A bus line back one century in time

24 Nov


Dear fellow Flynn fans,

who said, there is no time machine?  Well, this weekend I went on a bus from Austria to the tiny state of Liechtenstein, which took me way back into the last century.

I had the great honor to get invited by a real baron to sit bedside and have a little chat. His name is Eduard Alexandrowitsch von Falz Fein, originally from Russia. He is 102 years old. “My  legs are gone, but my mind is crisp. Why don`t you come and join me at my chalet? Excuse me, for not meeting you at the entrance, my staff will let you in.”

I had approached this noble gentleman, when I became aware that the best friend of Prince Igor Troubetzkoy, the fourth husband of Barbara Hutton was still alive. You remember the story, don´t you…?

Greets from Bab`s birthday boat

Baron Eddie competed at the 1936 Winter Olympics in Garmish Patenkirchen (Germany) in the bobsleigh 4 men event against, amongst others, Errol`s pest pal Freddie McEvoy. “We became friendly, but not friends. One had to take Freddie with a grain of caution.” During winter season they would be together at St. Moritz. Summers were spent on the Côte d´Azur, another hunting place of Freddie. And in between seasons the Russian aristocracy resorted to the Ritz and Maxim`s in Paris.

When I asked him, why McEvoy himself wouldn`t marry Barbara , the baron had the following explanation. “What is better than a rich woman wife? Rich women without obligation, of course!”

Von Falz Fein remembered pompous parties aboard Freddie`s yacht in Cannes and Nice. At one of these he was introduced to Errol Flynn. “Well I was not so much into movies. Naturally I knew who he was, but I was not in awe. I had sat on the knee of the Czar as a little boy, I had withnessed Hitler at the `36 Summer Olympics in Berlin leaving the Stadium stone faced after Jesse Owens victory. I had hosted royalty like King Farouk- the pervert (O- tone Baron), but Flynn had a presence and elegance about him without arrogance. He was easy to talk to, when he wasn`t drinking of course. One time on a boat trip, either to Portofino or Spain, he was so smashed, he couldn`t tell starboard from portside. Apart from that he was swell, but I didn`t know him too well…”

“Now concerning the torrid affair between Barabara and Igor, which eventually led to their marriage. Ìt nearly didn`t happen. And it was all my fault. A newspaper had printed a photo I had taken from Babs and Igor. Soon St. Mo. was filling with reporters waiting for the big “Yes”. Barbara was furious and I was in the dog house. But instead of calling the whole thing off, I contrived the plan to have them married in Chur in Switzerland, an hour`s drive from my place in Vaduz. I acted as best man. When all was said and done, instead of a lavish feast, the four of us had hot chocolate at tea time. And that was about it. I truely must say that my tovarishch Troubetzkoy wasn`t in for the money.”

When the baron heard of Suicide Freddie`s death at sea, he like everybody else that kew McEvoy, his vicious vitality and competitive spirit, couldn`t believe it. “That incident may forever remain a secret.”

Another secret Eduard von Falz Fein was able to lay to rest, at least for him, was the remainder of the lost Amber Room, the 8th wonder of the world. After extensive searches and researches that he financed, he is convinced, that it was destroyed during a bomb raid in Königsberg. “Ashes to ashes and amber to amber.”




— shangheinz


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    November 25, 2014 at 12:23 am

    FANTASTIC & THANK YOU, baronheinz!!!!!!! TREMENDOUS!!!!!!!! GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!……


    • shangheinz

      November 25, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Whoa Gent, you may be typing yourself hoarse. Thanks, and thanks for the shout out on the Jack Marino Show. Good luck with that mighty fine pirate film plan of yours! PS: Freddie Mc is in the sack!

  2. rswilltell

    November 25, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    This is a remarkable true tale and thanks to Heinz for sharing the Baron’s charming stories with us. My guess is that there is enough material for a complete book here! Ralph Schiller

    • shangheinz

      November 25, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      HELLO Leroy Ralph, first hand information on Errol is getting scarcer day by day. I am glad I took this chance and came up with a little on Flynn, more about McEvoy and most about a lucious life. I think, you being a not too shabby Southside storyteller yourself , should definitely start writing another book. So help ye GOD.

  3. David DeWitt

    November 25, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Extraordinary! Well, done …

    • shangheinz

      November 25, 2014 at 7:07 pm

      Dear Dave, glad you like it as always. Contributing and sharing is what this blog is all about.

  4. timerider

    November 25, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Yes more grist for the bookmill, LOL! Thank you so much for sharing this Sir Heinz. A good laugh for this morning thinking of Port and Starboard! 102! I hope to be there with a crisp mind and good legs.

    • shangheinz

      November 25, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Travelling back in time is (a) timerider`s delight. When thinking about that biblical age, it is not my legs I am worried about. An old joke comes to mind:

      A 98 years old patient says to the 95 years oldtimer next to him: “You won`t believe what happened to me this morning.” “Yeah, what?” “When I woke up, I had the first erection in 20 years.” “Yeah, and?” “Both my hands were asleep..!”

      • timerider

        November 26, 2014 at 4:04 pm

        Is that a Nyuck, Nyuck joke? LOL! May be taken a number of ways, LOL!

    • Gentleman Tim

      November 26, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Well, maybe not Port from Starboard, but definitely Port from Stolichnaya!

      … I find this especially interesting because it’s been often reported that Errol rarely showed signs of being bombed, even after considerable quantities. He must have imbibed ungodly amounts on this particular Med cruise! … Suicide Freddie was such a bad influence!!

      • shangheinz

        November 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm

        Pat Wy too, said she never saw Errol drunk, but once. Maybe it was Freddie`s Scotch that got him over- loaded on that trip.

  5. zacal

    November 27, 2014 at 3:50 am

    FANTASTIC!!! Happy Thanksgiving to you, Shangheinz, and thank you for this wonderful story!

    • shangheinz

      November 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Happy Turkey Day to you, too! Glad you liked my story.

  6. shangheinz

    June 24, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    I learned today that Baron Eddy von Falzfein had died in a fire caused by a defect bedside lamp in november of 2018 at the age of 106. When I interviewed him had set his goal on living 105 years. This he achieved and many other astounding things too:…
    RIP Amber Baron.