"Blacks, whites, men women, gays, straights, old, young,
Jews, gentiles, people from dozens of different nations
worked together, shared dressing rooms, traveled together,
ate and drank together, cooked for one another, slept together,
socialized, gambled together, watched one another's performances,
swapped pointers and new material, baby-sat one another's kids,
loaned one another money, stuck up for one another -- and, as
sometimes people do, insulted and fought with one another."
I think this paragraph helps us understand why the death of vaudeville was mourned so deeply.
And why, even when old vaudevillians realized their dreams of saving up enough money to buy
that little house of their own and start a dance school, their hearts never really felt at rest.
It's a clique to say "the road called them" but actually it was the "family" on the road they missed.
"Interestingly, although he is often known as The Father of Vaudeville, he never used the word vaudeville himself.
For him it was always just variety. No frou-frou Gallicisms required. That Francophile designation would be contributed
by a man whose prudery made Pastor look like an opium dealer." (Meaning B.F. Keith).
And yet, I'm sure I've read elsewhere that Pastor did use the "Francophile designation" late in his career.
I must go back now and check all my earlier sources. (Where will I find the time?)