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Archive for the ‘Friends & Family’ Category

Errol Flynn Adventures! The Board Game!

25 Nov

Rory Flynn tells me she just signed a contract to allow a new board game to be produced based on movie adventures of her father Errol Flynn! She sends us a copy of the proposal ad … No idea when the game would be available as yet but how exciting is this?

Thanks, Rory!

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— David DeWitt

 

Pat Wymore’s Grave Marker!

12 Nov

Our brother-in-Arms Jack Marino sends these photos of Pat Wymore’s grave marker next to Flynn’s!

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Jack, we tip our hat to you …

 

— David DeWitt

 

Robert Matzen, Trudy McVicker & James Stewart!

25 Oct


Robert Matzen has written a new book about the life of Jimmy Stewart and in the book he features someone many of us at The Errol Flynn Blog love very much: Trudy McVicker. Her connections to Flynn go deep. She encountered him as a young girl when he and his wife Pat were staying at a hotel in Germany and he smiled at her as he walked past her and of course she never forgot it. Later, she became great friends with Earl Conrad – the ghostwriter of My Wicked Wicked Ways who worked intimately with Errol to give the world his life story.

Robert writes to us:

David, my new book, “Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe” is being released today and I’ve been meaning to contact you. Could you please let the Flynn network know that Trudy McVicker is featured in Mission because her life intersected with the Eighth Air Force on several occasions. I spent months working with her on her story as a witness to history and she is known by her birth name Gertrud Siepmann in the narrative. There are five short chapters that concern her.

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I approached Trudy to tell her story because I knew she was in the war but didn’t know any details. It turns out she remembers Kristallnacht pretty vividly and saw Hitler speak in 1939. She was a witness to the first RAF bombing of Germany in Wilhelmshaven in 1940 (after relentless night bombing the family fled to the country), and in 1944 she lived in Eppstein just northwest of Frankfurt when Jim and the boys flattened it. She remembers a B-17 crew of Americans that was captured and paraded down the Bergstrasse of Eppstein and she watched dogfights between Allied and Luftwaffe fighters. On one occasion she had to dive for cover when a P-47 Thunderbolt detected movement and swept down to “stitch the road.” Her mother and brother were wounded in another P-47 attack on a train they were riding in.

It was a difficult decision on her part to agree to be a part of the book because many of her memories are painful, and she was concerned how Stewart would be portrayed, as well as how her family would be seen given that her father was affiliated with the German Navy. But she did agree and now her precious link to history has been preserved in the book.

There are three supporting characters that help give a 360-degree view of Stewart’s world: Gertrud Siepmann the little German girl (12 when the war ended), Clem Leone, an American radioman from Baltimore, and Dolfo Galland, the commanding general of German fighters. With these three, we get to see not only what Jim saw from the flight deck of a B-24 but also the view amidships from the radio operator’s position, the view of the bomber stream from the German POV, and the effect of bombing on the ground as seen by the Siepmann family.

I have known Trudy for almost 40 years and the fact that she grew up in the middle of WWII was an abstract thing until I started to read some short stories she wrote about it and interview her for details. Last year Mary and I visited Eppstein where she lived and also Frankfurt, a city she still dearly loves. We even saw the very bomb shelter in Eppstein where she and her family would duck–it’s still there, carved into the rocky hillside with the big wooden doors padlocked (photo attached). The more we talked, the more things she remembered and the results are pretty spectacular.

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I thought your group would get a kick out of the fact that Trudy is having the spotlight shone on her. After her lifetime of generosity and helping others, nobody could possibly deserve it more.

Today is Mission’s official publication date and it’s already doing pretty well on Amazon. It was just a couple of hours ago rated a “must-read book of the week” by the New York Post. The website is www.goodknightbooks.com….

Thanks for agreeing to spread the word, Dave.

Robert

 

— You are very Welcome!

— David DeWitt

 

Ride On, Rory!

06 Oct

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— Gentleman Tim

 

Chuck and the club- just another Higham hoax?

04 Oct

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Dear fellow Flynn fans,

I came acoss a curious statement in the obituary (www.smh.com…) of nazitorious biographer Charles Higham.

Higham had a delight in the macabre and the absurd, exemplified by his invitation to the English widow of Hermann Erben for dinner in Los Angeles with a Flynn double, Chuck Pilleau. Higham coaxed from her a bizarre revelation: SS agent Erben was circumcised.

Now more interesting than Dr. Erben`s anatomy is that another little known stuntman, stand- in or stooge of Errol is brought into play, a certain Charles Pilleau.

I found an entry on this virtually unrecorde go- to gent, posted by a friend of his, a one time actor and passionate golfer:

All I know is that I found a picture on the web of a suppossedly Errol swinging a golf club. And it was a lefty swing? I wish I knew how to post it here. I was given an old “Brassie, driver” by my old friend that I used to rent an apartment from in Hollywierd in the early 80’s ( N Franklin & Hollywood Blvd ). I was studying acting, rasing hell around town and just enjoying my youth (srtaight). His name was Chuck “Sir Charles Pilleau”. What a charachter and friend. He was long in the tooth with some great stories. He took a liking to me cause I’m a Texas boy. I as well enjoyed his company as I used to help him around town to get his tasks done since he only had one eye and a lung left. Don’t feel sorry. I saw some of the gals that old Chuck had over from time to time. He had the charm. Another of our friends eventually aided old Chuck in finding his way back to Australia where I heard he passed a few years later. I know that he was FLynns buddy cause he had all the pictures hangin on the walls and the stories were abundant and in line with everything that I had heard about Flynn. Except there were no gay stories from Chuck. The gay stories according to him were an attempt to ruin him. I believe my friend Chuck Pilleau………Still Puzzled About This Old Brassie Driver……….Was Errol right handed or not? I haven’t answered it yet. Pardon…..distracted with memmories of my pal Chuck. He seemed almost “life like” to Errols immage and mannerisims…..John Horton eltejanogringo@aol.com….

Unfortunately when I tried to contact Mr. Horton to putt him the photo pictured above as answer to his question, I came across another obituary: dfw.cbslocal.com…

Enjoy while you can,

— shangheinz

 

Mail Bag! Who is who with Tiger Lil?

01 Oct

Ada here,

I am sending along the first of two pix of, I assume, one of your favorites, Lily Damita.

This one, I am not positive about.  I believe it was  taken by Errol during a trip to Catalina Island approx July 7th, 1938, during the holiday week when Errol was off.  I can identify no one except Lily. Do you have any info on this shot?


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I’ll toss it out to the world, Ada! Very nice, rare candid …

— David DeWitt

 

A Looks-Alot-Like-Liz Quiz

01 Sep

Who’s the Mystery Lady Sean’s a’Kissin’ and Serenadin’??

Sean and Not Liz

Added September 1:

Have Faith Sean!

Have Faith Sean

— Gentleman Tim

 

Mailbag! Sadakichi Hartman Remembered!

31 Aug

Thanks Bob Peckinpaugh!

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— David DeWitt

 

$3.875 Million

28 Jul

www.latimes.com…

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— Gentleman Tim

 

Don’t Go Greyhounds!!

16 Jul

Errol was no Boy Scout, but he did once trek hills and canyons north of Los Angeles with them:

From the Los Angeles Evening Herald Express, reported exactly seventy-eight years ago this weekend, July 17, 1939:

“Leading a band of Boy Scouts and neighborhood youngsters, Errol Flynn is combing the canyons and hills between Sunland and Roscoe in an effort to locate his two prize greyhounds which disappeared from the home of Jim Fleming, his standin, last Wednesday night.

The dogs, valued at $250 each, were a gift from dentist Al Blissing, of Dodge City, Kansas, and were left in Fleming’s care while Flynn spent several days on his boat. Last Wednesday evening, Fleming tied the pets to an iron woodfire bucket in the patio of his home.

Shortly after dinner, Fleming went to take the dogs for a stroll. They were gone – and so was the bucket. Fleming sent word to Flynn, who started the search, rounding up all available youngsters, on Thursday. He fears the dogs might have become entangled with their leaches and the bucket and may be helplessly suffering, perhaps dying in some lonely part of the canyon and hills.”

Jimmy Starr, LA Evening Herald Express

I’m not 100% certain, but this may well have had Errol leading this troop of kids through Verduga and/or La Tuna Canyon terrain, some of which is depicted below. That’s must have been quite a merry and memorable experience for that band of kids – hiking through the hills with Robin Hood!

Verduga

— Gentleman Tim