Saturday, October 12, 2019

Ebsen's Swimming School in Belleville, Illinois.

Buddy Ebsen (born Christian Ludolf Ebsen Jr.), in 1908 in Belleville, Illinois. He grew up at 805 Lebanon Avenue in Belleville, Illinois. Before there was a 'ce-ment' pond behind the family home, there was a real pond. 
Note the misspelling of the name.
Buddy's father, Christian Ludolf Ebsen Sr., taught swimming lessons in the Ebsen’s Pond behind their house, later the property was transformed into the Belleville Municipal Swimming Pool, which was then demolished in 2015. Christian managed a natatorium for the local school district. 
Everybody ought to learn how to swim.
His father also taught dance lessons, and young Buddy took lessons in town, and after the family moved to Florida.

The Ebsens left Belleville when Buddy was 10 years old and moved to Florida for his mother’s health. Buddy continued dance lessons after the family moved to Florida.

Ebsen became embroiled in a contract dispute with MGM that left him idle for long periods. He took up sailing and became so proficient in seamanship that he taught the subject to naval officer candidates during World War II.
Buddy Ebsen famously played "Jed Clampett" in the TV show "The Beverly Hillbillies" (1962–1971).
Ebsen was also in the Belleville area in 1977, when he went sailing at Carlyle Lake. Besides strolling downtown and touring his family home, Ebsen visited the News-Democrat offices. Newsroom staffers remember the visit, particularly because Ebsen did a little soft-shoe routine across the newsroom.

Buddy again came to visit Belleville in 1992. He then surprised a group of preschool teachers when he took a walk downtown.

"Hi! I'm Buddy Ebsen. I grew up here in Belleville," Ebsen said to a small child in a News-Democrat article from 1992. One of the children's teachers recognized him instantly as the sometimes cantankerous Jed Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies.

Ebsen died of respiratory failure in 2003 at age 95. His ashes were sprinkled into the Pacific Ocean.

Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You keep me intrigued because you find information that is amazing.

    ReplyDelete

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