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Her only job offer: at the Chez Paree nightclub in the Loop, doing a very different kind of dance performance."I wasn't wearing anything," she said.
"It was economically sound, because I didn't have any money to buy anything."Sally Rand (Oregonian archive)This led to her headlining at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair, where she used her feathered fans and her bubble to make audience members -- and prosecutors from the district attorney's office -- question exactly what they were and weren't seeing. Rand had found an act that was Depression-proof, and she took up touring with her own troupe.
Wearing, reported an observer at the station, "some half-worn-out pink slacks," she hunched "over her script like a tea-room gypsy over some tea leaves.
From nowhere hordes of bald-headed roues appeared to get a peek at Miss R."If her flogging of her show seemed a bit manic, there was a reason for it.
The newspaper pointed out that Rand's cowgirls could be observed every day at San Francisco's Golden Gate International Exposition "wander[ing] about in a glass-enclosed space, reading, resting and playing."Rand made a living staging such scenes.
Sally Rand and her "cowgirls" (The Oregonian)Her girls may have read paperbacks and played checkers for their paychecks, but Rand herself was an artiste.
Plus, she made the case that she offered far more than titillation.
Born Helen Gould Beck to a West Point graduate and a homemaker, Rand had been serious about dance from a young age.
Slowly she began to refill her bank account, and the Portland engagement clearly made a difference.
Casey and Jenkins both wore tuxedos, Rand something slighter.