Sunday, November 20, 2011

Go West, Young Man!

            The year is 1929, it is late spring and Charles Sherlock has recuperated from his internal injuries suffered from a car accident while on duty as a Chicago policeman.  However, Charlie won’t be returning to police work, instead he has been placed on permanent disability.  What should he do now with his young family – wife Theresa Nebgen Sherlock, and children Charles Jr. (8 years old), Eddie (2 years old) and baby Donald (born in March)?  Perhaps, California is the answer.

            He travels solo to California and to the San Francisco area in specific.  Even though he has lived his entire life in Chicago, San Francisco is too cold for him.  Perhaps, San Francisco’s weather reminded him too much of Chicago.  What is that saying (that has been attributed to Mark Twain) about “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”?   So not appreciating San Francisco’s weather, Charlie takes a boat down to Southern California (probably the Los Angeles/Long Beach area). 

            Well, anyone who has been to Southern California after spending a winter in Chicago will easily appreciate both its weather and beauty – the moderate Mediterranean type climate and its beautiful coast with its sandy beaches and palm trees.  Charlie decides this is the place for him and his family.  He returns to Chicago and moves his family to Los Angeles.  He drives his big car across the country with baby Donald (6 months old) in a homemade hammock strung across the back seat.  They find a place to live in Redondo Beach and live there for the next 5 years until Donald is in kindergarten.  

            In 1934, Charlie moves his family to a house on Beachwood Drive in the Hollywood Hills.  By now the Great Depression has hit, but Charlie doesn’t have to worry about money like the majority of Americans do because he is living on his pension from the Chicago Police Department.  He is also being paid for being a character actor in movies.  See my first post in this blog for the story on his acting career.

            A little postscript to the story of his acting career -- on Friday night, I went to the movies to watch the film “J Edgar”, the story of J Edgar Hoover, the longtime Director of the FBI.  In the movie, there is a scene where J Edgar is watching the original “G Men” movie.  Well, who should appear up on the big screen (28 years after his death) but my Grandpa Charlie.  It was awesome seeing him up there for just a few moments with the legendary James Cagney.

            What’s up next for this blog?  Perhaps it will be my adventures in researching Charlie’s father Edward Sherlock, who died when Charlie was a year old.  Stay tuned!

No comments:

Post a Comment