Sunday, April 10, 2016

The mother, the son, The Silver Room.

There are the stories that you find. 

Fifty-seven years lapsed between the opening of The Hotel Glendale and the opening of The Cave. We know most of The Hotel's story, its momentary peak and long, steady decline.  But there is little information on the story of our beloved basement quarters.  How long did the restaurant that is now the Napa Room serve  food?  Was the Social Room that is now the Bordeaux Room always hopping?  Information is scarce. 

Then I stumbled onto something (I'm afraid I didn't bookmark) referring to The Silver Room in the basement of the Hotel Glendale.  A little further digging gave me this story.

This is Beryl Deane Harrell, and this photo of her is from the website Hillbilly Music. There you can read the story of Beryl and her steel guitar. 

In the 'thirties and 'forties she was in a series of bands with names like the Hula Bluettes, Sweethearts of the Air, the Saddle Dusters.  But it would be Eva Harpster and her Four Co-Eds Orchestra that would play a "record breaking engagement of 26 weeks in the Silver Room of the Glendale Hotel in Glendale, California."

Poking around various steel guitar forums, there are two recordings, "Goofus" and "Dragging the Steel." Sadly, both have been removed from Youtube for copyright infringement.  

Ms. Harrell's story is mostly via her son, Don Triolo. He was born in Glendale.  He is her legacy and tells her story with affectionate and vivid memory.  It is that affection, and a deep and enduring sadness, that resounds when you read his annual remembrances posted on her Find-a-Grave site.   

Beryl ended her own life in 1977.  It was in researching this, though, that I see her son Don also recently died unexpectedly.   About a year ago this was the last message posted on Beryl's wall: