Jazz Age Wednesdays 26 ― Hullaba Lulu

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Welcome back to Jazz Age Wednesdays.  As much as I love Pip and her friends, I was in the mood for a change of pace.  Today is the premier of a new mini-series.  It is not in the “Pip-verse” but it still takes place during the Roaring Twenties.  I hope my “voice” is different enough to distinguish this story from the ones featuring Pip. 

A while back Rob Goldstein offered to do some 1920s images for me, when one of my tales reminded him of stories his grandmother told him.  He mentioned a song his grandmother sang to him called “Don’t Bring Lulu.”  Right away I wanted to do a story related to it.  


Don’t Bring Lulu

For several weeks, Rob and I have had a great time playing with ideas for this story.  He quickly sent me several images for potential “Lulus,” and he created additional and wonderful artwork as well.  Since the Lulu in the song had red hair, I chose that for Lulu — but I wanted to use the other two images as well.  So I took two names from the song to be friends of my Lulu.

One last note, my draining “stuff” continues, and I wasn’t able to plan a story.  So this is another “three things” pantser tale.  The things driving this work will come from Rob and from our brainstorming notes.  

Sorry about all my blah-de-blah…  Finally, I present to you Chapter 1 of the story.  The things driving this episode are Rose, Pearl, and Trumpet.

Hullaba Lulu

Chapter 1

Rose, Pearl, Trumpet


Pearl_Lulu 1
“Pearl”  by Rob Goldstein


The vibrant notes of the jazz band echoed in my mind as I faded in and out of consciousness.  I wasn’t sure whether my eyes blurred or cigarette smoke still hung in the air, but the place had cleared out.

The last thing I remembered was jumping up onto the stage and doing the Charleston with Rose and Pearl.  They were my best pals.

Everyone said I played too hard.  What did I care?  Those old blue nose busybodies needed to mind their own beeswax

Even Gramps cautioned me about burning the candle at both ends, going to the speakeasy every night.  Bushwa!  Now that’s a nice how do you do.  It was his speakeasy!

Maybe they’re right, I thought woozily.  The three of us closed the place — again.

My grandfather’s speakeasy was quiet and empty except for Rose, Pearl, and me.  I noticed that Gramps had draped a blanket across each of us.  He wasn’t so hard boiled when it came to us girls.  Although you can bet nobody wanted to mess with him.

Garlic from the remains of a brick oven pizza wafted to my nose.  My hand plopped down on the table when I tried to pick up the last half-eaten piece.  I tried again and managed to get the morsel.  Although I was pretty sure there was tomato sauce on my face from trying to actually get it to my mouth.

Tony is the bee’s knees, I thought with a loud belch.  Makes the best pizza in town and doesn’t charge me for it half the time.  ‘Course, I slip him some giggle water now and then…

Across the table from me, Rose snored softly.  Her black hair fell across her face.  I wondered if her little turned up nose had anything to do with the snoring.  She acted like such a goody two shoes that no one ever suspected her of anything, but she was a swell gal.

In the chair next to me, fair haired Pearl twitched in her slumber.  Everyone said she was a darn nice girl.  I couldn’t argue with that.  Pearl and Rose were invited to every party.  True blue friends, they always brought me along, even though for some reason I wasn’t usually on the invitation list.

Lulu 5
“Lulu” by Rob Goldstein

Me?  They called me Hullaba Lulu.  Don’t ask me why.  I wasn’t any more audacious than any other flapper.  I couldn’t help it if I had the reddest hair.  So what if I liked to dance and drink and had a good healthy appetite?  Although I admit I was clumsy.  Gramps had banned me from his glass blowing shop.  I wasn’t allowed to touch the dishes in the speakeasy either, because I had dropped and broken so many of them.

It’s an absurd nickname, I thought as I burped again.

Those thoughts swam randomly through my muddled mind just before my head dropped back down to the table.  My face landed on my beaded handbag.  It didn’t make the best pillow, but at that moment, I didn’t notice.

A noise startled me awake.  I lifted my head, the fancy clutch stuck to my cheek.  It fell after a second, leaving that side of my face covered with little round marks from the beads.  I wiped a bit of drool from my chin and looked around.  I could have sworn I heard a trumpet, but the band was long gone.  I strained my ears but didn’t hear anything.  That was to be expected.  Sound didn’t usually get into or out of the speakeasy. 

My grandfather’s speakeasy was the best kept secret of the Prohibition Era.  It was underground, so there was no noise to give it away.  I should back up and explain that.

He built his house around a small structure that was one of the original subway entrances.  No one wanted to construct anything too close to Gramps because of the fire hazard of his glass blowing “profession.”  Of course, his real money came from the speakeasy.

1900s Manhattan Subway Entrance
Manhattan Subway Station circa 1918

The old subway entrance was converted to his workshop.  A hidden door at the back of his shop lead to the speakeasy downstairs, underground.  It was in a disused section of the subway.  There had been a cave-in many years before.  The subway authority never cleared that section, finding it cheaper to build a new one instead.  In case of a raid, the speakeasy had a secret emergency door, which opened to the abandoned tunnel.  There was a ladder and a hatch that came out on the street a quarter mile away.

So, I couldn’t possibly have heard the sultry notes of a trumpet.  Yet I heard it again ― just as the room started to shake!  At the loud rumble of a train I stood abruptly, causing my head to spin.  I grabbed the table to steady myself.

“There can’t be a train!  That’s impossible,” I exclaimed.

Rose snorted and woke, looking around shocked and bleary eyed.  Pearl gave a stifled scream as she roused.

I turned toward the back of the club, looking at the emergency exit.  Red and blue lights blazed from the edges of the door.  I heard the screech of the subway train stopping.  The door burst open.

Portal Valentino_Entering ND-2
Portal image by Rob Goldstein

Spots danced before my eyes.  All I could make out was a pair of pointy toed patent leather shoes.  When my vision cleared I beheld a man as stunning as the Sheik of Araby.

Pearl gave a fearful little shriek. 

Rose made a dramatic gasp that would have pleased Cecil B. DeMille. 

“He looks just like Valentino!” Rose and Pearl exclaimed in chorus.

I hiccupped.

Sheik of Araby
Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik 

The End


I hope you’ll click over and check out Rob’s blog.  He’s not just a brilliant artist, he’s also an advocate for several important causes.  Thanks for visiting.  You’re the bee’s knees! 


PS:  Of course, I have to show you the links to my books about Pip and her friends.

Bijou front only 2

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Novel-book-The Three Things Serial Story-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-spotlight-author

The Three Things Serial Story: A Little 1920s Story Kindle 



This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Artwork Copyright © 2018 by Rob Goldstein

Copyright © 2018 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.


125 thoughts on “Jazz Age Wednesdays 26 ― Hullaba Lulu

  1. Well, catching up and starting at the beginning working my way through Hullaba Lulu and Jazz Age Wednesday!! Loving it and feel so badly that I have missed out, the artwork is insanely good and am
    So looking forward to reading each chapter!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome aboard Suzanne! I hope all is well. I’ve missed you. 🙂
      Rob and I have been having a lot of fun with this series. He does the artwork, and through the videos he’s made he has also created a soundtrack for the story.
      Thanks for spending time here. You’re the oyster’s earrings!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, that had to be interesting, Penney. I remembered reading something about it somewhere along the line. So when I had the idea for the Gramps’ speakeasy to be in an abandoned tunnel, I started researching whether there had been a cave-in during a reasonably appropriate time. I don’t try to be perfectly exact with this kind of fantasy, but I like to have some amount of historical accuracy.
        Have a great holiday weekend. Hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Woo-hoo! Welcome aboard, Kirt. I’m so glad you’re here.
      I’m trying to give this story a completely different tone. Rob’s art is helping to inspire and convey that too. Thanks for taking time to visit. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gramps could be someone out of my own family history. My great grandfather had an extensive apple orchard, and refused to stop making hard cider during Prohibition. The town he lived in remained dry until the early 1960s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that’s a long time to be dry!
      Lavivia, l know you remember the Grover Harper character from my GM… Well, like him, Gramps was meant to be a briefly seen bit part… But like Grover, readers took to him. So when I told Rob I was making the Gramps part bigger, right away he created images of him.
      I didn’t ask for the hat or the mustache — Rob did that on his own, but I was thinking the same thing. Huge hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lulu, Pearl and Rose sound my kind of girls, Teagan. They sound like they had quite the night of it. I loved the bit of Lulu falling asleep on her beaded handbag and then waking up with the imprints of beads on her cheek. And all those plates she smashed! Love the mystery you’ve weaved into this new story. The mystery man sounds very interesting, as does that subway train stopping in the club. And Rob’s sketches are amazing.
    Hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Gerlinde — and for what you said about Gramps. I think now he will have to have a bigger part in the story. 😀 Rob and I are busily working on images and ideas for Chapter 2. And I love your new gravatar picture. I appreciate your visits, my friend. You’re the cat’s meow!


  4. I am speechless (and that’s hard to do!!! lol). This is stunning! Teagan – brilliant…Rob – brilliant…Teagan and Rob collaboration – fantabulous!!! And now I want pizza. 😉 Off to share so everyone in the whole wide world can find this and bask in the glow! Thank you, you made my week…my month, maybe my year! 🙂
    Mega Hullaba Lulu hugs to all. xoxoxoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to see you Christy. LOL, I’m glad I could make you smile.
      Ah… you have touched on a core mystery of the story. Just who is Valentino? Stay tuned! Huge thanks for visiting. You’re the cat’s meow!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am way late to the opening act. Travel and work have kept me tangled up, looking for a good time to read this post (that I’ve been looking forward to since you announced it).

    “Garlic from the remains of a brick oven pizza” That paragraph is amazing in the way it evokes my senses. I was so glad to be eating lunch, but instantly disappointed with my turkey sandwich.

    I love the notion of the glass blowing business as a cover. It would be hard to know how much money you could make from that, hard to understand and good to stay away from. The subway theme is so believable. My knowledge of speakeasys is limited to a few TV shows, but I think yours is wonderful.

    Have a great rest of your week, Teagan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dan, it’s great to see you whenever you have time. I’m sorry about all the travel and the “meh-ness” of your week. (Still liking that word.) 🙂
      Heartfelt thanks for this comment. I remind myself to use the 5 senses in my writing, but I don’t always remember.
      There are endless things going on in my head with serials, particularly this one (even though I don’t mean it to run indefinitely). I really don’t know why I gave Gramps a glass blowing business. I was thinking about prohibition and bottles, and maybe a hand made bottle that was special in some way (but didn’t decide to use that). But I kept the glass blowing, since it seemed to work well enough. You just made it work perfectly. 😀
      Stay warm. Have a great rest of the week. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Fun story! I do like your voice here. And Lulu is swell, if perhaps a bit too much of a party girl! I wonder what trouble she’s going to get into!?I think it may have something to do with this sheik. 🤭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m so glad for you to say that Adele! I’m trying to write chapter 2 during my breaks today. Rob has already made more gorgeous images to inspire me, and sent 3 things to drive the next episode. I’m happy to know that others are having fun with it too. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahaha! I imagine so! I can’t get the blasted song out of my head for two weeks now. I need to learn more of the words too. Here, maybe this is a different line:
          “Lulu always wants to do, what the boys don’t want her to,
          When she struts her stuff around, London bridge is falling down,
          You can bring cake or Porterhouse steak, but don’t bring Lulu.
          Lulu gets blue and she goes cuckoo like the clock on the shelf…”

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jan! I’m so glad you think so. (And I pos-i-lutely agree about Rob’s art.) One of the next “3 things” Rob sent has my story-brain running at light speed. I’m trying to reign myself in and sort through my own excited chaos… o_O But I’ll give you a hint — “bright young things” So many places I can go with that one thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bright_young_things
      Thanks for taking time to visit. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the description of the place. How cool is that? The coppers will never catch anyone there. So fun, Teagan and I love it when the mystery train shows up. Wonderful art by Rob. He’s so talented. You two make a great team. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so very much Dianna. You’ve really made my day with this comment.
      It’s a pleasure to work with Rob, and I agree completely about his talent.
      LOL, I just hope I haven’t painted myself into a corner with that train… but I remind myself that it’s magic, so no problem. (Laughs hysterically) I hope. 😉
      I appreciate you taking time to visit. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome, Rob. Our collaboration on this is huge fun for me. I’m happy you enjoy it and liked this story. At first I thought I might be able to write a planned story… but many times being propelled by 3 things is the only way I can work. I’m glad you didn’t mind me hijacking your avatars.
      Thanks for reblogging. You’re the cat’s pajamas!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you kindly, John. I hope it will be a fun mini series for everyone.
      I’ve been so preoccupied with this downpour of snow that I haven’t gotten to your place for Story Day. I’ll be over soon. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Deborah. LOL, I believe there is some magic afoot!
      Thank you. I loved Rob’s images. They’ve (I hope) helped me give this tale a different voice and mood (though still whimsical) from my other 1920s stories. You’re the berries!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is definitely a new voice from that “era” and has a wonderful underground smoky-sultry feel about it. And I absolutely love the appearance of the mysterious train and visitor! You’ve already got me hooked. 🙂 xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Kathryn, thank you so much for letting me know the different voice and feel was there. I honestly wasn’t sure, hard as I tried. That’s valuable and encouraging feedback.
      I hope you’re doing better. Do take good care of you. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to see you, Kim. I’m so glad you enjoyed Chapter 1. Rob’s work is amazing, and every image seems to be an effort intensive labor of love. Thanks for being part of the premier. You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joanne. Sort of. (Lucille Ball was a redhead, Lucy’s teenage photos where she’s blond inspired Pip’s look… I compromised and made Pip a strawberry blond.) Rob made 3 different flappers with, blond, black, and red hair. In the song, Lulu’s hair is described as “the reddest red” so I chose the redhead for Lulu.
      We’ll see if I can come up with enough mischief to keep 3 flappers and an enigmatic man in one story… o_O Yikes… I just realized what a challenge that will be.
      Love your new gravatar photo. 🙂 You’re the bee’s knees!


      1. Thanks Teagan – finding a photo I can live with is becoming increasingly challenging 😉

        So the real question with this new band of merrymakers is whether they will create the mischief or whether mischief will simply find them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jacquie. Thanks so much! Rob creates amazing art. To me, it sounds like a huge amount of work too. So I’m grateful to be able to show them here.
      Tee-hee… I think Lulu is going to be just a tad uncouth. I’m taking that part of her character from the song. I appreciate you being part of the premier. 😀 You’re the bee’s knees!

      Liked by 1 person

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