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Lush Life: 1937

Lush Life: 1937

Washington, D.C., circa 1937. "Jane Grier." Pictured with a Packard near the old State, War and Navy building. Harris & Ewing Collection. View full size.


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Ah, the nails...

Here's something I know about, as I've been a manicurist for nearly 30 years. These sharply filed nails were the height of fashion in the late '20s and '30s. The hairline on the tip was done to prevent polish chipping, and many women also left their "crescents," or half-moons, free of polish as well. The popular color was red.

Morgantown Greers

Having grown up in Morgantown, I am very familiar with the Greer name, both for the newspaper as well as for Greer Limestone, the largest limestone mine in the state. Jane married Richard Aubrey "Dyke" Raese, the head basketball coach at West Virginia University (not University of West Virginia, please). Their son John ("Jack) Raese, now owns the newspaper and other mining, steel, tourism and broadcasting commpanies (Greer Industries). Jack Rease ran, unsuccesfully, on the Republican ticket for both the governorship as well as the U.S. Senate seats held by Robert Byrd and Jay Rockefeller.

Almost Heaven West Virginia!

Now I know why I admire Miss Grier so much. She hailed from the Mountain State! I used to live in Elkins and attended many a Forest Festival albeit about 30 years after Miss Grier's coronation as Festival Queen.

Talon Show

She is very pretty, but it's so odd how her nails have been sharpened to a point. I guess they would make an excellent jerk deterrent.

Super Circus

This girl could be Mary Hartline's twin sister! Albeit 20 years too soon. She's sure look great in a majorette costume! Where's Claude Kirchner when you need him?

The V-12 Packard

Though big, elegant and luxurious it wouldn't have been too much of a bargain during the upcoming gas WW2 rationing. My grandfather had a similar one and it sat in the garage most the time for several years while he drove my grandmother's 6 cylinder Chevrolet from 1942 until 1945. Wish we had both cars now!

Her mission

According to the September 18, 1937, Charleston (W. Va.) Daily Mail, a Jane Greer (not Grier) visited the White House to perform a vital mission: to deliver an invitation to President Roosevelt to attend the Mountain State Forest Festival at Elkins, West Virginia, on October 7 and 8. She had been chosen as the festival's queen.

Miss Greer, daughter of Morgantown Dominion Post publisher Herbert C. Greer and Agnes Jane Reeves Greer, graduated from the University of West Virginia in 1940, and was married to its former men's basketball coach (Richard Aubrey "Dyke" Raese) from 1943 to 1955. Control of her father's media business passed to her family, and the Greer business empire soon included minerals, steel, and radio stations. Prominent Republicans, the Greers include her son, John Raese, a three-time loser in statewide elections. She is obviously not the Jane Greer who co-starred in the film noir masterpiece "Out of the Past" (1947).

Cars & Trucks?!

Perhaps you would also consider categorizing Ms. Grier under "Pretty Girls"?

Joan Blondell

She has the look of those Joan Blondell characters who were Broadway babies or the wives of the Park Avenue rich.

Not just a Packard

It's not just any old Packard, it's a Packard V-12--very costly when new, sold in limited numbers and THE prestige American car of its time.


Boy, everything about this photo says "elegant." Miss Grier, her clothes, the Packard with the distinctive hood ornament, and the structures in the background. Elegant.

West Wing Woman

It appears that this shot was taken in front of the West Wing of the White House looking west toward what is now the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. On the left side of the frame, the corner of the West Wing can be seen. The gate behind the car opens to steps which go down to West Executive Avenue.

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