By Henry Wood
Leaving his fatherland of Viroqua, Wisconsin, to shuttle with a medication express, twelve-year-old Henry wooden grew to become addicted to exhibit enterprise. He joined a touring theater troupe, and top woman Clarabelle Fendell helped the boy develop into “Jack,” a gentleman and vaudeville performer, so remodeled that he was once slightly famous via his personal mom whilst he back home.
wooden spent the years 1910–1941 in touring drugs and tent exhibits that featured a number of vaudeville acts, from skits to full-length dramatic performs. no matter if recalling his reports skydiving from hot-air balloons, serving within the air strength, or being accosted by way of offended theatergoers not able to differentiate him from the villains he portrayed on degree, Wood’s tale paints a full of life and bright picture.
whereas so much books in this interval of yank theater background specialize in significant names in vaudeville and the leisure undefined, A Sawdust Heart indicates what it was once like for the genuine show-business staff and the performers who by no means made it large yet eked out a residing doing what they enjoyed on minor phases throughout America.
brought through Wood’s grandson-in-law Michael Fedo with a concise historical past of those touring exhibits, A Sawdust Heart is an a laugh learn for somebody drawn to early-twentieth-century rural America.
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Additional resources for A Sawdust Heart: My Vaudeville Life in Medicine and Tent Shows
I’m having so much trouble. ” Frank looked her over, motioning to the rest of the boys to stay put in their chairs. He didn’t want her sitting on one of them; I mean, she’d have gone right through, and he wasn’t sure we would be able to get her up again. ” he said. She explained that she had terrible gas on the stomach and was always short of breath. ” she pleaded. 18 big doing s in bu dd Frank studied her again, walking a long ways around her, scratching his jaw. The lady groaned. Finally Frank spoke.
My transformation had been so complete that I could easily accept the new name, Jack. When we returned to the tent, Clarabelle saw me and beamed. “Now you look like a new man, Jack,” she said as I sat down on the costume trunk. “You look new on the outside, but inside, I’m afraid you’re still Henry the canvas man. You’ll have to learn to speak properly. You’ll learn to behave like a gentleman. ” “In time, dear Jack. It all takes time. We can’t do everything at once. But we can begin with this,” she said.
When we closed for the night, Bill announced we’d stay in Budd for another day or so, and he told me to mix up a fresh batch of medicine. The next night, word of the miraculous “cure” of the grocer’s wife had spread all around the countryside, and people flocked to town and heard the lady give her testimony again. In no time we were out of the medicine and had no more ingredients for a new batch. ” “That’s right,” Frank said. “You got to give me something,” he said. ” Frank went inside the wagon and rummaged around for a few minutes until he found some carbolic salve.