. 16mo. Black cloth, stamped in gilt, over stiff boards. Journal with side-band and latch with lock (no longer functional). All edges gilt. Red ribbon bookmark attached. Boards moderately worn, with scuffing to corners. Pen writing to approximately 1/4 of ruled pages; remainder blank. Very good +. Item #23029
Diary of Olive Grismer, daughter of eminent playwright-producer-director Joseph R. Grismer and actress Olive Chamberlain (Harper) Grismer. Engaging, closely observed, and illuminating record of 1934, written by a young woman born into California's theater aristocracy. Grismer, nineteen at the time of writing, had familial connections to or social acquantaince with an enormous number of theater, film, and artistic personalities of 1930s Los Angeles and San Francisco -- most notably, the de Milles and the Barrymores. Diary highlights include a multi-page description of Grismer's visit to sculptor Lorado Taft's Chicago studio, a vast number of anecdotes regarding various Barrymores and de Milles, and a captivating "time-worn tale of the eternal triangle" whose three members were: the writer Isabel Garland, daughter of Hamlin Garland and then-wife of tenor Hardesty Johnson; the writer Mindret Lord, whom Garland would eventually marry; and Lord's established lover, Marguerite Namara, a once-famous opera singer and fading musical comedy star. Grismer lays out in exacting detail who loves whom, who knows about it, who is complacent, and who will be heartbroken. "Well, well," she concludes, 'I wonder how it will end?" Grismer pauses her diary in 1935, following her 20th birthday, but returns for a brief post-script in 1941. In the intervening six years, she writes, she has been married; now " on the brink of a 'trial separation' -- I call it my vacation!' Other well-known personalities appearing in Grismer's diary include: Stewart Edward White, writer and spiritualist, whose story "The Girl Who Got Rattled" formed the basis for one chapter of the Coen Brothers' recent "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"; Miriam Hopkins, film actress and star of Lubitsch's Trouble in Paradise; Barnaby Conrad: author, author, bullfighter, and boxer; Carman Runyon, coal magnate and onetime owner of Los Angeles's Runyon Canyon/Runyon Park; and many others. A fascinating view on Hollywood and theater life from a child's perspcetive.