Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #210
…I actually read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to a niece of mine when she came for a visit, way back in 1904, before I married Harv…
The influenza even affects the War Bond effort, halting the star-studded fundraising events. Viewed as just another way to allow the virus to spread and rightly so, the motion pictures industry pulls their precious stars from the field, of raising money for the war. As a result, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm’s production is moved up, in light of the stars’ availability. Mary Pickford is being rushed to the studio and guess who she takes with her – Judith Eastman , the unlikely new face on the silver screen; no time for casting, only Mary Pickford’s word that she has the perfect person to play Rebecca’s beloved school teacher, Miss Emily Maxwell. She had originally thought her to be a good older sister, Hannah, but upon discovering that the youthful looking Judith was indeed 55 years of age, she reconsiders.
“You must be going daft. Mary, you want me to take the train out to Los Angeles with you, just like that?” Judith asks.
“You can play the part of Miss Maxwell and write the greatest article about film making ever.” Mary Pickford sounds as perky as she looks. “Did you read the book?”
“I actually read it to a niece of mine when she came for a visit, way back in 1904 or so, before I married Harv.” She thinks fondly about her dear husband, wondering where he is and what he will think when he finds out she is in California making a movie, with Mary Pickford no less. “As I recall, Emily Maxwell was Rebecca’s biggest supporter – A teacher – I guess that is not an outlandish notion.”
“That is what I want to hear!” exclaims the 25 year old star. “You are going to have the time of your life and we will be getting away from that awful influenza.”
“I am feeling guilty. Harv may be on the western front, knee high in mud or maybe worse.” She does not know that, in fact he is quite safe and the tide of the war has turned for the Allies.
“Look at it this way: you will be doing your part to boost moral at home.”