20 March 2011
out of the past
this 1951 Life cover brings back some memories.
the photo was taken by legendary Alfred Eisenstaedt. when I was 13 the daughter of Oberlin College's president married the governor of New Jersey. the nuptials took place on the edge of campus. since the bride's cousin Adlai Stevenson was to attend I came to the wedding. afterward -- claiming to be a representative of my school paper (which I sort of was) -- I went to the church basement to photograph the couple & Stevenson. I don't know how short I was then but I vaguely recall jostling the pros for a position in the mob of photogs. at the time I didn't know that one of those cameramen was none other than Eisenstaedt.
the subject of the cover was Dagmar. a Broadway chorus girl she became one of television's 1st big stars with a show calld "Broadway Open House." later she gave Liberace a big break when she hired him to accompany her. the only time I saw Dagmar was in a 1966 summer stock production of "The Women" featuring Gloria Swanson. I still recall her getting the evening's biggest laugh. she was in a hospital bed after giving birth. one of her friends lookd down at her newborn & askd if the child had a birthmark. Dagmar lookd down blew at the child's face & sd "no. it was just cigaret ash."