Sunday, January 22, 2006

Drew Barrymore's Forebears!

Drew Barrymore shouldn't surprise anyone who knows about her famous forebears!
John Barrymore was "some punkins" himself, even as a child according to John Kobler in his biography of Mr. Barrymore: Damned in Paradise: The Life of John Barrymore (Antheneum, New York, 1977, page 41).
John exhibited at an early age a waywardness not surprising in a son of Maurice Barrymore. On October 16, 1895, in his thirteenth year, Maurice delivered him to the preparatory-school division of Georgetown University, a Jesuit institution in Washington, D.C. The priest who greeted them, Father Richard, showed them through the various buildings. As they entered the gymnasium, John asked permission to test his skill on some horizontal bars. The priest readily granted it and John executed a neat handstand, forgetting what his pockets contained. Out tumbled a pair of brass knuckles, a pack of cigarettes and a half-pint flask of whiskey. Maurice was not greatly perturbed by this evidence of precocious turpitude, and the Jesuit fathers, while troubled, decided to admit the boy in the hope of reforming him. They failed.
One night, returning to his dormitory from a clandestine visit to Harvey's Old Oyster House, flushed with liquor, John proceeded to entertain his schoolmates with imitations of drunken actors. A preceptor interrupted the performance. "I suppose you know you're going fast to perdition," he said.
"No," John retorted, "but I'm sure I'm going back to New York."
Maven is afraid that Washington, D.C., and the Jesuits never did understand the Barrymores!
Can't you imagine how different things would be if they had?!?!
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Blogger Michael J. Farrand said...

Thought you might enjoy my narrative poem on Maurice Barrymore, founder of the Barrymore dynasty, "The Man Who Brought Royalty to America".

2:35 PM  

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