Mail Bag! A Flynn State of Mind!

26 Jul

This comes from our chum Claudia Raab and expresses a great idea:


Hi David,

Hope all is well.

A couple of days ago I had an interesting conversation with a friend who also loves to travel to the U.S. and she told me that she has succeeded in visiting all States at least once.

After this talk I started wondering how many States our man Errol might have been to, and whether this might even be a topic for the EFB.

I can think of some but I’m sure the Flynnthusiasts from the EFB know a lot more.


Alaska – USO tour in 1943

Arizona – filming for Virginia City (Sedona, Painted Desert, visiting the Grand Canyon and probably quite a few bars in Flagstaff) and Without Incident at Old Tucson Studios


California – that’s a no-brainer ;-)

Colorado – premiere of Silver River in Denver










Kansas – premiere of Dodge City












Nevada – premiere of Virginia City, boating/fishing on Lake Mead with Sean

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico – filming of Rocky Mountain around Gallup, premiere of Santa Fe Trail

New York – he visited NYC quite a few times

North Carolina

North Dakota



Oregon – fishing on the Klamath River (although that might have been in Northern California)


Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota



Utah – skiing at Alta



Washington – stopover in Seattle on his way to Alaska (not sure about this; I think I read it somewhere but can’t find any evidence)

West Virginia






Thanks, Claudia!

— David DeWitt


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    July 27, 2018 at 11:35 am

    This is an excellent idea, Claudia! Fun and productive research! Thanks for thinking of it!

    Let me try an ‘A’, an ‘A’ for Arkansas.

    Having done baseball research in Hot Springs, Arkansas – a premier spa and gambling destination for the rich and famous for many decades – I’ve searched to see if I find evidence of Errol in town. Never could, but I have come across reports that he once stayed at the “Palace of the Ozarks”, pictured below. When Errol reportedly stayed there, it was known as the Lane Hotel.…


  2. Gentleman Tim

    July 28, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Lets ‘C’, Claudia. ‘C’ for Connecticut.


    Though unknown to me all the ports Errol sailed into during his maiden voyage of Sirocco in 1938, we know he started in Massachusetts, ultimately reaching Miami. If he took the course taken by most on such a trip, i.e. the Intracoastal Waterway, he would have likely travelled through and even stopped at most, if not all, states on the Eastern Seaboard. It’s doubtful, imo, that he would have sailed often on the high seas. Rather, he more probably stopped for sightseeing, provisions, and/or ship maintenance at ports in every or nearly every state, including famous seaports like Newport, and lesser known but nautically and/or historically significant offshore locations in Maryland, Virginia North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. (Smith Island, Tangiers Island, the Great Dismal Swamp, the Georgian barrier islands, et al.)


    • Gentleman Tim

      July 28, 2018 at 9:38 am

      And then there was this! … humorously suggesting that Errol may have once even entertained going coed at Connecticutt College for Women, in the famous seaport town of New London, near Mystic. My God, the press would have had a field day with that!! Enrollment would have soared!


      • Claudia

        July 30, 2018 at 7:35 am

        Awesome, Statesman Tim! Looks like we’ve got the whole East Coast covered!

        As far west as west goes, there is also this for Hawaii:


        • Gentleman Tim

          July 30, 2018 at 12:29 pm

          Here’s some history on a couple of Errol’s many trips to Florida, Claudia.

          The Fleens in Florida, on the Sirocci

          The Baron in Boca

          From where I just wrote this, I can see several of the Boca Raton locations depicted in the second link above.

        • David DeWitt

          July 30, 2018 at 3:43 pm

          When I lived on Big Island for 5 months in 2012, I used to drive directly through this patch of land on the way into Kona, and it is still a large area that many smaller cattle ranches still occupy along the roadway.

          Odd, to see black and white cattle against a mountain landscape along the way, with deep blue sea beyond a drop off of rolling hills up on the long highway that winds through the mountains to Kona.


  3. Gentleman Tim

    July 30, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Idaho, Claudia. It happened in Sun Valley several times for Errol.…

  4. Ada Klock

    July 30, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Unfortunately, C does not stand for Connecticut, since Errol was not personally aboard the Sirocco when it shipped from Boston to Miami. The correct series of events are as follows:

    When Errol was visiting Boston, Mass, he purchases the Sirocco on Jan. 25,1938.

    It was named the Karenita at the time and he had the name changed there to Sirocco.

    He then made arrangements to have it delivered in March after Boston’s winter weather.

    It ended up in the Fogal Boatyard in Miami harbor for repairs and refitting in mid-March.

    When Errol and Lili are both in Miami on March 25th, they checked in on the status of the Sirocco. The schedule was to have the yacht ready to go by April 22nd, when Errol and Lili planned on sailing the Caribbean. The Sirocco sailed out of Miami with Errol, Lili and crew on April 20th.

    To back up Errol’s schedule, he returned to Hollywood by January 27th to begin filming his next feature, All Rights Reserved on February 4th. The title of the picture is later changed to Four’s A Crowd and wraps up filming on March 24th. Flynn is in Miami on the 25th at a dinner dance at Southwood in Palm Beach…and so on.

    There are some sources that report that Errol did sail the Sirocco from Boston.

    But, there is just no time, or conclusive evidence, to suggest that Errol could get away and be on board to sail the ship from Boston to Miami.

  5. Ada Klock

    July 30, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    I would like to add a few random events to help fill in some of the alphabetical blanks. I think the dates help to pinpoint Flynn’s whereabouts and make it a little easier to locate newspaper and magazine articles.

    Alabama – Part of the War Department’s 4th War Loan Bond Drive has Errol flying into Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama from Jan. 24 to Jan. 26, 1944.

    Florida – Flynn’s new yacht, Sirocco, is delivered to Miami in mid-March of 1938 from Boston.

    He leaves on a Caribbean vacation with Lily on April 20th.

    Georgia – Errol has a stopover in Atlanta,Ga. on his way to Miami on March 25, 1938 (see photo)

    Hawaii – Early January of 1941, Errol flies to Honolulu for an extended vacation.

    Louisiana – Errol and Lily are at the Mardi Gras in New Orleans on Feb. 20, 1939.

    Ohio – Errol is in Cleveland on Dec. 6, 1940 for a charity dinner.

    Virginia – In Ft. Myers, Va. on Jan.26, 1939 to ride in a horse show, fund-raising event for Infantile Paralysis in the company of President and Mrs. Roosevelt.

    And yes on Washington – Errol took off from Seattle on Nov. 24, 1943 for his Alaskan military tour and stopped there on his return to the states on Dec. 29th.

    Hope these help. It’s a fun idea.

  6. David DeWitt

    July 30, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Maybe we could fill in some of these places in the original posting? Will help later today …

  7. Gentleman Tim

    July 30, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    Excellent info, Ada. The John Alden yacht in Boston, however,was named “Avenir”, not “Karenita”. Correct? The Karenita was Errol’s original Sirocco,, from Sydney.

    • Ada Klock

      July 30, 2018 at 11:53 pm

      There are many different sources regarding the original name of the Sirroco, but I have trusted the following information after researching a variety of sources over the years.

      The ship was built in 1929 and christened the Karenita. In 1930 it is renamed te Avenir and in 1933 changed to Simoon. Then it is changed to Watchettein in 1934 and then in 1936 the name is changed back to Karenita and remained that way when sold to Flynn in ’38.

      I believe there is an article in the blog, a while back, by one of the members who had visited the Sirocco after it was completely restored and given back the original name of Karenita (attached photo) and some photos were provided. I hope this helps to clear up some of the confusion that is sometimes released in error, over time, by different sources.

      I hope we can agree with these findings?


    • Ada Klock

      July 30, 2018 at 11:56 pm

      This link hopefully gets us to several posts on the EFB about the Sirocco:…

      • Gentleman Tim

        July 31, 2018 at 3:06 am

        Confusing indeed, Ada, particularly as contemporaneous accounts of Errol’s purchase refer to the “Avenir”, not any of the other names mentioned. Here’s one example from Motor Boating:…

        Also, from the post you linked, there’s this, quoting Errol:

        “I had heard about the Caribbean, its splendour, comparable, it was said to the Pacific that witnessed me, and we went to Boston to buy a sailboat. And immediately, I set off along the Atlantic coasts.”

        Errol Flynn

      • Gentleman Tim

        July 31, 2018 at 6:38 am

        While we’re on this subject of Siroccos, Ada, do you have any info or opinion whether “Barbary” is Errol’s original Sirocco? Barbary is what I meant to say when I said Karenita earlier.


  8. Gentleman Tim

    July 30, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Seeing the state of things, will enter 3 ‘M’s:

    Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri

    In Maryland, Errol is said to have once raced an Alpha Romeo around the driveway at Robert Mitchum’s Belmont Farm Estate. Below is an aerial of the Eastern Shore estate.


    On a bond drive tour during WW II, Errol and Victor Mature visited a Naval shipyard in Biloxi, Mississippi,

    Errol also participated in a patriotic drive in St. Louis, with Anthony Quinn and Gene Tierney. Here’s this great account of that great event from the very distinguished EFB Author and Authority, Karl Holmberg:…

    • Claudia

      July 31, 2018 at 6:58 am

      Wow, you guys are awesome!

      How could I forget about Idaho?


  9. Gentleman Tim

    July 31, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Hats off to Ada, Claudia. It’s tough to top Ada … Keep those timely dates and corrections coming, Ada Klock!

    I can’t say for sure, Claudia, but Errol very likely took the Twentieth Century Limited more than once between Grand Central and La Salle Street Stations, even possibly on his first trip to America, when he travelled from New York to Chicago on his way to Hollywood with a Warner Brothers escort. If he did, or even if he took less prestigious rail service, he would have travelled through New York, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The Twentieth Century was quite an experience, especially if you were Errol (in which case it coukd have been called the Twentieth Century UNlimited.)…

    • Gentleman Tim

      July 31, 2018 at 7:44 am

      Similarly, Claudia, Errol very likely road the Super Chief between Chicago and LA. “The Super Chief ran through Kansas City, Missouri; Newton, Kansas; Dodge City, Kansas; La Junta, Colorado; Raton, New Mexico; Las Vegas, New Mexico; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Gallup, New Mexico; Winslow, Arizona; Seligman, Arizona; Needles, California; Barstow, California; San Bernardino, California; and Pasadena, California.”

      As explained in the article linked below, it was known as the “Train of the Stars”.…


      So, restating the above for our purposes, that would give us Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and , of course, California.

      For the record, Errol also visited Patrice Wymore’s parents in (Salinas) Kansas.

    • Gentleman Tim

      July 31, 2018 at 8:04 am

      The Twentieth Century Limited

      “The Most Famous Train in the World”

      • Claudia

        July 31, 2018 at 10:11 am

        Great additions, Tim! I’ve often wondered what places he might have seen from a train. Probably some that I’ve already visited.

        Santa Fe:





        • Gentleman Tim

          August 1, 2018 at 7:22 am

          What great photos, Claudia! Did you take these? Tremendous. Like Flynn, you’ve been to more of America than most Americans.

          I’d bet you and Errol have traveled by and to many, many of the same sites, all over the country, and world. He most certainly got his kicks on Route 66 now and then, here and there. In and around Gallup, New Mexico, for example, and a host of places from Chicago to LA (mire than 2000 miles all the way)

          Two very prominent friends of his recorded Route 66 in ’47, when it first released. The King first and most famously, then The Bing, with the Andrew Sisters. What a spectacular song it is. Maybe we can count some of the states Errol (and you) traveled watching this video:


          • Claudia

            August 1, 2018 at 11:03 am

            Thanks Tim. Yes, I did take those pictures – glad you like them! And thanks for the link to that video. Some of the places look very familiar. I’ll be traveling in the Southwest again in September/October, visiting Gallup, Flagstaff, Sedona and some other places. I sure hope to find some traces of Flynn again!

            • Gentleman Tim

              August 2, 2018 at 12:46 pm

              Flynntastic, Claudia!

              If you make it to St. Louis, a major stop on old Route 66, you can stay where Errol stayed, at the magnificent Chase Hotel. Errol may have had a few at the famous Zodiac Lounge the night before his world class prank on Tony Quinn (story linked above in the discussion regarding St. Louis.)


              “Chase was the Place”


              • Claudia

                August 3, 2018 at 6:41 am

                Awesome, Tim! I’ll make sure to put this on my bucket list!

                • Gentleman Tim

                  August 3, 2018 at 10:36 am

                  You are definitely a very cool Flynnmate, Claudia.

                  Thanks to Karl’s post linked above in the Missouri comment, we know that Buster Wiles confirmed that Flynn stayed at The Chase to do the Blood Drive radio show Quinn and Gene Tierney. So that, coupled with the facts that St. Louis was the Gateway to the Weshlt and a Majjor Route 66 location, makes The Chase a premier place to begin a westward chase along the Errol Flynn Trail.

                  From a recent Route 66 Exhibit in St. Louis:

                  “St. Louis is the largest city along Route 66 between Chicago and Los Angeles, and there are some sites related to the Mother Road within the region. Some of the streets have new names, but all of these locations are part of the Route 66 journey.”

                  “One of the most famous highways anywhere in the world, Route 66 has become an icon of American culture and history. Route 66 which was established in 1926, this semi-transcontinental highway stretches 2448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. In the 1930’s the road became the main thoroughfare for migrants seeking a better life in the promised land of California. Thousands of hopefuls loaded up their battered old cars and trucks and motored west. Route 66 soon entered American folklore with the famous song written by Bobby Troup who urged us all to ‘get our kicks on Route 66’. Route 66 (aka US 66) was a historic highway in the United States extending from Chicago to Los Angeles. It crossed much of the American Midwest, Great Plains, and Southwest. Although US Highway 66 no longer exists, you can still “get your kicks” on the path it took through the United States on other highways and roads.”

                  Route 66

                  Route 66 Exhibit in St. Louis:

                  “June 25, 2016 – July 16, 2017, the Missouri History Museum will open the “Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis” exhibit. Visitors will be able to explore the local history of the world-famous highway during the Missouri History Museum exhibit on the Mother Road. Learn stories about the motels, custard stands, and tourist traps that could be found along the road as it passed through St. Louis. Visitors will see a number of artifacts ranging from gas pumps to roadside signs and will even get a chance to drive the road themselves.”

                  • David DeWitt

                    August 3, 2018 at 1:27 pm

                    The Blood Drive Radio Show was very something rare, according to the late Prof.Lincoln Hurst, film historian: see Karl Holmberg’s posting here and listen to the recording itself. Warning, adult language!


  10. Ada Klock

    July 31, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    This is one of many articles that appeared in the Miami papers in March of 1938 regarding the shipping of the Sirocco from Boston, as well as Flynn’s arrival and plans (attached).

    I think we can eliminate the shipping in January. But, it is very possible that Errol flew to Miami in January, after the purchase, to make arrangements there to receive the yacht upon it’s arrival in March.


    • Gentleman Tim

      August 1, 2018 at 7:07 am

      When you say “shipped”, do you mean “sailed”, Ada?

      So, is this account of events by Errol concerning his purchase of (Avenir/Sirocco II) true or not true? .

      « … we went to Boston to buy a sailboat. And immediately, I set off along the Atlantic coasts ».

      • Ada Klock

        August 2, 2018 at 4:45 pm

        Gentleman Tim,

        Regarding the Sirocco being shipped from Boston to Miami. According to my best information, there was no shipping of the Sirocco from Boston to Miami in January of 1938.

        Several articles in Florida newspapers in March of 1938 provide sufficient confirmation that the Sirocco left Boston in March and arrived in Miami in March. Not in January. And Errol was not on board in March at any time during shipping. Therefore, other evidence will have to be found for Errol’s visit to the eastern seaboard states on the State of Mind list of states.

        The quote from the text of My Wicked, Wicked Ways is just part of (Conrad’s brilliant concept of) Flynn’s writing style and affords us using our imagination to some extent. The sentence starts with “We”… but he was not with Lily, he was alone. And “immediately” could mean January, but it wasn’t on the Sirocco. Finally, “I set off along the Atlantic coasts,”… by car? …by charter plane? …by commercial aircraft?

        There is no actual reference to what Flynn did or where he went, when he left Boston. I was only able to locate one gossip article in January/February newspapers, that Errol vacationed in Miami and was returning to L.A. on or about Jan. 27-28. Still… no Sirocco confirmation, that I could find.

        If you think more information is necessary I am happy to keep digging.

        Ohhh…I did find a couple of articles in Mass. newspapers that mention him buying the “Avenir.” I am glad to do some more research and get back to you. Good work.

        • Gentleman Tim

          August 2, 2018 at 6:19 pm

          Aok, Ada.

          Assuming Errol did not “immediately” leave with Sirocco out of Boston to Miami as he stated or very strongly implied, how then did he travel to Miami? “I set off along the Atlantic Coasts” is not a phrase many, if any, would use to describe a commercial air flight. So, if it wasn’t by sail on the Sirocco, nor by air, it had to be by car or train.

          In the 1930’s, the rich and famous most always traveled from the Northeast to Florida by rail, in luxury Pullman coaches, most likely on the Seaboard Air Line, but possibly on the Atlantic Coast Line. Luxury trains were the way to go in those days. The Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, FDR, they all traveled to Florida by train, and we know Errol often traveled by train, also. (Even at the end of the 30s, only about 7% of all long distance travel in the U.S. was by air.)

          Moreover, travel by rail would have made it much easier and more efficient for Errol to stop along the way for adventures in Manhattan, D.C., and Palm Beach.

          So, if Errol traveled by rail (or car), we’ll still need to include every state along the Eastern Seaboard south of the Massachusetts.


        • Gentleman Tim

          August 3, 2018 at 10:13 am

          I believe it would very worthwhile to dig for more as to Errol’s exact whereabouts during this timeframe between traveling east to purchase of the Avenir in Boston and the arrival of the Sirocco in Miami. There should be more evidence, especially as Errol’s doings at that time were of very significant interest to the public and press.

          This winter timeframe, between January and March was (and still is) an extraoedinarily popular time for the rich and famous to vacation along the coast in Southeast Florida, most particularly from Palm Beach to Miami. Perhaps he was hiding in Boca Raton from Warners (only a few hundred yards from where I am now) which he sometimes did.

          The Baron in Boca

          Whatever the case, I believe your digging further will be if great value. Maybe he can be found in Florida and/or the Carribean and/or California and/or New York and/or Hawaii and/or elsewhere. Errol Flynn was a travelin’ man!

  11. Gentleman Tim

    August 2, 2018 at 7:54 am

    During his Hollywood heyday, Errol once visited Wisconsin, in the Coulee Region of Wisconsin.…

  12. Gentleman Tim

    August 2, 2018 at 11:24 am

    On Wisconsin! (And maybe Minnesota, too)

    During his Hollywood heyday, Errol once visited the Coulee Region of Wisconsin.…

    He lodged only a mile or so from the Minnesota state border, so he could have easily visited Minnesota on this same vacation, but I do not know that he did.

  13. Gentleman Tim

    August 3, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you David. Quinn sounds so tongue-tied!.

    The Chase was the Place:

    “The Chase`s acclaim went beyond this city: The weekly national radio broadcasts of “Saturday Night at the Chase“ brought the music of the bands and entertainers performing at the Chase Club to listeners around the country. And “The Harry Fender Show,“ hosted by the former vaudevillian and Ziegfeld entertainer, brought music and celebrity talk from the hotel`s Steeplechase Room into living rooms all over America.”

    • David DeWitt

      August 3, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      The joke was on him! He really thought they were on the air and that Flynn was drunk. It would have meant the end of all their careers but it was a Flynn send up of EPIC proportions!

  14. Gentleman Tim

    August 5, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    I have not found corroborating evidence, Claudia, but I’ve read that Errol was at the Kentucky Derby in 1956, betting on “King of Swords”, possibly even indiscernibly present in one of this film’s crowd scenes at the race:…

    • Claudia

      August 6, 2018 at 7:30 am

      Another great addition, Tim! Kentucky – the first state I ever visited, thanks to relatives who lived there. I wish I had known about this back then – it might have made my stay more exciting!

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