Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Talented Tuesday: Marvel Skeels

Marvel Skeels (1901-1989) was my grandfather's 1st cousin (and my 1st cousin 2x removed).  She was a singer and musician who was born in Oregon but went on to live and work in New York City from the late 1930's to at least the 1950's.  This is a picture of her in the late 1930's:

[Marvel Skeels, likely in New York, from my private collection]

This is her with my grandfather George Hartley and his mother Minnie (Nosler) Hartley, Marvel's aunt, who were on a tour of the East Coast.  Marvel's mother was Minnie's sister, Alberta Evaline "Birdie" (Nosler) Skeels.

[Minnie (Nosler) Hartley, Marvel Skeels, and George Hartley, likely New York in the late 1930's.  Marvel and George are referred to as "two fine lads" which seems an inside joke.]

After she had retired to San Diego she taught me to play piano when I was young.  This is one of those cases where I could just kick myself now for never having asked her anything about her life.  Ah, the selfishness of youth.  She was a great teacher and very nice lady, if a bit of an enigma.  She held class in her immaculate apartment, and in her bedroom she had a large poster of a Hindu spiritual leader or yogi (I don't remember the name).  I have found records of her traveling to Europe in 1936, but now I wonder if she ever made the trip to India?   Her father William Nosler had been a Methodist Episcopal minister among other things, and I don't know if she had rejected that religion or just included the spiritual guru in her life?

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  1. I'm pretty sure that she went to India at least once.