Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Got the Fever

"It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"
  - Mark Twain

Joan Crawford in "Spring Fever" - 1927

I think this is a lovely picture of a very young (20-ish) Joan Crawford just two years after arriving in Hollywood and changing her name from Lucille LeSueur, which I really don't understand at all, since the French-sounding cabaret-esque name sounds far superior (to me) to the newer one. "Lucille LeSuer" rolls off the tongue, while "Joan Crawford" gets stuck in the back of the throat. I wasn't around, though, to correct this travesty, so the deed was done.

Did you know that little Lucille grew up in Kansas City? Her family moved there when she was about ten, but she went to school, worked there, and eventually even spent a little time at Stephen's College in Columbia, Missouri, before dropping out and moving back to join a dance troupe in Kansas City.

Lucille worked at Emery Byrd Thayer department store as a teenager. That's the department store downtown that my mother would take My Twin and me to (years later, of course) to do our New School Year shopping each August. We would shop all day for school dresses (not actually buying more than one or two each...Mom was a gifted seemstress and 'knocked off' most of what we tried on) and have lunch at the Emery Byrd Thayre tea room. Wonderful memories.

Anyway, Lucille...oops, Joan's movie, "Spring Fever," is a 60-minute silent film about a golf groupie (they existed back then...who knew?) who falls in love with a charming but poor professional golfer who pretends to be rich. Years later, Joan would remark that the film was "a waste of everyone's time and money. God, golf is dull on film."  Well, some things never change. I guess that one won't be lining up in the Netflix queue.

Me, oh, my. Is anyone else feeling it? I have a very bad case of theUgh-I-need-to-move-outdoors-but-I-know-it's-not-quite-time-yet malaise of some sort. I'm anxiously awaiting fair skies, gentle breezes, and warmer temperatures, but rather than filling me with nervous energy, this year's Spring Fever has made me lethargic with daydreaming, imagining, and distraction.

Paralysis is setting in. I find it more and more difficult to tend to my work, my tasks, my chores. The only cure will be blue skies and sunshine, yet I continue to languish, wrapped in the not-so-warm gray chiffon skies of winter.

Jo Floyd Lucas in "Spring Fever" - Paris, 1995
 This is a picture of tree-hugging me on a wonderful outing to the Bois de Boulogne in the heart of Paris. I was slightly older than Joan  was in her photo (like, double her age), but both share a similar dreamy, spring fever feel. I might have missed my calling, now that I look at it. Does anyone still make silent films?

The Bois de Boulogne is to Paris what Central Park is to New York City, except two and a half times larger. Really a system of gardens and parks withing the park proper, it's filled with pristine ponds and nature trails, rose gardens and oak forests, meticulously groomed grounds and authentically wild growth. One could spend weeks exploring the magical vignettes within this wondrously vibrant oasis. I've been longing to go back there and become the Henry Stanley ("Dr. Livingstone, I presume?") of the Bois de Boulogne. 

In my distracted,daydreamy malaise of Spring Fever, that's exactly what I've been doing.

Do you have the fever, too? How do you cope with it? I wonder if it's contagious, this awful fever? How do we keep it from becoming an epidemic? Oh, bother...I'm getting all worked up again. Now I must go lie down and flip through my photo album to settle down. 

I hope you have a wonderful, nearly-spring day today.

This is the quintessential music to illustrate my case of Spring Fever this year...Mendelssohn's "Spring Song". I know you won't be able to listen to it without thinking of this little guy...

Pepe Le Pew in "Spring Fever" - c.1962

That's okay...I can't either...Enjoy!


  1. Golf groupies, eh? Wow ... there's something for everyone, I guess!

    Love the pic of you in Paris. I am kind of a Paris groupie, come to think of it. Hmmmm.

    Didn't know about Joan/Lucille. I did know that Jean Harlow also grew up in Kansas City.

    Have a wonderful day yearning for spring!

  2. Hi Reya,

    Maybe you should consider a day or two stopover to Paris on your way to Poland?

    A Paris it! I'll be president of the fan club.

    You have a wonderful day, too.

  3. If it wasn't so bitter cold outside, and just a few degrees warmer ( perhaps 40+), I would be feeling more like spring. This is still "take a hike already winter" season for us. It's a time of year when you really notice the gap between your latitude and mine. And even though I have more latitude then you, it is still difficult to imagine spring here yet.
    Joan Crawford.... How sad for me to learn that her real name isn't Crawford!! I drank all that coca-cola for nothing (or was it Pepsi?)!!! =D Crawford was my maiden name.... although Lucille LeSueur is more dreamy, I have to admit. If you use a thick scottish brogue when you say Crawford though, "rolling your "r"s, you can make it sound nearly french.
    I love your tree hugging picture Jo!! I think Reya should get a tree hugging picture done in Poland. All I can say is, go away cabin fever and bring on the spring fever.......PLEASE!!!!!!!! (We are getting desperate up here in the cold north). "Brrrrrrr", she said as her teeth chattered and icicles dripped from her nose.

  4. Oh, Linda. I can't begin to imagine! I peered up at the sky this morning looking through thick clouds for the sun and thought, "okay, you can do it...any day now." But WEEKS more? Yikes.

    Hang in there, Linda. Spring will be all the sweeter for having made you wait.

    I'm of Irish/Welsh descent, but never could produce a proper brogue...I'll keep practicing for you, though, Miss Crawford. ;-)

    Thanks for your visit, Linda. It's always such a pleasure!

  5. jo the way you're holding that tree - well it's not a tree hug!!!! i love the silent films for their reliance on body language and facial expression. i aso wish that there was a way to render the players into something that is less jerky (movement i mean) and also in soft colour!!! paris - my boy and his mom spent time in paris and so very loved the feeling. steven

  6. Steven, leave it to a man to say that! LOL, of course, now I'm blushing fiercely.

    I would say I very loved the feeling of Paris, too, but what would you say to that?

    Oh, well, some posts work better than others!


  7. Sorry I am so late in posting! It's been a rough couple of days.

    Love, love, love the picture of you,, so very Audrey Hepburn!
    Peace and love to you today and every day... xoxoxoxxo

  8. Thank you, Vicki...don't apologize, please. You are the most busy person I know.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to visit!

    Tomorrow is Friday!

  9. Oh yes, I know what spring fever is. I have it and I ache when I look outside to see sleet on the day of the Blossom Count. I always end up buying fabric when I get spring fever. I'm not much of a seamstress, but I get itchy for new drapes, or cushions or chair covers - perhaps it's the colour!

  10. Yes, Pondside, I think it's the color! Everything is still a pewter, taupey brown color here. ho hum.

    I'm drawn to all sorts of fabrics in the spring, as well. Greens this year...was just thinking of new bedding myself.

    Have a very good night, my friend.

  11. I went to like the photo of you in Paris but couldn't find the button!

  12. LOL, Dubby! Duly noted! ♥

  13. Jo,or is it "Joan?" Gorgeous photo. KC has its share of celebrities. Thanks for the reminder about Joan Crawford.

    And EBT! My mom and I used to eat at EBT Tea Room, too. Didn't they have a great Cobb Salad or am I making that up?

    Here's to Spring Fever, certainly the most pleasant "illness" I've ever experienced.

  14. Oh, Jan, that's amazing! I asked Mom about it today at the hospital, and she vividly recalled the salads and tiny finger sandwiches! I, of course, remembered the little cakes!

    I agree, Spring Fever beats other fevers, hands down.

    To Spring Fever then!



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