January 2007
Edition 21
Jerrems Family Newsletter - Edition 21
Family Contributions to the Arts
  Dear Donald,
We continue to stay in touch with new material from our sources. Don't forget to take the quiz.

At Ray's suggestion, this issue is devoted to artistic contributions. We will circle back in a later issue to cover some of the gaps in the family saga.

We have previously mentioned (Edition 5, October 2005 and Edition 10 October 2006 - "Girl in the Mirror") the late Carol Jerrems, who passed away in 1980. She was the most renown artist in the family.

Leonore Jerrems and The Mystery Masterpieces
Ray Jerrems, Family Sleuth   First a Family Ghost, Now a Mystery
This is the story (or perhaps I should say a small part of the story) of Leonore Smith Jerrems.

Last year, just when I was congratulating myself on locating all the Jerrems people (past and present) in the US, I made the mistake of re-googling the name Jerrems, something I do every six months or so. Lo and behold I found a reference to Leonore Smith Jerrems. The John Toomey Gallery in Oak Park Illinois held an auction of 20th Century Art and Design in March 2004, including the following items:

564. Leonore Smith Jerrems (American, 20th century), “Still Life with Melon”, c. 1930; oil/canvas, 20" x 16", signed. Chicago painter Jerrems exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Corcoran Gallery throughout the 1930s-40s.
609. Leonore Smith Jerrems (American, 20th century), “Still Life with Rooster Figure”, c. 1930; oil/canvas, 20" x 24", signed.

Both paintings fetched the princely sum of $250 US. Scarcely in the Da Vinci or Jackson Pollock class! Rumours that the Guggenheim Museum was outbid for the paintings have been denied by the Museum.

The melon is a water melon with the end sliced off (see image), showing a bright red interior. Also discernible are three bottles, possibly ginger-beer bottles. The other items in this painting are difficult to identify. The other painting is less colourful. It shows a glass bowl, fruit, flowers and an almost abstract light green rooster in a lying down position.

Perhaps you can identify other objects. I much prefer the “melon” painting.

The entry setting out the prices paid by the successful bidders refers to Leonore’s birth year as 1900.

Who was Leonore? She was the first wife of Arthur Wallace Jerrems Jr, his second wife being Caty’s mother (Caty, in turn, being Dan’s mother). Leonore’s maiden name was Smith. Her family had a substantial business in Chicago called Smith Shoes.

Arthur and Leonore had a daughter, Mary, born in about 1926, so they were probably married in about 1924. They were divorced in the early 1930s. I have not been able to find any subsequent information on Mary, except that she attended her father’s funeral in 1947.

Next time you see a water melon, spare a thought for cousin Leonore.
Move of the Month - The Plie
Sloane Stephens Cox @bellamagazine.com   With Demonstrations by our own Ballet Dancer Jacqueline Jerrems
“Pliés are one of the most important ballet steps because almost everything begins and ends with a plié,” said Jacqueline Jerrems, 16, a student at Ballet Pensacola. She has been dancing for about eight years, and just finished performing in the company’s “Nutcracker.” She is a junior at Gulf Breeze High School.

Want a ballet body?

We can’t make you look like you’re in the Bolshoi Ballet. But if you want to tone your hips, butt and thighs and to improve your balance, we can help.

Start by doing some pliés, or bending of the knees.

Where to do it: Dancers usually execute pliés at the barre. Yes, it’s pronounced “bar,” but it has nothing to do with the cinderblock structure where you’ll find quarter beer. A barre is a handrail dancers hold during their warm up. For your purposes, a kitchen counter or the back of a chair will do.

Here’s how to do it: Hold in your abdominals and stand up straight. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Turn your legs out so that your toes are pointed away from your body. Slowly bend your knees, making sure that your back stays straight and that your knees are aligned with your toes. Keeping the sole of your foot on the ground, continue bending your knees as far as you can. Do not bend past the point where your thighs are parallel with the floor. Then, slowly straighten your legs. Do three sets of 15.
Dark Odyssey. Dark Secrets.
Caty Green a/k/a Jeanne Jerrems, now a resident of Paris   Unsentimental Memories of my Former Life
An old song says "An actor's life is not a happy one" and I can attest to the truth of that statement. Under the best of circumstances it is always iffy. Even when you "make it" and wind up at the top of the heap, you still have the problem of not knowing how your next job is going to turn out, etc. In other words the heap is a heap of do-do. Add the fact that, as in any competitive endeavor, a powerful need for personal recognition is a vital ingredient, I am, or was, too anti-social for this profession. You gotta schmooze a lot.

When the offer to do Dark Odyssey came along, I was covering Julie Harris in a show and teaching at the Juilliard School in New York. I did the film "on spec" (which means that if you get lucky you may get paid), and as the two young guys making the picture had to hussle up the money all the time, it took a good year to make. Ridiculous, of course, but not only do I keep my word, I also fell in love with one of the two young guys and he with me. That's a soap opera in itself.

The film finished and the affair not long after. I was sad and very sick at heart with the whole sorry New York theatre scene when the radio said "Why don't you try for a Fulbright Scholarship?" So I did, and got it, and went to France for 15 months of classic theatre training. Thus began the real love affair of my life: me and France.

Dark Odyssey was shot all over Manhattan. I can't say it was fun: it was work. An interesting experience. Film is a director's medium, however, and not very gratifying to the actor. Actor meaning creative artist rather than ambitious, good-looking egotist. Theatre is the actor's medium.

My one of the guys was Rad Metzger, the talented one. When the film kind of fizzled, Rad said one day, "You and Athan didn't even kiss!" Boom, a tectonic shift. The basic tenet of advertising, Sex Sells, broke through his creative artist consciousness. He began a career as a producer/director of soft porn movies, finally turning into the leading light of the last half of the 20th century in that category.

About Dark Odyssey, I should love to have been on a poster and so have a souvenir. It's always made me sad that Rosemary is there in her brief belly-dancing scene: "sex sells" on the poster, if not in the film.
Jerrems Family Quiz
Donald Jerrems, Editor   Time to Recall What you Seem to Have Forgotten
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