When I start thinking of a Sepia Saturday post, I usually take the theme very literally. Let's see, do I have a trunk similar to this? Do I? Sure I do.
Here it is.
It's an old Shirley Temple steamer trunk that I spotted in an antique store in Denver, Co. several years ago. When I opened it up I found the real treasure - several Shirley Temple doll clothes. Some of the items have the Shirley Temple logo, others seem to have been handmade by a long-ago mom or grandma.
I couldn't find a photo of Shirley wearing the yellow slicker. But here she is with an umbrella:
But not this one. This little sailor suit has seen better days. It was hidden away in the trunk far too long:
Shirley's suit is a lot cleaner and spiffier:
I wanted to add the video of Shirley dancing in her little sailor suit, but then I ran across another video that was much more interesting. This video is so wrong on so many levels. It's so politically incorrect that I didn't want to include it. But it's so bizarre that I had to:
According to Shirley's autobiography, the director of this shocking short film, Charles Lamont gathered the children together prior to the filming and said "Kids, this is business. This isn't playtime, it's work." He didn't allow the parents on the set. There were two 6' x 6' sound boxes on the set. One was for sound the other for punishment. If one of the tiny actors (most were only 4 years old) acted up, he or she was put in the box and had to sit on a large block of ice.
Shirley wound up inside Lamont's black box several times. She said:
"Take one small, obstreperous child, heat it under bright Kleig lights until perspiration starts. Remove child directly to the chill of the box. Close access door tightly and leave child in box until sufficiently cooled and chastened. Remove child, reheat under the Kleig lights and carry on with the work. The box proved the ultimate enforcer. Increased obedience followed as night follows day."
Can you believe that? I don't think a director could get away with that these days. There are child labor laws that protect young actors and actresses.
It's funny what opening a trunk will lead to - a Pandora's Box to be sure.
To see what's inside other trunks and suitcases, click here Sepia Saturday.