Monday, April 18, 2011
Una Merkel's Roadside Tribute
This is a roadside marker from Covington, Kentucky. Una Merkel, screen comedienne we might remember as the wisecracking best friend from "42nd Street" (1933), or the wisecracking housekeeper from "The Parent Trap" (1961), or a number of wiseacre roles in between in movies and on TV, was born here.
Nominated for an Oscar for "Summer and Smoke" (1961), she also had a handful of Broadway credits, and won a Tony Award in 1956 for "The Ponder Heart". I have to wonder, though, if this simple sign, as earnestly detailed as possible in what space it allows, is a more glorious tribute than even the Tony. That your hometown would care to remember you long after you'd left it, and hitched it's civic pride to your humble existence in an entertainment industry where you represent little more than a footnote, is something special indeed.
Who says historical markers are just for famous pioneers, generals, and presidents? Get out of the car and take a picture of the family by Una Merkel's roadside marker, and take your hats off a good ol' sassy peroxide blonde.