Post-War Survival Jobs in NYC

Last week, I told you about Diana’s celebrity paintings. She considered herself a celebrity portrait painter. I have a couple of interviews I did of her that I slowly am listening to. As I get more information, I will share it. One thing I forgot to mention last week, though, that comes from my paper files is a mention of Diana by a very cool columnist. From Rodgers and Hart’s song “The Lady is a Tramp”:

I follow Winchell and read every line
That’s why the lady is a tramp

That’s right; Diana was mentioned by Walter Winchell under the professional name she was using, “Diana Dale.” She’s at the bottom of this clipping.

“The paintings on the Birdland walls are from the easel of Diana Dale.” Not a big mention, but still.

I am finding more and more little tidbits so at some point I might backtrack a bit. For now, I am moving forward.

In addition to studying and working on her paintings, Diana held survival jobs in NYC. Here is a photo of her from 1951, when she was working at Walgreen’s.

It looks like ads for camera film are above her head. I’m not sure what is in the forefront of the photo. Or the details behind her. She was 29 here.

She also worked at the world-famous Stork Club as a cigarette girl. Whenever I think about this job, I remember the commercial from my childhood, “Cigars, cigarettes, Tiparillos?”

In addition to her job as a cigarette girl, she was a hat check girl at the Stork Club. She much preferred this job because the tips were fabulous. She earned $20 and $50 bills from many wealthy customers, including celebrities, such as William Powell.

It is possible that she worked at this job in 1952 because it would explain her license as a “wardrobe checker.”

Although I don’t think I have a photo of her at work at the club, I do have a few mementos she saved.

13 thoughts on “Post-War Survival Jobs in NYC

    • Diana used to keep everything, so all we had to do was not throw stuff like this away! Stork Club memorabilia seemed like a smart thing to keep!
      Nobody else has her talent to my knowledge, except one of her nieces did become a painter later in life. There is a lot of musical talent in that family.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My husband’s father was a well-known painter. His work sold for a lot of money at the time. No one in the family can paint but my husband can make beautiful furniture and play guitar. He has two daughters who have graphic design backgrounds and two who are not at all artistic. Interesting how talents are inherited.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s so interesting. It’s hard to know sometimes what is genetics and what is random. My husband has been stuck with 3 artistic women: his mother, the painter; his wife, the poet; his daughter, thesingersongwriterdancerchoreographeractor. Hahaha. But he is very artistic in interior design, art appreciation, gardening, stuff like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. What an exciting life she lived as a young single woman in NYC during such interesting times! Wow, Walter Winchell and The Stork Club—real icons of those times. The stories she must have heard and lived….

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am thinking you would have been a cute cigarette girl! Diana used to keep a lot of stuff. She was as bad as me haha. So that makes it more likely to have something like these Stork Club pieces.


  2. These are just fabulous mementos of the time, Luanne!!
    I also remember the cigars, cigaretts, tiparillos ad…
    William Powell as a big tipper I could certainly believe – he must have had plenty of cash from his 6 Thin Man movies!! I thought he and Myrna Loy were wonderful together.
    Diana Dale, the name, the woman. Awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

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