LaVerne Strotheide got to
know Miriam when she (Miriam) was appearing as a trapeze artiste at a
local theatre in Granite City, Illinois. LaVerne would have been 12, and
Miriam 5. A delightful friendship developed and the two girls
kept in touch for many years. The common thread in this friendship was
dancing, LaVerne specialising in Tap. She also sang and was the vocalist
with a number of popular bands, both big and small.
But what really cemented their friendship
was appearing in various shows and reviews together. And beyond that,
from wherever she was performing at the time, Miriam would write to
LaVerne, and frequently include an affectionately inscribed photo. There
is a poignancy in Miriam's inscriptions - several of them begging
LaVerne, 'Don't forget me'.
Below are just a few of the photos
LaVerne has been able to lay hands on after sixty or so years.
LaVerne still dances, and having recently
entered her ninetieth year, she must surely be the Grand Lady of
I'm extremely grateful to LaVerne for
making these photos and memories available to me for publication on this
website. They form a valuable contribution in piecing together Miriam
LaVelle's short, but fascinating life.