Excerpted from Every Week Magazine (Sunday Supplement)- July 21, 1935
A NEW STORY ABOUT OLD FILMLAND.
By Jeannette Meehan
Back in 1923 a bunch of movie girls were whooping it up. The occasion was the first meeting of the exclusive "Our Club", whose membership list included (and still does to this day) the outstanding feminine cinema personalities of that time. The celebration was held at their president's mansion in the Hollywood Hills.
That was 12 years ago. But it was really 13 years ago that it all started. The whole thing evolved from one of the oldest friendships in Hollywood - that between Helen Ferguson, then tremendously popular on the screen, and Mildred Davis, leading lady for Harold Lloyd.
About 13 years ago these two girls were present at the Writers Club to rehearse for a play. During a prolonged interval their conversation turned to friendships. They decided Hollywood should have a club of "True-blue friends". They shook hands and - well - that was that - a club it was.
Feeling that such a swank and important organization should have a very auspicious president, they began looking around. They looked exactly five feet. A few seats away, just as though fate had placed her there for that particular office, sat Mary Pickford.
The "club" looked at each other and made bobbing motions with their heads. They rose from their places and approached America's Sweetheart. Mildred did not know Mary at all. Helen had met her once. Nervous but determined, the two crusaders introduced themselves to the screen's greatest star.
They opened their mouths and found their tongues afflicted with that disconcerting condition ordinarily described as "paralyzed". It was Helen who finally blurted, "Miss-Miss Pickford, we want to know if you will be president of our club?"
"Who is in your club?", inquired Miss Pickford.
The two girls looked guilty. "Just Mildred and me," gulped Helen.
"Well," smiled Mary, "I'd be delighted."
Four days later, Mildred and Helen and Mary met for luncheon to augment their somewhat scanty membership. Within six months they had gathered together, under a common name, a group of young women who's friendship has lasted to this day, rather a rare thing in these Hollywood pastures.
All were acquainted with the top of the ladder in the screen world. They included, Anita Stewart, Carmel Myers, Laura La Plante, Ruth Roland, Virginia Valli, Lila Lee, Zasu Pitts, Leatrice Joy, Gloria Hope, Claire Windsor, Ruth Dwyer, Lillian Rich, Lois Wilson, Carmelita Geraghty, Virginia Fox, Billie Dove, Pauline Garon, Gertrude Olmstead, Clara Horton, May McAvoy, and Edna Murphy.
In those days these were the girls. They set the social standards for Hollywood's younger set. They dictated the fashions. Fan magazines were quoting them on how to avoid, rather than how to acquire a sun-tan. Fans the world over were copying their manners.
Tch, tch, such goings on -- and you haven't heard all or even half of it. One awful night they held a Hallowe'en party at which they served cider -- but horrors, they had made a mistake and purchased the wrong kind of cider -- a bit on the hard side. The respective mothers were so scandalized that the girls weren't allowed to hold a meeting for two months.
Now mind you, this was after all these little ladies had been out in the world making their own living and at a time when Hollywood was supposed to be the wickedest city in the world.