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The Love Story of Pork Chops and Violette

Genealogy Series 2019: Photograph and Mixed Media on panel 20” x 16”



I discovered a family archive. In it were pictures, playbills, articles and such for my great grandparents, Violette Curtis and Pork Chops Evers. They were my mother’s father’s parents.


Violette Curtis met George Washington Evers, who went by Pork Chops Evers, on the S. and C. circuit, and they were quickly wed. He was almost 30 years her senior, and had a successful career of touring and performing in the states and overseas with many popular headliners. He told jokes that started with “Take my wife…please” and wrote his own book of jokes published by the Library of Congress. Together, Violette and Pork Chops toured, packed houses, and even made the press regularly, who loved to write about their rivalries against other comedic vaudevillians. I was amazed to find how much drama there was backstage.


There’d been talk that Violette had only married Pork Chops because he was a famous comedian, and that she owed her career to him; but a synthesis of all the documents slowly revealed that Violette was a powerhouse of ideas. She was smart, funny, and determined. She made her own way—on stage and off.


Years later, when Violette was home caring for the two children (she was not happy about that, as she would’ve preferred never to have had children at all) at home in Chicago, she received a telegram that Pork Chops had a heart attack on a train coming home. She rushed to meet the train, but received a second telegram saying her husband had passed quickly. Violette went into her bedroom that day and did not come out for two years. She hadn’t married Pork Chops for entertainment industry reasons; she had loved him deeply and was devastated by his absence. She never returned to the stage.


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