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Creativity Cue of The Week - Honoring Our Ancestors

This is my mother Kaye Andrews, but her maiden name was Kaye Kellems and I finally hung up a piece of her acting history, which I had sitting in a file.

In the late 1940's, my mother graduated from Pasadena Playhouse (The State Theatre of California, now a historic landmark). After graduation she got a contract with Paramount Pictures and auditioned for Cecil B. DeMille. For anyone unfamiliar, Cecil B. DeMille was the Steven Spielberg of the 4o's, 50's and 60's. He directed The Ten Commandments, and played himself in Sunset Boulevard. But his legacy spans many classic films like Samson and Delilah, and The Greatest Show on Earth. It is an exciting piece of history to have on my wall.

Eventually, my mother did print work, but got married and had a family. She also loved costume design and make up and dabbled in both over the years. I had the best white satin fairy princess costume on the block one Halloween night. Also, she did all the actor's make up for a summer production of Lute Song at my high school.

Incidentally, when Cecil expresses regret for not attending her aunt's radio speech, he was referring to my great aunt, Vivien Kellems. She was an American industrialist, inventor, public speaker, actress, and political candidate who became known for her battle with the Federal government of the United States over withholding under 26 U.S.C. §3402 and other aspects of income tax in the United States.

Lots of history is wrapped up in that one page letter and I'm happy that I've resurrected a piece of paper from a manila folder to hang among the women who loved theatre and the arts, just like me.

From Left to Right: Kaye Kellems, Vivien Kellems, Hazel Kellems (my grandmother), and Cecil's Letter to Kaye.

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