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Errol at the Garden of Allah

11 Feb

My dear fellow Flynnians,

I just finished the 1970 edition of Sheilah Grahams book  “The Garden of Allah” (The story of Holywood`s most exotic playground featuring the famous & infamous superstars that created the legend). The well known Hollywod columnist and companion of F.Scott Fitzgerald lived next door to Errol`s villa in the appartement complex and secret hideaway to many stars like Garbo, Bogart and the Marx Brothers.

After a public fallout with Pat Wymore, Errol was served the divorce papers there, which resulted in a spontanous dance of joy around the pool by one hopeful future Mrs. Flynn, Beverly Aadland – barely covered by a towel.

In the years prior with Pat staying on in Spain, former Garden owner Frank Ehrhart recalled  Errol going by a strict regimen: At 12.30 his sectretary would place a chaise lounge by the pool, alongside a table with a bottle of champagne and two glasses. At one o`clock the baron would appear in a blue blazer with white or grey pants and an ascot instead of a tie. He would ask one of the many beautiful girls, be it aspiring actress or starry eyed starlet, if she minded sitting next him. Then he would say: “My child, will you have a glass of champagne?” By then all eyes were on them wondering how long it would take Errol to get the girl into his bungalow.

After appearing on the $64.000 question show in New York, where he won  $34.000 (one question short of the jackpot), Errol was asked by Ehrhart why he hadn`t gone all the way. Errol smiled broadly. “Frank, he explained, “they garanteed me $32.000 under the table. It was all fixed.” He concluded modestely, “Although I knew all the answers.” Indeed the show was canceled shortly afterward, but only when the cheating on “21” was exposed. When the garden of Allah compound was closed in 1959, a public auction was held and guess what of all the fixtures and furnishings went first? It was…Garden of Allah Errol`s bed!

— shangheinz

 

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  1. rswilltell

    February 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    If those walls could talk!

    Ralph

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    • Inga

      February 12, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      And the bed! I wonder who bought it… why did the Garden actually close down and what is there now?
      See, this proves a theory discussed some time ago whether Errol knew all the answers in the show…

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      • Robb C

        February 12, 2013 at 4:20 pm

        To all of Errol’s fans, The Estate of Errol Flynn and Patrice Wymore Flynn deeply appreciate all of you who have remained loyal to Errol. Some of you may know who I am and other’s may not. I have been a very close personnel friend to Mrs. Flynn for over 20 years and I handle all the licensing and branding for the Estate of Errol Flynn. If I can be of any assistance to clear up what is fact and what is rumor about Errol , please feel free to reach out to me. Warmest Regards, Robb

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        • shangheinz

          February 13, 2013 at 10:27 am

          Dear Robb C,
          thanks for the offer, this will be greatly appreciated by every Flynn fan here. What we (I dare use plural, since sometimes I am dashing too) want most of all, is to keep Errol`s spirit alive- his wit, his charm and his lust for life. For that matter it helps to be able to separate the fact from the fiction, the man from the legend. I am looking foreward to your input, feedback and source-ry!

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      • shangheinz

        February 12, 2013 at 7:07 pm

        Dear Ginger Inga,
        Sheila Graham mentioned a model on a stand in a glass case on the grass under the trees along the strip, where a replica of the garden of Allah was exposed. But this was in the `70s and she instantely added: “…it`s where the hippies rest and barely glance at the remainder of a little world that vanished.”

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    • shangheinz

      February 12, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Dear Ruststreet Ralph,
      the walls of the garden of Allah did talk! The author stated throughout her book that the walls were that thin that every conversation quickly became common knowledge…

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  2. Robzak

    February 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Very good post, Heinz! I’m not sure about the “public fallout” with Patrice, since the separation was treated fairly mildly for the times–and for Flynn. Also, the photo was not taken at the Garden of Allah which had already closed its doors by the time of the Life Magazine interview from which the photo comes.

    To answer Inga’s question, on the spot where the Garden was located is now a mini-mall that includes a bank and McDonald’s.

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    • shangheinz

      February 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      Dear Rob the artist,

      as I mentioned to Ralph before, the bungalow walls were said to be almost paper-like. The fallout could very well have been behind closed doors. Sheila Graham mentions in her book that Pat after years living on the Zaca demanded they buy a house with a tennis court.This topic definitely must have been a thorn in Errol`s side with his Mullholland estate within sight but out of reach. In any case he was not willing to deviate from his daily routine at the garden and served with the divorce papers on the (hot)spot.

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  3. shangheinz

    October 22, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Breaking News!
    The presumed lost miniature model seems to have resurfaced. Hopefully it will be on display somewhere soon!
    The Holy Grail: One man’s search for the Garden of Allah Hotel scale model

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    • Tim

      October 22, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Great find and model, shangheinz! Thanks.

      What a fascinating history. A Bohemian paradise, for sure. Aah, but Babylon has changed, with the Grand Old Boho’s of yesteryear supplanted by a bunch of Bobo’s, with their Bobobanks and Boboburgers. Too bad Joni Mitchell didn’t write a song about this place – it could have been a Big one!

      … Here are the new plans for the site:

      la.curbed.com…

      Errol had his hands full (quite literally) with Lili & Lupe:

      treatsmagazine.com…

      … And here’s a sad account of what remains from the Golden Days:

      Tales of Ulisses from the Old Garden of Allah:

      la.curbed.com…

      An early ad, describing some of the hotel’s features and activities – leaving out the Ladies Sewing Circle, however:

      garden-of-allah-advertisement.jpg

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