Ella Marie White used white chalk to communicate. That, and her own rhymed "patter" which she performed as she entertained her audience. The young Miss White started drawing in the style later abused by loud mouth nut job Glen Beck, but Ella had no particular agenda. She wished only to entertain and share her talent.
Before Miss White was nine years old, she hooked up with Harlan Tarbell, a more accomplished instructor of the skill. Tarbell became quite famous in the magic and illusion racket. In fact, Harry Houdini was asked to write a series of correspondence courses in magic, but he suggested the publisher use Tarbell instead. The tricks are still being done today.
The poems, or "patter" which she performed while drawing on a chalkboard, in perfect time along with her art, include "The Girl and the Scarecrow" and "The Girl and the Rose" which are shown here...enjoy, and imagine a more refined past.
"Love is blind" is a saying I've heard
But with that I don't quite agree
For a man in love sees more than he ought
He sees things that others can't see
No matter how homely his sweetheart may be
Or how pointed and long her nose
No matter what faults the others may see
To him she will look just like a rose
I've tried and tried to keep this crow
Away from my garden patch
She eats my lettuce and my kale
Her wits I cannot match
But at last I've found a man who can
Who'll guard it night and day
Though his brain is naught but straw and hay
He'll keep that crow away.
Unfortunately, Chalk Talkers performed for small gatherings and church groups for the most part, so I can find no trace of appearances or documentation other than that here, but it would have been a lovely show to see. Tarbell, however, is HERE.
Photo portrait and examples of performances by Ella Marie White come from chalk talk stunts by Harlan Tarbell 1926.
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