Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Our Grandmother - Lucia (Lucy) Keppen

Our grandmother - Lucia (Lucy) Keppen became very ill in 1914. Aunt Anita encouraged her to spend the winter months with her in Hollywood - but Anita's hope that the warmer sunshine didn't improve Lucy's health and she died back home in Michigan City and died in the spring of 1915. Anita became very depressed with the death of our grandmother.

A number of different factors helped her with her grief. Jesse Lasky's Players merged with another company from the east coast - Famous Players - to form a dominate American Film company - Paramount Pictures Corporation.

-Paramount Pictures wanted to create publicity about the newly formed company.
-The Kissel Kar Co. wanted to promote their company along with the country's first transcontinental highway.
-The 1910's women's suffragette movement was taking an important part of our country's current politics.

Anita heard Jesse Lasky state that "it would be at least ten years before the Lincoln Highway from ocean to ocean would be in such shape that a lady could mae the drive without difficulty." Anita took that as a challenge and Lasky offered to pay her expenses and if she completed the trip would gift her her very own Kissel Kar.

For publicity purposes - Anita was named "The Paramount Girl" and plans were for her to stop at theaters throughout her trip and share information about the motion picture industry.

The Los Angeles Times wrote -

"There will be nobody with her at any time on the trip. She will have no mechanician, no chauffeur, no maid. Her only companions will be a rifle and a six shooter. If success crowns her efforts, she will have done one of the few feats that have not been done before."

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