Jessie Belle’s Showmanship

DFH Volume 1 Issue 5

By Camilla [Dayton] Luckey

My dad (Charles) may have inherited a bit of his showman style from his mother, Jessie. I deduce this from a single experience—the one occasion she and I spent alone. For some reason I cannot recall, I spent the night, not just the evening, with her. We slept together in her big bed, she in what I recall as a voluminous nightgown. But that voluminous nightgown memory seems impossible, in retrospect, as just as we were settling in together she said sort of secretively, sort of like I saw my dad do dozens of times, “Come look; I want to show you something.” And whatever she was wearing she pulled it up enough to show me the surprise. It was a Ping Pong-size, bright, shiny red ball, located about where an appendix would be, and attached to her skin. She gave a huge grin at what must have been my dropped jaw. It was awesome. It was, I learned years later, a substitute bladder (or something of the sort). That’s all I remember from that one night, but it’s enough.

A person wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera

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