The Lobotomy of Rosemary Kennedy

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe


Rose Marie “Rosemary” Kennedy was the oldest daughter born to Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. She was a sister of President of the United States John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Ted Kennedy. Rose and Joe Kennedy tried to erase all detail about their handicapped daughter. Many do not know her sad tale.

September 13, 1918: When Rose Kennedy went into labor with Rosemary, her third child, the nurse who was caring for her was reluctant to deliver a baby without a physician on hand. Though the nurse had the necessary training, when the doctor’s arrival was delayed she demanded Rose “hold her legs together tightly in the hope of delaying the baby’s birth.” When that failed, she resorted to “holding the baby’s head and forcing it back into the birth canal for two excruciating hours.”

As Rosemary grew into toddlerhood, Rose noticed she “was not like the others.” By kindergarten, Rosemary was called “retarded,” in the lingo of the times, and such children were considered defective. For Joe Kennedy, obsessed with the family image, it was a disaster. Rosemary never proceeded mentally beyond third or fourth-grade intelligence and she was packed off to a boarding school for misfits.


The family did their best to incorporate her into their daily lives, taking her sailing and making sure she was always asked to dance at parties. But as Rosemary got older, she began to have tantrums that sometimes turned violent. At the same time, her voluptuous figure was attracting male attention, and Joe became concerned: an unwanted pregnancy in the family could damage his sons’ political future.

Dr. James Watts carried out a frontal lobotomy on Rosemary Kennedy’s brain at a facility in upstate New York in November 1941. Rosemary’s father, Joe Kennedy scheduled Rosemary for a lobotomy without his wife’s knowledge; an experimental procedure meant to make mentally ill patients more docile. The surgery, involved drilling holes on both sides of Rosemary’s head, inserting a spatula into her cranium near the frontal lobes and turning and scraping. Throughout the entire procedure, Rosemary was awake, speaking with doctors and reciting poems to nurses. They knew the procedure was over when she stopped speaking. A psychiatrist present at the lobotomy asked Rosemary to tell him stories and repeat the months of the year. The doctor kept scraping away brain tissue until Rosemary could no longer talk. The surgery was botched and Rosemary emerged almost completely disabled.

Following the lobotomy, Rosemary could barely walk and knew only a few words. Since Rosemary could no longer speak or walk. She was moved to an institution and spent months in physical therapy before she regained movement, and even then it was only partially in one arm. She would spend most of her life hidden away from the world and even her own family. After housing her in a psychiatric facility in upstate New York for seven years, Joe ordered his daughter sent to Saint Coletta and never saw her again. Her siblings didn’t see her for two decades.

Rosemary Kennedy spent 20 years in the institution, unable to speak, walk, or see her family. It wasn’t until after Joe suffered a massive stroke her mother Rose went to go see her daughter again. In a panicked rage, Rosemary attacked her, unable to express herself any other way. It seemed, despite all the covering up, she still remembered her mother and what had been done to her.

After being reunited with her family, Rosemary Kennedy lived out the rest of her life in Saint Coletta’s, a residential care facility in Jefferson, Wisconsin, until her death in 2005 at 86 years of age.

The Kennedy’s, having realized what they had done began to champion rights for the mentally disabled. John F. Kennedy would use his presidency to sign the Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendment to the Social Security Act, the precursor to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which his brother Ted pushed for during his time as a senator. Eunice Kennedy, JFK and Rosemary’s sister also founded the Special Olympics in 1962, to champion the achievements and abilities of the physically and mentally disabled.

Excerpts from the books:
Kate Clifford Larson “The Hidden Kennedy Daughter”
Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff “The Missing Kennedy: Rosemary Kennedy and the Secret Bonds of Four Women”
https://www.amazon.com/Rosemary-Daughter-Kate-Clifford-Larson/dp/0544811909

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Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)

Theft of DNA Ownership Rights

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

“DISCOVER ANCESTORS. STRENGTHEN FAMILY TIES. UNDERSTAND YOUR LIFE.”

Aided by venture capital and a flood of savvy marketing, Ancestry LLC has grown to become the world’s largest DNA testing conglomerate. Since 2012, it has lured more than 9 million people to spit into tubes and add their genetic code to the world’s largest private database of DNA. It has also banked away the world’s largest collection of human spittle, numbering in the hundreds of gallons.

In the age of Facebook and Google, consumers seem comfortable surrendering their personal information to corporations which collect and convert non-revenue generating assets into sources of revenue. But Ancestry and other DNA testing companies have added an audacious tweak: Consumers are now paying to hand over their genetic code, their most sensitive individual identifier, to companies monetizing it far into the future.

Ancestry.com takes DNA ownership rights from customers and their relatives. Giving them your DNA sample does not just affect you, it also puts your family and relatives at risk. According to their legal contracts, you still own your DNA, but so does Ancestry.com. DNA and genetic data Ancestry collects may be used against “you or a genetic relative.” According to its privacy policies, Ancestry takes ownership of your DNA forever. Your ownership of your DNA, on the other hand, is limited in years.

There are three significant provisions in the Ancestry DNA Privacy Policy and Terms of Service to consider on behalf of yourself and your genetic relatives: (1) the perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide license to use your DNA; (2) the warning that DNA information may be used against “you or a genetic relative”; (3) your waiver of legal rights.

By submitting DNA you agree to “grant AncestryDNA and the Ancestry Group Companies a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, transferable license to use your DNA, and any DNA you submit for any person from whom you obtained legal authorization as described in this Agreement, and to use, host, sublicense and distribute the resulting analysis to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known, or hereafter developed or discovered.”

Basically, Ancestry.com gets to use or distribute your DNA for any research or commercial purpose it decides and doesn’t have to pay you, or your heirs, a dime. Furthermore, Ancestry.com takes this royalty-free license in perpetuity (for all time) and can distribute the results of your DNA tests anywhere in the world and with any technology which exists, or will ever be invented. With this single contractual provision, customers are granting Ancestry.com the broadest possible rights to own and exploit their genetic information.

Terms also require customers to confirm that, “You understand that by providing any DNA to us, you acquire no rights in any research or commercial products that may be developed by AncestryDNA that may relate to or otherwise embody your DNA.” Essentially, you still own your DNA, but so does Ancestry.com. And, you can commercialize your own DNA for money, but Ancestry.com is also allowed to monetize your DNA for millions of dollars and doesn’t have to compensate you.

Even if you’ve never used Ancestry.com, but one of your genetic relatives has, the company may already own identifiable portions of your DNA. Buried in the “Informed Consent” section, which is incorporated into the Terms of Service, Ancestry.com warns customers, “it is possible that information about you or a genetic relative could be revealed, such as that you or a relative are carriers of a particular disease. That information could be used by insurers to deny you insurance coverage, by law enforcement agencies to identify you or your relatives, and in some places, the data could be used by employers to deny employment.”

The Ancestry.com Terms of Service also warns that genetic information in its possession can be used by state or federal law enforcement agencies “to identify you or your relatives.” With the rise of forensic evidence in criminal investigations, DNA is often considered incontrovertible evidence. To propel the use of DNA evidence in criminal investigations and prosecutions, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operates the national Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.

Ancestry.com takes no responsibility. By consenting to the AncestryDNA Terms and Conditions, “you or a genetic relative” agree to hold the company harmless for any damages that AncestryDNA may cause unintentionally or purposefully.

In the event you or your genetic information cause harm, you agree to “defend, indemnify and hold harmless AncestryDNA, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees and agents from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees).” And customers beware, “you may be liable to others as well as to us if your account is used in violation of the terms and conditions of this Agreement.” That means you could end up owing money to Ancestry.com, its attorneys, and others.

The final indignity for Ancestry.com customers is that they must waive fundamental legal rights by agreeing to mandatory binding arbitration. With the exception of intellectual property rights disputes and certain small claims, Ancestry.com customers must pursue their disputes through arbitration, rather than court. In arbitration, the established legal rules of discovery, evidence, and trial by jury do not exist.

Turning over your DNA means a loss of complete ownership and control. Ancestry.com customers should also know they’re giving up the genetic privacy of themselves and their relatives.

This information also applies to 23andMe and will also apply to any other DNA testing corporation.

As of Jan. 15, 2019 an ancestry report from 23andMe.com, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline now owns your genetic identity. Human DNA has now become a commodity, with 23andMe the world’s largest database of genetic code serving as the “new frontier” for pioneering drug-makers. British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline purchased a $300 million share in the genealogy company, which promises to tell you your ancestry in exchange for your DNA. But if people are concerned about their social security numbers being stolen, they should be even more concerned about their genetic information being misused. This information is never 100% safe. The risk is magnified when one organization shares it with a second organization. When information moves from one place to another, there’s always a chance for it to be intercepted by unintended third parties. As genetic profiling technologies evolve, 23andMe is serving as a translation service, turning living bodies into code that can be aggregated into big data. This big data represents big profit for big pharma, who can use it to create experimental drugs which can be marketed to consumers based on their genetic profiles. The FDA warns this includes an inherent risk of diagnoses and prescriptions based on false positives or false negatives for certain genetic traits.

23andMe can keep and sell its customers’ genetic information to others because consumers consent to the sale of their anonymous and aggregate information just by purchasing the product and agreeing to its privacy statement. The company can also sell deidentified individual-level data if the research consent document is signed.

They recently announced the drug company Genetech offered to pay up to $60 million to use its database to conduct Parkinson’s research. And the fact 23andMe can sell data puts a worrying spin on the proposed changes to consent for federally funded human research.

At the moment, federally funded researchers and private companies have the same standards for consent: If human biospecimens are not “identifiable,” they don’t have to ask for consent to use them for research.

REMEMBER:

Ancestry.com and 23andMe market their DNA kits with promises that tug at the heartstrings. Unless customers request otherwise, Ancestry adds people’s DNA data to its proprietary database, therefore, you are not just taking the test for you, you are taking it for the whole family. People must understand, turning over their DNA means a loss of complete ownership and control. Ancestry’s terms and conditions are long, and somewhat boring, but people should read them. They make a big deal of stating you own your DNA. But they are taking a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to do what they want with your DNA and your actual genetic sample they keep in storage. Ancestry allows customers to request their DNA analysis be erased from the company’s database after results are received, and request destruction of their remaining biological sample. BUT it is a two-step process, and customers must read deep into the company’s privacy statement to learn how to do it. Requests for DNA data elimination can be made online, BUT customers MUST call its support center to request destruction of their biological sample.

However, future owners could change privacy protections, including Ancestry’s promise not to share personal data with insurance companies. Ancestry’s terms and conditions state “We have the right to modify these terms or any additional terms that apply to a Service at any time.”

ANCESTRY.COM was founded by a pair of Brigham Young University graduates in the 1990s and was one of the early internet start-ups allowing customers to build their family trees online, accessing troves of information the company assembled. Paul B. Allen, one of the founders said it makes sense a family-tree internet company would arise in Utah, where the Mormon church has long kept extensive family history records. “This is the mother lode of genealogical research”.

Thirty years later, Ancestry is still based in Utah but has mushroomed into a multinational company operating in more than 30 countries, pulling in $1 billion in revenue in 2017. Its headquarters in Lehi, south of Salt Lake City, is home to 1,100 of the company’s 1,600 employees. The building features a display of lanterns, descending through several floors, meant to resemble DNA strands.

To really grasp the company’s rapid growth, one needs to visit one of Ancestry’s contractor labs, where the company sends customer’s genetic samples for analysis. One of these labs is in La Jolla, Calif., owned by Illumina, a leading company in sequencing and genotyping DNA. The kits and spit tubes Ancestry sends to Illumina do not have people’s names or addresses which is the only identifying marker reconnecting the results with individual customers. Like other DNA testing companies, Ancestry uses spit for genetic analysis because its an easy way for consumers to provide their DNA. Saliva contains white blood cells and cells from the inner lining of people’s mouths. A line of workers remove spit tubes from the kits, scanning their bar codes and checking for defects. Illumina isolates the DNA, then goes through a multi-step process of “amplifying”, processing and turning it into a machine-readable code, the entire process takes about four days. After Illumina finishes its analysis, the results are sent back to Ancestry marked only with bar codes to prevent disclosure of customer identities. The remainder of people’s biological sample is returned to Ancestry’s custody where they use the code to analyze a customer’s ethnicity. Ancestry then generates an ethnicity estimate which is forwarded to the person. Ancestry not only stores people’s genetic data, but the raw DNA itself, how long it will be stored, is unknown.

HACKING:

 Unidentified hackers last year accessed an Ancestry website, RootsWeb, compromising the sign-ins of 55,000 Ancestry customers who had the same log-in credentials with RootsWeb. The site has since been shut down. The incident received little attention but revealed how customers’ personal information could be accessed and exploited through Ancestry’s partnerships and acquisitions.

AncestryDNA, a subsidiary of Ancestry LLC marketing genetic testing, pledges to safeguard people’s private data. But the company has a history of changing the terms of its agreements with customers. In the most high-profile example, Ancestry in 2014 shut down MyFamily.com, a social networking site where more than 1.5 million users had posted family memories, photos and conversations. Numerous customers said they lost treasured family history because of inadequate notification from the company, which decided not to back up the data.

Ancestry claims to beat its competitors’ inaccurate analysis of a person’s ethnicity. But interviews with company officials reveal Ancestry has wide gaps in its ethnic markers for Asia and other sections of the world. Outside geneticists and anthropologists say Ancestry and other companies are making misleading claims about the accuracy of their ethnic analyses.

 Most Ancestry customers consent to have their DNA results, in a de-identified form, shared with the company’s research partners in the pursuit of sciences, including finding cures to diseases. But Ancestry’s main research partner is a secretive Google offshoot called Calico Life Sciences, which is focused on ways to extend human longevity through biotechnology. Critics have labeled Calico a “vanity project” of several Silicon Valley billionaires who want to extend their own lifespans.

IN CONCLUSION:
The U.S. government recently proposed revisions to the federal human subjects research regulations which would require federally funded researchers to get what is called “broad consent” from people to use their biospecimens (it is unclear what effect this would have on private/public collaborations). This would apply even if researchers won’t know who the specimens came from. Broad consent would include a general description of types of research which might be conducted with the biospecimen.

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Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez
Human Rights Advocate, Researcher/Chronological Archivist and member in good standing with the Constitution First Amendment Press Association (CFAPA.org)

Watch Night Services

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe


The Watch Night Services in Black communities celebrated today can be traced back to gatherings on December 31, 1862, also known as “Freedom’s Eve.” On that night, free and freed Blacks living in the Union States came together gathering at churches, private homes, and other safe spaces, while thousands of their enslaved Black sisters and brothers stood, knelt and prayed on plantations anxiously awaiting for President Lincoln to sign the Emancipation Proclamation into law. Then, at the stroke of midnight, January 1, 1863, all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free. When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts, and songs of joy as people fell to their knees and thanked God.

It’s been 156 years since the first Freedom’s Eve and Black folks have gathered in churches annually on New Year’s Eve ever since, praising God for bringing them safely through another year. African American Christians continue the faith tradition of their enslaved ancestors and will gather, Dec. 31, 2018, to celebrate they are the survivors of a people who were defined in the U.S. Constitution as three-fifths human, shackled in chains and denied the right to vote. Most people were never taught the African American history of Watch Night, but tradition still brings Blacks together to celebrate “how we got over.”

Harper’s Weekly, 21 February 1862. Source: While slavery was far from dead in the United States in early 1863, the signs increasingly were not good for its long-term survival.

Today, Lincoln is remembered as “The Great Emancipator,” but the story of emancipation is complex and contradictory, and the question of how we choose to commemorate this anniversary can be touchy. The purpose of the Emancipation Proclamation was to create confusion and disruption among the Confederate forces. The Emancipation Proclamation only granted freedom to those slaves residing in the Confederate States and not the slaves residing in the Union States as Lincoln didn’t have any jurisdiction over slaves residing in Confederate States because these states had seceded from the United States, ergo, the Civil War, therefore, he did not have the authority to emancipate slaves in the Confederacy, in essence, the Emancipation Proclamation was a worthless document.

In actuality, Lincoln was just as racist as the rest of the peers of his era. This is evidenced by his saying the following at the Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois.

(The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, pp. 145-146)

EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION

Whereas, on the twenty-second day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, a proclamation was issued by the President of the United States, containing, among other things, the following, to wit:

“That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free; and the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authority thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of such persons, and will do no act or acts to repress such persons, or any of them, in any efforts they may make for their actual freedom.

“That the Executive will, on the first day of January aforesaid, by proclamation, designate the States and parts of States, if any, in which the people thereof, respectively, shall then be in rebellion against the United States; and the fact that any State, or the people thereof, shall on that day be, in good faith, represented in the Congress of the United States by members chosen thereto at elections wherein a majority of the qualified voters of such State shall have participated, shall, in the absence of strong countervailing testimony, be deemed conclusive evidence that such State, and the people thereof, are not then in rebellion against the United States.”

Now, therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief, of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion against the authority and government of the United States, and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion, do, on this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and in accordance with my purpose so to do publicly proclaimed for the full period of one hundred days, from the day first above mentioned, order and designate as the States and parts of States wherein the people thereof respectively, are this day in rebellion against the United States, the following, to wit:

Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth[)], and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued.

And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service.

And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind, and the gracious favor of Almighty God.

In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty three, and of the Independence of the United States of America the eighty-seventh.

By the President: ABRAHAM LINCOLN
WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State.

It’s said the Emancipation Proclamation freed no slaves. In a way, this is true. The Emancipation Proclamation actually freed few people. The proclamation only applied to the Confederate States, as an act to seize enemy resources. By freeing slaves in the Confederacy, Lincoln was actually freeing people he did not directly control as a military measure which was a result of Union battlefield losses by July 1862, the President decided emancipation was a military necessity and ordered slaves freed in areas which were in rebellion against the U.S., declaring the military would enforce their freedom, and receive former slaves into the U.S. military, however it didn’t apply to border slave states like Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, all of which had remained loyal to the Union.

After the Emancipation Proclamation, the Southern cause was now the defense of slavery. The proclamation was a shrewd maneuver by Lincoln to brand the Confederate States as a slave nation and render foreign aid impossible because the Proclamation only applied to the ten states still in rebellion in 1863, and thus did not cover the nearly 500,000 slaves in the slave-holding border states.

The Thirteenth Amendment (Amendment XIII) to the United States Constitution actually abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. It was passed by the Senate on April 8, 1864, and by the House on January 31, 1865.

2 days late

Kristeen Irigoyen-Hernandez aka Lady2Soothe

Mary Jane “Mae” West was born on August 17, 1893, in Kings County, New York, delivered at home by her midwife aunt. Mae was the eldest surviving child of prizefighter father John Patrick West, known as “Battlin’ Jack West” and mother Mathilde “Tillie” Delker, a former corset and fashion model. Mae was five when she first entertained a church crowd social, subsequently appearing in amateur shows at the age of seven. She often won prizes at local talent contests and shortly thereafter began performing professionally in vaudeville. In 1907 at the age of 14. Mae first performed under the stage name “Baby Mae”, but she also tried various personas, including a male impersonator. Her first appearance in a Broadway show was in the 1911 revue put on by her former dancing teacher, unfortunately, the show folded after only eight performances. At 18, she was singled out and discovered by The New York Times reviewer who wrote a “girl named Mae West, hitherto unknown, pleased by her grotesquerie and snappy way of singing and dancing.”

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Mae in New York 18 years old

Mae was an early supporter of the women’s liberation movement and since the early 1920s supported gay rights. Years before her movie career she wrote a play about homosexuals called “The Drag.” It never opened, also she’d already been arrested for staging another controversial play. Mae believed gays were born gay and was vehemently against the belief therapy could “change” a person from gay to straight

In 1932 she was offered a film contract by Paramount Pictures despite being close to 40. A director let pick her leading man for the film “She Done Him Wrong”. As Mae looked out the window she spotted a good looking young man walking across the street and inquired about him. “If he can talk, I’ll take him!”, which is how Cary Grant was discovered. When Paramount balked at putting Black musicians on the screen, she insisted on the new sensation Duke Ellington and His Orchestra for Belle of the Nineties (1934). By the second half of the 1930s, Mae’s popularity was affected by her dialogue and severely censored but she was a shrewd investor, produced her own stage acts and invested her money in large tracts of land in Van Nuys, a suburb of Los Angeles.

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On April 11, 1911, seventeen-year-old Mae married Frank Szatkus in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The marriage was kept secret until a filing clerk discovered the marriage certificate in 1935 and alerted the press. In 1937, in reply to a legal interrogatory, she obtained a legal divorce which was granted on July 21, 1942. August 1913, Mae met Guido Deiro an Italian-born vaudeville headliner and star of the piano-accordion. Her affair went “very deep, hittin’ on all the emotions. Marriage is a great institution. I’m not ready for an institution yet.”

From its 1930 opening until her death Mae lived in the Ravenswood penthouse, during this time she was dating Black boxing champion William “Gorilla” Jones. The landlords of the Ravenswood apartment building didn’t allow “negroes” to visit the complex and complained, so West shut them up by purchasing the building and lifting the ban on African American guests and tenants.

Barely 5′ Mae didn’t drink, smoke or swear, loved sweets, hated to diet but exercised in her spare bedroom with various gymnastic accessories including five pound dumbbells, a contraption with handles and cords which worked like a human pulling machine, and a plain traction bar such as ballet dancers hang onto while toning up. The constant stream of White, Black, and Latino fighters who visited her at home were, she claimed, “the one departure I have made from the average citizen’s way of life.” She knew everybody in every town – judges, mayors, gangsters. Sweet, demure with a sensitive retiring side she’d say, ‘The world is about spiritual power, it’s about feeling.” She “quiet offstage, but when she got onstage, she lit up.

At age 61 she became romantically involved with Chester Rybinski, a wrestler and one of the musclemen in her Las Vegas stage show. Rybinski was former Mr. California and merchant marine, he was 30 years younger than Mae, later changing his name to Paul Novak and moving in with her. Chester/Paul discreetly arranged for treatment of the medical problems of her final years, diabetes and cataracts, and protected and reassured her as she became remote, defensive, and increasingly paranoid. She was convinced that “the forces” that had once protected her health and career had abandoned her, that the sun was her enemy, that Tennessee Williams, Mart Crowley, and Warren Beatty had stolen ideas from her early plays for Suddenly Last Summer, The Boys in the Band, and Shampoo. Their romance continued until her death at age 87 on November 22, 1980. Novak once commented, “I believe I was put on this Earth to take care of Mae West.”

During World War II, Allied aircrews called their yellow inflatable, vest-like life preserver jackets “Mae Wests”. Her lips inspired surrealist artist Salvatore Dali to create the “Mae West Lips Sofa” an art deco shaped couch. Fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli (Coco Chanel’s rival) designed a number of Mae’s costumes. In 1937 Schiaparelli released a perfume called Shocking which came in a bottle shaped like Mae’s torso. It’s also rumored Mae inspired a Coca-Cola bottle. She actually had special shoes, almost like a shoe within a shoe which is said to have changed her gate. The nine-inch platform heels she wore to make her five-foot, 130 lb. body appear taller and slimmer.

In 1977 I was employed by the William Randolph Hearst Publishing Company, one of the young men I worked with told me Mae West phone number and address was in the phone book, we looked it up and he called her. She was absolutely wonderful, genuinely friendly and funny as ever. I used to drive by the Ravenswood every day to and from work and although I never saw her, one time her chauffeur had pulled her white on white limo around to the entrance and was standing on the curb with the door open waiting for her to exit the building. Unfortunately, the traffic was heavy and the light changed from red to green and before I could get a glimpse I had to move on. But I’ll always remember almost seeing her!

Excerpts and Citations from:
Wikipedia
The Immortality Of Mae West
13 Things You Might Not Know About Mae West
Mae West Facts
A Look Inside FIDM’s Vault Of Historical And Hollywood Footwear

A THANKSGIVING MESSAGE ~ Remember to forget

Authored by Rudy TwoMoon

By Rudy TwoMoon
rudytwomoon-letourvoicesecho-indigenous-waterislife

WE INDIGENOUS AROUND THE WORLD OFFER FOOD AS GIFTS
This was thanks and giving. This tells all of creation we know what hunger feels like, and no one should ever be hungry. This gesture also asks creation to send more abundance because we are a sharing people whose happiness comes from giving and sharing. We believed this all year around, every day, not just one.

We believed the half-starved should always share with the starving. We dedicated our two front rows of fields and gardens to travelers, those known and unknown. But now, Thanksgiving has everyone pretending it’s a joyous Thanksgiving celebration: Happy Thanksgiving statements, having to shut our mouths and pretend we’re having a wonderful time, pretending there is no genocide, just happiness. Puritans singing and dancing with friendly Indians. Friends for all time!

No, we are not allowed to voice how babies were slammed against boulders, or how children were used as bait to train attack dogs, or how our lands were stolen then destroyed. The same with our waters. Or, how we were forced to trade in free foods and medicines for a lifetime of struggling debt. We’re not supposed to think about the people enslaved by education and religion to make us into the image of our enslavers. Or, how we lost our hair, were brutally punished for speaking our language, were jailed for dancing and singing our ancestors songs, for praying to creation and being called a sinner because creation wasn’t GOD. Mocked. Spit on. Laughed at. Corrected, corrected, and corrected again and again, again and again, because science claims it has proven we are in fact Chinese, when in fact the land bridge was a theory created out of thin air in 1902… 6 yrs. later, it was busted…. in fact it’s been busted in a multitude of ways and proved a lie as per “9 – repeat allele” genetic marker, yet many never bothered to learn the truth and are spewing regurgitated sound-bites just as they’ve been trained to do by public education…. If the land bridge is 10 to 20 thousand yrs. old why do we have extinct cultures throughout the US who died out 50 to 100 thousand yrs. ago? Why is Michigan copper which can only be found in Michigan, found in the tombs of Egyptian mummies? Why is cocaine and tobacco, which is only found in the Americas also found with these same mummies?

Who stole this land? Our land was a gift but it’s been abused. We’ve been forced to salute the flag whose military hunted us for sport and profit and good times.

THIS IS TRULY A DAY OF MIRACLES, KINDNESS AND SHARING, FRIENDSHIP AND FEASTING.
But, before we get lost in all this holiday cheer, let me remind us: Thanksgiving was a celebration for every time a section of land was conquered and the tribes eradicated. this happened so often, Thanksgiving (by name) was celebrated sometimes 2 or 3 times a week. Thanksgiving is a time where we must sit with the oppression, smiling with forgiveness in “OUR” hearts, forgetting history because “that’s all in the past.”

Forgiveness and forgetting! Take the elbows off the table, chew with mouths closed, and pass the potatoes. Take this one day, and one day only, and “remember to forget” we are supposed to be thankful everyday. Stop the fighting this day, eat, so you can fight the oppressors patriotic wars tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow.