Those words are not normally associated with Amarillo, but in the case of one of the city's native daughters they fit perfectly.
Tula Ellis Finklea entered the word on March 8th, 1922 in Amarillo, Texas. Her father was a jeweler here in town and he was also an ardent fan of ballet. His daughter was sickly child so after a bout of polio weakened her, Mr. Finklea enrolled her in a ballet class to help build back her strength.
It wasn't long until Tula, who actually went by Sid (a nickname one of her siblings bestowed on her by trying to pronounce sis) found herself studying under a pair of famous Russian teachers in Los Angeles. By fourteen she was touring Europe as a member of a famous Russian ballet troupe.
Within a few years she married, a man named Nico Charisse. The marriage didn't last long but she kept the last name for the remainder of her years. When WWII broke up her ballet troupe, Sid returned to LA and soon found herself dancing in the movies. Sid became Cyd under the suggestion of an MGM executive and the rest is as they say history.
Cyd Charisse passed away this past week, but what a life she led.
One of the few who ever danced with both Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly she appeared in more than forty movies over the years. Including Singing In The Rain, Brigadoon, Silk Stocking, and Meet Me in Las Vegas. Asked who was the better dancer, Astaire or Kelly, Cyd said this ...
“It’s like comparing apples and oranges. They’re both delicious."
Fred Astaire was quoted as saying this about Cyd,
“When you’ve danced with her, you stay danced with."
The video is of her and Gene Kelly from Singing in the Rain.
My Fellow My Town Mondayers
Pattie Abbott -- Detroit, Michigan
Debra -- Peninsula, Ohio
Lyzzydee -- Welwyn Garden, City, England
Linda McLaughlin -- Orange County, California
Barbara Martin -- Toronto, Canada
Barrie Summy -- San Diego, California
Gina Black (Title Wave) -- Westwood Village in Los Angeles, California