Friday, September 11, 2009

I Come From Circus Folk

Really, I do. And in searching for family history on the Internet, I've been contacted by a cousin I've never met, but who has been kind enough to share her stories and research on the Lee/Gladstone family.

The Gladstone Sisters consisted of my grandmother, Louise Gladstone (my father's mother) Hazel, and Florence. They did a dance and acrobatic act, appearing on stage all over the country. Vaudeville, etc. Later, my grandmother married Duke Regine Lee, who was a stunt man and actor in mostly westerns, and an AD to director John Ford. He was also a member of the Tom Mix circus, as was my grandmother, and my father John (Jack) Lee and his older brother Duke. All are deceased now.

On my mother's side, a lot of theater and movie folk from Russia who left Russia (the Ukraine, Russia at the time) due to progroms.

So I always joke that "I come from circus folk" but it's true. Definitely in the blood.

I love this photograph shown here, courtesy of the cousin who was so kind to send it to me. When Jim saw this he just about fainted; he said it was "so your family!" -- it really captures...everything. He said the woman in the hat on the right is me. I'm not sure who the people are in this photograph, like the woman in the hat, or where or when it was taken. I can't wait to find out more.

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