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Remembering Shirley Temple Black, the gracious children’s theater ticket taker

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple Black in 2005

Growing up in Menlo Park, I, along with what seemed like the whole neighborhood, attended children’s plays, I think performed at Sequoia High School. What the plays were, I don’t recall, although I enjoyed them.

What I do remember quite distinctly is one of the ticket takers, undoubtedly pointed out to me by my mother, who had felt the effects of the Great Depression as a young woman. She, like many of her contemporaries, was cheered during those years by Shirley Temple movies.

Shirley had become Mrs. Charles Black by the time I encountered her. My mother and I would also spot her when we were shopping at the Stanford Shopping Center. And I seem to recall that her daughter was in one of my Sunday school classes.

As a kid, it was always a little hard to reconcile the child star Shirley — I, too, loved her movies — and the adult wife, mother, and community volunteer in the 50s and 60s. She always struck me as “regular,” and I mean that in the most positive way. Here was someone who had achieved such fame at a young age, but now was just like the rest of us — or so it seemed.

In my second stint in Menlo Park (moved “back home” in 1990), I haven’t spotted Mrs. Black out and about as much. Of course, she was busy with other things on a more international stage in her role as diplomat.

I remain thankful that she brought joy to my mother during the Depression and made me feel a bit special because my children’s theater ticket was being taken by “America’s Little Darling.”

Note: Woodside resident Shirley Temple Black passed away on Feb. 10 at the age of 85.  A remembrance from her family can be read on the Shirley Temple website.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ginger Terry February 11, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Nice remembrance Linda.

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Vicki Welch February 12, 2014 at 1:32 am

Love the remembrance. My Mom and I would see her at Draegers market shopping for groceries in the late afternoons. It was as much a treat for my Mom as it was for me to see her.

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Debbie Daniels February 12, 2014 at 4:22 am

I have always adored this great lady. I remember as a child running home after church on Sundays to watch a Shirley Temple movie. This was something my while family looked forward to doing together. I was excited when I first found out she had gone into politics. I thought they have a real go getter in there & maybe get so ethi g done. I’m was very pleased in the mixed of all her accomplishments that her family was still first. My deepest sympathy for your loss. I will truly miss her. May God continue to Bless & watch over your family. If you haven’t ask Jesus to come into your lives please do so. You never know when your last days will be with your family & friends. You are in my prayers.
Love In Christ
Debbie Daniels
Kentucky

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