Child Musical Prodigy George Hodel Performs at LA Egan/Little Theater in 1914 at age 6–DTLA Map Showing Locations He Practiced Music, Medicine and Murder
October 9, 2017
Los Angeles, California
“George Hodel only 6 years old, proved one of the favorites of the recital. He is, small, but possessed of phenomenal talent as a pianist.”
Los Angeles Daily Times
March 20, 1914
1320 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles
1912 Drawing of Egan Little Theatre, (renamed the Musart Theatre in 1933) in downtown Los Angeles, where George Hodel, age 6, performed a piano recital before an audience of 300 in 1914.
DTLA Map shows where Dr. George Hill Hodel practiced Music, Medicine, and Murder
Link to history of downtown Los Angeles theatre Little Theatre/Musart
Paraphrasing a “Google Dictionary” search. “Prodigy: a person with exceptional qualities or abilities; impressive example of a particular quality or qualities; an amazing or unusual thing, especially one out of the ordinary course of nature.”
Quoting the quintessential word reference, the OED, Oxford English Dictionary lists the first two definitions for the word “prodigy” as: “1. Something extraordinary from which omens are drawn; an omen, a portent. Now rare. And: 2. An amazing or marvellous thing; esp. something out of the ordinary course of nature; something abnormal or monstrous.”
Given the aspect of a prodigy being musical, it is a person who innately or intuitively grasps the fundamentals (i.e. rules) of their musical bent and then interprets those fundamentals in extraordinary ways, being an actualized application of those fundamentals in ways the standard or ordinary musician cannot interpret, conceive, nor execute. Thus it seems realistic to presume that a prodigy thinks, interprets, and applies him or herself in ways that the ordinary (even master) musician would consider: ‘outside the lines’, ‘outside the box’, ’beyond the rules’ or even as having ‘broken the rules’.
Why then would not a prodigy, applying his or her genius to a criminal bent, likewise think ‘outside the lines’, ‘outside the box’ or even ‘beyond the rules’? And why wouldn’t, chief among, the personally attractive attributes of such thinking be the self-belief that the rules (i.e. laws) no longer apply?
It would seem, based on GHH’s revealed history, that little George learned early the heady application of having no rules to govern his behavior. With little compunction, or if pressed, with a little manipulation he could act on his every whim and desire. It would appear that GHH was keenly possessed of thoughts and actions “out of the ordinary course of nature”; imbued with “something extraordinary from which omens are drawn; an omen, a portent; thus, an amazing or marvellous (British sp) thing; esp. something out of the ordinary course of nature; something abnormal or monstrous”!
Robert: You slobbered a bib full there for sure. Have to agree. No question he was a killing prodigy and created his own “omens” as “clews” and used them as street signs (literally) to point the way to their solutions.
Sending this comment on GHH’s 110 birthday, I believe that he fulfilled many aspects of the definition of “prodigy”. Sorry to read about Fauna. She was only 11 yrs older than me.
All the Best,
Hi Dan. Thanks for the condolences. Yes, too young, as was my brother, Michael, age 47. Same terrible disease. Hopefully, they are closing in on finding a cure.
Michael at age 47 & Fauna at 66, yet George lived to see 91 after having shortened many other lives. There has to be justice on the other side of this life, since there often isn’t on this side.
All the best,