Tue 16 Mar, 2010
Tags: 1950s, Darla Hood, divorce, Little Rascals, Our Gang
In the previous story from 1930, Mrs. Mildred J. Arnold discovered her husband’s infidelity by recognizing that a lipstick on her dressing table wasn’t her shade.
Twenty-seven years later lipstick traces were again the cause of a divorce. This time the woman was twenty-five year old Darla Hood (of “Our Gang” fame).
If you’ve never seen any of the Our Gang shorts, shame on you — they are wonderful. Darla played the neighborhood femme fatale (at four years old!). Here’s Darla stealing the hearts of the local boys. Who can blame them for being smitten. She’s adorable!
During the divorce hearing Darla revealed that her husband, thirty-threee year old insurance salesman Robert W. Decker, would often arrive home in the wee hours of the morning drunk and with lipstick smeared on his clothing.
Darla told Superior Judge Frederick F. Houser that one morning she “…got up and found him in the kitchen washing his shirt.” According to Robert he was trying to remove some red ink that he’d spilled on himself. Darla didn’t buy a word of his lame tale, and told him that she was sick and tired of spending her evenings at home alone. Robert’s response to Darla was that whatever he was doing was none of her business, then he shoved her to the floor.
The final showdown between the couple came after Robert had stayed out all night and Darla was unable to reach him by telephone. She was on a trip to San Francisco to promote one of her records, and she and was frantic when she couldn’t locate her missing spouse. Darla testified that when she finally caught up with him, “he asked me if I wanted a divorce, and I said I did. He said swell, go get it.”
Darla let Judge Houser know that she didn’t want any alimony. She explained that she was accustomed to taking care of herself — all she wanted was to be out of the marriage. Her decree was granted.
Oh, and the name of the song she was promoting — “Just Wanna Be Free”.