Great-Great Uncle Eugene Jule Pleau: A Career for a Lifetime

Unlike his older brothers, I’ve found no record of Eugene writing his own music. However, he did enjoy a long career in music and acting.

The 1905 New York Census listed his occupation as playing piano. Apparently this was a lifelong love, because he played piano and the solovox (a keyboard instrument) in 1947 in Florida nightclubs and even on the radio.

Eugene, like his brother Al, took part in many blackface minstrel shows throughout New York State. In 1912 and 1913, he took part in and even directed a benefit for Fairport Lodge 476 in Fairport, NY.

One of Eugene’s unique talents was dancing. In 1917 he performed a “scarecrow dance” in Cato, NY. In 1925 he danced along with “monologuing” at the Masonic Hall in Sandy Creek, NY. And in 1928 he was lauded as a “stylish stepper” at a show put on at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament right in his hometown of Rochester.

Finally, Eugene spent many years acting in comedies aside from vaudeville acts. Two of the acting troupes I know of were the Jack Lynn Stock Players (in 1922) and the Bunny Strickler Players (1927). Among some of the plays he took part in were: “My Mother’s Rosary,” “Other People’s Money,” “Why Women Divorce Men,” “Judy O’Grady, or When Dreams Come True,” and “Scrambled Wives.”

It seems to me that whenever and wherever Eugene was, he was able to use his talents to do what he loved: entertain people.