RSS
 

Archive for the ‘Flynn-related’ Category

Mail Bag! David Rocco & Sean Flynn Memorial Stone at Westchester, New York!

22 Mar

David Rocco writes to us and tells of an amazing discovery he made at a Westchester, New York park while visiting the Trail of Honor there. He wrote 3 times to tell the story.

David Rocco:

Hi D,

The reason why I reached out to you was that I came across a small memorial stone / monument honoring Sean Flynn at a Westchester County, NY park.

The stone has a small bronze plaque with a brief description regarding Sean Flynn. The monument was located at the entrance area of the magnificent “Trail of Honor” which is located at Westchester County, NY’s Lasdon Park. Lasdon Park is located in Katonah, NY. The Trail of Honor is a winding hilly circular pathway that is adorned with a number of bronze busts atop four foot high stone bases representing an American servicemen and women who served in all our wars and conflicts going back to the Revolutionary War.

Just so you know, I too am a freelance photographer. Maybe this is why I was compelled to follow up on Sean’s background and reason for this monument.

I have seen this small monument before and was a bit surprised to see this here since I assumed that the Flynn’s live somewhere in CA. I went to the park again yesterday to take updated photos of the busts for an upcoming story that I am working on regarding Memorial Day. I consider the Trail of Honor a hidden gem that many people are not aware that it existed.

Last night after downloading the images from my memory card, I decided to look up Sean’s background. My God, as a straight man I have no problem stating that Sean was a great looking man. Why should that surprise considering who his father was and how pretty his mother was.

Attached are photos of Sean’s monument and the Trail of Honor busts. I also included a few extra images of larger than life statues of a wounded GI being carried by another one with a nurse running to their direction. Awesome statute.

My simple question to you is, do you have any idea what is Sean’s connection to this area and who would do this wonderful gesture? I am working on my end to get these answers, but with the coronavirus situation, it hasn’t been easy to reach people in the know.

My best,

David Rocco


D,

I will do my best to try and get the background behind the monument. I found out yesterday that it wasn’t just the monument but the planting of the tree as well to honor Sean’s memory.

I also found out earlier today that the tree has contracted a disease and will be replaced with the same species, a Turkish filbert, Corylus corluna, sometime this year. The person who I spoke with today has reached out to the county and the Friends of the Lasdon Park organization to see if anyone can come up with info regarding Sean Flynn’s monument. Sean Flynn’s monument is part of the “Tree of Honor Trail” which also has monuments honoring MLK and JFK as well as others.

Next time I go back to Lasdon Park, I will check out the tree trail.

I started a timeline based on some of the research that I conducted so far to try and ascertain when the tree and monument were placed at Lasdon Park.

For starters, Lasdon Park was originally a farm before being turned into a country retreat for the rich and famous from NYC. In 1936, William Lasdon bought the house and property for his family as a summer retreat. Mr. Ladson made his money in the pharmaceutical manufacturing area. In 1976, William Lasdon set aside 22 acres of land and created the Mildred D. Ladson Bird and Nature Sanctuary.

Mr. Lasdon passed away in 1984. In 1986, Mrs. Lasdon and her daughter Nanette Laitman, sold the property to Westchester County Parks for the purpose of keeping this property out of the hands of developers. In March of 1997, Mrs. Lasdon passed away. Later that year in October 1997, a group of Boy Scouts from White Plains, NY, created the Trail of Honor for their Eagle project. My first visit to Lasdon Park was in the spring of 2000. That’s the first time I came across Sean’s plaque.

Based on this timeline, the monument and tree were placed at Lasdon Park sometime between 1986 when Westchester County Parks took ownership to the property and the spring of 2000 when I first came across Sean Flynn’s monument. Once I hear back from the park personal who offered to help, I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

My best,

David Rocco


Hi D,

As you can see from the photos that I attached, the monument and tree are located at the beginning of the Trail of Honor. However, the park info sign creates a distraction for people passing Sean’s monument. The other problem that I noticed was the fact that the monument inscription faces away from the pathway which prevents visitors from seeing it. When visitors enter the trail of honor pathway, they are most likely captivated by the six flags attached to their respected poles and miss Sean’s monument altogether. Each flag represents our six branches of the armed services. From my perspective, whoever went to the trouble to honor Sean’s service and memory never truly got their money’s worth for their generous and thoughtful act.

I went back over to Lasdon Park the other day to take photos for you and Rory to see how beautiful Lasdon Park is. Despite being the tail end of winter, this place is still very special. Westchester County Parks has numerous beautiful parks throughout the county, but from my understanding, Lasdon Park is their crown jewel.

I took photos of the Lasdon Park starting from the main gate entrance and important locations throughout the park. The starting point for the Trail of Honor and Sean monument and tree, the conservancy greenhouse, the main house and guest house which is now being used as a gift shop.

I said to myself while I was there, that since they are going to uproot this sickly tree sometime in the near future and replace it with another one, maybe this is an opportunity to move Sean’s monument closer to the pathway, but this time, position it so that it faces the pathway. For whatever reason the monument was placed in this location a number of years ago sometime before the Trail of Honor was created and developed. Was it by coincidence or a planned event knowing that someday soon, a Trail of Honor would eventually be placed there?

Yesterday I went back again to Lasdon Park to introduce myself to the new Park Manager.

Lovely young lady who just started this position three months ago. She was recruited by Westchester Parks from the amazing Bronx Botanical Gardens. During our conversation, I asked her that since they would need a back hoe to replace the injured tree, that meant Sean’s monument would have to be moved out of the way so they could perform the tree transfer. She agreed with my assessment. I then asked her, since this is the plan of action, perhaps this an opportunity to move Sean’s monument closer to the pathway so that it would be in a more conspicuous location, allowing passersby to take notice and appreciate the significance of this monument. She said absolutely!

Once I know when this operation takes place, I will let you know.

When this transfer is completed and the corona virus situation settles down, maybe we could organize a monument dedication ceremony and bring the rightful attention to Sean’s contribution to the war effort? If you are uncomfortable with any of this, please let me know. The last thing I want to do is upset Rory.

I would like to share with you a bit of my background.

I have a passion and a proven track record for doing the right thing and correcting oversights or injustices when it comes to our Veterans and historic preservation locations. As for the Veterans, I believe since they did so much for us, this is the least that we can do for them.

I was the person who was behind the War of 1812 Trail of Honor bust at Lasdon Park, a key member of a group of people who revitalized a former historic railroad bridge into a multi use walkway for public use, rebuilding a historic fire tower on Mt. Beacon which is 55 miles north of NYC and discovering the important fact that two Navy planes crashed on Mt. Beacon, a mountain range adjacent to the Hudson River, just thirty miles north from my house.

The first crash occurred in 1935 where two reservists lost their lives and the second one took place on November 11, 1945. In this crash, six men lost their lives including Navy legend Dixie Kiefer. We call these men, the Mt. Beacon Eight. They were forgotten by some and unknown to most. I and a group of friends took it upon ourselves that this wouldn’t be the case. With the help of several sources, we purchased two historic markers and placed them at each crash site on Mt. Beacon. (1100” & 1500’up) We then purchased a granite plaque to honor all eight men which was placed at the local municipalities Veterans Park.

Now everyone , including several family members that have contacted me can make either of these hikes, so here is a place where all eight men are honored together and their family members can pay their respects. One lady who contacted me a couple years ago, was the daughter of one of the six from the 1945 tragedy. She was just 13 months old when her father was killed. Obviously at that age, she never knew her father. She is coming up from Virginia for a ceremony that is scheduled this November for the 75th anniversary of the crash that took her father’s life. She is deeply touched and forever grateful for our efforts.

Aside from the photos of Lasdon Park, I attached some photos of the Mt. Beacon Eight story and an excellent NY Times article that gives some background regarding our efforts to honor these eight men.

My best,

David Rocco

Lost in the Woods – NY Times Article -Word Doc

 

Thanks, David … very much appreciated and we look forward to your updates!

David Rocco is a freelance Photographer and co-author of the book The Indestructible Man: The True Story of World War II Hero “Captain Dixie” available on Amazon.


 

— David DeWitt

 

Errol Flynn’s Room on the Queen Mary Mystery Continues!

06 Mar

Like many things with Flynn there is yet another mystery and more questions …

To whit: In about 2011 I contacted the Queen Mary concerning the cabin that Errol stayed in during his trip to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil War and he was aboard ship with the erstwhile sinister Hermann F. Erben. Erben kept notes about his travels in a notebook and some of these notes were published in Josef Fegerl’s red covered book.

In the book, Erben notes that Errol stayed in M 38.

So I wrote to the QM and asked them if the room was still there. They replied that M38 was changed to M012 and still existed. When I visited the ship I went to look for the cabin and found it. I did not knock on the door, fearing somebody would be disturbed. Later, I found evidence that M38 was indeed changed to M012. 

So what is the mystery?

Well, if you look closely you will see in that Erben wrote: M 38 not M38 … When I asked about the cabin location I asked in my email about M 38, too. With that space between the M and the 38 …

But the answer I got I think now was about cabin M38 and not as I have discovered in a different map: M038 … see in yellow on the left side of this map of M Deck.

Then I found this old map: if you look at the far right side below, you see that what is listed as M2 in yellow above was M038 (below) …

So, was Erben referring to M038 and leaving out the 0 when he wrote “Errol in M 38” ??? Did he put in a space between M and 38 to denote the number M038?

Here is where M038 is located now listed as M2 …

In 1997:

And M2 is up against the wall of the Mauritania Room on the Queen Mary. But, hold on … there is more! I found a video tour on YouTube of M Deck by Lake Nipissing and it showed the hallway leading to the M2 cabin in my maps. I left a comment explaining the mystery I was trying to solve and in a short time, Lake replied to my comment!

Whoa! Not only did Lake go check things out, but created a short video showing the room as it is today (3-6-30) and there was a surprise.

Lake says: Since the door ventilation grille is covered over, this room was remodeled in 1999 and will have a drywall vs. original wood ceiling, the punkah louvers will not be functional, and the bathtub surround will now be tiled instead of the gray/white marble pattern Formica on wood. There is a conversion list on a Queen Mary website which can help: www.sterling.rmplc.co.uk/webdrive/mcabins.html…
Correct: Cunard M2 = Long Beach M038 . . . Cunard M38 = Long Beach M012
Both of these rooms are active, with the card reader door locks. They are facing the parking lot, though, and not the harbor.

Do we know for sure which room Errol was in? M38 or M 38 (M038) ???

Tis a mystery still …

Thanks, Lake … you are the best!

— David DeWitt

 

Leap Day 1940 – Part 1

29 Feb

The day the Oscar leaped by Olivia: books.google.com…books.google.com…

— Gentleman Tim

 

Magical Mystery Quiz

25 Feb

One of The Beatles once dressed a la Errol in one of his swashbuckler films. Which Beatle was it, what was the occasion, and why is today an appropriate day for this quiz?

— Gentleman Tim

 

Warner Brothers Cafe Menu!

22 Feb

— David DeWitt

 
 

Warner Bros Cafe Menu Signed by Errol Flynn!

22 Feb

And Ron Reagan and others …

— David DeWitt

 
 

Governor Flynn

13 Feb

February 12, 1936

Reine Davies
Hollywood Parade
Los Angeles Examiner

The tremendous success of the Bellamy-Farrell Racquet Club at Palm Springs was bound to serve as an impetus for the creation of a local club for the tennisers of the sports-loving colony.

To be known as the West Side Tennis Club, it is to be ideally housed in the Bath and Tennis Club building in the Cheviot Hills, with Stephen Morehouse Avery, president; Elmer J. Griffin, secretary and treasurer; and completing the board of governors, Errol Flynn, Frank X. Shields, Ralph Jester, and the ace screen scribe, Edith Fitzgerald.

As a rendezvous for screen actors, artists, directors and writers, the entire place is to be remodeled and redecorated to create a truly country club atmosphere. All of which is under the direction of Adrian’s prized aide, Ruth Hawks. And to provide the only grass courts on the coast, two new tennis courts are now in the course of construction.

The new club will open on March 15 with Edith Fitzgerald as hostess to a whole day of social and tennis events, beginning with a hunt breakfast in the morning and followed by luncheon bridge, tea, cocktails, and supper.

History

(Original Caption) Hollywood’s Seeded No. 1. According to Francis X. Shields, former tennis star, who founded the West Side Tennis Club in Cheviot Hills, near Hollywood, Errol Flynn, (above), is ranked tops in a list of the film colony’s ten-best male players. Believe it or not, Greta Garbo is No. 1 among actress tennis wizards.

* Though cool artwork above depicting Errol and Lili at the West Side Tennis Club, it appears to me that the artist may have mistakenly used the Tudor-like New York West Side Tennis Club clubhouse in the background, rather than the same-named club in Cheviot Hills, which had Colonial Spanish architecture and Errol on the Board of Governors.

— Gentleman Tim

 

Club Unique/Cap’s Place

10 Feb

“With South Florida’s constant development, there are very few remnants of old Florida in this corner of the state. Yet, in Lighthouse Point, one spot survives — Cap’s Place, a classic Florida seafood restaurant, onetime speakeasy and gambling den, draped in Florida history.”

Over the years, Cap’s Place was visited by a notable cast of characters including Vanderbilts and Rockefellers; actors Errol Flynn and Humphrey Bogart; sports figures Jack Dempsey and Joe DiMaggio; and even mobster Al Capone. Oral history suggests Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt may have dined there during a strategy meeting amid World War II.”

www-browardpalmbeach-com.cdn.ampproject.org…

Errol’s early days in SoFlo, when he gambled at Cap’s Place:

The Baron in Boca

— Gentleman Tim

 

Farewell to a Fan of Flynn and a Friend of Flynn Fans

26 Jan

Farewell to John LaGrassa – world class sailor, fan of Flynn, and friend of Errol Flynn Blog fans – John LaGrassa who, from his home in Manly, Sydney, made the following posts possible on the Errol Flynn Blog. Manly is the spectacular area of Sydney where young Errol lived off and on with his grandmother, Edith Young.

LIVE FROM SYDNEY – Young Errol’s Manly Home!

More from Manly – Errol’s Early Stomping Grounds

More Manly Media

All photos above taken by Donna during a trip with her husband to Manley a couple of years ago. Her husband is a lifelong close friend of the LaGrassa Family.

Per news reports, John was killed earlier this month by a powerboat while snorkeling off Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands.

Among many other very distinguished accomplishments, he was Vice-Commodore of the Manhattan Yacht Club and Captain of the majestic 157-ft Arabella, built for Kelly McGinnis (named after Arabella from Captain Blood perhaps?)

Captain LaGrassa can be seen in the following video, especially beginning at 4:27.

www.christuckerphotography.com…

Fair Winds and Following Seas, John!

— Gentleman Tim

 

Zacapulco – Welles Done

25 Jan

Adapted from American Cinematographer, August 1948

For the boating scenes in tropical Mexico, Columbia Studios chartered Errol Flynn’s luxurious yacht, The Zaca, and Flynn himself served aboard as skipper. Scenes were filmed above and below decks, at anchorages in Acapulco Harbor, at Fort San Diego in Acapulco Bay,

In order to shoot the location sequences for Lady From Shanghai, a company of 50 Hollywood actors and technicians flew to Acapulco, along with 60 Mexican extra players and technicians from Mexico City. More than 15 tons of equipment were shipped from Hollywood, one order of six tons comprising the largest single air express shipment ever undertaken by a movie location company.

Shooting aboard the yacht was, from the space standpoint very difficult, and these scenes, as they appear in the picture, are necessarily cramped in composition — but this actually works in favor of the overall effect because it produces an authentic atmosphere of crowded life aboard a small yacht. During filming aboard The Zaca, a long line of native dugout canoes anchored astern formed a bridge from the barge holding the generator so that electrical cables could be stretched for the camera and sound equipment.

In filming sequences at sea, the camera crew discovered that they could not depend upon their usual light meter readings. Reflections from the surface of the water kicked up more intensity than the meter recorded, causing over-exposure of the scene. This effect was noted in the screening of the first rushes, and a series of experimental tests was made to arrive at some sort of rule-of-thumb that could be used to compensate for the additional amount of light

(Left) On location in Mexico, Welles briefs his crew prior to filming a sequence. At his side is Charles Lawton, ASC, whose outstanding photography adds greatly to the impact of the film. (Center) Errol Flynn’s yacht The Zaca is anchored in Acapulco Harbor. Astern are a line of barges over which electrical cable was stretched between the yacht and the generator boat. (Right) For a scene shot in the jungle streams of Mexico, the camera is mounted on a dugout canoe alongside the boat in which the principle players ride.

ascmag.com…

— Gentleman Tim