Buddy Ebsen from Swimming Schools to Movie Star
The fun of postcard collecting is the tangents you find yourself immersed in when researching these historical images.
Was working on some Illinois cards and found an intriguing picture of a swimming school in Belleville. Swimming schools were not common so I decided to do a little googling. Turns out the Ebson Swimming School was actually the Ebsen Swimming School. In 1902 Christian Ebsen bought up nine acres of land, damned up several creeks and created a swimming lake and built a school.
Ebsen's son "Buddy" became a famous actor. He was originally cast as the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, however an allergic reaction to the aluminum dust in the make up almost cost him his life. Buddy ended up in the hospital for two weeks. His role was turned over to Jack Haley. Though his appearances were edited out, you can still hear his voice in the original soundtrack singing "We're off to see the Wizard". In his autobiography The Other Side of Oz , Ebsen speaks of the swimming school saying his father taught “most of the inhabitants of St. Clair County how to swim”
Ebsen went on to star in his most famous role of all as Jed Clampett ...
So they loaded up the truck and they moved to Beverly
Hills, that is. Swimmin pools, movie stars.
The Beverly Hillbillies