Find Something You Like To Do & Spread The Love

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I like to gather knowledge. I like to read. I like to go to the Library. So the next phase of my book writing venture should bring me pleasure. I will be contacting libraries in Cali to inquire about whether they would be interested in having me visit their library to discuss my book with their patrons and/or if they would allow me to post my brochures, bio or bookmarks at their facility. My publisher says do California first then if I want branch out to other states. I must spread the word about the biography I have written on my father “Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer.” I am also currently in the process of arranging some kind of presentation here in California at a local museum.

The research I have done has shown me how knowledge provides a real connection to other people and places. I have recently discovered two people, miles apart, who found what they liked to do and did it the best they knew how which enabled them to find success and happiness in life. And both of these people connect directly back to me socially. The first person is a woman by the name of Mayme Clayton, the second is a man named Charles I. D. Loof. Hopefully Worpress will work with me and leave my pictures where I place them, if not I am sure the reader will be able to tell who’s who. (the photo at the top of this post is a copy of an album cover from Taio Cruz from 2015, I love the red.)

Mayme A. Clayton, Ph.D. (1923-2006) founded MCLM in 1975 as the Western States Black Research Center (WSBRC). Dr. Clayton, a university librarian, collector, and historian, believed that preserving and sharing the scattered and often neglected history of Americans of African descent was vitally important for current and future generations.

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Dr. Clayton liked collecting African-America memorabilia. The collection was initially housed in a renovated three-room garage at the rear of Dr. Clayton’s home, located in the Los Angeles community of West Adams. Over time the collection began to outgrow the garage.

Today The Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum (MCLM) is home to the Mayme Agnew Clayton Collection of African-American History and Culture. The collection contains over two million rare books, films, documents, photographs, artifacts, and works of art related to the history and culture of African Americans in the United States, with a special focus on Southern California and the American West. The collection is one of the most important collections chronicling the history and culture of Americans of African descent in the United States of America. I discovered a 1938 autographed photo of my father at this museum in 2015. Hopefully, I will do a presentation about my father’s filmmaking, at this facility. Dr. Mayme Clayton achieved success in the pursuit of what she liked to do. And provided me pleasure.

Charles I. D. Looff was an American master carver and builder of hand-carved carousels who was born in Denmark in 1852 and emigrated to the United States in 1870. After working in a furniture factory all day, he took scraps of wood home to his apartment and began carving them into carousel animals. Young Looff assembled his wooden horses and animals onto a circular platform and created his first merry-go-round. In 1876, he installed his ride at Lucy Vandeveer’s Bathing Pavilion at West Sixth Street and Surf Avenue. This was Coney Island’s first carousel and first amusement ride. charles_i-_d-_looff

In 1909, Charles I. D. Looff built a beautiful carousel with 54 horses and presented it to his daughter, Emma, as a wedding present, when she married Louis Vogel. The ride was installed at Natatorium Park in Spokane, Washington. This ride has been restored and operates today at Riverfront Park in Spokane. When I went to Spokane to visit my brother’s family on November 16th of this year, they took me on a mini-tour and I saw this carousel. I decided to research Charles Loof.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that in 1916, Looff with his son, Arthur, came to California and designed and built Looff’s Santa Monica Pier along the south side of the city’s long, narrow, municipal pier. They constructed a large Byzantine-Moorish style “Hippodrome” building to house one of their ornate carousels, now known as the Santa Monica Looff Hippodrome. The Looffs also erected the Blue Streak Racer wooden roller coaster on their new pleasure pier, along with The Whip and the Aeroscope thrill ride.

In addition to Santa Monica and the Pike, Looff built and operated amusement parks and carousels at Ocean Park, Redondo Beach, Venice Beach, and Santa Cruz, as well as Griffith Park in Los Angeles (still in operation)
Did I used to go to the Pike back in the day and the Santa Monica Pier? Have I been on the Santa Monica carousel? You bet I have. Did I used to Love to go on the Griffith Park carousel and try to grab the golden ring? You bet I did!
Mr. Loof liked to work with wood. He liked making wooden animals for his carousels. He was the best he could be at what he liked to do and he became a successful man. He provided me with hours of pleasure as a child when my mom would take me to Griffith Park.
The search for knowledge provided me with a new, relevant connection in Los Angeles, a loving visit in Spokane (with tour) and connected me back to happy memories in Los Angeles. Strangers, relatives and friends blending together. I love it!
Thank you so much, for stopping by.

 

 

 

A WONderful Event!

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This is the beginning of a new phase of publishing a book. For those new to my blog, I have written a book about my father. The title is Eddie Green The Rise of an Early 1900s Black American Entertainment Pioneer which has been published by BearManorMedia, and can be found at their website or on Amazon.

I have now had my first book signing event. It was at Book Soup in West Hollywood, California. Of course my fambly were there to support me. Brad Beasley (my brother), Tanisha Beasley Harrison (my neice), Brian Beasley (my brother), and Melony Green (my lovely daughter). Plus friends and fans showed up. Unfortunately, the person to whom I dedicated this book, Edward Nathaniel Green, my grandson, was unable to attend the event as he is currently hard at work in Reno, Nevada. With his beautiful lady and their cat.  I am too proud. Of my family. And, of myself.

Since this was a first book signing I brought snacks (too much) and we had a raffle (my brother Brian won!).

I was surprised and delighted when a gentleman by the name of Miles Kreuger introduced himself to me as a long time fan of my father. Mr. Kreuger was actually in the audience as a child of five when my father was on stage performing as Koko in the Mike Todd production of Hot Mikado at the 1939 World’s Fair. He told me he had been interested in Eddie ever since. Mr. Kreuger is an aficionado on American musicals, and owns a vast amount of memorabilia, some of which he brought with him to show me. Such as an original playbill from Hot Mikado. He is going to share a recording of my father singing “Titwillow” from the 1939 stage play as soon as I correct an error I made on my business card-no phone number. He specifically said he would call me. Actually today I sent him my telephone number in a Thank you note.

Meanwhile I have been trying to set up my site here to include reviews I have received on the book, but I have not gotten very far. I have to read WP instructions over and over, then when I add something to my menu I cannot remember how I did it! I will continue to post on my activities in regard to writing this book and any other articles I write, and I will begin to incorporate other subjects that I feel are relevant to a theme of positivity in human progress. And I will probably begin to include more of my own observations on the state of this world! Just kidding. But I am sure some of my opinions will show up here. This blog and my book venture have opened up a whole new world to me. I have met many cool people and have learned to express myself as I really am.

Here is the last line I read at my book signing event: When Eddie was questioned about his recipe for success, he said “The best recipe for success that he has, is to find something you like to do, and do that the best you know how.”

Thanx, for stopping by. KCB

 

Laughter, Love and Respect

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In 1936 my father had been in show business for nineteen years. He was forty-five years old. He had done so well that one newspaper wrote: This brings up the subject of Eddie Green, the fine comedian who appears occasionally on the Rudy Vallee hour. Eddie who specializes in burlesques of famous plays and men of history, is one of the few people of color ever to win such radio recognition as a comic.

By 1937 Eddie was appearing on a radio program with Louis Armstrong which was announced in a local New York newspaper: Standard Brands Inc. (Fleischmann Yeast) through J . Walter Thompson Co. yesterday announced the full talent line-up of its all-negro show which will make its debut over 30 NBC-Blue network stations, April 9 at 9-9: 30 p.m. Eddie Green and Gee Gee James, a comedy team, with Louis Armstrong and his orchestra will be the regular talent.

In 1938 the papers reported: Eddie Green, well known Black comedian of the stage and screen, with a long line of appearances to his credit, jumped into screen favor last week when he was given a screen test for the role of ‘Pork’ in the 20th Century Fox production of Gone With The Wind.

In the 1939-1940 Eddie was making, writing, directing, producing and starring in his own movies. (Back then they were called ‘race’ movies, meaning everyone associated with the movie was Black, at least that is what it meant to Eddie.) The Eddie’s Laugh Jamboree poster was from 1947, but the movies were made earlier.

During the time Eddie came to Hollywood for the screen test he met my mom, Norma. In my last post I showcased Norma, as in Norma Amato Green Beasley Washington. Amato was her maiden name and Green was her first married name. For those who have just found my blog and for all of the newcomers in the Green Beasley Washington families I will just share a bit about Eddie and Norma’s marriage, back in the day. They met at Clifton’s Cafeteria in Los Angeles when mom was about seventeen. They were married in 1945. Mom was twenty-two, Eddie was fifty-four. One article in the paper read:

Eddie Green Takes Bride – LOS ANGELES – Coming as a pleasant surprise to even his closest friends, Eddie Green, former New Yorker and one of the Nation’s top-flight comedians, and a member of “Duffy’s Tavern” radio show eloped with attractive Norma Amato, concert vocalist, last Wednesday.  The couple were married at Yuma, Arizona, where they spent a brief honeymoon before motoring back to Los Angeles.

They were married a little short of five years because Eddie died in September of 1950. Mom married two more times. The book I have written will introduce Eddie to all the members of all the branches of my family who have been born since 1950. My hope is that they can find Eddie’s life story of success relevant today, because as a Black man coming up in the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s Eddie’s life is a good example of personal achievement that I hope resonates with anyone, no matter what color,  who thinks because of this or that obstacle they will never be able to fulfill their dream.

One piece of knowledge that Eddie found in regard to dealing with one’s colleagues and achieving success was, “you get respect if you know your business.”

Thank you so much, for stopping by.

 

The Size of Success

eddieandhattieThough this picture is very small, I wanted to lead this post with it because in more ways than one it signifies success. From left to right are my mom Norma, my father Eddie, actress Louise Beavers, Louise Beavers’ father, Academy Award Winner Hattie McDaniel, and unfortunately I have not identified the woman on the far right. This photo was taken about 1939.  Eddie, Ms. Beavers and Ms. McDaniel were role models of success in the entertainment business, especially in the African-American community. My mom had begun to achieve success as an opera singer. My daughter, Melony (a success in more eyes than just mine), loves this picture.

I have realized over the past few days that success for me is finishing the book about my father’s life.  Relatively speaking, it’s a small thing. Thousands of people have written books. But today I actually felt successful. I had the motivation and the ability to search out information and put it down on paper. My skills with a laptop grew along with my need to use a laptop. Every person has the ability to succeed in life, whether it be on a grand scale or on a less than grand scale.

I have learned that success is achieved with the help of others. I never thought that I would receive as much help as I have during this process. From the beginning of my research for my book, through the writing, the proofing, until today, I have received support and encouragement from people I have met along the way.

Of course, it’s not finished yet. I am working on a Book Cover design (with help). And I have to get a picture taken of myself for marketing purposes (which means I need a new outfit, a manicure, hahaha). By the way, the title of the book is: Eddie Green – The Rise of an Early African-American Entertainment Pioneer.

I started my very first blog post back in 2014 with this sentence:  Best-selling author, Dean Koontz said, “I really believe that everyone has a talent, ability or skill that he can mine to support himself and to succeed in life.” I wanted this blog to help others determine the skills or abilities they possessed. I hoped to be able to help determine what motivates each individual person, and what it means to succeed in life. Hey, if I can do it………..

Thanks, for stopping by.

 

 

 

I HAVE A PUBLISHER!

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When questioned about his recipe for success, my father Eddie Green said the best recipe that he has for success, is to find what you like to do and do it the best you know how.

I decided to write a biography of my father. Once I got into the process of researching this gentleman who died when I was three years old, I found that I liked doing the research. I have the patience needed for this type of project, of course, I have an interest in the subject, and as time went on the information I discovered gave me the impetus to keep searching. I was amazed at how much my father had accomplished in his lifetime that I never knew about. I began to like what I was doing. The book writing idea began back in about 1998, but the serious work began in 2010. I like it and I have done it the best I know how. This week I am signing a contract with a publisher. The very publisher I had planned to contact when I was ready (meaning when I got over being afraid of certain rejection).

I have a PUBLISHER. The cover photo is on my previous post and the title is: Eddie Green – The Rise of an Early 1900s African-American Pioneer.

And just in case here is another picture of Eddie:(Hopefully, WordPress places it here)

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Eddie is the little short dude standing next to Mr. Ed Gardner, his boss in the Duffy’s Tavern 1945 movie. I have to point out here, that Eddie and Ed became good friends and I have had the pleasure of being in contact with Ed Gardner’s son.

This week I am addressing the proofreading “those wonderful people out there” did for me, and beginning my photo scanning.

I am now in a new phase of my book writing project and I will continue to post about it here because, after all, this is why I bought this, my very first laptop. I wanted this blog to be an inspiration to others. I believe it has been judging by my friendly followers. So, stay tuned for more good news!

And Thanks! For stopping by.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOU ARE UNIQUE, RUN WITH IT

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Today, first, I want to wish all those suffering from the devastating earthquakes in Nepal an eventual sense of peace and comfort through those who have been able to help, and I am sad that so many others are using their energy to hurt rather than to help.

Now, on to the purpose of this blog.  Inspiring those who would like to accomplish something specific, but are reluctant to do so, because of seeming obstacles.  My father, Eddie Green, has been a great example to me, of a person who started out with rags (in various senses of the word) and rose to riches.  Eddie’s rise was not rocket-like.  But it was steady and continual.

Eddie was born in 1891, he left home at about age nine, got work where he could performing as a child magician in churches and whatnot until he got work in various theaters, by 1909 he was married for the first time, 1917 he was drafted for WWI and wrote his first song, he spent the 20s on the Vaudevile and Burlesque stage, in the 30s he got married again and started his radio career.  By 1936 Eddie was 45 years old and still climbing.

untitled (5)No, this is not Eddie.

On April 18, 1936 Mr. Joe Bostic of Radiograph wrote an article about Eddie.  He chose Eddie’s performance on the Rudy Valley radio show as the “peak radio performance of the Week.”  It was the second time within a month that Eddie’s performance had been chosen.  He said that “Eddie Green, it seems to be, is more than a new star in the radio firmament, he is a symbol of what race artists might achieve if they have a distinctive and individual entertainment idea to offer.”  He also states “We doff our hat to a sterling performer and a great fellow.”  Hear Eddie Green Thursday night WEAF 8 p.m.

Eddie’s distinctive and individual entertainment idea was to perform skits, with scripts written by John Tucker Battle, of people from certain literature, such as, The Courtship of Miles Standish, which I have just learned, is a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow about a love triangle involving pilgrims who may have actually been real people; and Sir Galahad and the Knights of the Round Table, I guess these skits were sort of a “What if the Knights of the Round Table were Black” kind of thing.  The skits were part of a sketch called “Heroes Wuz People”.  Eddie acted out these skits with a Negro’s impression (according to the Daily Herald) and evidently they were so funny he kept getting called back to the show.

On September 3, 1936, The Daily Herald announced:  Rudy Vallee to Present Karloff, Eddie Green – Mr. Karloff was there to do a dramatic sketchkarloff2.

And Eddie was there to perform a humorous sketch titled “Adam and Eve”.  What if Adam and Eve were Black?

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This same year, Eddie performed, on the Rudy Vallee radio program, “Jonah and the Whale” –  The general consensus was this was his funniest skit of all.

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My very first set of books was bought for me by Eddie.  Moby Dick, The Last of the Mohicans, Sir Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, The Count of Monte Cristo.  As a young child these books were a connection to my father, now I see they were a connection to his entertainment career.  The set of books  looked something like this:

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Unfortunately, sometime before I turned ten, we needed some cash, so mom sold the books.  I still consider those books a legacy from my father.  Eddie was obviously a reader.  He taught himself.

Those appearances on the Vallee show when Eddie portrayed these classic characters, were added rungs up Eddie’s  ladder to success.

Keep reading and thanks for stopping by.