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The Honorable Vanessa D. Gilmore

United States District Judge Vanessa Gilmore was born in October of 1956 in St. Albans, New York. In 1977, Gilmore received her B.A. degree in textiles and marketing from Hampton University, and in 1981, she earned her J.D. degree from the University of Houston Law Center.

Upon graduation, Gilmore began a thirteen-year career at the Houston law firm of Vickery, Kilbride, Gilmore & Vickery, where she specialized in civil litigation. In 1984, she was also hired as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston College of Law. Under Texas Governor Ann Richards, Gilmore became the first African American to be appointed to the Texas Department of Commerce Policy Board. She served as chairperson of that board until 1994, when President Bill Clinton appointed her as a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. At the time, Gilmore was the youngest sitting federal judge in the United States. In 2005, she presided over the high-profile Enron Broadband trial.

In 2008, Gilmore published her first book, A Boy Named Rocky: A Coloring Book for the Children of Incarcerated Parents, and has become a frequent speaker on issues related to these children and their families. In 2010, she released You Can’t Make This Up: Tales from a Judicial Diva, a humorous look at her life on and off the bench. Her next book, a fiction novel entitled Saving The Dream, was published in 2012. In 2014, she released Lynn’s Angels: The True Story of E. Lynn Harris and the Women Who Loved Him.

Gilmore is a sought after lecturer and speaker and has published noteworthy opinions on patients’ rights, the first amendment and copyright and patent law. She has served on the boards and advisory boards of a number of charitable organizations including the Houston Zoo, San Jacinto Girl Scouts, Spaulding for Children and Habitat for Humanity. Gilmore also serves on the board of trustees for Hampton University and on the board of Inprint, a literary arts organization. She is the recipient of numerous civic awards for community service and is a member of the Links, Inc. and Jack & Jill of America, Houston Chapter.

Gilmore lives in Houston, Texas with her son.

Vanessa Gilmore was interviewed byThe HistoryMakers on May 6, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.131

Sex

Female

Interview Date

5/6/2014

Last Name

Gilmore

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Diane

Schools

Hampton University

University of Houston

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Vanessa

Birth City, State, Country

St. Albans

HM ID

GIL09

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Speaker Bureau Notes

Judge Gilmore would like to address audiences about incarcerated parents, adoption, legal issues, or pursuing a judicial career.

State

New York

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

10/26/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Houston

Country

United States

Short Description

Federal district court judge The Honorable Vanessa D. Gilmore (1956 - ) was appointed to serve as a federal judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas in 1994, becoming the youngest federal judge in the United States at the time. She was the author of four books: A Boy Named Rocky: A Coloring Book for the Children of Incarcerated Parents; You Can’t Make This Up: Tales from a Judicial Diva; Saving The Dream; and Lynn’s Angels: The True Story of E. Lynn Harris and the Women Who Loved Him.

Employment

Vickery, Kilbride, Gilmore & Vickery

University of Houston College of Law

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Lois Wright

Broadcast executive and lawyer Lois E. Wright was born on June 25, 1949 in Newark, New Jersey, to parents Robert Wright and Elise Onion. Wright earned her B.A. degree in American Studies from Douglas College at Rutgers University in 1970. After attending the Bout Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, Wright transferred to the Rutgers School of Law and graduated with her J.D. degree from there in 1973.

Upon graduation, Wright was hired by the City of Newark as an attorney in the corporate counsel’s office. She became a lawyer for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1977, and served there for three years in the Broadcast Bureau as well as the Office of Plans and Policy. In 1980, Wright became the general counsel for Inner City Broadcasting (ICBC), one of the first African American-owned broadcasting companies. She was later appointed as the executive vice president and corporate counsel for ICBC.

In 1996, Wright became a member of the Hudson Valley Chapter of The Links, Inc. She later served as the counsel to the board of directors for the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), and as a member of the board of directors for the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL). Wright is also a member of the National Bar Association (NBA),

In 2010, Wright received the distinct honor of being named as one of “The 50 Most Influential Women in Radio” by Radio Ink magazine.

Lois E. Wright was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 14, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.280

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/14/2013

Last Name

Wright

Maker Category
Marital Status

Single

Middle Name

Elaine

Schools

Rutgers School of Law

Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California

Rutgers University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Lois

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

WRI07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

New Jersey

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/25/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sole (Dover)

Short Description

Broadcast entrepreneur and lawyer Lois Wright (1949 - ) served as the executive vice president and corporate counsel for Inner City Broadcasting (ICBC), one of the first African American-owned broadcasting companies.

Employment

Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

City of Newark, New Jersey

Favorite Color

Black

Patricia Russell-McCloud

Motivational speaker Patricia Russell-McCloud was born on September 14, 1946, in Indianapolis, Indiana to Willie and Janiel Russell. The youngest of three daughters, Russell-McCloud delivered her first major speech at the age of eight, before the convention of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church convention in Los Angeles. In 1964, Russell-McCloud graduated from Shortridge High School in Indianapolis and went on to receive her B.A. degree in history in 1968 from Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky. In 1970, she enrolled at the Howard University School of Law and received her J.D. degree in 1973.

In 1973, Russell-McCloud began working for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington D.C and by 1974, she was involved in a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Justice that eventually led to the Supreme Court case United States vs. AT&T , which broke up what was then the largest monopoly in the United States. Russell-McCloud received several promotions, eventually becoming the head of the Complaints Branch within the Broadcast Division of the FCC. In 1982, she met E. Earl McCloud, a minister and military science instructor at Alabama A&M University and they married in 1983. That same year, she left the FCC to begin her own motivational speaking business, Russell-McCloud Associates.

Over the past 27 years, Russell-McCloud has become one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the nation. Her clients include McDonalds, the United States Navy, Coca-Cola, United Auto Workers and a host of other prominent companies. Black Enterprise Magazine named her the fifth best motivational speaker in 1998. From 1994 to 1998, Russell-McCloud served as president of the Links, Inc. Her book, A is for Attitude: An Alphabet for Living was published in 1999, and she has released an audio CD of her speeches entitled Never Give Up and a separate recording of her speech The Power of Connecting . Russell-McCloud has received numerous honors, including the keys to more than 300 cities.

Accession Number

A2011.028

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/20/2011

Last Name

Russell-McCloud

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Shortridge High School

Kentucky State University

Family Development Services

Howard University School of Law

Howard University

First Name

Patricia

Birth City, State, Country

Indianapolis

HM ID

RUS08

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Africa

Favorite Quote

Whatever You're Going Through It's A Temporary Inconvenience For A Permanent Improvement.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

9/14/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salad

Short Description

Motivational speaker and lawyer Patricia Russell-McCloud (1946 - ) was a Federal Communications Commission attorney, the president of The Links, Inc. and a motivational speaker.

Employment

Russell-McCloud Associates

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Indianapolis Public Schools System

Detroit Public Schools System

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Patricia Russell-McCloud's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Patricia Russell-McCloud lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes her father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Patricia Russell-McCloud lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes the Haughville neighborhood of Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Patricia Russell-McCloud remembers the Woodrow Wilson School No. 75 in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Patricia Russell-McCloud recalls her social activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Patricia Russell-McCloud remembers speaking at a national meeting of the A.M.E. Zion church, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about her early influences

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Patricia Russell-McCloud remembers speaking at a national meeting of the A.M.E. Zion church, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Patricia Russell-McCloud recalls the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about segregation in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes the music of her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about Revered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes the music of her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about her experiences at Short Ridge High School in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Patricia Russell-McCloud recalls her decision to attend Kentucky State College in Frankfort, Kentucky

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Patricia Russell-McCloud remembers joining the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes her academic experiences at Kentucky State College

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority's service activities

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about her decision to attend the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Patricia Russell-McCloud remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Patricia Russell-McCloud recalls her time at the Howard University School of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Patricia Russell-McCloud remembers her peers and professors at Howard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Patricia Russell-McCloud recalls joining the Federal Communications Commission

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes her work at the Federal Communications Commission

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes her role as the chief of complaints at the Federal Communications Commission

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Patricia Russell-McCloud remembers organizing a conference of black-owned broadcast networks

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Patricia Russell-McCloud remembers her retirement from the Federal Communications Commission

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about her membership in The Links

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Patricia Russell-McCloud recalls the history of The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Patricia Russell-McCloud reflects upon her legacy at The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes programs during her presidency of The Links, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about meeting Elizabeth Catlett

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Patricia Russell-McCloud recalls her changes to The Links' policies

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Patricia Russell-McCloud recalls her decision to become a motivational speaker

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Patricia Russell-McCloud recalls her start as a motivational speaker

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about her mentorship program

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Patricia Russell-McCloud remembers writing 'A Is for Attitude: An Alphabet for Living'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about her stage play, 'Keep Rising'

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Patricia Russell-McCloud describes her philanthropic activities

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about her inspirational CD, 'Never Give Up'

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about her role as a bishop's wife

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about her favorite motivational speakers

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Patricia Russell-McCloud talks about her awards

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Patricia Russell-McCloud reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Patricia Russell-McCloud shares a message to future generations

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Patricia Russell-McCloud reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Patricia Russell-McCloud narrates her photographs.

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

10$3

DATitle
Patricia Russell-McCloud recalls her decision to attend Kentucky State College in Frankfort, Kentucky
Patricia Russell-McCloud remembers writing 'A Is for Attitude: An Alphabet for Living'
Transcript
So how do you begin to prepare for college? You think you may want to be an attorney, but you're not sure. How do you begin to prepare to go to college? Who's there to help you?$$My godmother went to Kentucky State [Kentucky State College; Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky], and she was very hopeful that I would be willing to be interviewed by the recruiter when he came. She was telling him that I was a speaker, that I was smart and that I could sing, and that I could be on any or all of those scholarships and it would be a wonderful experience. So I listened and I met the recruiter when he came, among other recruiters who came to my school [Shortridge High School, Indianapolis, Indiana], but I met him. But he told me about a man named Dr. Henry E. Cheaney and that he was a history and political science professor at Kentucky State. So I did all this research on Dr. Henry E. Cheaney. Excuse me. He was renowned. And I said, "Oh, I have to study under him, I just have to go there." And the choir, the concert choir of Kentucky State, was traveling all over and, including New York, inclu- I mean everywhere. And they were under a master director. And many of those people in that choir have gone on to be in operas and all that. So then I said, "Oh, I want to be in that choir." And, so then I looked at some of the other professors. One of the top speech and drama persons, Dr. Winona Lee Fletcher, was at Kentucky State. And when I went to their campus, I loved it. Rolling hills, buildings that were welcoming, attitudes and behaviors that were embracing. I'd never been around that many black people who were educated and had a mind to encourage me to be my best and to achieve against the odds and all that. And it wasn't so far from Indianapolis [Indiana] that if, if anything else, you could catch a bus and go home. So I selected Kentucky State.$You also are an author?$$Yes, yes (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Tell me about your book.$$I--one day I received a call from a literary agent and she asked me had I ever considered writing. I said, "I consider it all the time, but I just haven't had time." And she said, I said, "The only thing I can think of offhand--." She was thinking a compilation of speeches would be a book. And I said, "I'm sure that's true, but I don't have time to put all that together." I said, "One thing they love, they, my audiences, they love this thing I wrote called the alphabet." She said, "What is it?" I said, "It's A to Z, and it is the walk away." Even at, even when I'm with corporations, they said, "Will you do the alphabet?" I said, "The alphabet is not in this speech." They said, "But would you just do it?" I said, "You're the client, of course I'll do it." And every letter is a word of empowerment, attitude, brain power, courage, dedication, preparation, now, all of that. And it just goes (makes sound) like that. It goes very quickly, and people just cannot believe that I'm going through the whole alphabet in a new form and way. So she said, "I believe that every chapter is a letter." And I said, "Really?" Attitude, brain power, courage. So she said, "Write me an outline of three chapters. Write me an outline of your book and then write me three chapters and then I'll shop it." And she did, and the book became bestselling. And she said, she called me one day and she said, "I don't want to blow your mind." And I said, "Okay, what happened?" Like I said, I had dismissed it, you know, what's this? She said, "We shopped it to five houses, publishing houses in New York [New York], and--," I'm sorry, "--we shopped it to seven, and five bought the book. Five bid the book."$$Tell me the name of the book again.$$'A Is for Attitude: An Alphabet for Living' [Patricia Russell-McCloud].$$And what year was it published?$$Ninety-nine [1999].$$Ninety-nine [1999]$$And that--then it was re-launched last month, because it was bestselling. And then they changed the cover, the forward, and the acknowledgements.$$Who wrote the forward?$$Margot James Copeland [HistoryMaker Margot Copeland], the national president of The Links [The Links, Incorporated].

Martha Jordan

Martha Jordan was born on January 22, 1927, in St. Louis, Missouri. Jordan was adopted as a baby by Dr. Chalmers Weaver, a local dentist and his wife, Eliza. Jordan attended Simmons Elementary School, and because of her love for music, Jordan took tap and ballet classes as well as piano lessons. Jordan then attended Charles H. Sumner High School where she danced in the Y Circus, a type of music revue that featured popular musicians of that time; she graduated in 1943, at age sixteen.

Jordan promised her parents that she would go to college if they allowed her to work at the Plantation Club in St. Louis as a dancer for one year. When that year ended, she did not attend college, and instead went to Chicago with show producer-dancer Hortense Allen Jordan to work at the Rhumboogie Club as a chorus girl. Jordan performed with the chorus line for shows that featured Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, and Pearl Bailey, who was one of her good friends. Jordan appeared in one of the first all African American shows in Las Vegas at the Dunes Hotel: Smart Affairs , produced by Larry Steele.

In the early 1960s, Jordan moved to Los Angeles during the decline in popularity of chorus line shows; there she took a real estate course and received her broker’s license. At this time, Jordan became engaged to music great, Louis Jordan, and they married in 1966. Louis Jordan was famous for his recorded hits, Let the Good Times Roll and Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby. Jordan traveled and sang with the Louis Jordan Band and took care of the finances. Jordan stopped touring in the early 1970s and began working as an office manager for a Santa Monica elementary school. Louis Jordan passed away in 1975, and in 1980, Jordan moved to Las Vegas where she worked for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department as a records technician. She then retired in 1990.

Jordan served as president of the Las Vegas Chapter of Links, Inc.; a member of the Girl Friends, Inc.; and founder and CEO of the Louie Jordan Commemorative Scholarship Foundation.

Jordan passed away on May 28, 2016 at age 89.

Accession Number

A2007.126

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/6/2007

Last Name

Jordan

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Charles H. Sumner High School

Simmons Elementary School

Saint Louis University

First Name

Martha

Birth City, State, Country

St. Louis

HM ID

JOR04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Missouri

Favorite Vacation Destination

Greek Islands

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Birth Date

1/22/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Death Date

5/28/2016

Short Description

Entertainer and dancer Martha Jordan (1927 - 2016 ) appeared in one of the first all African American shows in Las Vegas, Smart Affairs, produced by Larry Steele, and was the founder and CEO of the Louie Jordan Commemorative Scholarship Fund. Jordan worked as a backup chorus dancer for music legends such as Cab Calloway, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, and Pearl Bailey, in addition to touring with her husband, Louis Jordan.

Employment

Plantation Club

Rhumboogie Cafe

Dunes Hotel

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Martha Jordan's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Martha Jordan lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Martha Jordan describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Martha Jordan describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Martha Jordan describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Martha Jordan describes her community in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Martha Jordan remembers performing with the Y Circus in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Martha Jordan recalls her early education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Martha Jordan describes her early interest in music and dance

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Martha Jordan remembers her childhood friends

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Martha Jordan describes her extracurricular activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Martha Jordan talks about her adoption, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Martha Jordan talks about her adoption, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Martha Jordan recalls breaking the dress code at Charles H. Sumner High School in St. Louis, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Martha Jordan remembers he popular musicians from her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Martha Jordan talks about her family reunions

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Martha Jordan remembers performing for soldiers during World War II

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Martha Jordan describes her decision to pursue a career in show business

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Martha Jordan describes her early dancing career

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Martha Jordan describes the culture of show business

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Martha Jordan describes her experiences as a chorus girl, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Martha Jordan describes her experiences as a chorus girl, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Martha Jordan talks about African American owned clubs and theater productions

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Martha Jordan describes her dancing career in Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Martha Jordan describes her dancing and real estate career in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Martha Jordan describes the racial discrimination in the entertainment industry

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Martha Jordan describes her marriage to Louis Jordan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Martha Jordan talks about Louis Jordan's singing career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Martha Jordan describes her travel experiences

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Martha Jordan remembers her colleagues in show business, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Martha Jordan remembers her colleagues in show business, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Martha Jordan remembers her colleagues in show business, pt. 3

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Martha Jordan describes her career in Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Martha Jordan describes her organizational involvement

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Martha Jordan talks about her autobiography, 'The Debutante That Went Astray'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Martha Jordan reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Martha Jordan describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Martha Jordan narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$3

DATitle
Martha Jordan describes her experiences as a chorus girl, pt. 1
Martha Jordan remembers her colleagues in show business, pt. 2
Transcript
Now, tell me what it's like to, to be a chorus girl.$$To be a chorus girl. Well, you know, at sixteen, it's altogether different than it would be now. But then, it was very, very exciting because you get the chance at the time--I got a chance to travel around the world. I got--well not actually around the world, around the United States. I got a chance--well, I'm a flighty sixteen and I got a chance to meet people, you know. You get to be flighty and, like I said, and I got to meet celebrities and that was my big thing. So when I first went, I went with Hortense [Hortense Allen Jordan] and she--and we worked the Plantation [Plantation Club; Palladium] in St. Louis [Missouri]. From there, we went to Chicago [Illinois]. Well, Charlie Glenn owned the Rhumboogie [Rhumboogie Cafe] in Chicago, which is a black owned club. The Plantation was really all white. Nat Cole [Nat King Cole] was one that we worked with at the Plantation in St. Louis. It was owned--really owned by the mafia 'cause all the guys, Tony [Tony Scarpelli] and all of them, all the bosses were mafia, but you knew this and nobody bothered you and you did not socialize at all, thank goodness. I mean, you were not--you know, you--it was not permitted and all this, which was good because we didn't want to anyhow because they were all Caucasians and we, you know, couldn't go out and--well, you couldn't go out and socialize for the simple reason you didn't have anybody because it was a white club. It was in St. Louis. But when I left there, we rehearsed--in the Plantation, we did three shows a night and, and when we left there and we went to the Rhumboogie which we only did two shows a night, so a much easier job. As a chorus girl, usually if you're in a club and if you're gonna stay in a club for a while just like, say the Rhumboogie and you're gonna be there for like--he hired the whole chorus line so that meant--the chorus line is the backbone of a show. Like, you have celebrities that come in, but you change your celebrities. Your chorus line, you usually do a show a good month without changing, so that means that we have, okay, we're doing three numbers. While we're doing those three numbers before the month is out, we will have to rehearse. And we were working at night, so we will rehearse during the day to learn the new show which you're doing three numbers in the new show, so it is not an easy--it's not--it's not all what it is cut out to be that you don't work. You're working very hard. You're working at night and you're tired and you're facing--you got to be on that stage and you have to be perppy [ph.] and looking good and frisky and smiling and all this. Now, we have nothing to do with the costumes. We have a costumer. Most of the shows have costumers that they get. Any show that you're on, they usually have a costume person. And they come in and they--the producer that you're working for does the show, they'll teach you the routines if--okay, say for instance, we had Larry Steele who was not a dancer, he had Hortense Allen who took us into the Plantation and also the Rhumboogie. Hortense was a dancer and a producer, but she worked with Larry and Ziggy [Joe "Ziggy" Johnson] in the Rhumboogie when we first went in the Rhumboogie. Ziggy was the producer and an emcee, but Hortense was a predominant dancer, but they worked together as a team to teach us the routines for the show. It might be Ziggy's idea that he wanted to do a Christmas show. Okay, Hortense might put some of the steps and things to the different numbers. He has a designer in Chicago at the Rhumboogie who does the costumes. They'll do costumes for these--we have three--a set of three costumes for this show. While we're rehearsing for the new show, she's making costumes for that new show. So when the new show comes in, we--we'll rehearse--okay, say for, for instance, to make it kind of easy, we rehearse about--all of us our professionals, so we rehearse about two weeks for the new show. So, we're learning three numbers in two weeks. That's just about it. So, you're rehearsing two weeks out of that month plus you're doing your show at night. That's the hardest time really is when you're working at night and rehearsing in the day. And we'll rehearse like about--usually you rehearse at least two to three hours a day. You do not rehearse on weekends. They finally said no weekends, thank goodness. But you do--so you have that, that free. But most of the shows, you do rehearse especially when you're in a club.$And what about--you worked with Louis Armstrong or Ethel Waters?$$I worked with Ethel in the Club Baron, one--a club I worked in New York [New York] when I first got in. And, boy, she was--she was--Ethel was--she was a singer, but you couldn't do too much around her to distract anything. That's--really, she would go off on you if you did. But we'd be in the line, if you're putting your feet, messing your feet too much, she would--we'd sway and, but if you mess your feet too much, Ethel would wanna come down and lay you out and all, but she was nice people to work with. She was okay, she really was.$$And what about Louis Armstrong?$$Oh, that was my bud. We had an affair and he was really great people, he really was. He's one of the nicest men in the world, really. Pops was just great. He was--he never changed. Now, he married women that changed and I used to say, "Pops, you got women that--you got some wives that they, they, they--your talent went to their heads," which they did 'cause he was very down to earth, very regular, and would treat everybody equal. But he had some--a couple of wives that though they were better than everybody, which was not true 'cause they were all ex-chorus girls and they were ridiculous. But, Pops was great. I know my mother [Jordan's adoptive mother, Eliza Stone Weaver] was very sick once and he sent her a, a dozen of the prettiest red roses I had ever seen in my life. And the pe- the women at the, at, at the hospital flipped because they knew it was from Louis Armstrong, you know. 'Cause they kept asking about, "Is that your son?" "No, hell no (laughter)," unh-uh.$$Well, you, you talked about Sammy Davis [Sammy Davis, Jr.], but did you know much about the, the Rat Pack, about--$$No (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) None, so you didn't know--$$No. I was around Sammy--$$--Jerry Lewis?$$I was around Sammy, but--I met Sinatra [Frank Sinatra] once, but I never--I never was around them, unh-uh.$$What about Jerry Lewis?$$Hm?$$Jerry Lewis.$$Jerry Lewis, I, I met him once.$$Okay.$$I just met him with Louis [Louis Jordan] once and I had a picture made with him, but that's it.$$Okay. So, I mean, you worked with so many wonderful talents, Sarah Vaughan?$$One of my greatest friends, one of my greatest friends. I adored her and we adored each other. Sassy was just--she's beautiful people. We met years ago before she got to be the great Miss Vaughan and we remained friends until she died, actually. I mean, she was just--she was a sweetheart. And so many people didn't realize, the woman had a heart of gold. And they used to say, "Oh, she's so ugly," but she wasn't. To me, she was beautiful 'cause she was just that sweet. But, you know, a lot of people--you'd be--you have to see through it and, well her voice. Let's not even discuss that (laughter). I won't even go into that, so, really 'cause she had a voice and a range that I don't think anybody can copy. But Sassy was so down, it was just something else.