1938. Ava Gardner age 16. Mokie Stancil, a boy from Smithfield, North Carolina, where Ava spends the summers, recalls:
In those days girls just weren’t nearly as attractive. They didn’t have all this eye makeup and things they have today. And Ava was attractive without having all that stuff. There wasn’t anyone in these parts had anything like the look she had. So pure, her skin so beautiful and smooth and such. She was a really beautiful girl then, she was 14, 15.
There was a pavilion out at the lake, Holt Lake, where they had a jukebox, and we all went out there to listen to some music and to dance, and Ava came with us. Boys and girls were there, and when Ava walked in everybody just stopped dancing and just looked at her, she was so pretty. They just stopped, I remember, and then the music stopped and no one fed the jukebox right off, they just stood around looking at her.
Photo by Jack Field.