She was one of my mother’s favorite entertainers. I recall the times my mother would talk about how she and her friends would go out on the week-ends to the Savoy Ballroom and other Harlem clubs back in the early forties. My mom had recalled stories about Lena Horne, either performing or just mingling among the wide eyed twenty-somethings who adored her beauty, glamour and penache at the Savoy.
My personal recollection of Lena Horne was 1950, when I was four years old, and my mother took me to a matinee performance at the Apollo Theater to see the show and she ran into Ms. Horne in the lobby. As they talked I was looking at the pictures of the stars who had played there over the years and saw her picture. It was about that point when my mom introduced me to Ms. Horne,
Thursdays was my time to spend with my mom who had worked as a live-in domestic for a while and always had Thursdays off. We went to the Apollo almost every Thursday along with visiting other now famous, Harlem landmarks.
We’d always do Chock-Full-O-Nuts first, which was located on the corner of 125th Street and 7th avenue. She’d have her cream cheese sandwhich on raisin-nut bread and coffe, light. I’d have a hotdog and orange drink and to top it off at the end, my favorite coconut creme pie or whole wheat donut. The quality time was perfect, in my four year-old mind.
It seemed our last stop was always the Apollo theater, where my mom would introduce me to some of her “Stompin’ at the Savoy” friends, who happened to be musicians and entertainers. As an only child, those are some of the best memories of my very early childhood.
But I digress…Lena Horne was this very angelic looking lady who looked like no one I had ever seen in everyday life. She was amazing looking, and as I recall, quite nice as well.
(This is something I remember quite clearly to this day: I received countless silver dollars from my mom’s entertainer friends, every time they saw me. Great times back then!)
Here is what I found on You Tube about Ms. Horne: