Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Old Postcard Wednesday--Miss Gertie Millar

This is one of my new old postcards. I was so amused when I saw it and bought it without knowing anything about Miss Gertie Millar. Chances are you don't know who she was either, and it's one of the aspects I most love about Old Postcard Wednesday...this discovering together. I've written previously that the scenes and people featured in old postcards, long gone from our recognition and awareness, are truly just a blink in Time away from us now. They blinked and they were here, then they blinked some more and their lives ran away from and then out of them. We once were only that glimmer in our parents' eyes but some of us have turned around to find our parents are now only a glimmer in our memories. Wink at yourself in the mirror, then do it again and three decades have passed. Blink, and in that moment some plant or species has gone extinct. The more things change the more they stay the same was true before oceans burned....squeeze your eyes in tight concentration then blink with wide open hope that the oil gusher has been stopped. Think an original thought, Google it, and find someone(s) had the same original thought -- oftentimes in a shared space of Time. Sometimes we are original together but we are all originals. We are all originals but so much the same. Look at this postcard shot of Miss Gertie Millar and you want to know more about who she was. But you know her already, which is why you are smiling at her. She is as close as your dreams and your dreams are as close as the past and the future. Time -- in its swirling whirling drapery of thick mystery -- embraces, informs, and then erases us all. Blink.

Gertrude "Gertie" Millar (later Countess of Dudley) (21 February 1879 – 25 April 1952) was one of the most famous English singer-actresses of the early 20th century, known for her performances in Edwardian musical comedies......(Wikipedia)

  • ANYTHING BUT MERRY! THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LILY ELSIE -The story of the original Edwardian star of Lehar's The Merry Widow- - book available at (-from Product Description text: Her friends included Gertie Millar, the most powerful and luminous of the "Gaiety Girls".)
  • GAIETY THEATRE, LONDON - includes discussion of the Gaiety Girls

--from text at youtube:
Gertie Millar was born in Bradford in 1879 and eventually became the star of the famous Gaiety Theatre in London. She was married to composer Lionel Monckton who penned this song "Moonstruck" for her 1909 success "Our Miss Gibbs" in which she played Mary Gibbs, a Yorkshire lass who has come down to London to work as a shop girl in Garrods!
This, perhaps her most famous number was introduced into the White City scene, and Miss Millar wore a dark blue pierrot costume, whilst the famous Gaiety Girls, dressed as light blue pierrots acted as her chorus. The recording was made in London on 12th December 1910, but despite its age, it displays a tantalising taste of the effervesent style that made Gertie Millar such a star of the London stage.

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic  (Note: not my original video)



Don't Feed The Pixies said...

that's a great postcard, although i can't approve of encouraging kids to smoke!

My great-grandparents were entertainers, albiet not in the London area, and we have some great postcards of them with their shows. Great stuff!

Darlene said...

Gertie Mlllar was very pretty and I am sure the young blades lined up at the stage door after each performance.

Hattie said...

Now this is downright fascinating!
I worked once with an English woman who is one of the last of the music hall breed. She was put on the stage as a very young lass. She ended up living on a farm in Hawaii.
She knows all the songs: the sweet ones and the naughty ones. But she's very old now and having her troubles.
That's how it goes.

La Belette Rouge said...

She's new to me too. What a spirit! Love that postcard. And I absolutely love these lines: "you know her already, which is why you are smiling at her. She is as close as your dreams and your dreams are as close as the past and the future. Time -- in its swirling whirling drapery of thick mystery -- embraces, informs, and then erases us all. Blink." Um, could we slow down that time thing. It makes me think about your post about the death calculator. Yes, I still can't look at it.

pohanginapete said...

You've written that commentary beautifully, Lydia (apparently, you write like George Orwell — a compliment, in my view; and thanks to Zhoen for the pointer to iwl).

The Online Photographer has an interesting post in which photographer Patricia Dalzell responds to a commentary about a portrait; she mentions how she "looked more closely at pictures of my parents from the thirties, and began to see them as young talented people with rich potential, rather than as family saw them as the grandparents they were."

Nancy said...

Fascinating! I've been thinking the same thoughts lately. How we are just a blink in time. I look at old photos and think - they had a long life and now are just an old photograph of someone no one knows.

Life is fleeting - best to enjoy each and every moment because if you blink...

Lydia said...

Pixies~ The kid smoking is a no-no. Hey, have you considered posting some of those old cards at your blog? You've given small pieces of information about your family previously that make them sound fascinating. :)

Darlene~ She was pretty. I enjoyed looking at the photos online that encompassed many years. She was a looker in all of them.

Hattie~ The English woman you worked with sounds like her stories and songs should be recorded. I wonder if there is family nearby who would do it before it's too late ...

La Belette Rouge~ I appreciate your comments about my lines.
She had spirit, most definitely. And an interesting life because of it. That silly old death clock, paying it no mind is not such a bad idea!

pohanginapete~ Thank you for the compliment, and thank you too for three links that took me to people/spaces I so enjoyed. The Dalzell article is wonderful and the line you quoted makes so much sense to me. The Online Photographer is a fine website; great tip.
How about that iwl thingy! I was a bit confused when you wrote "apparently, you write like" until I clicked at the link to Zhoen's blog and read the comments there that clued me into what I might expect at the iwl site. (James Joyce is not a stretch of a comparison to you, my friend.)
Now, here's the weird part: I pasted in the text of my commentary in this post and the analysis said I write like Arthur Conan where did Orwell come in? I wonder just how fickle this thing is! Certainly, it would indicate different authors depending upon exactly what texts/posts, etc. you would submitted for analysis. I'm going to have A LOT of fun pasting in various texts there. Another great tip!

Nancy~ I'm not surprised that you would be having these kinds of thoughts right now. It's a huge thing to move back to one's home town the way you just did. I get tingly thinking what it must be like for you. I do dream of being back in Reno, literally - have fairly regular dreams that I am there. I think I'm working out stuff from the past more than I am wishing to live there again.
Have you run into any old friends that you had lost contact with, like at the grocery or bookstore or restaurant, etc.?

pohanginapete said...

Lydia, that's weird — I used your first paragraph to get Orwell, but when I try it again today it comes up with Arthur Conan Doyle. Suspicious. Moreover, when I tried an extract from George Orwell's essay "Why I write", iwl concluded Orwell writes like H.P. Lovecraft. Amusing...

I'll stick with my first point — your commentary's beautifully written.

Lydia said...

pohanginapete~ Strange-eh? Makes me wonder who iwl would think H.P. Lovecraft's writing resembles...

Last night I pasted five other separate posts of mine into the old iwl machine. Came up with 1)Raymond Chandler, 2)Edgar Alan Poe, 3) David Foster Wallace, 4)David Foster Wallace, and 5)David Foster Wallace. Since the weight tipped toward DFW, and since I've never read any of his work, I ordered two of his books today.

Re: your first point - I appreciate that so much!



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