16 March 2018

Published March 14, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 


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My weekly admonition to over 70 participants. Please keep your stories to 100 words or less. Thank you for your consideration. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100


Addie beamed. “Isn’t my little girl just the prettiest thing?”

            “Her ears are a bit large,” said Addie’s mother Bertha.

            Glory’s ruffled skirt flared as she skated along the sidewalk way ahead of the other children. Puffs of ribbon adorned her glossy hair and covered her ears.

            “You spoil her.”

            “Glory is special.” Addie shrugged.

            “She’s a daydreamer. Her marks in school are deplorable. What can the future possibly hold for such a child?”

            Not many years later, Addie Swanson once more beamed with pride when Gloria’s image graced the screens of movie theaters from one coast to the other.  



The actress as a child





Gloria Swanson 1899-1983

115 comments on “16 March 2018

  • Regardless of what the Bertha thought, the daughter of her daughter fulfilled her potential. Isn’t that the way of mothers and daughters? 🙂 Once again, I learned a piece of history from your writing, Rochelle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jan,

      My mother wanted me to take secretarial courses. I refused and took art and languages instead. In retrospect I’m glad and must say that, while Mom protested and disagreed, she never forced me. She did teach me to type so I’m grateful for that. Who knew the keyboard would become such an essential part of our lives. 😉 Always happy to teach a bit of history along the way. Thank you.




    • Dear James,

      Interestingly, Gloria Swanson took the role after others turned it down. In a 1980 interview with Barbara Walters, she said that she wasn’t like Nora Desmond at all. She was quite content with her past and present. Ah but we always will see her as Nora, won’t we?



      Liked by 1 person

  • Many actors and actresses were deplorable in school, or dropped out. You have to wonder how much farther they might have gone with a formal education. Food for thought. Also, I cannot count the people I know who were not so beautiful or handsome as a child but blossomed in many ways. Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Subroto,

      I saw an interview with Ms. Swanson from the 1980’s. While Sunset Boulevard won her an Oscar nomination, she insisted that she and the character were miles apart. She was most definitely a silent film superstar. Thank you.




  • Dear Rochelle,

    That was beautifully done! If only all parents had that much faith in their children’s potential – even if that potential is not yet known! Bertha needs to focus on other things that the ears of her granddaughter….

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      I’m not sure exactly who mentioned Gloria’s ears to Addie. It was one of the grandmothers. But, of course, this is fiction. 😉 But the truth is that Addie did support her little girl. Thanks for your wonderful comments, as always.




  • What a great tale, Rochelle. So Gloria had a pushy Mum, or do you think the pushiness came from the girl herself? I wonder if her spoilt nature came out in her marriages? I’ve just read she was married six times- clearly not a happy lady. Love your ‘before they were famous’ stories, the way you sprinkle clues and little anecdotes from the early lives of famous people. Lovely idea. And I adore that early photo of her – that hat is amazing

    Liked by 2 people

  • I just love stories like this. They give me hope. They told Bill Russell his thumbs were too small and he would never make it as a center in the NBA. He retired from the Boston Celtics decades ago and some of his records still have not been broken. Great piece of history, Rochelle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Eric,

      There are those stories out there of people who were told they would never amount to much. Love them. Of course Stephen Hawking comes to mind. He was given 2 years to live, 50 years ago. 😀 thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ted,

      I so appreciate your generosity with your photos. As you know when it comes to photo prompts it’s not what you’re looking at that matters, it’s what you see. 😉 That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • So many comments, so much praise, so what to say next…?

    I thought the reveal was going to be someone else, but what a lovely “put that in your pipe and smoke it” story.

    God she learned from her parents, there are no limits.

    Words for you, too, maybe, Rochelle?



    Liked by 1 person

  • She was not only pretty but had a lot of confidence no doubt learned from her mother. My parents were raised by Victorians and about her age. People of that era could love you but still be honest to a fault and outspoken about any problems you had. My grandmother was like that. Another good story based on history, Rochelle. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  • There’s hope for us daydreamers then. What I found interesting about this lady was that she lived in such a dramatic time period. Considering she was born in what looked like the olden days and lived till the 1980s. I’m comparing her childhood photo to the last one of her in her golden years. The changes in social justice, feminism and technology that she experienced throughout her life must have been quite thrilling for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Speedy Alka-Seltzer W(T)F,

    I wonder how many people have been failed to achieve success because of the size of their ears? They are under much more scrutiny than noses. After all, it’s very common for a film director to scream at casting, “Find me a Jew with a big nose.” The rest, as they say, is history.

    Pardon me while I filibuster,
    Colon Bladder,
    Speaker of the Outhouse

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Colon Bladder,

      Afraid I’m not very Speedy this week. Adrian Brody would resemble your remark. What a shnoz and what an actor. However neither Ringo Star nor Jimmy Durante were Jewish. Clark Gable and Bing Crosby had ears that looked like open car doors…guess it’s different for guys. Sigh. Thanks for taking time out from your speaking engagements to comment.


      Speedy Alka-Seltzer W(T)F


  • Her childhood photo is very captivating especially her eyes. It seems she was meant to be who she was meant to – a great legend- right from the beginning. Some people have that spark right from the beginning. But without some support there could be a chance that the spark could die.
    I loved the image that you’ve painted of her “ruffled skirt ” and “glossy hair”.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Nice bit of history. There’s a lesson for all of us. I’m having trouble linking up. There are TWO broken links. Could you remove them, please? I will try again later tonight or tomorrow. Don’t know what I’m doing wrong but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Truly beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. It took a Michaelangelo to see the angel in the stone before working on it to make his sight a reality!
    A mother is even better than Michelangelo, for she works with ‘living stones’ in collaboration with the Creator!
    Beautiful account!

    Liked by 1 person

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