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23-09-2007
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SomethingElse's Avatar
 
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She's still performing, so being in "icons from the past" is a bit misleading.

Quote:
The Wild Child’s Delight

You would expect Eartha Kitt to profess a love for swans, so much does her own tale share with “The Ugly Ducking,” the little gray cygnet who, shunned at childhood, grows up to be a lithe, lovely international recording artist.



The Buzz Eartha Kitt never met a hornets’ nest she didn’t like. “The architecture is so amazing.”

“I was a yellow girl, neither black or white,” she said matter of factly. “Everyone told me I was ugly.”

Ms. Kitt recalled that she did not spend her solitary Depression-era childhood reading fairy tales, but in the fields picking cotton, and off-hours in the woods around the tiny town of North, S.C.

Cut to Paris, 1950. Cue Champagne.

Today, living in woodsy Connecticut, she spends more time immersed in the Discovery Channel. Combined, her childhood experiences and adult crash course in zoology have given Ms. Kitt a keen appreciation for many things, but none more than the ominous piece of apia-tecture known colloquially as the hornets’ nest.

Ominous to some, at least. “I don’t find them frightening,” said Ms. Kitt, whose legendary purr-cum-growl is performing at the newly redone Cafe Carlyle, through Oct. 27. “I think they’re fascinating, so intricate. I love all kinds of bees’ nests. I was a wild child, and I depended on the forest to find company when I was a kid, so I became very cognizant of how friendly nature can be.”

To wit, Ms. Kitt was once photographed by Jet magazine amid a pride of lions in Africa, and appeared in a low-budget movie (“The Serpent Warriors,” 1985) in a bed of snakes. Neither compared, she said, with facing an audience of people, beside whom a swarm of bees is a breeze. “With bees, all you have to do is outrun them,” she said. “I know from experience.”

She started collecting nests about 25 years ago in New Milford, Conn., when a farmer gave her one, then another. “The architecture is so amazing,” she said, “the way that they’re built from the inside out, and gradually expanded as the summer goes on. I’d love to see a documentary just on them.”

The prize of her modest collection is one that is perfectly intact, still on the branch where it was built, given to her by a neighbor boy when she was living in Pound Ridge, N.Y., some 10 years ago. Roughly the size, shape and weight of a large bouffant hairdo, it is most likely the product of a hive of bald-faced hornets, actually a species of wasp.

Though a fearsome sight to many, the hornets’ nest is actually a paragon of eusocial behavior, a way of creating and procreating practiced by some animals that for a while befuddled Darwin. All the hornets (the sterile drones and workers and the fecund queen) contribute to making the nest, some chewing wood to create the ever-expanding paper skin, others constructing the tissue-thin hexagonal interior grid where larvae are hatched — a grid that has fired human imagination, from Frank Lloyd Wright’s to Marc Newson’s.

“It really takes a colony," Ms. Kitt said, pointing out how important bees and wasps are to human life, a point brought home recently with the mysterious death of many American bee colonies. “You really get to a point where you realize how important evolution is, and see that we’re all connected.”

Still, Ms. Kitt acknowledged that this kibbutz on a stick does come with a stinger. “There is very much a feeling of a power on their side,” she said, describing the ineffable threat of a swarm of bees. “You don’t want to take any chances. There are so many ways for them to attack.”

But if the Kitt vision of nature were to be believed, there is no reason to fear. “The only reason they attack is if you attack first. As long as you leave the queen alone, you don’t have to worry,” she said, shrugging. “Just always leave the queen alone.”

You heard the lady.
nytimes.com . published 23 September 2007

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23-09-2007
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Of,course but she still isn't all over the place...and she is an icon in the truest sense & classic so I think she's just fine here,jokes!

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24-01-2008
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I find her so fascinating!

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10-02-2008
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In the mid 1950s scanned by me. Photo Source:soulstyle

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10-02-2008
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Eartha is a mess! And in my opinion, she may have done more for women of color than Lena, but that's just me. Omi, you working on a Nina Mae McKinney thread? What's up?

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10-02-2008
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Both are multi-talented groundbreaking beauties but I have to agree to disagree on this one:p. Lena Legend was first and had the entire NAACP(along with the image of blacks) on her back. Lena is like on another level. She carried herself well under the pressure,thats why she never really fell out of vogue with black people. Sure she raised hell,but she didn't do it like Eartha. But I love Eartha too along with the others b/c it was sooo hard for them and they helped later generations in their own ways. About the other legendary beauty Nina,I have quite a number of photos of her but I don't know if its enough to start a thread. I'm undecided,jokes.

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Last edited by OMIFAN9; 10-02-2008 at 06:32 PM.
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30-05-2008
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Eartha in 1955 by Halsmann

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31-05-2008
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I loooove her version of C'est Si Bon.

Everytime I see or hear her though, I think of her in that Ernest Halloween movie!

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25-12-2008
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Alas, she has passed from us, RIP Eartha...

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25-12-2008
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I still am in shock! She was and is still such an inspiration...what a groundbreaking entertainer. She really could do just about anything sing,dance,act,stage,politics. She is definitely a true iconic legend...they don't make stars like her today. Photo Credits:Gordon Parks & Marion Curtis


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Last edited by OMIFAN9; 25-12-2008 at 05:05 PM.
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25-12-2008
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yes she was.. RIP

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25-12-2008
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She had a rough life personally(especially in her formative years) & professionally(being black and being a woman) but she was able to create many beautiful things through her art and thats to be commended.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081225/...it_eartha_kitt
"I'm an orphan. But the public has adopted me and that has been my only family," she told the Post online. "The biggest family in the world is my fans."
***She was indeed a woman of the Earth and will be appreciated for many years to come. R.I.P Miss Kitt...

Gordon Parks(1952)

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Last edited by OMIFAN9; 25-12-2008 at 06:52 PM.
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26-12-2008
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I loved this woman. RIP, Eartha.

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26-12-2008
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It was quite a shock to hear that Eartha Kitt passed away. She was such a wonderful entertainer and a true star. Rest in peace Eartha Kitt.

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Last edited by Ziegfeld Girl; 26-12-2008 at 10:10 PM.
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27-12-2008
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She was always so Sassy..it's hard to imagine her gone. but RIP

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