by Kelley Smoot Garrett, Albuquerque, New Mexico
I just love the way this page begins to show the depth behind Letitia’s choice of words to illuminate.
In just this one choice of words – “tiny woodland creature” – Letitia is able to convey a wealth of values: the beauty of the natural world around us, the importance of accurate detail, and the obligation to look out for those creatures who might not be able to take care of themselves – this last one coming in part from the Catholic tenants she would have been schooled in while attending elementary school run by nuns. [I’m still researching to determine which private Catholic school Letitia attended during elementary school years (approx. 1920-26, in Los Angeles.)]
These same three principles which Letitia so beautifully illustrated in just one example, could be summed up as:
- Love of the outdoors and nature
- Attention to detail and maintenance of high standards of quality in all projects, and
- “All for one, One for All!” – the informal family motto from Douglas Fairbanks’ silent screen days when he produced “The Three Musketeers” (1921) and “The Iron Mask” (1929)
Each of these traits comes directly from Letitia having grown up watching her uncle, Douglas Fairbanks, and her aunt, Mary Pickford, make movies. Her uncle’s closest confidants were his two brothers, Jack and Robert, Letitia’s father. Together these three brothers would play leading roles – one brother, Douglas, in a most public manner, with the other brothers, Jack and Robert, privately – and in the process create an entirely new industry. The energy and vitality with which Douglas Sr. and his Fairbanks brothers lived is best described by Doug Sr. in his 1917 book, “Laugh and Live“:
“Consideration for others does not necessarily involve only the big things. It is the sum and total of numberless acts and thoughts that make for friendships and kindliness. People who are thoughtful surely brighten the world. They are ever ready to do some little thing at the correct moment and after a time we begin to realize how much their presence means to us. We may not notice them the first time, or the third, or the fifth, but after a while we become conscious of their persistence and we esteem them accordingly. Such men are the products of clean, straightforward lives. They are never too busy to exchange a pleasant word. They do not flame into anger on a pretext. Their code of existence is well ordered and filled to the brim with lots to do and lots to think about.”
Douglas Fairbanks. Laugh and Live (Kindle Locations 570-575).
With more exciting adventures to come, till next week, dear readers!