Sunday, February 25, 2007

Down the Street from Grey Gardens (almost)

As exposure to all things Grey Gardens is moving from saturation point to overkill, I was intrigued to hear Little Edie make passing mention of one of her brothers who lived in Tulsa and Oklahoma City and began wondering how many degrees of separation there might be from Junk Thief. As it turns out, about four to five blocks. The brother, Phelan Beale, died in 1993, as evidenced in the obituary below. As I prepare to dismantle my own version of Grey Gardens, Lazy Acres, next month, I could not help but be intrigued to know that Little Edie and I might have passed on Rockwell Avenue 14 years ago. (Junk Thief milestone note: This represents post #200 of our site as we near the six month mark.)

From The Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK), on 1 July 1993

Deceased Name: Phelan Beale Jr.

BEALE Phelan, Jr., 73, died June 26 in Oklahoma City. He was born on June 16, 1920 in New York City to Phelan Beale, Sr., and Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale. He grew up in East Hampton, Long Island. He attended Westminster School for Boys in Simsbury, Connecticut and studied journalism at Columbia University. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 and sent to Camp Gruber in Oklahoma. He served in World War II in the Pacific theater of operations and participated in the battles of Saipan and Okinawa, where he was wounded in action. He was decorated with two bronze battle stars and a purple heart. He married Rosella Ramsey in Tulsa, Oklahoma on December 26, 1942. Mr. Beale had 30 years service with the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and consulted on unemployment compensation law following his retirement. He was also an American Kennel Club licensed dog judge and toured the U.S. judging obedience trials. He was an accomplished speaker and writer. He delivered speeches to numerous organizations on a variety of subjects, and wrote magazine and newspaper articles. He also won hundreds of writing contests. He appeared in television commercials for MCI Communications. He liked to fish in Galveston, Texas. He remained active writing, speaking and judging dogs until his death. He is survived by his widow, Rosella Beale, Oklahoma City; daughter, Michelle Beale, Houston; sister, Edith Beale, Miami Beach; and brother, Bouvier Beale, Glen Cove, Long Island. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 2 at Bill Merritt Memorial Chapel, Bethany. Burial will be at Forest Park Cemetery East in Houston. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the 50th Street Church of Christ, 6035 N.W. 50th, Oklahoma City, 73122 or the Gulf Coast Conservation Association, 4801 Woodway, Suite 220 West, Houston, 77056.

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