By Henry Wood
Leaving his place of origin of Viroqua, Wisconsin, to commute with a drugs convey, twelve-year-old Henry wooden turned addicted to convey enterprise. He joined a touring theater troupe, and top woman Clarabelle Fendell helped the boy turn into “Jack,” a gentleman and vaudeville performer, so remodeled that he was once slightly well-known through his personal mom while he back home.
wooden spent the years 1910–1941 in touring medication and tent exhibits that featured a number of vaudeville acts, from skits to full-length dramatic performs. even if recalling his reports skydiving from hot-air balloons, serving within the air strength, or being accosted through indignant theatergoers not able to tell apart him from the villains he portrayed on level, Wood’s tale paints a full of life and shiny picture.
whereas so much books in this interval of yank theater heritage specialise in significant names in vaudeville and the leisure undefined, A Sawdust Heart indicates what it was once like for the true show-business staff and the performers who by no means made it immense yet eked out a dwelling doing what they enjoyed on minor levels throughout America.
brought by means of Wood’s grandson-in-law Michael Fedo with a concise background of those touring indicates, A Sawdust Heart is an fun learn for someone attracted to early-twentieth-century rural America.
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Extra resources for A Sawdust Heart: My Vaudeville Life in Medicine and Tent Shows
Louder,” she called over the piano. “Let me hear you whisper that you love me too . ” Suddenly I felt a surging confidence in my singing ability. My voice didn’t sound bad, and this lovely lady paid me the supreme compliment by joining in on the last verse, her flawless soprano picking up the harmony line. She smiled when we finished. “Not bad,” she said. ” I must have blushed. I know I did when she gave me a hug. ’” “I sure do,” I replied, and we launched into that one. ” He was a big imposing man with a gruff bass voice, and I was always a little afraid of him.
Nobody stopped counting at twenty-five and perhaps sixty or more bottles were sold. Finally Frank said, “That’s it. We sold the limit today. But you all come back tomorrow night and bring your friends. Our little show is free of charge. ” It was a fair night, according to Bill and Frank, and they were mildly pleased as they sat around the fire in back of the big doing s in bu dd 17 tent enjoying a smoke. “Let ’em think they’re getting a bargain,” said Bill, grinning. ” I asked what he meant. “Henry, you make a thing and figure what’s a decent price for it.
28 l e av ing home ag a in That afternoon I helped set up the bleachers in the tent and watched the show. I returned to Gram’s with a new lease on life but didn’t mention the offer to her, at least not then. I didn’t get time to later, either, because Dad came over the next day and hauled me back home. Things didn’t improve between Dad and me, and all us boys were having a bad time with him. There have been other families where strife between one parent and youngsters may have been tolerated because of a good relationship with the other parent, but in the Wood household, Dad ruled with an iron fist.