Glamour and the Indianapolis Connection

Two things I’ll bet you didn’t know about Indianapolis:

On the night before her death, Carole Lombard was in Indianapolis launching a national bond drive for the war—a job that her famous hubby, Clark Gable, had rebuffed. Instead, he suggested his wife for the job. Throngs of people met her in the statehouse rotunda to buy bonds on January 15, 1942. That night, another 12,000 people attended an event at the Cadle Tabernacle where she made her final pitch in a black velvet strapless gown. Lombard sold $2 million worth of bonds. She left Indianapolis the next morning at 4 a.m. on a multi-stop flight that ended in tragedy. Lombard’s mother was travelling with her. (Source: The Power of Glamour, by Annette Tapert)

I wondered about the Cadle Tabernacle. It was an old-fashioned Spanish Mission-style revival hall located at the corner of New Jersey and Ohio, used primarily for religious meetings. Records say that it seated 10,000 people, which means it was packed to overflowing on the night of Lombard’s appearance. Indiana National Bank eventually bought the building and razed it in 1968.

Katherine Hepburn used Indianapolis to manage a mean case of stage fright. Hepburn knew one of her meanest critics would be in the audience on opening night of The Philadelphia Story in Manhattan. To cope with her dread, she chose an odd form of denial—pretending she was in Indianapolis. While the set was prepared, she holed-up in her hotel with curtains drawn, and simply placed herself mentally in a different city. On opening night, even her co-stars were sucked into her delusion, toasting to their success…in Indianapolis. (Source: How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great)

Fashion in Fiction

“In the morning Hadley found herself moving past the jeans and T-shirts in her closet to pull out sundresses she hadn’t worn in years. She would walk up the stairs to the school, the gauzy fabric whispering across the surface of her skin and fanning the air around her bare legs.” Joy for Beginners, by Erica Bauermeister

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