My heart sank today when I heard about Lena Horne's passing. She is just a year older than my Grandmother and was one of my Grandmother's favorite stars. I called my Grandmother to see how she was dealing with Ms. Horne's passing and she shared a nice story with me about the first movie she ever saw was the Lena Horne's movie, Panama Hattie. She saw it with her best friend Aunt Lucy and they both had fun watching the movie in the segregated State Theater in downtown Uniontown, PA. I asked her how she felt about being segregated and she said it didn't bother her at the time because she was sitting in the section with all of her friends, everyone she knew. (Funny that her school wasn't segregated, but the theater was.)
Here's my Grandmother around 1942 (the baby is my mom, a whopping 10 pounder delivered by my 5 foot, barely 100 lb grandmother)...when Lena Horne starred in her first film.
Notice the similar hairdo. My Grandmother never shhhh'd me unless Lena Horne was on t.v. Everytime she appeared on television, my Grandmother would wipe her hands on her apron, stop what she was doing and sit right down in front of the t.v. to watch her. I probably would not know who Lena Horne is if it wasn't for my Grandmother being and avid follower of this great singer and actress.
I thank the Lord today for giving me the opportunity to speak to my Grandmother and learn of this memory, I am especially thankful for my Grandmother's health and that she is making plans to vacation with us for 4 weeks this summer...can't wait!