March 18 — Shining Star: Did you have a female ancestor who had a special talent? Artist, singer, actress, athlete, seamstress, or other? Describe. Thank you to Lisa over at The Accidental Genealogist for supplying a month's worth of prompts celebrating Women's History Month.
I am certain that all my female ancestors has shining star qualities. Certainly those of the 19th century were star seamstresses and bakers. Both of my grandmothers were talented with sewing skills. Today I have decided to feature two women. Both I have first hand knowledge of--both were talented in the arts. My mother, Martha Jean Stark Hughes, was a local actress in the community theaters and my paternal Aunt Faith, a talented dancer.
My mother loved theater--both up on stage and attending. She had boxes and boxes of Playbills from every production she ever attended--including the children's theater shows when her grandsons were actors. Acting must be in the blood as both of my brothers enjoyed being up "on the boards" as did Mom's grandsons. That genetic trait did not pass on to me. Always terrified on stage (and I did give it a try) I was much happier behind the curtain as a props mistress.
She was a founding member of the Hiland Players, a local community theater group, in Perrysville, Pennsylvania. As a kid, how I hated going door to door selling tickets to the productions.
Mom first caught the acting bug when she was in high school. It continued throughout college, into her parenting and later adult years. She did it all--acted, worked backstage, wrote the publicity, ushered.
My Aunt Faith also loved the stage. A talented dancer, she won a scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University (then Carnegie Tech) in the Fine Arts Program, School of Dance, back in the late 1940's.
© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser