Friday, December 10, 2010

Maybelline King's and their Queen

Top picture is of Preston Williams taken in Chicago, in 1922, the year he met Evelyn.  The bottom picture is of Tom Lyle and Evelyn Williams taken in California, 1938.

Playing the war hero at speakeasies to sympathetic women, Preston Williams got his immediate needs met, however, a deeper need could never be met. A Lord and Taylor model he combed his hair straight back and wore dark face makeup to resemble movie idol Rudolph Valentino. He chain smoked, drank too much and exhausted his brothers cash supplies trying to blot out the horrific pictures of war spinning in his head. 

Often seen wearing his Lama skin coat and derby hat he was known  as the Maybelline King at The Paradise Ballroom on the west side of Crawford, between Madison and Lake in Chicago.  Preston had "the look" that attracted the wrong kind of women according to my grandmother Evelyn and suffered repetitive blackouts and a constant burning in his gut.  

"He'd wake up in a strange motel room, often in a fog," my grandmother said, "not knowing where he was, but the one thing he did know, was a phone call to Tom Lyle and he be home free."  

Tom Lyle sent his driver to pay for property damage, post bail and clean up any other messes left behind by gold digging showgirls.  Perplexed and guilt ridden, Tom Lyle was tormented as he watched his Preston sink deeper into depression, not knowing what to do or how to help. Than Evelyn appeared.

Read more about Preston, Tom Lyle and Evelyn in the Maybelline Story.

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