What Errol Flynn Gave

What did Errol Flynn, this man with a magnificent spirit and charisma give to Earth other than fun movies, a great smile, and a notable autobiography? Happiness and hope.

I became fully aware of the happiness and hope Errol gave the world from his movies and writings and short time on this earth, two years ago. It was July 2020, I had been to the hospital to have an MRI scan to understand why for a year in total I had been having occasional nocturnal seizures. Well, the scan revealed that at the age of 21 (for one month more as I turned 22 in August) I had a stage 2 glioma bordering on the motor region. I was not completely shocked as it was something I had suspected for a while, but actually having it confirmed sent chills down my spine, and tears down my cheeks. I was devastated. It had already been a hard year as it was, due to lockdown keeping everyone inside, and ridiculously not even allowing the safest and healthiest of activities like Golf which I was playing 3 times a week (4 if the conditions permitted) to be done. To add to that my beloved dog Molly (who had been sick and blind for a long time ) died, and during the night-time of that sad day I suffered a seizure; the one that made me finally arrange to have an MRI done as my Doctors had disgracefully not arranged for one.

But enough dreariness. How exactly did Errol Flynn help me get better? Was it his films? The energy he displayed in his films? His hilarious and exciting book? His funny face and grin which immediately upon looking at it you can’t help but laugh or smile? His philosophy? IT WAS ALL OF THESE! Ever since I first saw Errol Flynn in Captain Blood I was immediately captivated. Here was this grinning Aussie who despite the accent, made you believe he had just stepped into the Elizabethan times! In Robin Hood you believed he really did come from Sherwood forest! And in Dodge City that he really did go to the Wild Wild West! He looked and acted the part of every novel hero, from his physique and profile, down to his posture, demeanour and charm. But as I discovered from watching more of his films, and reading (multiple times) his “Wicked, wicked ways” (and many more books about him since then, including his novels) his real life story, the real Errol Flynn was far more interesting! This man had done everything! Gone to School in London and Australia, joined a “razor gang”, fought and conquered cannibal savages (and of course bedded one of their women), experienced what could of been an episode of Maverick (James Garner coincidentally wore Errol’s outfit from Silver River) in Hong Kong with Ting Ling O’Connor, worked as a seaman, before finally after many years and a tries at plays in London became an actor in Hollywood. And if you’ll forgive me for my crudeness; slept with the world’s most beautiful women. All before the age of 30. What a unique spirit.

I knew that I couldn’t let misfortune get me down. Far from making me give up on life and become a hermit, the diagnosis re-invigorated my desire to live. I started playing golf more regularly, skipping everyday, doing the heavy bag and weights every other day, in short:just doing things that made me happy and kept me healthy. Life was too short to live in despair and fear, you’re here today, try to live it good no matter how hard it may seem, life’s never as bad it seems. There’s always a way. I kept this philosophy I’d learnt from Errol up even when I had the surgery to removed as much of the tumour as was possible (thanks to my great Surgeon and the team at UCLH National Hospital For Neurology). The surgery had due to where it was located and the time it took (9 hours), left me temporarily paralysed on my right side. No more jumping and swinging like Robin Hood, skipping and heavy bag like Gentleman Jim, no! For the next month and a half I had to dig in deep, and use all of the hope that lied within me to get better. “I will see the world!” I will find a beautiful woman!” “I wont let this get in the way of my dreams!”, and like Errol Flynn in bed with a beautiful woman, or against the wild cannibals of New Guinea, I conquered my fear of not being able to use my right side fully again , and am doing well, despite suffering an infection from the first surgery, which meant having to have the bone flap that was removed and put in again during the surgery, removed again, and then 2 weeks ago having what is called “PEEK” put in the spot wear my bone used to be so that as I type this blog I have staples on my scalp. What an eventful year!

Errol Flynn once said in his letters “just one hour of time is far more important than money for time is life. Whenever you waste your time over printed words that neither enlighten nor amuse you, you are in a sense committing suicide.” Truer words were never spoken. This quote could be applied and altered to the use of social media, video games, tv, arguments, youtube etc and still be true. Life is short, the world is big, so why waste your time on negativity? Long live Errol Flynn and his amazing legacy.

A positive and negative 

My tumour was found to benign in the biopsy, but the fact I had known I had a tumour was purely down to me arranging to have a MRI done. As I said previously my Doctors never even recommended one. That my tumour was thankfully found to be benign, made me think of those who ended up having the reverse, and of those, those who find out too late, or never at all. If you experience a seizure, or your head has been feeling different and the doctor tells you “it was just a panic attack”, or “don’t worry it’s just a head cold” do get an MRI scan just to be sure. It could literally save your life.

Please donate to these charities if you can www.thebraintumourcharity.org…


— Smordon Cluce

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