where you left it"! and she was born in Dukinfield. Nearest thing to 'Nick in Ashton' I can think of in Barlick is 'Up Dicky Nook' which meant the same as 'up the creek without a paddle'.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 29/07/2011 : 09:08
My mum used to say "where you left it!" as well Stanley.

another little snippet form that quarter "leave it fit to sell!" ...just heard another family member use it the other day...obviously our ancestors were in the buying and selling trade!


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 30/07/2011 : 11:20
A bit more on `sally'. My Collins says it comes from Old French Saillir, `to dash forwards', from Latin `salire', to leap.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 31/07/2011 : 05:56
Tiz, Webster agrees. Never heard 'leave it fit to sell' Belle but I have heard some things that come close to it and have the same meaning.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Bodger
Regular Member


892 Posts
Posted - 03/08/2011 : 09:53
Just reading on Rootschat genealogy forum, a contributor whose ancestor died falling through a " teagle hole" in a cotton mill, a suggestion was that it was a hole in the factory floors to allow goods to be lifted to all floors ?


"You can only make as well as you can measure"
                           Joseph Whitworth
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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 04/08/2011 : 05:52
That's it Bodge. 'Teagle' was a term used for the hoist to the upstairs floors. Usually from a cathead outside the building but occasionally through a hole through the floors in the building, rather like the method used in the old wind and water corn mills. (The automatic doors that closed as the sack came through to stop it falling back were called 'trapdoors'.)

 

Lifting taper's beams in at Bancroft in 1977 using the teagle hoist.

On another matter: I was listening to Amanda Vickery's prog on R4 on the Old Bailey and she mentioned the use of 'Molly' as a name for 18th century homosexuals. She reckoned that the root was from the Latin for soft which is found in other words like emolient and molify. It also explains 'Mollycoddle'. I like it!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 04/08/2011 : 07:00
By the way, I came across another interesting explanation the other day. The theory is that the word 'cocktail' originates in the mixture of colors in the tail feathers of a cock. Sounds feasible to me!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
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