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Re: Kay Mallek

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  • keith2draw@home.com
    Hello fellow Blandingites, It s been a very busy month...lots of great leads. First of all...after a year of searching, I ve finally located the Dodd, Mead &
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 20, 2001
      Hello fellow Blandingites,

      It's been a very busy month...lots of great leads.

      First of all...after a year of searching, I've finally located the
      Dodd, Mead & Co./Blanding contracts. The publisher went out of
      business in 1989, and all of their archives were sold to a famous New
      York bookseller. He in turn sold them to a bookseller in
      Berkeley...who in turn sold them to several parties. Some of the more
      famous author files were sold to some universities, such as the
      African American authors (Lawrence Dunbar, etc...) to an eastern
      university. The Berkeley bookseller looked into his sales records for
      me and came up with a midwestern university that he sold the bulk of
      the archives to, and I contacted the librarian there. She responded
      yesterday and informed me that they had not gone through all of the
      thirteen boxes yet, but that she had indeed found files on Blanding,
      which contained publishing contracts with DB, and royalty & copyright
      agreements from the thirties to the fifties. She cannot photocopy
      for us yet, but said that I could come out there and look through
      them, or hire a researcher to do so.

      Finding those files has been one of the most enjoyable detective
      trails I've been on in this whole affair...I've asked the archivist
      the Blanding files would be offered for sale, but I kinda doubt it. I
      will share copies of everything if and when I can get them.

      I've also found a Hawaiian dealer who I think will be a good source
      Blanding ephemera. She has sold me two brochures for Chin Chong the
      candlemaker, which Blanding designed and illustrated. It has a few of
      his poems, including the famous Ching Chong poem from Vagabond's
      House. I will put one up for sale on ebay...any takers. She also has
      shirt that she believes Blanding designed...but cannot confirm.

      Last month I went through microfilm for the 1936-1937 Carmel Pine
      Cone, and now I'm going through the 1938-1939 issues. They have
      revealed much. For one thing, I can positively state that Blanding
      designed his first two patterns for Vernon Kilns in the summer of
      1938. He was contracted for two more designs in 1939.

      Also, Armine von Tempski wrote the entire 'Born in Paradise' while
      and her husband Al were living with Don Blanding in Carmel.

      I will post more from the Carmel Pine Cone later.

      Say hello to Kay Mallek for me. She has one tile design using a DB
      design...please buy one for me, and I'll reimburse you later. Ask her
      if she has found her DB letter...she couldn't locate it last time I
      talked to her.

      Ronn Ronck authored several books on Hawaii in the eighties. He now
      lives in Washington, and works for the government in some capacity. I

      was referred to him by a fellow biographer friend who is also writing
      a biography on another Hawaiian artist. Ronn wrote a column while in
      Hawaii, and seems to have some info on Blanding, but has not gotten
      back to me. I sent him a complimentary copy of the Malone thesis and
      the Pine Cone special edition as a gesture of good will.

      He did send me that copy of Blanding's business card from the
      twenties...Don Blanding Ideas, Boston Building. Cool drawing on it

      I'm busy making changes to my website, and have added several pages,
      as well as expanded others. It's probably why I haven't been as vocal
      as in the past. The Vagabond's House CDs are selling well...nice to
      see DBs voice being heard in the 21st century.

    • Gerald Argetsinger
      Great detective work on the contracts, Keith! I m repressed ... er, ah ... impressed! Jerry
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 20, 2001
        Great detective work on the contracts, Keith! I'm repressed ... er, ah
        ... impressed!

      • Bev Leinbach
        Hello to all,. We just returned from a busy 3 days in Arizona. Our grandson ,Aidan had his 1st birthday party. Our son, Kevin and his Newport Masters Water
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 27, 2001
          Hello to all,.
          We just returned from a busy 3 days in Arizona. Our grandson ,Aidan had his
          1st birthday party. Our son, Kevin and his Newport
          Masters Water Polo team came in 3rd in the Tournament. Team one and two are
          ex-Olympic water polo team members and the national water polo team………so our
          team did pretty good.

          Mon. we went from Tempe to Tucson to meet with Kay Mallek in her studio on
          Swan St. in Tucson. She told us she was 88 and had first learned of DB when
          she lived at the Geronimo Hotel while going to the U of A…taking art classes.
          DB’s relative was manager of the hotel while studying snakes……..until his
          snakes got loose and he was fired. She couldn’t remember the year, sometime
          between 1931 when she came to Tucson and ’39 when the war started. The
          relative gave her, her first DB book. She has 7 of them and Don gave her
          some, she thinks.
          It was very hard to get information from her and I had the feeling she didn’
          t want to say much, but maybe at 88 she could not recall details. She said
          she meet DB in Tucson and Calif. many times through friends. He had never
          come to visit her. She mentioned talking to DB about traveling and having
          to pack……but that didn’t bother DB as he threw every thing in his Ditty Bag
          and off he went. I had not heard the term Ditty Bag since I was a Navy Nurse.
          Kay also mentioned that DB was a simple man and did not live the high life. I
          had asked if he stayed at the posh Arizona Inn when he came and she said it
          was not his style. She didn’t know if he saw his relative at the Geronimo
          Hotel, or if he ever stayed there.

          Mary Southard
          Kay said she meet her because she was friends with everyone and that is how
          Mary meet DB. She said everyone told Mary everything, but she did not
          elaborate on that. Hal and I sensed she avoided talking about people.

          Hurlstone Fairchild
          Yes Kay knew him. “One of the gals that worked for me called him
          ‘Bullstone Fairchild”------he tried to impress people with his artwork.” She
          added that he did have some good pieces of work. That was about all she had
          to say about him.

          Arizona Historical Society
          Now this was a find, however, we didn’t have enough time left to stay very
          long. If Kay was right, that DB had been to Tucson often, this would be the
          place to go to. Hal and I hope to return and visit again just to see the
          museum alone.


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