This summer has been such an improvement over last year when I had my operation and could not draw or throw pottery. Although the weather has varied from extreme heat to too much rain all at once, I have been throwing pots on my back porch. Since December my work has been selling at a cute little bakery and gift shop in Petersburg, just a few blocks from where I live. The shop is called Sweet Dixie and is owned by the same couple who run the Dixie Diner just around the corner. There are some wonderful jewelry and crafts items as well as delicious cupcakes and other wicked delights. Almost everything in the shop was made in Virgina.
Meanwhile, Petersburg is abuzz with the filming of Meg Ryan’s filming of Ithaca this summer. The exterior shots are being filmed just two and three blocks from my house so it has been fun to see how they dress up the storefronts and have antique cars to reflect the period, the early 1940s. The film is based on Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Saroyan’s 1943 novel, The Human Comedy, which, in turn, was an MGM film with Mickey Rooney. A few days before they showed up I asked a local antiques dealer if he would hold a large and rather unusual 1940s Coca-Cola poster that I want for my family room. He said yes. A few days later the set decorators from Ithaca expressed interest in it for their 1940s telegraph office set. Darryl, the owner of the shop, Sycamore Antiques, told them that it was already on hold for me. The next day I walked in with my down payment. What a nice guy!
The big news for me in terms of Peter Pan is that I have decided after I finish my children’s book, Izzy and Whitey, and my comical book, Confessions of a Soundtrack Junkie, I am going to compile theatre programmes and photos for a new one, Peter Pan on Tour. Just around the time of my revelation, I received two lovely presents in the mail from a friend in England. Roy had been instrumental in providing several photos for Peter Pan on Stage and Screen, but this gesture completely blew me away.
In one very heavy package was a 1930s bronze (?) statue of Jean Forbes-Robertson as Peter Pan. Roy remembered how much I liked it when I had visited his home in England a few years ago. Retired, he decided to whittle down his collections and wrote to me that he wanted me to have the statue…as well as a Peter Pan poster.
The poster is quite extraordinary; something I never thought I would ever see not even thinking I would own such a thing. It’s an advertisement for the Theatre du Vaudeville in Paris of the 1908 production of Peter Pan with Pauline Chase and the London cast. The cast crossed the channel in June of that year for their second year of performing the play in France. While I own the programme for 1907 I had no record of the actual cast list for 1908. The poster lists the times, the dates, and, best of all, the whole cast list! This will be immensely useful for the Tour book. Meanwhile, I share it with you! More information on my next post. Happy August!