Meet Jean Schur, aka Jean Idelle, aka "The Sepia Sally Rand," who 50 and 60 years ago was burning up the burlesque circuit with her fan dance routine.
Newsday has an interesting story on the cover of its Saturday feature section about Schur, now 83 and weakened by a stroke. But just last year the Long Island great-grandma returned to the stage to shake her stuff at the Sin City Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.
Schur's recollections of her years on stage in a time of segregation seem pretty rosy (she "absolutely loved every minute" of her career), and the story touches but doesn't dwell on the hardships I am sure women of every color endured (and still do) in the business. There are holes in the historical record. "There's so little recorded history about . . . burlesque altogether," says Dustin Wax, Hall of Fame executive director. "It is, after all, primarily women's history and marginalized women's history, at that. Add in race and you have triply marginalized history."
Still, the lady clearly is a trouper. And just as beautiful now as she was back then.