An envisioning . . . 1992, Ontario and an old trunk in the ladies dressing room.

Oh to be there.

A new job for a new year. An old vaudeville theatre, it is. Well not much longer. Being reborn as a community center with a place for the ladies to sit and knit. Funny. Something they had done forever but bigger now and more room required.

All those years in graduate school in Paris and nothing but splinters and sneezes. An office yes but everything needing to be looked through. Three cousins wanting everything old and pretty and their mother rich and not someone to offend. No, better to look through it all and see.

Someone offering to help and one of the cousins up to look through things.

A good thing. Like a time capsule, it almost was. Manager with a hook to yank people who couldn’t sing off into the wings, movie screen for a curtain and a projection booth for movies in reels and then nothing. Bad part of town having grown around it and no one wanting to go anymore. Car parts for the shops for miles around instead.

Dust in sheets over everything and corner cobwebs that reached to the curtain rods and then to the light in the middle of the ceiling like children’s birthday party streamers. Windows you can barely see out of. Stage makeup so thick you’d have to break in down into little rocks of rouge with a sledgehammer.

But an old trunk way in the back of where the chorus girls used to change. Pictures in the bottom with no names. Forgotten when the show moved on to the next town. Used as a footrest by tiny chorines ever since and never opened again judging by how hard the lock had to be hammered to get it open.

But worth it. Two ladies dancing somewhere in the golden time. Canada to explore and lots of men from before they all died in the trenches in France.

But not knowing any of that yet . .  .no . . . another Christmas celebrated and a new year to begin  . . . always a good thing . . .something to look forward to and not the other way . . .

Two Vanderbilt women dancing on front of a Christmas tree. ca. perhaps 1910.
Two Vanderbilt women dancing on front of a Christmas tree. ca. perhaps 1910. via Facebook.


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