Page 9 - Litteratteur Redefining World December issue
P. 9

Litterateur redefining world                      December 2020



                                     Jack Foley's Father
                                    John Harold Aloysius
                                  ("Jack") Foley: 1895-1967.
                                                FATHER




                                              Jack Foley about  his father


             Once, in the hospital:

                                                                There were several Foley children in my
             "I got all charged up                              father's  family.  "We  were  fairmers" -
                                                                farmers -my  father  told  me.  They  were
             and danced up the hill                             living  in  Elmira,  NY.  He  was,  I  believe,
                                                                the youngest, "the baby of the family,"
             and fell on the ice--                              his  sister  said.  His  brother,  Wayne,
                                                                somehow  learned  to  tap  dance.  He
             that's what got me here"                           taught the art to my father and helped
                                                                him to enter the dazzling world of show
             he found it funny                                  business.  My  father  performed  in
                                                                vaudeville as well as in one of the last
             that the very things                               minstrel  companies,  presided  over  by

                                                                George       "Honeyboy"        Evans.      He
             in which he delighted most                         appeared  primarily  in  shows  produced

                                                                by  his  mentor,  George  M.  Cohan,  the
             drink and dance                                    producer  of  the  "Honeyboy"  Evans

                                                                show.    My  father's  sister  Goldie  was
             (he was Irish after all)                           part  of  that  world  too.  She  was  a
                                                                Ziegfeld  Follies  girl,  a  spectacular
             laid him low                                       beauty (my father would say, "a swell-
                                                                lookin'  dame"),  and  perhaps  in  some
             he was the moving glamorous shadow                 sense the love of my father's life. "We'd
                                                                go  everywhere  together,"  he  told  me,
             that stayed in the spotlight                       reminiscing.  "Everybody  thought  we

                                                                were  sweethearts."  Pause.  "But  we
             of my childhood                                    weren't." He was hardly a sophisticate.

                                                                He used to tell the story of being in the
             and moves in me still                              subway  as  a  young  man  and  seeing  a
                                                                sign  saying  "Smoking  Prohibited."  He
             as I sing                                          was  with  a  friend  who  wanted  to

                                                                smoke.  My  father  told  his  friend  the
             as I dance                                         sign meant

             as I sing


             as I dance



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