June 30, 1936

This is my brother, Dexter Leonard Halldin, and our mom in the Los Angeles Times on June 30, 1936. It seems that they went to the beach and Dexter got a very bad sunburn and had to go to the hospital. Bad mom for not covering him up, but it was the 1930’s and she was only 20 so I guess I get it, big mistake. But the rest of the story is what I heard repeatedly as I was growing up.

It seems that during this time, Hal Roach Studios was filming the Little Rascals or one of those kid serial movies or what they called “shorts”. Someone from the studio (according to my mom it was Hal Roach himself, but I don’t know if that is true) had seen this picture in the newspaper and wanted my brother to try out for the movies! The only problem was that he couldn’t talk yet and they needed a little one that could talk. He was cute as a button but talked late and when he did talk he did have a pronounced stutter.

Our mom used to love to rub it in that he could have been a star and we could have been rich, if only he could talk! He hated that story, and I thought it was not very nice of her to repeat the story every year, usually after a few drinks. But that was how mom rolled.

I had seen the clipping a couple of times when I was a kid, mom had saved it of course. But it got lost over the moves. But when I subscribed to Newspapers.com and plugged in my brothers name, there it was! Brought back memories of how “he coulda been a star!!!”