To be honest, given the mad - literally mad! - slaughter of a lady MP yesterday, plus a wretchedly sad event fairly close to home, I had intended to try and grapple with the subject of death this morning. As I mulled the subject over it became clear that I had nothing original to say on the subject and decided it was best left alone.
Instead, I turned to the Daily Mail and their weekly book review which featured a book called "The Girl in the Spotty Dress" and an iconic photograph from 1951 which I reproduce below of two girls posing at Blackpool beach:
This photo was taken four years before Marilyn Monroe's famous picture taken with her standing over an underground grating. It caused a minor sensation in England, the 1950s being a notoriously prim and proper age, and was much, er, salivated over by pubescent boys, er, like me!
The girl in the spotty dress was a lady called Pat Stewart who, I am delighted to say, is still alive at the good age of 82. The picture caused a furore because it isn't entirely clear whether or not naughty Miss Stewart was wearing any knickers - SHLOCK-HORROR! In fact, she was wearing a one-piece bathing suit under the dress but the dark triangle was not entirely clear and the imaginations of all those pubescent boys were sent flying.
The review of her memoir makes interesting reading. The daughter of working class parents, Dad was a coal-miner, but Mum spotted her potential as a dancer and made every effort to get her training. Eventually she moved to London where she worked with the famous Tiller girls, Morecombe and Wise, the Beverly Sisters and other big stars of the period. She married a comedian and enjoyed a happy life. Alas, her early dancing efforts eventually caught up with her when her hips began to crumble in old age. As The Mail reports:
The high-kicking career took its toll on her bones, and both her hips disintegrated. Calling a surgery advice line, she gave her name and was delighted when the man on the line exclaimed: ‘I know who you are! You’re the girl in the spotty dress!’
Here she is today, still looking elegant and cheerful. I tell you it's true, 'there's no business like show business'!