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Another Perspective on Errol Flynn!

29 Jun

We need to talk about something, my friends. We have enjoyed many years discussing the life and career of Errol Flynn from several different perspectives on this blog. Some of these perspectives naturally include the same views of our subject you find in fandom on many other blogs dedicated to golden age actors and their classic films. Some of us view Flynn as a classic actor from the golden age, only. It is his films that you enjoy, in particular, and some are interested more in the man, himself, much more interested in what formed him not just as a performer but as a human being. Film scholars take an interest in his films from the perspective of when his films were made, they are interested in his associations and influences as an actor. They study his work on screen from the view they have of the era he lived in, the directors, the producers, the screenwriters, and musicians involved in his films, the technical side, and well as the artistic side. They study his life in order to tell document his career, and relate it to other performers, and other professionals that have produced what we regard as the art of cinema – Biographers take in all of this in an effort to show their readers who the man was on a person level, and they go as deep into the private life of the actors they write about as is humanly possible to tell an accurate story if they are writers with integrity, and their research is honest and scholarly.

We know full well, don’t we, that there are other “biographers” who have no integrity, no honesty, and write only to shock and not to explore the lives of their subjects in a balanced truthful way. All of these perspectives have appeared on the EFB in one way or another. We have fought hard and long against the Highams of this world, and overcame them by direct action. We are trying to tell Flynn’s story on this blog, to celebrate his life and career and we do it with joy, and we do it with care. We love the guy, don’t we? But one thing we can’t do is really know him from another perspective that is not often talked about. It is not written about here often because this perspective comes only from those who knew him. And few here did. Steve Hayes is a noted exception. Rory Flynn is another …

Rory Flynn has a unique perspective none of us will ever have, naturally, but there is something we should all understand – when we post copies of rare family photos, documents and particularly letters from or to Errol Flynn from family members we are exposing the personal life of her family members for public examination – it is one thing to reproduce things such as entry’s in the New Guinea Diary, or brief letters or notes that reveal something of his character in our study of his attitude about life, or to show his patriotism, or love of his children and friends he enjoyed. Some of these things are already available on the internet, however, Rory has for years tried to get back original letters and other things that were lost over the years to collectors that rightfully belong to her family, and she has not always been able to do it. For instance, a few years ago, her sister Deirdre became very ill, and during this time she lost a storage unit that contained family letters and photos – which had been mistakenly placed in this storage unit – and forgotten. When the storage unit was seized, all of its contents went up for sale. A woman contacted Rory about the letters she found among the unit’s contents and asked if they belonged to the Flynn family? Yes, of course, Rory replied, and told the woman she would gladly pay her a fair amount of money to get the items back – but once this woman knew the letters were authentic, she stopped all communication with Rory, and she was never able to recover the letters …

You can imagine how much this hurt. There were letters containing her father’s “loving words” to her, lost, a second time when within reach. And she never got them back. People tend to think of Rory as some sort of distant figure, one that isn’t approachable, and that they wouldn’t as strangers, try to contact. I have heard this many times from people that she I think would actually enjoy hearing from, even if it is only a few words – and when you realize that not to contact her if you hear of or have obtained something that she would probably like to recover for her son and family members, for her own sake, and feelings, too, is something very hurtful.

People may look upon a letter from her mother to her father as memorabilia, but she looks at it as family memories, as family history. I would love to have more letters that my own father wrote to my mother, if they existed somewhere. I only have just a few letters and a few postcards, to look at, and when I do look at them I see my father’s handwriting and I feel his presence…

Rory’s feelings are no different, I am sure. To see a letter written by her mother for sale on eBay that could have been offered to her first, is deeply hurtful. And when this happens it is all the more hurtful, because it brings back the loss the family suffered all over again. Rory is the daughter of Errol Flynn, but she is a loving daughter like all daughters who want to hold close the words of her father meant only for her eyes and when she reads them his voice is in her ears again, and his hand is on her shoulder as it should be; if you come across anything of this nature in your wide searches of anything Flynn related please remember this particular perspective on Errol Flynn that is one we actually all share in our own lives.

You can contact Rory via her website:

inlikeflynn.com…

Contact Rory

Or you can contact me via this blog, too, about this issue via the Contact us! page …

 

d~

Note: Rory sends her thanks and appreciation to Brian Twist who helped her retrieve some family letters in a generous and kind-hearted way …

— David DeWitt

 
2 Comments

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  1. timerider

    June 30, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Very well written David! I’m sure that Rory would like to fill in the empty spaces of her life where her father may be little know to her. After all she was very young when he passed.
    Sometimes I think daughters really need that closeness to their father and his history more than sons. My own sisters have gathered up much of the family history and are very interested in my Dad’s life. I am also but not as much. I would like to find out certain things I know are secrets and the only way to do that is by DNA testing, LOL!
    Anyway, I will keep a look out for Rory’s sake.

     
    • David DeWitt

      June 30, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      Thanks, pal. I recall it was my then wife’s idea many years ago to start recording her mother’s memories and stories each holiday season after the big meal when people sit around and relax. Some funny things come out, unintentionally, like how old my wife really was when I met her!

       
 
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