Who Was Ursula Cheshire?
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Was Ursula in the Movies?

If you’re new to Mystery Dancer, welcome! The best place to start is at the beginning and go from there.

Ursula Cheshire in 1926

Ursula in 1926, a couple of years before her time in Hawaii

Ursula had originally planned to go back to Hawaii and her job as a typing instructor at the Honolulu Business College after a month’s visit in California. But something made her change her mind. Maybe she decided teaching was not for her, or perhaps she enjoyed being back home among her friends, mother and other relatives so much that she chose not to return to the Islands. Or perhaps the lure of Hollywood was too strong to ignore.

By 1929, the year Ursula returned to Los Angeles, California, the movie business was in full swing. The economic downturn that started that October did not initially affect the film industry. With 20 Hollywood studios in operation by the end of that decade, an average of 800 films were released per year and the demand for movies was stronger than ever, according to AMC Filmsite. Continue Reading →

Mystery Dancer Posting Schedule Changes

If you’re new to Mystery Dancer, welcome! The best place to start is at the beginning and go from there.

Rather than posting Mystery Dancer “chapters” every other Tuesday, I will be posting on an irregular basis, as my schedule allows. There is lots more to Ursula’s story that you won’t want to miss, so, if you don’t already receive Mystery Dancer e-mails, please subscribe (click on “Subscribe” tab on menu bar) to receive a brief e-mail announcing each new post. Please note, I will never share your e-mail address with anyone. Thanks!

Anchors Aweigh: Here’s Wishing Ursula a Happy Voyage Home!

If you’re new to Mystery Dancer, welcome! The best place to start is at the beginning and go from there.

Calawaii passenger list January 5, 1929

The “Honolulu Advertiser” confirmed that Ursula left for Los Angeles from the Port of Honolulu on Saturday, January 5, 1929 aboard the Calawaii

ON JANUARY 5, 1929, URSULA BADE FAREWELL to Hawaii from the Port of Honolulu, where she boarded the luxury cruise-liner SS Calawaii bound for Los Angeles. This time she was sailing on her own; her previous shipmate and dear friend Elizabeth had left the Islands a couple months earlier. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ursula made some new friends along the seven-day journey home. Her fellow passengers hailed from as far as England and Australia and as near as Pasadena and San Francisco, and included a large group of polo ponies.

Continue Reading →

Life, and Farewells, in Honolulu

If you’re new to Mystery Dancer, welcome! The best place to start is at the beginning and go from there.

Yankees sweep the 1928 World Series

As the drama of the shocking crime and its aftermath faded from the headlines in autumn 1928, routine life resumed for Ursula and her fellow Honoluluans (with the exception, I’m sure, of the Jamieson and Fukunaga families). By October 9, the day after the young murderer was sentenced to death, media attention had shifted to a more benign drama: The New York Yankees had swept the World Series in game 4 with “a record shattering orgy of home runs, three of them by Babe Ruth.” (Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

Three weeks later, Ursula said goodbye to her good friend and roommate Elizabeth Everhardy, who was setting sail for San Francisco aboard the steamship Wilhelmina to meet up with her mother in the continental U.S. But Ursula still had her new Honolulu pals Betty, Marie and Anita, who lived nearby in a house at Waikiki Beach. Continue Reading →