The Jazz Age. Flaming flappers. Brilliantined sheiks. Flivvers with rumble seats, petting in the park, hip flasks, and turned-down hose.

In the '40s, the Roaring Twenties was a time just long enough gone to be fondly remembered. And although Gene had been only a toddler through most of the twenties, now was her chance to step back in time. She had been personally selected by Reuben Lilienthal to portray Monolithic Studios' silent star Ida Best. Ida Best had been the savior of Monolithic Studios during the silent era, bringing class and "it" to a studio known mostly for slapstick two-reelers.

The costumes in Gene's film were dreamy recreations of the era. Gene remembered her parents' friends arriving for parties at their Cos Cob home, wearing some of the same chic chiffons, lovely laces, and divine satins and silks. Peering from the top of the staircase, toddler Katie had longed to dress in those frivolous fashions. Now she could.

As the cameras rolled, Gene as Ida made her way through a twenties garden party, filled with beautiful people and Prohibition champagne. Suddenly, the actor playing the count was kneeling at her feet, saying, "Ida Best--will you marry me?"

For a moment, Gene put her fingers to her temple. She felt strangely dizzy. Was it the studio lights--or was this really the way Ida Best felt when her count proposed...?
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