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Question Mark that Errol wore…

14 Oct

— David DeWitt

 
 

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  1. Anonymous

    October 14, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    In his earlier years he should have worn an “!”.
    R

     
  2. Anonymous

    October 15, 2008 at 7:44 am

    David,
    It's amazing how rare the photos of him with the question mark on his clothing are. This is only the second one I've ever seen. Well done for spotting it – you have a true EAGLE EYE!

     
  3. Anonymous

    October 15, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you, Sir! I did a double take on this one! He was wearing this one right out there for all to see…

     
  4. Anonymous

    October 16, 2008 at 3:07 am

    I tell you how rare the monogrammed shirts were, I only saw two during the entire time I was at the house! One was on a white shirt (which this appears to be) and one was on an ivory colored shirt that must have been made especially for him because it had no buttons showing — they were like later made shirts with material hiding them down the front. I did see a dark blue blazer with brass (gold-colored) buttons that had the ? on the outer breast or handkerchief pocket. And I once saw a note pad with the insignia at the top. I needed to write a phone number down and he tosses it to me. I carelessly scribbled the number on it and then can't recall what happened to the pad. Would have been a nice souvenir. Steve

     
  5. Anonymous

    October 16, 2008 at 3:26 am

    Thanks for the additional info, Steve! I have seen two flags that Errol flew onboard the Zaca – I think it was Zaca, at least – I am suffering with my allergies and can't think straight – one was a crowing rooster and the other was his squarish question mark! Could I find this pic, just now, no dice…

     
  6. Anonymous

    October 16, 2008 at 3:37 am

    Let's not forget the flag with the “F F F”!
    R

     
  7. Anonymous

    October 17, 2008 at 12:50 am

    I don't have the book handy right now, so I can't give the page number, but if you look at The Films of Errol Flynn by Thomas, Behlmer and McCarty, in the “Slow Deflation” section, there's a photo of Errol in Rome at Christmas with Pat and Arnella, and he's wearing a bathrobe that appears to have the squarish “?” on it. But there's a ripple in the robe, so it's hard to be 100% certain.
    Arno

     
  8. Anonymous

    October 17, 2008 at 1:31 am

    You could be right, Linc. Page 188. I always thought that was a cocktail glass — but on closer look through a magnifying glass it could indeed be a flat ? Strangely, there were several nights while I was at M. House, we sat around in robes yakking. I never recall seeing that on his breast pocket of the robe.
    Steve

     
  9. Anonymous

    October 17, 2008 at 2:04 am

    Steve,
    According to Tony Thomas, Flynn normally had the “?” sewn into the inside lining of his sport jackets, not on the outside – hence it was not something normally visible to people. At least that's what I heard he said . . .
    Thanks for your input,
    Best,
    Linc

     
  10. Anonymous

    October 17, 2008 at 3:41 am

    Hallo, Guys! I looked at the photo with Pat and Arnella and would agree this is indeed another “?” Mark! Talk about having an “Eagle Eye”! Good on ya, Arno!
    Steve, this may simply have been something you just didn't pay that much attention to at the moment – I cannot tell you how many little such details escape me on a daily basis… much less details like this from decades ago…
    It's nice to have a few pics like this to work as “memory joggers” – innit?

     
  11. Anonymous

    October 18, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    I have two 8 x 10 glossies where the question mark is visible, one on his tie in a photo with Pat Wymore, and another that may be from this same session but without the dog. Anybody interested and I'll post them.
    I don't have an 8×10 of that pix in “The films of….” but I've seen a glossy another collector has and yes, that's his question mark insignia.

     
  12. Anonymous

    October 18, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Tom,
    I have one of Errol and Pat with the “?” on his tie – in it he looks rather debauched, his hair unkempt, and the tie is loosened around his neck. I sent a copy to David this morning via email. Is this one of the two you are talking about? I'm using it for you-know-what, so am rather hoping it won't appear on the internet, and thus go into “public domain,” at least just yet – if you know what I mean.
    Best, Y/F,
    Arno

     
  13. Anonymous

    October 19, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    You know, I was just looking for it but it slipped out of my fingers. A gust of wind burst thru my den, ruffled my papers, and a long shadow fell across my desk. Then I heard a wicked laugh in the distance. When I blinked the photo was gone!

     
  14. Anonymous

    October 19, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Must've been Bruce Cabot.
    R

     
  15. Anonymous

    October 20, 2008 at 12:22 am

    Robert, don't ruin my 22nd anniversary with any of that Bruce Cabot stuff!!!! I thought I'd done away with him when I deck him at EF's house party. Moron. Worse, a moron who sponged off EF and then stuck a knifein his back over William Tell. I will tell you one thing: Bruce kept running about Italy and Europe and the states for a while in fear that EF might catch him. Bloodshed would have resulted and it wouldn't have been Flynn's! For me, a year married to the same woman is a plus — twenty two years — it's nothing short of a bloody miracle! Going out now for a splendid dinner in Laguna overlooking the ocean! God bless one and all. Steve The Earl Of Richmond's son!

     
  16. Anonymous

    October 20, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Happy 22nd, Steve, and sorry for raining on your parade. Annette and I wish you both the very best and look forward to seeing you again!
    Regards,
    R

     
  17. Anonymous

    October 20, 2008 at 4:41 am

    Ditto, Sir Ivanhoe, hope you had a grand evening! Only three more to go to the big silver one!
    Arno

     
  18. Anonymous

    October 20, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Uh oh, I hope Higham doesn't see this – he may think it's the ghost of someone we all know and love – at it again!

     
  19. Anonymous

    October 21, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Sire,
    Hmmm. Did you ever wonder if Cabot treated Errol the way he did after the William Tell debacle because he had a lingering resentment over the fact that you had decked (and humiliated) him in public, and yet Errol still took you in, was kind to you, and didn't punish you in any way? That this might have been one way of Cabot getting back at Errol for what he regarded as a bit of disloyalty to him? Just a quick thought . . .
    arno

     
  20. Anonymous

    October 21, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Sir and Noble Linc:
    Since the first blog (my reply to your comment about Cabot, etc) has not been posted yet I want to go into it more thoroughly. You got me thinking and believe me, sire, that's a dangerous thing. Anyway, I think you might have stumbled onto something. Let me explain: Being a close pal (as Cabot and Hale and Big Boy were — only the last two were truly great and loyal buddies of EF) of Flynn's was not always an easy task. He, in turn, could be a tad mean or spiteful on occasion if in his cups. But whereas most people loved being around him, many didn't NEED him as Bruce Cabot did. His career was on the downslide when he started hanging around Flynn and EF gave it a boost — as did the Duke in later years. So, think of this: for years you watch this handsome and charming Flynn worshipped by the world while you can't get arrested; then you get close to him and your career builds, and your name is once again mentioned around town — but inside you are so jealous and envious you could throw up. But you need him. So you keep this building jealousy, which at times when he angers you and (in my case) belittles you in public, buried and it grows and grows. But even when EF's career seems to be tottering, or at least on the downslide, he still seems invulnerable. Then, suddenly, your chance to get back at him arrives, in spades, and because you know he won't climb the hill again, or you don't think he will, you leap in and while he's most vulnerable you stab him in the back. Of course, like Brutus, you only do it when he can't fight back. But lo and behold, he somehow recovers enough to not “drown” entirely and you realized, oh shit, now what do I do — and EF comes after you and you know what kind of beating you're going to take — so you run and hide like the barge rat you are.
    Makes sense? And what's worse, out comes his Wicker Wicked Ways book and here you are exposed to the whole world. Man, talk about a crushing blow. Even though the Duke keeps you working, I'm sure he and others must have not only read the book but pointed it out to you — so once again, you're screwed.
    I don't know about you guys but some times helping someone — especially loaning them money when they desperately need it — can backfire. I've had it happen twice. In stead of loving you for it they resent you for it. Because every time they see you it reminds them that they had to humble themselves and accept charity. I think this was what triggered Cabot. Nobody is a prick through and through — even Hitler was loved by Eva — and Cabot probably had his decent side too. Though no one saw it. But put the two things together and you've got a walking time bomb.
    Thanks for the comment, Sire. It proved worthwhile. Ivanho

     
  21. Anonymous

    October 21, 2008 at 2:07 am

    M'Lord Ivan,
    Thanks for the in-depth reply, and for taking my mental dropping seriously enough to consider it further along the lines you've suggested. Actually, I think you're firing on all cylinders there. It may not have been just ONE cause of whatever it was he was feeling toward Flynn that made him act so “Brutus-like” in the TELL case, but multiple reasons. Who knows, your humiliation of him – without consequences – may have started the whole resentment process within Cabot's psyche, and the other factors you mentioned just continued and exacerbated it. As I mentioned to you in my PM a little while ago, it may have been a lingering resentment, possibly subconscious (?) – and William Tell may have been Cabot's first real opportunity to even the score with Errol. I know, had I ben in Cabot's shoes, I probably wouldn't have taken too kindly to the thought of one of my closest pals “rewarding” someone who had humiliated me in public by taking him in, sponsoring him (well . . . almost), and allowing him to live in his house. And, as you say, the acts of kindness of Flynn toward him, with no ability to pay them back, certainly wouldn't help. I think we may have stumbled on to something here. But as I have yet to complete my degree Ph.D. in psychology, this is pure speculation on my part.
    I bow to your more seasoned wisdom in the matter!
    Your obedient and humble servant ~
    Sir Arno

     
  22. Anonymous

    October 21, 2008 at 2:59 am

    Well, sire, two minds are certainly better than one. I can recall in a minor way really resenting EF when he failed to come through when I needed him most — as my sponsor. Fortunately, it is not mynature to be spiteful — aggravating, exasperating, tempestuous — oh the list goes on and on (fortunately my wife doesn't have access to this blog) — but never petty, never spiteful. Deck a guy in anger or get decked yourself, no matter, just get up and carry on. I never believed in blaming the sins of the father, etc. So after a while when luck continued to shine on me and I stumbled into a sponsor, as I knew all along I would — why not? life has treated me far better than I've often thought I deserved — I then forgave Errol and never bad-mouthed him to anyone. Gloria didn't either. I never asked her about her relationship with Errol prior to my appearance, because it wasn't my business. She didn't cheat after we hooked up, and that's all that mattered.
    Cabot, apparently, wasn't so forgiving. Hence his Brutus act over Tell. But you know: we have to live with ourselves, shave in front of a mirror, so best beware or you will become more embittered with each act of bitterness. Yeh verily, how the man rambles! Fond farewell, sire. Sir Ivanho

     
  23. Anonymous

    October 21, 2008 at 3:12 am

    It all makes perfect sense. Cabot's treacherous behaviour has always seemed near-incomprehensible to me. Normally I agree with almost everything that Tony Thomas said or wrote, but I was never sold on his defense of Cabot in this case – he said, as I recall, that Cabot was merely looking out for his interests, and that this was perfectly understandable. The things talked about here add a whole new dimension to the episode, and may help to explain what was bubbling at – or just below – the surface.
    Well done, Stevo!
    L

     
 
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