Post by kevcoforkney on Nov 28, 2011 18:24:12 GMT -5
I have confirmed that Betsy Gay is still living. I don't have a current address -- she has just moved from California to Washington State. If I can get a birthdate for her, I'll pass it along. It is not entirely accurate (though it is for the most part), but there is a long bio of Betsy on the website hillbilly-music.com It includes a still from "Arbor Day" and a nice casual shot of Betsy and Alfalfa taken in about 1945.
have enjoyed this board very much and recently looked for an address for JoJo Lasavio...he kindly autographed an index card for me to add to my collection....does anyone have a high res. photo of him that I can make a copy of?
Post by kevcoforkney on Dec 12, 2011 8:53:29 GMT -5
While I can add nothing further as to whether Scooter Lowry is dead or alive (I suspect the former, but you never know), I did do a little digging to try to find links that might lead to more info. This is preliminary, and I'll be glad to be corrected by anyone who has fuller info, but it appears to me that his father did not die in the 1920s when Scooter was very young. Rather, it looks as if his parents divorced when he was very young and that his father returned to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where Scooter's paternal grandparents lived. I believe Scooter's dad is the Willard Lowry who died in Chattanooga in 1941. Also, an earlier post that mentioned Scooter's listing in the 1930 census seemed to indicate that his mother had remarried and that they were living with in-laws. It appears, however, that his mother had not remarried but that his grandmother had. It looks like Scooter, his sister and his divorced mother were living with his grandmother and step-grandfather (as well as his step-grandfather's father!). It's possible that Anna Lowry never remarried. If so, she could well be the Anna Lowry with a New York SSN who died in December 1972 in Miami. Unfortunately, there appears to be no obituary. But if it is she, perhaps her relocation to Florida was following one or both of her children...? There may possibly be an obit for Willard Lowry in a Chattanooga newspaper. If Scooter's sister Lila was married by the time her dad died and her married name is listed in his obit, that might be a clue that could lead to what happened to Scooter...obviously, this is a long shot and all of this adds nothing to current info about whether Scooter is alive or dead. New records become available all the time, so who knows what might surface. Oh well....
Post by collibosher on Dec 13, 2011 1:18:44 GMT -5
I work with a guy named Lowry, so it's probably a fairly common name. Anna Lowry might be a hard one to track down.
According to the 1920 census at familysearch.org, Willard S. Lowry was Scooter's father's. Willard's dad also named Elmer. Willard was born circa 1890.
Willard Duncan Lowry died in 1941. Middle name doesn't match but the names of both of his parents do, so looks like its him. His death certificate says he died of a drug overdose believed to be a suicide. Also says he was divorced and was already suffering from premature dementia at 53. Very sad. Next of kin's last name was Duncan, so maybe a cousin. If he left the family when Scooter was a really little, maybe his mom told him his father was dead.
Willard is buried at Forest Hills Cem in Chattanooga. There are lots of Lowrys buried there including Scooter's grandfather Elmer J who died in 1930 and his uncle Camden Lowry who died as a child in 1904. foresthillscemetery.net/search.asp
familysearch.org is a really good, free site that is easy to navigate, btw.
Not that this helps find the missing our gang member in any way, although hopefully Scooter didn't inherit any of his father's problems.
Post by collibosher on Dec 15, 2011 13:19:46 GMT -5
If you register at familysearch.org you can see the death certificate.
One thing to note, though I said he had premature dementia the wording on the certificate is "dementia praecox" which literally means premature dementia in latin but if you look it up you'll see it was used to describe schizophrenia and similar severe mental illnesses at the time.
Just background info not helpful in finding Elmer Lowry though I wonder if Scooter's middle initial of C stood for Camden, his father's late brother.
Post by kevcoforkney on Dec 18, 2011 17:18:41 GMT -5
A few notes: I've found two birthdates for Betsy Gay. She was born Elizabeth Gunst either on Feb 2, 1929 or February 15, 1929. I'll try to confirm which is correct. Jo-Jo LaSavio is listed on IMDb as July 2, 1932 and California birth index confirms this. Dickie Jackson was born Richard Henry Jackson on August 6, 1925. William Minderhout was born February 26, 1931.
Post by kevcoforkney on Dec 18, 2011 18:05:55 GMT -5
Please forgive me if this has been resolved and I missed it, but regarding Philip MacMahon and Georgia Jean LaRue from Our Gang Follies of 1938…I just watched this short yesterday with my six year old daughter, and it’s always been a favorite of mine. So I looked on this site to see what there was about MacMahon and, in particular, LaRue (I‘m a recent member, so all these discussions are pretty new to me…).
Anyway, there was some discussion about them a few months back that seemed to indicate Philip MacMahon’s subsequent activities and whereabouts were uncertain. But unless imdb is mistaken, MacMahon’s subsequent activities are known -- he worked under the name Tommy Ryan in quite a few films, starting from around the same time he appeared in the Follies. He died in 2003. Imdb gives his year of birth as 1923, but the SS Death Index has it as 1924 (name given as Philip S. MacMahon or McMahon depending on the source). The latter date appears more correct and the place of birth that imdb gives (Boston) agrees with publicity about him from the mid-1930s, when, like LaRue, he was briefly considered a hot property. That same publicity shaves two years off his age -- saying he was ten in 1936 when he was actually 12. Anyway -- again, unless someone out there has reason to doubt imdb in this case -- there isn’t much mystery here, other than why he failed to fulfil his early promise.
I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend looking for clues about Georgia Jean Larue. Haven’t found out what became of her, but, among other things, I did find quite a few newspaper and magazine mentions (all from 1936), which shed more light on who she was. Though someone else found a news clipping that indicated she was from Chicago, this blurb was not correct. She was from Toledo, Ohio, where she was born Georgia Jean LeRoux, apparently in early 1928 (again, most press reports shave a little bit off her age; it’s hard to tell, but the census report appears to read that she was aged 2 years and 0/12 at the time of the census in April 1930, but it might be 2 and 6/12ths). I found a press report that not only confirms Toledo as her hometown, but also uses the original spelling (actually, LeRoux may also have been changed: her dad George is listed as George LaReaux in the 1910 census). I also found a mini-interview with her, too, which I can try to post if anyone is interested (She liked to be called “Georgie”).
So what happened to her? Other than the appearance in the Follies, I could find nothing anywhere about her after 1936. I would guess that she must have run afoul of Jan Garber -- or someone in Hollywood -- in some way. Either that or she and/or her parents decided they didn’t like the Hollywood rat race. Whatever the case, the family appears to have stayed in LA. The name change to Larue seems to have been a legal and permanent one, too. Her mom and dad were still listed in California voter registrations as late as 1954 and her father died in LA in 1975. It seems possible that her mother Bernice was alive as late as the late 1990s. I’m pursuing a possible obituary, which -- if any exists -- could perhaps shed light on what became of Georgia Jean. Part of me hopes that she continued to perform -- maybe, like MacMahon, under a different name? -- because she’s great in those two Our Gang appearances.