Dorothy Harvey crowned '1918 Queen of the May' at L.A. Elysian Park Festival

 6000 Angelenos Attend Hans Christian Andersen Fairyland Festival and watch as my mother, then 12-year-old Dorothy Harvey (insert) is crowned “Queen of the May” 


Los Angeles Times, April 28, 1918

Dorothy Harvey 1918.jpg

How cute is this? 

In doing some on-line research I happened to chance upon this Los Angeles Times photo-article from April 28, 1918 which included my mother (insert) who had been chosen, “Queen of the May.”

See complete article below:


A Time of Innocence

Looking at this newfound photo of my mother I can’t help but feel both GLAD and SAD.  Glad to have a permanent record that captures her sweet innocence of childhood. Sad, because of the pain and hardship that we know befell her in the years and decades to follow.

In just seven-years hence the young ingenue will marry John Marcellus Huston and the two together will run headlong into the Roaring Twenties and Thirsty Thirties. Dorothy will discover a new kind of “May Day,” and by age 27, will have become a chronic alcoholic and divorced. At 32 she will be pregnant and marry George Hodel.  We know the rest.

But, I am most grateful and will treasure this happy moment-in-time, which captures my mother “before the fall.” Thanks to whoever directed me to happenstance upon it in the LA Times archives.

Perhaps it was the elves, sprites and fairies of LA’s Elysian Park, who I am told still “hang out” in the highest trees that overlook the ballpark. My sources tell me [though I cannot confirm with any high degree of certainty] that, “most of them are huge fans of the Dodger Blue.”

Happy Mother’s Day to All.  I know mine will be.








  1. Kimberly on May 2, 2010 at 11:24 am

    What a lucky find for you and a happy memory to have of her. Since reading BDA I have wondered about your mom and how she ended up with such a life. Did her first marriage lead her into such decadence that she was no longer shockable by the time she married your father?
    Who was this woman? To be an alcoholic by 27 she must have been a heavy drinker throughout her first marriage. But marriage to your father was on a whole other level of decadence and she seems to have continued to defend him in the face of the horrors that went on for years.
    Do you have insight into why she became the person she did?

  2. Steve Hodel on May 2, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Dear Kimberly:
    Yes, those thirsty Irish/English genes were there, just waiting to emerge. (Her mother, was also a serious “functional alcoholic.”) My mother was not only very beautiful, but also very bright. She had an elegant mind and a great love for beauty and nature. I liken her to Riolama, the birdwoman in William Henry Hudson’s, Green Mansions. Mother was a dreamer, who had a front end collision with a Mack truck called- Reality. Suggest you check out the following FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) on my home page to give you a better insight into who she really was. Dorothy Jean Harvey Huston Hodel was a brilliant sensitive soul loved by many men and worshipped by her three sons. See FAQs: 2.1, 2.4, 5.1, 5.2, 35.1. Best Wishes, Steve

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