Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tallulah Bankhead/highly functioning, dysfunction

(Also being marketed in Internationally in countries like Japan, Sweden, Finland, Germany...!!!)

A portion of the proceeds from novel help support local women's shelters


Being non well-behaved...and other family connections...measures of empowerment...

"I have always loved the quote about well-behaved women rarely going down in history; and Miss Tallulah Bankhead was proof of that. I have been a fan since I realized she was of the same family that the Bankhead Tunnel in Mobile, Alabama was named for; because I grew up in Mobile. But surprise, surprise I found out just today from our family historian that I am actually a distant cousin (4th cousin, once removed) of Miss Tallulah...small world. Elizabeth Adeline Bankhead was my great, great, great grandmother...freakin a!" 

I can truly relate to not being well-behaved...just thought it was me! lol.
Just finished my first novel...called "The House that Silence Bought" available on Amazon.(...guess the well-behaved have their own clubs!!!)

So...not that there is significance in it...but I didn't know...and I loved Tallulah for years without knowing...and I am not saying that I am considered non well-behaved because of being related...but at least now I fit in somewhere: in the non well-behaved women's club!!!

So being outspoken and seen as outrageous is not the hideous thing I once thought. I mean I speak out against domestic violence...that's not exactly shocking behavior...but because I am very vocal about my stand, it still puts me in the brazen category...and if that's the way it has to be, so be it!!!

But here is an aspect that might need to be might I have thought differently had I known this connection as a kid? Would I have looked at the Bankhead Tunnel in Mobile, Alabama a little differently and with pride? Would I have seen a little less wrong with me being the way that I am if I could relate it in terms of her being gifted, outrageous and family??? I am thinking as a kid I might have. Kids search to figure out who they are. I mean you cannot ride on the coattails of someone's else life...but it also is what it is. Like when they get on and say "my so and so lived next door to the Wright Brothers"...I mean connections are part of who we are and how we see ourselves. Kids brag about how their relatives came over on the Mayflower...or how many generations they can trace back...freakin a, I would have liked to have known that I had family, even distantly, that was exceedingly interesting, accomplished and outrageous. Small world. In reality it would have been odd for our paths to have ever crossed, I was born in the 1960's she died in the 1960's...but people have connected over less, that is for certain. 

My self-esteem could have still been tragically low even if I had learned this growing up...but it sure would have added spice to family

So what does any of this have to do with abuse, recovery and rebuilding issues? Maybe nothing...maybe a little. I do in fact, as I am writing feel differently about my connections in life for knowing this. I am prouder now to be as outspoken as I am about passionate things. 

So where ever you ended up Miss Tallulah, I tip my baseball cap in your general direction and say "hey"...because we non well-behaved women should stick together!!! lol

She had her passions, good bad or otherwise...and I have mine...oh that I could be half as noted and notorious for mine as she was for hers!!! Yesterday I didn't know. Today I do. 

(but had I known she was family sooner <4th cousins>, I would have been my own

There wasn't therapy like there is today back then. I say that because many of Miss Tallulah's extreme behaviors might have been softened or relaxed by counseling. It was said that she used to joke about having been raped when she was a kid. But what if it hadn't been a joke? What if it had happened and she simply had no one to whom she could confide? It might have gone a long way in explaining her overt sexual and inappropriate behaviors. I don't suggest this to be unkind. In reality if she had been molested and never got help for it, then she did well to be as highly functioning as she was. I bring it up to say anyone can be abused...even the famous, the not yet famous, the educated, the intellectual and the wealthy. she was a family member that I never met; but sure would have like to.

Tallulah Bankhead was born in Alabama, daughter of Congressman William Bankhead (later Speaker of the House, 1936-40). Her mother died of complications from childbirth several weeks later, and she was raised in part by her aunts and grandparents. She was educated in New York City, Staunton, Virginia, and Washington, DC. Her exhibitionist personality was apparent from an early age.
Tallulah Bankhead's first part in a film was in 1917 and her first stage role in 1918. After a few other minor roles in film and on stage, she went to England in 1923, where she became famous for her flamboyant personality and deep voice, and was popular in the six plays in which she appeared.
Tallulah Bankhead returned to the United States in 1931 with a Paramount Pictures contract, and then was off to New York in 1933, where she was diagnosed and treated surgically for advanced gonorrhea. Tallulah Bankhead then returned to the New York stage in Dark Victory, Rain, Something Gay and Reflected Glory. Her 1937 film, Antony and Cleopatra, was considered a definite flop.
In 1939, she received awards for her work in The Little Foxes by Lillian Helman, and in 1942 she won awards for her performance in Skin of Our Teeth. Her film performance in Hitchcock'sLifeboat in 1944 won yet more awards; in 1948 she starred in Otto Preminger's A Royal Scandaland in 1948 she starred on stage in Private Lives by Noel Coward.
Tallulah Bankhead retired from the stage in 1950, beginning a radio show with many celebrity guests. In 1952 she hosted for a television show and published her autobiography. She appeared on Steve Allen and Lucille Ball's television shows and starred in a nightclub act in Las Vegas.
Several attempts at reviving her stage career either failed or had modest success. Her last acting performance was on the television series "Batman" in 1967.
Tallulah Bankhead married actor John Emery in 1937 and they divorced in 1941. She had no children. After her 1942 success, she bought a home in rural New York where she entertained frequently. Estelle Winwood and Patsy Kelly were among the guests who lived with her there. Her name was linked during her lifetime with many people -- men and women -- and she carefully nurtured her wild reputation.
Tallulah Bankhead was active in politics, supporting Democratic and liberal causes and campaigning for Franklin D. Roosevelt. She was also a fan of the New York Giants.
If you need immediate assistance, dial 911. 
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Born to unusual, but nice, parents, Michelle/Shelby grew up rather uneventfully, living mainly in the deep south (Alabama). Later she would learn that it was her parents' love for her that not only brought them together, but had kept them together. And so life was ideal in many respects and distressing in others. Eventually though the family did scatter like leaves on an autumn morning. Fortunately she was able to extract a sincere appreciation for love, beauty, and an abiding respect for those who at least try.

The single greatest influence in her life was the remarkable time spent with her paternal grandmother;  it was under this influence that she thrived. Her grandmother introduced her to not only fine Literature, but also the Arts and the Opera. And it was beloved grandmother who told her that if she wanted to be a great writer she must first learn to be an avid reader.

Early adult life would be peppered with indecision, failings, and the haunting of things not learned in childhood. But as is the case with most sincere artist, out of the angst of life came a great capacity for creativity.

Shelby considers her writing a gift...a joy, a tremendous responsibility, and something that helps to define her life.
Ms. Anderson is a graduate of Oregon State University; and is also currently working on a master's degree.

She lives in very picturesque Central Oregon with her two children. 

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