"On the south shore of Long Island, in the direction of Long Beach, is a nice little restaurant called Roy's, and up until a few days ago its personnel included a waiter who was not all he was cracked up to be. Right now, I believe, he's on his way out to Hollywood, a strange land that once rolled out the red carpet for him, and when - I tell you his name is Scooter Lowry, a bell may ring in the far-off reaches of your memory, like Japanese temple chimes.
A little more than 25 years ago, Scooter Lowry was almost as well known in Hollywood as Richard Barthelmess or Alice Joyce, the woman I loved from afar when I was eight. His real name was Elmer and he came from New York City in the beginning, and out on the coast he was a big- wheel in the famous Our Gang short comedies, along with fatty Joe Cobb, blond Mary Korman. Farina, Johnny Downs and the others. Maybe you were grown-up then, and the names of the kids didn't mean anything particular to you. I was a kid, and I knew all about Scooter and Farina and the wondrous Mary, the way the small ones today know about Captain Video. Scooter was a little guy in purposely ragged clothes, in those Our Gang films, and he had freckles and a big grin.
The kids in my set- maybe I just lived in a commercial-minded neighborhood--figured he- got a million bucks a week for acting, and we envied him deeply. Then he dropped out of sight. Shirley Temple acted in movies when she was a kid and she finally dropped out of sight with a million in the bank. Scooter Lowry vanished much faster than Shirley, and much less affluent. What happens to kids when they hit the awkward age like that and no longer can rake in a dollar? "Well, there was Vaudeville for a while," Scooter told me just before he hit the road for the coast, "and then I became a salesman in a clothing store, an assistant movie-house manager, a skating rink attendant, a cabbie and on and on. "Just a little while ago I was an attendant in the violent ward at Central Islip State hospital. Then, a waiter in Roy's for a few weeks."
He grinned, a guy in his thirties who remembers dimly that he had a lot of dough as a kid, and figures what can. he lose, he'll give it another whirl. "It sure is funny, if you can keep your perspective." he said, looking out the window thoughtfully. He had a scrapbook full of yellowed pictures and newspaper clippings with him, and he fingered it. "Ask anyone without a long gray beard who Scooter Lowry is and they'll say, 'Who dat ? I never heard of him.'" He got up to go after a while and he looked at me and smiled. "Well, next week Hollywood." he said. "Maybe some of them out there'll remember me. If not--what the heck. I always can go back to waiting--or parking cars. I'm a very good parker of cars." He waved a hand and was gone. I went home and burned some prayer papers for him. I hope some of them out there remember him."
Last Edit: Mar 17, 2015 2:41:59 GMT -5 by mtw12055
Post by collibosher on Sept 17, 2015 20:32:45 GMT -5
I'm sort of intrigued by "Kerrie Lowry" because, while anything is possible, I find it hard to imagine anyone going out of her way to poses as Scooter Lowry's granddaughter-in-law. But I can't find anything further about her.
It's good to have a well-sourced Wikipedia article! The page for Clyde Willson on the College of Alameda website was a big part of the reason why I was willing to so quickly accept his birth date information as solid fact. It seems, though, that he's not fully retired from his teaching position at the school. As written on the profile page, "Now semi-retired, Clyde continues to enjoy teaching chemistry (part-time) at the College of Alameda."
Post by serendipity on Feb 8, 2017 23:16:44 GMT -5
Clyde Willson got a PhD in Chemistry, worked at a lab in France with the guy who was credited with identifying the AIDS virus, then got a professorship at UC Berkeley. He found that he loved teaching but didn't like the publish-or-perish atmosphere at Cal, so he resigned and began teaching at community colleges.
I had the huge good fortune to take a semester of microbiology from him in 1984. I loved class so much I went over to Oakland from San Francisco four nights a week after a full day of work. In all honesty, it was the best classroom experience I ever had (and I went to Yale for four years!) Clyde Willson is an amazing inspirational teacher.
Hello, I just saw that the Internet Movie Database says that Dickie Jackson passed away in 1993, aged 68. I always wondered what happened to him, because there was no information whether he was dead or alive. Can anyone confirm this information?
The information about Dickie Jackson is pretty new, in 2015 or so there wasn't a date of death for Jackson on IMDb. I think the Internet Movie Database also stated at one point that he was Mary Ann's brother, but not anymore. So there seems to be quite some mystery around him.
Another person I wondered about was Rex Downing, who appeared in quite a few Our Gang movies in the 1930s. His roles were quite small there, but he later played in films like "Wuthering Heights" and "Blood and Sand". The Internet Movie Database and his Wikipedia article list him as alive, at age 92 years, but you can't find a lot about what he did after his acting career. It is only written that he became a teacher.
Post by bigshotjones on Sept 26, 2017 15:18:44 GMT -5
I think Dickie probably was Mary Ann's brother. The 1940 census lists her having a younger brother 'Richard,' who was an actor--but I haven't tried to verify that the person who died in 1993 is the same person. The dates line up pretty well, so it's plausible.