The Journal of San Diego History
Summer 1978, Volume 24, Number 3
Thomas L. Scharf, Managing Editor

By Dick Carlson

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Records come and go as do the people who make them, but the thrill of overcoming odds, of being the “first,” has contributed heavily to San Diego’s historic past.

San Diego’s cultural inventory is wide and varied. Our roots are imbedded in a patchwork quilt of family singalongs and backyard bands. How musically serious the women above were is open to question. At least their drum, decorated with a flapper blowing smoke rings, suggests a social militancy anyway.

Through the physical arts we can step away from ourselves and be expressive. The sinewy women above, were posed at the Charley Dance School in 1931 and formed their expression (all but one) with their eyes closed.

In the early Depression years San Diego was entertained at the downtown Creole Palace by a black troupe led by Dorothy Yoes and her “Creole Cuties.” “Harlem After Dark” and shows of its kind were then, like the era itself, beginning to fade rapidly into the past.