Pie Throwing (1939); Sob Sisters

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Thu Aug 2 18:02:54 UTC 2001


   Leaders all over the world are now being "pied."  It's a verb.  Any variations?  New OED entry?  Barnhart?
   Not really a food etymology...well, sort of.
   From the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, 29 June 1939, pg. 20, col. 5:

_Bobby Vernon Dies at 40:_
_Cemedian of Silent Films_
_Star of Pie-Throwing Days_
   _Made Many Motion Pictures_
   HOLLYWOOD, June 28.--Bobby Vernon, screen comedian of the short films, died unexpectedly today after a heart attack at his home here.  He was forty years old.
   A star in his own right during the early days of slap-stick comedy, Vernon was one of the first participants in the pie-throwing episodes that brought fame in the early comedy reels.  He got his start while a call boy with Kolb and Dill, stage comedians.  One day Dill broke a leg and Vernon took his place.  He subsequently obtained film roles in Hollywood and once took the late Lon Chaney's place in a picture. (...)


   OED's "sob sister" entry does not mention the name of this person.
   From the NEW YORK HERALD TRIBUNE, 27 June 1939, pg. 22, col. 7:

_Ada Patterson Is Dead;_
_One of First "Sob Sisters"_
_Heart Fails Veteran Writer as_
   _She Sits on Veranda_
   SARASOTA, Fla., June 28 (UP)--Ada Patterson, one of the first newspaper "sob sisters," died of heart disease today in a chair on the veranda of a beach hotel.  She had been living in Sarasota for two years.
   _Career Began in '90s_
   Ada Patterson was born in Mount Joy, Pa., the daughter of John M. and Elizabeth Patterson.  She began her newspaper work in the 1890's on "The Salt Lake City Herald."  Later she worked as a feature writer on "The San Francisco Call," the old "St. Louis Republic" and on several Hearst newspapers in the West.
   Early in the century, she came to New York as a member of the staff of "The New York American," and became widely known for tearwringing stories about daily happenings in the city.  She served as a drama critic for that newspaper for ten years before she retired from daily newspaper work in 1924. (...)

(On the same page is the obituary for Ford Madox Ford, author of NEW YORK IN NOT AMERICA.  I'm so sorry--ed.)

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