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Ron was born in 1919 and he is from East London. The couple met in East London in 1940 during the Blitz, a nine-month period of intense daily bombings by the Germans on English cities and towns (September 7, 1940 — May 11, 1941). Jackie worked for the ARP (Air Raid Precautions) and Ron was a mechanical engineer with Standard Telephones and Cables. STC did significant defense projects during the War, and due to the nature of his work, Ron was exempt from military duty. “I met Ron when I was 18 1/2,” Jackie said. “And it’s all because of my friend, Nora. Nora and I liked to go to the dances almost every night. The fact that the War was on didn’t make any difference. Nora went to a dance with Ron and he couldn’t dance a step. After a few more dates, Nora told me that was it, because Ron couldn’t dance.”.
“Two days later there was a knock at my door,” Jackie laughed, “It was Ron wanting dance lessons.”, Jackie taught Ron to dance and he became quite good, “And he never went back to Nora and neither minded.”, Jackie, who studied with the Royal Academy of Dance, said however it happened, she was just a dance natural, satin ballet flats with ribbon She became quite passionate about ballroom dancing beginning at age 8, and throughout her childhood she created a number of dances, “I was a Brownie and a Girl Guide and three friends and I used to create dance steps we’d call: ‘Chickapee, Walkapee, Chickapee, Walkapee,'” Jackie laughed, “We were young choreographers.”..
Jackie said the Blitz was actually quite rough. “In East London we were hammered every night. But after a while, you just sort of shrugged your shoulders. People went out during the Blitz because we thought, if this is our last fling, if I’m going to be killed, I might as well be killed dancing.”. Jackie lost someone very dear to her during the Blitz. Her mom’s sister and her husband adopted Jackie when she was five and both were hit by enemy fire during a blitz. Jackie’s uncle died. Her aunt, whom Jackie called ‘Mum,’ was badly injured but recovered.
Jackie and Ron became engaged on Jackie’s 19th birthday, September 12, 1941, They married one year to the day at St, Bartholomew’s Church in East Ham, London, Not long after, the couple moved with Ron’s company to the county of Somerset in South West England, To Jackie’s surprise she was hired by STC to do drafting, even though she had never: “drawn a triangle in my life.” But she learned, Meanwhile, the town they lived in was starved for theater, Through satin ballet flats with ribbon STC, the couple started a dramatic company in 1944, and in 1947, in the town of Ilminster, they started the Ilminster Entertainment Society, which is still going today..
“We put on plays and concerts and dances,” Jackie said. “We performed in church halls and the occasional factory. We put on an annual pantomime which had everything: singing, dancing, music and a story that everyone knew.”. Jackie had parts in all the performances, or taught the dance, and loved every bit of it. She also made the costumes and did costume repairs. Ron directed. Their two children, Graham and Lynda, who both live locally, were born in Somerset. (Jackie and Ron are also grandparents and great grandparents.).
In 1963, after Jackie and Ron founded the Paint and Pantomime Society in England, the family moved to San Carlos, Ron got a job with Eimac, “My sister Stella and her husband were living in Belmont and they were having such a wonderful time,” Jackie said, “We just had to come.”, One day Jackie was out in the garden in her shorts, when she read the notice that the newly opened Circle Star Theater in San Carlos (now gone), was looking for people to take part in their children’s theater, or as Jackie translated: “pantomime.” With minutes to spare before auditions closed, Jackie arrived at the theater, She was told, “Read the Queen,” and she got the part, Jackie had other parts in the children’s theater, She also worked in wardrobe, including for the nighttime star-studded events and met folks like Frank Sinatra and satin ballet flats with ribbon Ella Fitzgerald..
In 1969, Jackie founded the Thomas School of Dancing. She taught ballet. “I was teaching Royal Academy syllabus and people were coming from England to show us the new syllabus,” Jackie said. “I was in their class and I realized the woman in front of me had an English accent.”. That woman was Susan Hayward, originally from Bath. The two became instant friends. Jackie hired Susan to teach at her school and the two formed the British Dance Teachers Association of America. Jackie closed her school in the mid-1970s and in 1979, Susan opened her own school, the Susan Hayward School of Dancing, which is still going strong in Montara.
Jackie discovered the lot in Montara which now holds “Jacron,” in between dance classes, Not long after she and Ron settled in, Jackie and Coastsider Grant Baldwin formed the HAMS (Half Actors and Musicians), They put on shows at the El Granada Mobile Home Park, For Jackie and Ron, co-founding “This Side of the Hill Players” was just a natural step, “Our first play was ‘The Torch Bearer,'” Jackie said, “I had quite a nice part in it, I played a busybody satin ballet flats with ribbon who was always right.”..