Lady Bledzo lit up newspapers for two years in the mid-1920s. Like a cabaret version of Billy the Kid, she came from nowhere, made a great scene — and then disappeared. By 1928, there was no trace of her.
She never held a defined occupation. She never got a listing in the census or the phone book. For weeks I’ve been trying to stretch the few available items about her into a full story. I even called in the assistance of Graveyard Snoopette. She, too, was stymied by this mysterious woman.
I have to admit that a full accounting can’t be done. Like Lady Bledzo herself, her story is not tidy nor complete. It will not be contained.
Her name came out of those Chicago Tribune archives. One name, \with many variations to humble the researcher: Lady Bledzo; Rose Bledzo; Lady Rose Bledsoe; Lady Rosa Bledzo; Rose Leonora; Leonore Bleedson; Eleanora Bleedson; and twice, Lenor Grear.
And worse, I’m pretty sure that none of those are her actual birth name.
Fire up the Dusenberg and roll down your stockings. This one is a real lulu.
Continue reading “Unearthed: Lady Bledzo (Pt 1)”
Part 1 of the Inglis family story
Where else would the world-traveling, ship chandling Inglis family land but…Iowa?
Continue reading “Unearthed: The Inglis Family (Part 2)”
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 13, 1910.
Rev. Shields was my great-grandfather. And Cermak was Cermak.
And in case you wondered what a smartass looked like at the turn of the last century, we have this snip about women trying to get men to sign dry petitions.
© 2019 Tori Brovet/All rights reserved
This story truly spans the planet. To get to Japan from Chicago, we have to start in Scotland.
Pack a bag.
Continue reading “Unearthed: The Inglis Family (Part 1)”
As always, it was the photos on the stone what got me. And the “Dixieland Jazz” inscription. And then the three keys embedded in its surface.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to figure out what the keys are about. If anyone from the Benson family shows up and would like to explain those, I would love to hear the reason for them.
Minor mystery aside, there’s still plenty to discuss when it comes to Hal Benson.
Continue reading “Unearthed: Hal Benson, Dr. Jazz”
It was lilac season, so of course we went to Graceland Cemetery.
My husband knows I’m a sucker for lilacs, and how much I look forward to that moment in spring when the bushes foam over with good-smelling blossoms. Graceland provides a particularly nice array of lilacs in season, so he suggested we take a walk through the cemetery on a Sunday morning this past May.
That’s where I spotted Archie. I was drawn at first to the fragile little flowers scattered on his cool grey stone. I took the photo for that, and because I’ve been trying to take more cemetery pictures of people who lived long lives. They leave more records, which makes my research easier, and they are more likely to die of natural causes, which helps my mood.
I’m also a sucker for father-daughter stories, and as it turns out, he has one.
Continue reading “Unearthed: McClanahan & McClanahan”
Some years back, I was doing a cemetery walk with friends. While trying to talk about styles of grave markers, I had a momentary brain freeze and sputtered: “One of those… Oh, you know! The sticky-up kind!”
It was not a great moment for me, although my friends thought it was hilarious. So to spare you a similar moment, I’ve put together a few examples.
Continue reading “Snoop 101: Know Your Stones”