Friday, June 14, 2013

Searching for Miss Bruno

This card found in a flea market with the ticket below, postmarked 1946, was addressed to "Miss Frances Bruno" of Saint Paul Minnesota. The correspondence mentions that "this place is really romantic. Been raining a lot though- darn. Houston TX next." A search for Frances came up empty; maiden names from the 40s don't usually survive the conversion to digital data:

The Court of Two Sisters still exists, catering to the tourist trade.  This next piece of ephemera has a little more information, with a little more searching I found enough to start a narrative:

The back has the name of Bruno, Frances written in pencil at the top, with "HOLIDAY ON ICE SHOWS, INC." stamped below it. A little research shows that this troupe began traveling across the country a few years earlier; these trips were made practical after the development of a successful portable ice rink.  There are programs from 1947 available online, although the contents are not. Searching a little further (on Bing no less!) I did find a mention of Frances on a HOI reunion board—she was in the chorus! These mementos had been removed from her scrap-book and sold for 50 cents.  That's a little sad, I'm sure there was more information about her, although the audience for her story might be very limited. It is known that in 1947 the HOI went on a tour that made it to Mexico City for a stunning nineteen day sold-out run (total attendance of over 350,000!) and also performed in a bullfight arena in Guadalahara.

As to The Southerner, numerous sources chronicle this train:

I take it that car S-4 is the same as SOU 804 Georgia Coach listed above. The locomotive itself is a classic streamliner which ran for many years:

All this must have been heady stuff for a youngster from Minnesota in 1947!

UPDATE: More on Frances Bruno

By Professor Batty


Blogger Jono said...

Going on tour with a show would have been way different than anything I have ever known. I hope Frances had a great time.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

There was other stuff in the box where I found these items, I should have looked through it more carefully, there might have been a more complete story there.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I am Frances Bruno's granddaughter.

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