An Idol on the Links

Frank Portrait

Frank Wilcox, “stockdom’s most popular idol,” was an actor and the head of the Frank Wilcox Players, a touring stock theater company that was a staple of Syracuse summers in the 1920s. His troupe appeared at the Wieting Opera House, known for “all the Broadway successes at popular prices.” Stock theater was an arduous occupation that involved presenting a fresh new play every week all summer long. Rest and recreation were rare, and on one occasion Wilcox made a choice that did not please his company:

“Frank Wilcox, of the Wilcox players at the Wieting, like any sensible golfer, foreswore a picnic with members of his stock company a day or so ago, to wander about the Skaneateles links in a threesome. His company, thus deprived of his delightful presence, sent him these good wishes: ‘We don’t wish you any hard luck, and we hope you have a great game. We hope you top, slice, hook, miss, duck your right shoulder, take your eye off the ball, grip the clubs too hard, ditto ditto ditto too loose, drive in the rough, likewise the traps, likewise all the bunkers, overshoot the short holes, lose your balls, MISS YOUR PUTTS AND BREAK ALL YOUR CLUBS!’ The worst of it is the curse came near being fulfilled.”

Syracuse Journal, September 1, 1925

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