Sixty Years Ago Today
“Anyway, she started high-pressuring me to come home back in March of 1952 and she kept it up until the end of July. And July 29 I checked out, got on the train, came back, and was never able to get back…. Mother took pictures. I was carrying a red umbrella. I didn’t know I’d never be able to get away again. I didn’t know that. I really wouldn’t have returned. Well, I guess I would have….
I think that my mother is always correct, and if she had wanted to keep her home, who was I to tell her that she shouldn’t keep her home and she could go to blazes about keeping her home? I didn’t even think of ever doing or saying a thing like that to my mother. That never occurred to me! Even though I didn’t want to, really….
I got the call from mother to come home. I told you about the pressure she put on for three months. From March until July. The end of July in 1952. I had to go back. [She has a different story.] Yeah, but she’s not talking about the same thing. She says that I had free time to accomplish something for years because she was separated from my father. But I was always down here, in this house….
I might’ve been able to succeed. But I didn’t have a chance, really. I’m awfully slow. I don’t think I was away from home for more than five years on my own. I think I was away from home for six years.I left in 1947, or 1946. And I returned in 1952 to mother, and I never got away again. When I returned to mother, I think I left everything in New York. I never felt that I was the same person when I got back home. I was different….
When I get to New York, you’re never gonna get me back to East Hampton ever, never! I was discovered, but - well nevermind. I was discovered by Mr. Gordon. He was a friend of Mrs…. What was that woman’s name? What was Ruby Chapman’s…? This was very serious! He went to pieces! Mr. Max Gordon went out of his mind. What was the woman’s name? She gave me the letter. Mrs. Hitchcock! She was Ruby Chapman’s partner. They gave me the letter to Max Gordon. Don’t you know who Max Gordon is? He’s a famous producer! You’ve heard of him haven’t you? He discovered Judy Holliday. Said I was much funnier….
The point is - that I came down her to take care of my mother. I was sick and tired of worrying about her night and day. I was away from her for five or six years, and I was sick and tired and lying awake at night, worrying about what was happening to my mother. She made me leave the Barbizon. I didn’t want to leave. I was getting my big chance! I was getting my audition! 1952- I was gonna get it! I was just getting up, what you call, a little nerve when she said I had to come home.” -Edie Beale