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The Rock-itt : September 2009
a volume about Flynn, had me spellbound. What a fascinating man and splendid author! I heartily recommend that those of you interested in American history should hunt down copies of his books. You won't be disappointed. Polly Kranjcich made a replica of the pirate flag seen in Captain Blood and she also made several banners and flags that Jack had waving in the breeze. These included a replica of the Zaca's rooster flag and Flynn's enigmatic question mark emblem. Polly's superb artistic effort added a swashbuckling flair to the proceedings. The Jolly Roger flag was magnificent and Polly's work was admired by all of those in attendance. Beverly Aadland was unable to attend because of poor health, but she was represented by her husband Ron Fisher and their daughter Aadlanda. Ron and Aadlanda brought along some of Flynn's personal belongings, including a gold cigarette case, a gold watch and his topcoat, and generously shared them with the crowd. It was a spectacular and magnanimous gesture on their part as many of the guests tried on Errol's coat and had their photograph taken. The gold cigarette case presented something of a mystery as Karl Holmberg pointed out: "The truly most unusual occurrence of all was the guest appearance of Errol Flynn's "personalized" cigarette case. That is the enigma of all enigmas in that no one seemed to know what all the symbology was about. Not unlike Egyptian hieroglyphics, it held a story within each of the differently arranged clusters of symbols, and taken all together, no doubt, amounted to an even broader statement ... quite possibly the end result of the search for the Big Snook ..." And then there was Carl Zetterstrom, the luckiest Errol Flynn fan alive. Somewhere about the time I had only my second beer (I swear!) the Florczak's encountered Carl at Errol's grave. Carl had travelled from Sweden, alone, in order to celebrate Flynn's one hundredth birthday. He had saved his money in order to visit the United States. Florczak was justifiably impressed and immediately contacted Jack via cell-phone and requested permission for Carl to attend. And so history was made as Carl Zetterstom found himself in the company of the sweetest band of cutthroats in California. What makes this all the more endearing is the fact that Carl is a real gentleman. Meeting this fellow was a highlight for all of us. I don't recall precisely when I realised the sun had broken free of the clouds, but suddenly the June gloom was dispelled and we found ourselves in the middle of a warm, sun-baked day so typical of southern California. In the weeks since I've thought back on that day and there are numerous moments and images I cherish.... - The moment we gathered together and sang "Happy Birthday" to Errol, glasses raised in salute; and our toast to those that have gone before us: Lincoln Hurst, Tony Thomas, Earl Conrad, and Nora Eddington Flynn, followed by a special toast to Rick Dodd in England. - Jack and Louise Marino because there are no finer people, and being with them on such a momentous occasion was a privilege. - The moment much later that night when Greg Maradei came up with a can of Japanese beer at precisely the right moment to satiate my parched tongue. We still haven't deduced who drank all of that alcohol, but when the beer was gone Greg came to my rescue. - Karl Holmberg and David DeWitt, side by side and engaged in a lively conversation. - Louis Kraft talking about Lt. Charles Gatewood. I could listen to him talk "history" all day. - A smiling Trudy McVicker wearing Flynn's topcoat. - Dick Wieand telling stories and David DeWitt warning me with a big smile on his face "Watch out for this guy!" - The moment I raised my glass and toasted my friend Bob Peckinpaugh which elicited a "Who's that?" response. Well Bob, you'll have to attend the next party and set everyone straight! - Introducing myself to William Smith who gripped my hand and rasped "Sit down!" I did, and he said in an actor's tough guy voice "Now sit here and talk with me for two hours!" Thanks Bill, It wasn't exactly two hours but we'll do it again one day! - Aadlanda, Beverly's sweet daughter, and her father Ray, two rock solid classy people who added a high level of warmth to the proceedings. - Joan Marino, Jack's little sister, who is every bit as intelligent and fun to be a around as Jack. - Robert Florczak and his wife Annette who were so nice I never wanted to leave. - Carl Zetterstom who engaged many of us in a vibrant and meaningful conversation and who proved that dreams do come true. - Equipment which made it possible for all of us to watch Mara Maru with Paul Picerni after the sun went down. - Discussing certain bibliographic points with Karl Holmberg and David DeWitt. - Nearly 80 people attended this party and I'm still trying to put names with faces! - Kent Hagen getting it all on film. Our Famous Mr Flynn's gold cigarette case and watch