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Last Update: 03-21-2013
Dawn at 6

Dawn Aliene Strickland

aka: Dawn Strickland

Childhood crush

Shep's first childhood 'love' (1 sided)
Fan Comments
[ Courtesy: Steve Glazer - 03-21-2013 ]
Dawn Aliene Ek (nee Strickland) -- born on December 12, 1920, in Momence, Illinois, to Frank W. Strickland and Hilda G. Bailey -- was raised with her older sister Sigrid at 1205 Beacon Street in East Chicago, Indiana. Dawn attended the town's William Mckinley Elementary and Roosevelt High School, while diligently pursuing dance studies. When still in her early teens, Dawn was already an accomplished performer and popular classical dancer, who took instruction from the Chicago Civic Opera Ballet. The local press doted on her, variously declaring her "attractive and charming," "thrilling," "lovely," and "talented." She was indeed the "beautiful" and "mythological Dawn Strickland" that Shep, on his WOR radio broadcasts, recalled knowing as a smitten six-year-old in 1927, when he briefly lived in her East Chicago neighborhood before moving to Hammond. Dawn spent the entire 1936-1937 academic year on a leave of absence from Roosevelt High, studying dance and the arts in Paris, accompanied by her mother, Hilda. Upon their return from Europe, Dawn again took up studies at Roosevelt High, but by 1938 went East to join the Mordkin Ballet (forerunner of the American Ballet Theatre) in New York. Dawn later returned to Indiana to work with the Chicago Civic Opera Ballet and other local groups. And on December 12, 1942, she married Naval Lieutenant Thomas Isson ("Tom") Ek at her Beacon Street home. During one of his radio broadcasts, Shep recalled seeing -- while reading the hometown papers in the Army -- Dawn's wedding picture, describing her as then looking just like Elizabeth Taylor. And indeed she did. By all accounts, Dawn made a fine home for her husband and three sons, Paul, William and David. She and Tom, a consulting engineer, traveled the world, living in five different countries and numerous cities. Dawn left a legacy of original poems and children's books throughout the country. And in mid-life she started a ballet school graduating over 600 students, many going on to dance professionally. Dawn, predeceased by her husband by many years, passed away in Oregon on April 8, 2008. Her simple grave marker in Lowell, Indiana, reads, "She Loved to Dance."
Additional Comments:
August 6, 1969 show: Shep tells of his first love, Dawn Strickland, at the age of five. He was madly in love with her even though he didn't understand the meaning of love and would visit her every day since she lived across the street. They went to school together at William McKinley elementary. He mentions Schwartz, Ester Jane Alberry and Jack Morton being in the same class. They lived in an apartment house and Dawn lived across the street in a house with a playhouse in the backyard. The one day about two weeks before Christmas, the old man comes home with the news that he got a promotion and were moving to the country. Three days later the moving van pulled away and he never saw Dawn again. [Jim]
Where Shep Made Reference To This Subject
Photos:



A Young Dawn

Courtesy: Steve Glazer


1937
French Postcard

Courtesy: Steve Glazer



Dawn at 17 with Mother Hilda

Courtesy: Steve Glazer


1938
Chicago Goodman Theater

Courtesy: Steve Glazer



Dawn as a young woman

Courtesy: Steve Glazer



Dawn at dance performance

Courtesy: Steve Glazer


December 12,1942
Dawn Marries Thomas Ek

Courtesy: Steve Glazer


1983
Dawn

Courtesy: Steve Glazer


1927
(Year approx) Dawn Strickland and the Beacon St gang - Shep with football

Courtesy: Steve Glazer


June 26,1935
Hamond Times ad for High School opera performance

Courtesy: Steve Glazer


July 18,1937
Dawn returns from Paris - Hammond Times

Courtesy: Steve Glazer



December 23,1942
Dawn Strickland Marries

Courtesy: Steve Glazer