Idaho State Journal from Pocatello, Idaho on March 27, 1977 · Page 34
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Idaho State Journal from Pocatello, Idaho · Page 34

Pocatello, Idaho
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 27, 1977
Page 34
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POCATELLO, IDAHO, SUNDAY, MARCH 27, 1977 IDAHO S T A T E JOUKNAl SECTION - PAGE Pocatello Vaudeviller, 81, Recalls Memories of Stage Antics SHOW BIZ IN THE BLOOD-Frank Hacking, an 81- year-old Pocatello resident, currently living at 760 Jefferson, has acting in his blood and can remember the days when he was a regular "hoofer" on the vaudeville and traveling theater circuits. Hacking looks at a memento of his acting days, a photo of his old boss, R. Ferris Taylor, of the Taylor Players. (See story). When Saturday night rolled around in Pocatello in 1926. you didn't take your date to the drive-in because there weren't any. Crowds gathered at the old auditorium or ISU's Frazier Hall to put down their 50 cents to see the likes of Burns and Allen, Kate Smith, or Will Rogers. These were the days of vaudeville and traveling theatre groups which roamed the West, putting up tents lo perform in and traveling by train with their props and gear stowed carefully away in baggage cars. "POCATELLO WAS A GOOD PLACE to break the jump on the theatre circuit," says Frank Hacking, an Bl-yeav-old Pocatello resident who worked in theatre at the time, "i remember playing here many times. A lot of groups stopped here because it was between major cities, like Salt Lake City. Denver, and Boise." While Frank Hacking toured Utah. Nevada, Arizona, and California with the Taylor Players (owned by R. Ferris Taylor, brother of Idaho U.S. Sen. Glen Taylor), a young playwright, George Kelly, was creating the play "The Show Off." "THE SHOW OFF," to be performed at Idaho State University Tuesday and Wednesday by the Seattle Repertory Theatre at Frazier Hall, was regarded by many to be one of Kelly's best works. He won a Pulitzer Prize for one of his later plays, but many felt this was lo compensate for the prize he should have gotten for "The Show Off." "I remember going down to Salt Lake to check out 'The Show Off when another group was performing it," Hacking says. "I came back and gave my report of the play to Taylor. He and everybody else liked it becuase it was a comedy, and they thought it would get good audience response. So we decided to put on our own production of it." "The Show Off" was one of 50 or 60 plays that Hacking had memorized at the time. "SINCE WE TRAVELED ALL the time, we had to be able to perform different plays with only a few rehearsals," he says. "Often I'd know more than one part in each play. All another actor would have to do was throw me a line, and I'd recall the part." Hacking says "The Show Off" is interesting because the audience starts out hating the lead character. "He is a show off," Hacking says, "and you think he's a jerk, but gradually he wins you over until you sympathize with and finally love him in the end." Hacking wasn't one of those people who anxiously stalked the theatre circuit looking for bigger parts and greater fame. "I'VE BEEN A COWBOY, a farmer, a sheepherder, and ran one of the biggest harvesting machines in Idaho," he says. "1 ran into Taylor by accident in a hotel lobby in Salt Lake. He told me he had a stage show in a tent playing a one- week stand at Springville, Utah, and asked me to join the show, which I did as a stagehand at $12 a week. It was the lowest paying job he had." "ONCE IN POCATELLO we were putting on 'Irene/ which is a musical comedy requiring a line of chorus gills," he says. "We had 20 people in the Taylor Players, and when we needed extra performers, we'd just put an ad in the local paper and hire them for the duration of the show. We hired number of Pocatello girls for the chorus line. "Thinking everything was all right, I drove up to Rexburg to visit my family. I was there only a few hours when I got a frantic call from Taylor. He said 1 had to come back because a local woman had protested the show using underage girls for the chorus line. "So he had to take them out of the show which was going thai night and replace them with someone else. So 1 rushed on back to Pocatello and along with two other men in the group, got dressed up like a woman and danced and sang for six nights running. Of course the audience knew what was going on, but they thought it was funny. So the show was a success anyway." HACKING STAYED WITH the Taylor Players about five years. In the meantime Ferris Taylor's brother, Glen H. Taylor, who occupied the U.S. Senate seal from 1939 to 1945, left the theatre group lo start his own. "I knew Ihal neither group had much of a chance to survive," Hacking says. "II was in the 1930's, and the talking pictures were coming in strong. I knew our traveling days would soon be over, as the theatres began to book movies rather than acts. So I got out. 1 left the Taylor Players. At lhat time I was making $105 a week. It was the highest paying position in the group when I left." Hacking went to San Francisco where he got the training to run the sound equipment for talking pictures. He returned to Pocalello where he worked in movie theatres in the projection booth and as a stage manager and builder. "The theatres were still booking some live acts, so I handled the stage logistics when we booked them," he says. "BY 1935 THINGS HAD pretty well hit bottom for the stage performers," he says. "The Taylor Players were still together but failing. When they came to lown I had to loan them $50 to get to their next booking in Montpelier. It was sad. I knew it was the end of an era." I I. POCATELLO BEAUTY ACADEMY "The School Of Hairstyling" PH. 232-9170 For Your Appointment "ALL SERVICES ARE SUPERVISED BY PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTORS" Halfway House tor Battered Women 'JOURNAL CLASSIFIEDS BRING RESULTS Reports of domestic violence are increasing here in Pocatello, but so is the attention being given these cases. A few months ago, women from various organizations held meetings and identified three primary services frequently needed by women who must escape their homes for reasons of safety: emergency shelter, transportation, and counseling about available services. With these in mind, a comprehensive counseling and support service program is now well under way. During the last of February, a room was made available to temporarily house a woman, with up to two children who has to leave her home. There are bath and cooking facilities along with a supply of food and other basic necessities Two volunteers are "on call" for 24 hours and, upon request, will provide support by furnishing transportation, watching the children, or going with the woman to the service agencies, her doctor, or attorney. Additionally, should the woman want to talk to someone on a one-to-one basis the volunteer is willing to listen and help explore different courses of action that can be taken to alleviate some of the problems involved in the situation. Names of the women who use the room will be kept confidential to insure their privacy. Women who need to stay at the facility may contact the Pocatello Police Department the emergency rooms at the hospitals, or the "help line" at 233-HELP and make the necessary arrangements. This type of facility and organized support is a first for Pocatello and is sorely needed. Reported cases of battering nowhere begin to approach the actual magnitude of the problem. As stated in the FBI Crime Index, the incidence of wife beating is greater and the crime less reported than rape. It is estimated to be the largest single offense committed. It should be noted that no federal or state grant money was obtained to start this service. In fact, the volunteers supplied many of the needed items themselves. This type of shelter and support service is a must for Pocatello but will need a great deal of community support in the months ahead. Black Catholic Cardinal Killed BRAZZAVILLE, Congo Republic (AP) - A black Roman Catholic cardinal was kidnaped and murdered early today .by three relitjyes of assassinated President Marien Ngouabi, the government announced. The killing of Emile Cardinal Biayenda, the archbishop of the Congo, was thought to be an act of tribal revenge. Cardinal Biayenda came from the south, while Ngouabi and many of the officers in his leftist military government came from the north. **^fc5f *********** * *** ******** * * * * ' K A Shoshone -Bannook Tribal Enterprise Fort Hall LKiM it aim ol Sbeeptin U Kir. 191 Fort Hil Tmn Site 10 rite hrth of Ptciteh it forth end ol Te»n Authentic Incfian Arts and Crafts -^ J * ^K · i - ( ALL BRANDS L HE wrc (Reg.) 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