Friday, September 25, 2009

1922: Frances Gumm Born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota

I know: There's a Grand Rapids, Michigan, too. But Grand Rapids, Minnesota, is where Frank and Ethel Gumm raised their youngest daughter, Frances, for almost five years.

The Gumms were vaudevillians, and Mr. Gumm owned the town's movie theater, so it's no surprise that Frances joined her older sisters sisters Mary Jane and Virginia in a dance act when she was two years old.

All of this would be the sort of thing that shows up in a hometown newspaper on a slow week, except that the Gumms moved to California in 1926, and Frances Gumm became Judy Garland.

Although there are some imaginative biographies out there, "Judy: Just the Facts" at the Judy Garland Museum®, a bulletized list of the major events in Frances Gumm's life seems to be among the more reality-based and easy-to-read.

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