Theatre production participants on the campus of Western Reserve University. Standing in the middle of the back row is Esther Allen Gaw and sitting immediately in front of her holding a donkey’s head is her sister Helen Allen Shockey.
Growing up surrounded by the performing arts, especially music, had a major impact on Florence, Esther, and Helen. Florence’s mother Corinne Tuckerman Allen, in particular, was a gifted pianist who had played the organ when she was a student at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. After graduation Esther taught music for Salt Lake City schools for 13 years and later became the dean of women at Ohio State University.