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[aloha-donblanding] Re: DB

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  • William Smith
    ... Have you tried the Bishop Museum in Honolulu? A few years ago some people from the Bishop showed an old movie from the 1930s on Maui. It turns out the
    Message 1 of 17 , Jan 17, 2000
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      On Mon, Jan 17, 2000 at 04:16:39PM -0800, Tom Markle wrote:
      > It seems that little is know about his personal life. I have discovered
      > some letters and have recently received some new leads on people who
      > knew him. ... but know little of who he really was.


      Have you tried the Bishop Museum in Honolulu? A few years ago
      some people from the Bishop showed an old movie from the 1930s
      on Maui. It turns out the movie was written by Blanding and he
      appeared as a passenger on a steamship leaving Honolulu at the
      end of the movie.

      The Bishop people have even been able to identiry the ship. They also
      had some stories about him from his Hawaiian days. In the movie
      he was promoting the "legend" that visitors leaving Hawaii should
      throw their leis into the water from the deck of the ship. If the
      lei returns to shore it means you will return to the islands. We
      learned that Blanding had a lei making business in Waikiki and this
      legend would be great for business.

      The surprise of the evening was the "star" of the movie, who played
      a young Hawaiian girl, was brought to the showing from her home in
      Florida. She's in her 70s now, but was 15 when the movie was made.
      She of course knew Blanding since he wrote the movie and appeared
      in it. I think she said the Blanding and her father were buddies.

      The movie was shown at the Intercontinental Hotel in Maui. That hotel
      is now the Outrigger at Wailea. When it was the Intercontinental
      the poolside restaurant and bar had quite a bit of Blanding memorabelia.
      There are some ukeleles, original design Aloha shirts, drawings,
      old music scores and the like. There's a rumor that the Outrigger
      is going to renovate the hotel, and I wouldn't be surprised if they
      changed up the decor of the bar. Someone might be able to purchase
      some of the things.




      William Smith

      _____________________________________________________________________________
      William Smith williams@...
      Maui High Performance Computing Center (808) 879-5077
      550 Lipoa Parkway (808) 879-5018 (fax)
      Kihei, HI 96753 WWW: http://www.mhpcc.edu
      _____________________________________________________________________________
    • Cadia Los
      Thanks, William, for your very useful input. I am aware of several travelog films made about 1934 and narrated by Blanding, of which videotape copies are said
      Message 2 of 17 , Jan 17, 2000
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        Thanks, William, for your very useful input.

        I am aware of several travelog films made about 1934 and narrated by Blanding, of which videotape copies are said to exist. Is the film you mention perhaps one of these?

        ~~Cadia

      • Jakable@aol.com
        I am willing to provide whatever moral and logistical support I can to doing a book. In addtion, I am an editor at a newspaper and if you think that skill
        Message 3 of 17 , Jan 18, 2000
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          I am willing to provide whatever moral and logistical support I can to doing
          a book. In addtion, I am an editor at a newspaper and if you think that
          skill would help, I am willing to pitch in.
          I think the idea of a biography of such a wonderful poet is long overdue.
          Thanks for you message.

          Jake Williams
        • MauiBandB@aol.com
          The travelogues are viewable at the Bishop Museum and also from Steve Fredericks in Kailua Hawai i. aloha Tom
          Message 4 of 17 , Jan 18, 2000
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            The travelogues are viewable at the Bishop Museum and also from Steve
            Fredericks in Kailua Hawai'i.

            aloha
            Tom
          • haven putnam
            Tom I started doing research on Don about a year ago, in hopes that he would be a point on which the waring Putnam family could agree, (that being to start a
            Message 5 of 17 , Jan 23, 2000
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              Tom
              I started doing research on Don about a year ago, in hopes that he would
              be a point on which the waring Putnam family could agree, (that being to
              start a foundation for the arts in his name). Boy was I wrong ! Don was
              married to my great aunt Dorothy Putnam, and the marriage read like a Marx
              Brothers movie, Don and his friends being the marx brothers and Dorothy
              being Mrs. Snoopington. Don was truly a crack-up to be around and had no use
              for the country club set that Dorothy hung around with. Ultimately Don ends
              up the Mayor of Ft. Pierce (everyone in town loved the guy except the X and
              her family who happened to own the bank, newspaper and everything of value
              in town.) Don found himself out of sorts with the power brokers , not a good
              position to be in. NOBODY CROSSED DOROTHY AND GOT AWAY WITH IT !!!! The
              family (G.P.Putnams side) started a smear campaign , that being to expose
              that Don was the Walt Whitman of the south Seas (if you get my drift). Don
              never returned to FT. Pierce after the war and any attempts to patch things
              up fell on deaf ears ! By the way if Don had picked up Walt Whitman
              tendencies it was due to Dorothy and her kinky rich friends.
              At any rate I felt it was safer to abandon my research, I got a little
              to close to family skeletons in the closet and find myself off course with
              my original intention, that being to break down the misunderstanding between
              my cousins and my own family members.
              If you need a publisher let me know, I have been working with Florida
              Classics (the company that publishes Floridays ) and will put you in touch
              with them. This story is far more intriguing than I ever could have
              imagined, I just don't want G.P.s side blaming me for letting the truth be
              told !!!!1
              Sincerely
              Haven (bob) Putnam Jr.

              >From: "Tom Markle" <tjmarkle@...>
              >Reply-To: aloha-donblanding@egroups.com
              >To: aloha-donblanding@...
              >Subject: [aloha-donblanding] DB
              >Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 16:16:39 -0800
              >
              >I have for some time now, wanted to write about Don Blanding. As I
              >gather steam with my research and began discovering what a monumental
              >task this is, I have come to appreciate the private nature of DB. It
              >seems that little is know about his personal life. I have discovered
              >some letters and have recently received some new leads on people who
              >knew him. It seems we know him by his books, poetry and his artwork
              >but know little of who he really was. There are several of use out
              >there doing our own research independent of each other. I would offer
              >that some collaborative effort would be more efficient and less time
              >consuming for all of us in this quest. Maybe there is some desire to
              >be the first one out with a book, which can be understandable. I for
              >one, just want to see his life portrayed as it was and think that I may
              >have some insights into the man, DB. If anyone out there on Cadia's
              >list feels as I do, then lets discuss this venture. I'm open to
              >suggestions.
              >
              >
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              ______________________________________________________
            • TikiRoom18@aol.com
              In a message dated 00-01-24 02:53:11 EST, you write:
              Message 6 of 17 , Jan 24, 2000
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                In a message dated 00-01-24 02:53:11 EST, you write:

                << Tom
                I started doing research on Don about a year ago, in hopes that he would
                be a point on which the waring Putnam family could agree, (that being to
                start a foundation for the arts in his name). Boy was I wrong ! Don was
                married to my great aunt Dorothy Putnam, and the marriage read like a Marx
                Brothers movie, Don and his friends being the marx brothers and Dorothy
                being Mrs. Snoopington. Don was truly a crack-up to be around and had no use
                for the country club set that Dorothy hung around with. Ultimately Don ends
                up the Mayor of Ft. Pierce (everyone in town loved the guy except the X and
                her family who happened to own the bank, newspaper and everything of value
                in town.) Don found himself out of sorts with the power brokers , not a good
                position to be in. NOBODY CROSSED DOROTHY AND GOT AWAY WITH IT !!!! The
                family (G.P.Putnams side) started a smear campaign , that being to expose
                that Don was the Walt Whitman of the south Seas (if you get my drift). Don
                never returned to FT. Pierce after the war and any attempts to patch things
                up fell on deaf ears ! By the way if Don had picked up Walt Whitman
                tendencies it was due to Dorothy and her kinky rich friends.
                At any rate I felt it was safer to abandon my research, I got a little
                to close to family skeletons in the closet and find myself off course with
                my original intention, that being to break down the misunderstanding between
                my cousins and my own family members.
                If you need a publisher let me know, I have been working with Florida
                Classics (the company that publishes Floridays ) and will put you in touch
                with them. This story is far more intriguing than I ever could have
                imagined, I just don't want G.P.s side blaming me for letting the truth be
                told !!!!1
                Sincerely
                Haven (bob) Putnam Jr.
                >>


                Bob!
                What a fantastically gossip-y post! I love it! It does make Don's life
                seem more real to know that he had these personal difficulties...Are you
                serious that Don was the MAYOR of a town called Ft. Pierce? This is certainly
                new to me... I didn't take Don for the political type. How interesting...
                You mention not wanting to continue your research because of family
                reasons, well, would you consider sharing your notes with some of our
                writer-friends here on this mailing list? There is talk of trying to get some
                sort of biography together. I'm sure your family information will come in
                handy. Just a thought...
                And please feel free to continue to share stories here! I thank you for
                this post, it is certainly intriguing and reveals a little more about the
                personal side of this most interesting man...

                Aloha
                larry
              • TJMarkle@cs.com
                I have had more than one email over the last 8 months alluding to the various sexual persuasions of DB. Maybe this is stirred up due to his lack of marriages,
                Message 7 of 17 , Jan 24, 2000
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                  I have had more than one email over the last 8 months alluding to the various
                  sexual persuasions of DB. Maybe this is stirred up due to his lack of
                  marriages, etc. I was told that the travelogue movie he did for the Hawaiian
                  Travel Bureau, which is at the Bishop Museum would given hints to his sexual
                  persuasion due to his mannerisms and voice, etc. Not having seen the
                  Travelogue, I don't know what to expect. I don't know how one can make those
                  assumptions based on the Travelogue itself. Anyone out there hear any other
                  gossip? His poem in Jimmy Buffet's newest book is called "The Double Life",
                  what double is he referring to? I have my own interpretation of the poem,
                  but wanted to see if others out there read it as I did........
                • TikiRoom18@aol.com
                  In a message dated 00-01-24 10:02:59 EST, you write:
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jan 24, 2000
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                    In a message dated 00-01-24 10:02:59 EST, you write:

                    << I have had more than one email over the last 8 months alluding to the
                    various
                    sexual persuasions of DB. Maybe this is stirred up due to his lack of
                    marriages, etc. I was told that the travelogue movie he did for the
                    Hawaiian
                    Travel Bureau, which is at the Bishop Museum would given hints to his sexual
                    persuasion due to his mannerisms and voice, etc. Not having seen the
                    Travelogue, I don't know what to expect. I don't know how one can make
                    those
                    assumptions based on the Travelogue itself. >>


                    But even if Don has "various sexual persuasions"... it still doesn't take
                    away from his body of work. Whatever is going around now, "lifestyle"-wise,
                    has always gone on, this is nothing new here.
                    Mannerisms alone are no indication of sexual preference as we all know.
                    They can cause us to suspect someone, but it is not to be held as "proof" of
                    someones sexuality.
                    For various reasons, mainly the stigma that homosexuality/bisexuality
                    seems to have in our culture, if Don was either, you will probably find
                    nothing written to corroborate it. Any evidence would have to anecdotal from
                    living relatives/friends, etc.
                    Then our writers will have to ask themselves if this is something they would
                    want to reveal...lots of questions, and I hear a can of worms being opened
                    here...
                    One thing we all know if we have read many biographies, is that everyone
                    has skeletons in their closets. No one has walked a life that all of society
                    would approve of. Not me, and not you, either... Many times we idealize our
                    heroes and refuse to believe that they, like us, have feet of clay. I guess
                    the biographers task, at times, is to walk a fine line between writing
                    "truth" and writing what becomes an expose.
                    I don't have a tidy way of winding this post up, just some rambling
                    thoughts that have been going through my mind today after reading these
                    fascinating posts... anyone else have their mana'o (opinion) to add?

                    Aloha
                    larry
                  • TJMarkle@cs.com
                    From tjmarkle. My interest in DB is not outing or any other political or moral aspects regarding his life. My interest is in DB himself and who he was. An
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jan 24, 2000
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                      From tjmarkle. My interest in DB is not "outing" or any other political or
                      moral aspects regarding his life. My interest is in DB himself and who he
                      was. An artist is an artist, and I love his work and always have. However,
                      his privacy is "ultra" private and as a man of his times and the era he was
                      in had to influence how he was "presented" to the public. In that so little
                      is known of his actual private life I was going to the assumption that he may
                      have had gay tendencies and this was an ultra hush area. I don't know, I
                      have had many suspicions, but you know, I've been collecting for 30+ years
                      now and I still love the guy.
                    • haven putnam
                      Dear Larry I have to say that in the last year what I unearthed on Don has to a large degree changed my life. Firstly Don was genuinely a wonderful, caring,
                      Message 10 of 17 , Jan 24, 2000
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                        Dear Larry
                        I have to say that in the last year what I unearthed on Don has
                        to a large degree changed my life. Firstly Don was genuinely a wonderful,
                        caring, compassionate person. What amazed me the most was his ability to
                        forgive those who had wronged him , one of those people happened to be my
                        great aunt Dorothy. They had been close friends for over twenty years before
                        they married. Dorothy had just survived an abusive marriage and had suffered
                        both emotional and physical abuse. To this Don in Floridays tells her ( pg
                        10 )" For I would heal old hurts with loveliness, and soothe my eyes with
                        color's bright caress, With sunsets arched behind tall lonely palms."
                        Unfortunately things didn't turn our the way they planned. Don was a merry
                        prankster and Dorothy was the crayon heiress, not the most suitable match,
                        in retrospect. Don it seems had held a torch for her from the first day he
                        met her in Bend OR. He dedicated Vagabond house to her and one of Dorothys
                        acquaintances believed that she was his rowdy duchess. With all that he
                        invested in the relationship you would think he would be bitter when the
                        relationship soured, Don genuinely forgive her and the family that had
                        mistreated him. I don't have time at this moment to go into more details,
                        but I can say that I have been touched by his forgiveness and in turn his
                        love., whatever moral vices he may have had are irrelevant !!!!!
                        Take care: Haven

                        >From: TikiRoom18@...
                        >Reply-To: aloha-donblanding@egroups.com
                        >To: aloha-donblanding@egroups.com
                        >Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: DB
                        >Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 18:38:00 EST
                        >
                        >
                        >In a message dated 00-01-24 10:02:59 EST, you write:
                        >
                        ><< I have had more than one email over the last 8 months alluding to the
                        >various
                        > sexual persuasions of DB. Maybe this is stirred up due to his lack of
                        > marriages, etc. I was told that the travelogue movie he did for the
                        >Hawaiian
                        > Travel Bureau, which is at the Bishop Museum would given hints to his
                        >sexual
                        > persuasion due to his mannerisms and voice, etc. Not having seen the
                        > Travelogue, I don't know what to expect. I don't know how one can make
                        >those
                        > assumptions based on the Travelogue itself. >>
                        >
                        >
                        > But even if Don has "various sexual persuasions"... it still doesn't
                        >take
                        >away from his body of work. Whatever is going around now, "lifestyle"-wise,
                        >has always gone on, this is nothing new here.
                        > Mannerisms alone are no indication of sexual preference as we all know.
                        >They can cause us to suspect someone, but it is not to be held as "proof"
                        >of
                        >someones sexuality.
                        > For various reasons, mainly the stigma that homosexuality/bisexuality
                        >seems to have in our culture, if Don was either, you will probably find
                        >nothing written to corroborate it. Any evidence would have to anecdotal
                        >from
                        >living relatives/friends, etc.
                        >Then our writers will have to ask themselves if this is something they
                        >would
                        >want to reveal...lots of questions, and I hear a can of worms being opened
                        >here...
                        > One thing we all know if we have read many biographies, is that
                        >everyone
                        >has skeletons in their closets. No one has walked a life that all of
                        >society
                        >would approve of. Not me, and not you, either... Many times we idealize our
                        >heroes and refuse to believe that they, like us, have feet of clay. I guess
                        >the biographers task, at times, is to walk a fine line between writing
                        >"truth" and writing what becomes an expose.
                        > I don't have a tidy way of winding this post up, just some rambling
                        >thoughts that have been going through my mind today after reading these
                        >fascinating posts... anyone else have their mana'o (opinion) to add?
                        >
                        > Aloha
                        > larry
                        >
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                        ______________________________________________________
                      • TikiRoom18@aol.com
                        In a message dated 00-01-25 02:33:12 EST, you write:
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jan 24, 2000
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                          In a message dated 00-01-25 02:33:12 EST, you write:

                          <<
                          Dear Larry
                          I have to say that in the last year what I unearthed on Don has
                          to a large degree changed my life. Firstly Don was genuinely a wonderful,
                          caring, compassionate person. What amazed me the most was his ability to
                          forgive those who had wronged him , one of those people happened to be my
                          great aunt Dorothy. They had been close friends for over twenty years before
                          they married. Dorothy had just survived an abusive marriage and had suffered
                          both emotional and physical abuse. To this Don in Floridays tells her ( pg
                          10 )" For I would heal old hurts with loveliness, and soothe my eyes with
                          color's bright caress, With sunsets arched behind tall lonely palms."
                          Unfortunately things didn't turn our the way they planned. Don was a merry
                          prankster and Dorothy was the crayon heiress, not the most suitable match,
                          in retrospect. Don it seems had held a torch for her from the first day he
                          met her in Bend OR. He dedicated Vagabond house to her and one of Dorothys
                          acquaintances believed that she was his rowdy duchess. With all that he
                          invested in the relationship you would think he would be bitter when the
                          relationship soured, Don genuinely forgive her and the family that had
                          mistreated him. I don't have time at this moment to go into more details,
                          but I can say that I have been touched by his forgiveness and in turn his
                          love., whatever moral vices he may have had are irrelevant !!!!!
                          Take care: Haven
                          >>


                          Haven...
                          What a beautiful post! My only acquaintance with Don has been through his
                          writing. He does strike me as "good people", certainly someone in history
                          that I feel real pain that I was too young to meet. He sounds like he was an
                          excellent conversationalist and could keep people entranced with his
                          story-telling and life history. He also sounds like a guy that would write
                          back to his fans and give back over and above. He sounds like a good person
                          to have as a friend.
                          In his later books I sense a peace-fullness about him. The poems about
                          wandering, the running had slowed down and he seemed to go inward (as every
                          poet must eventually I think...). I can see where a part of this peace was,
                          as you have so generously shared, a settling, at least in his own mind, of
                          relationships he had in the past that perhaps didn't work out as he had
                          wanted them to. A forgiving and a moving on with lessons learned.
                          Haven, thank you again for sharing your insight with our group. This mail
                          list has become first on my list of email I open when I sign on. I think
                          Don's poetry attracts a certain type of person, people who dream and people
                          who are open to life. People who, like Don, have loved and lost, but still
                          smile. People who recognize that we live in a big beautiful world and that
                          one life I truly NOT enough to experience it all, but it doesnt stop us from
                          trying... I thank you all for receiving me into your number...

                          Aloha
                          larry
                        • Bev Leinbach
                          I DON T RECALL IF I SHRED THIS WITH YOU ALL BEFORE OR NOT. IN A PHONE CALL WITH JACK LONDON S RELATIVE WHO KNEW DON, I ASKED ABOUT DON S SEXUAL ORIENTATION.
                          Message 12 of 17 , Sep 14, 2007
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                            I DON'T RECALL IF I SHRED THIS WITH YOU ALL BEFORE OR NOT. IN A PHONE CALL WITH JACK LONDON'S RELATIVE WHO KNEW DON, I ASKED ABOUT DON'S SEXUAL ORIENTATION. HE SAID DON WAS GAY, BUT IN THOSE DAYS NOBODY ON THE LONDON RANCH CARRIED ABOUT IT.


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • canoeist35
                            ... PHONE CALL WITH JACK LONDON S RELATIVE WHO KNEW DON, ... Bev, I wondered about your changing the thread title here until I read the old thread that it
                            Message 13 of 17 , Sep 14, 2007
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                              --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, Bev Leinbach <bevbach@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > I DON'T RECALL IF I SHRED THIS WITH YOU ALL BEFORE OR NOT. IN A
                              PHONE CALL WITH JACK LONDON'S RELATIVE WHO KNEW DON, ...

                              Bev, I wondered about your changing the thread title here until I read
                              the old thread that it linked. In between my original post
                              ("Curious") and my slightly peevish postscript of a couple days ago, I
                              had gone back and read seven months of posts from 2000--but I started
                              with the peak posting month of February, so I missed the posts from
                              Dorothy Binney's nephew in January. Thanks.

                              Michael
                            • canoeist35
                              ... This thread links back to those January 2000 posts, as I hope shows up in the threading chain that may accompany this. There were two very interesting
                              Message 14 of 17 , Dec 7, 2007
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                                --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "canoeist35" <canoeist35@...>
                                wrote:
                                > had gone back and read seven months of posts from 2000--but I started
                                > with the peak posting month of February, so I missed the posts from
                                > Dorothy Binney's nephew in January. Thanks. > Michael

                                This thread links back to those January 2000 posts, as I hope shows up
                                in the threading chain that may accompany this. There were two very
                                interesting posts there from Haven Putnam, who talks of his memories of
                                Don and also of researching for a possible book. Did he ever return to
                                this board? Did he ever share more of his own knowledge of DB and
                                Dorothy? Given the passage of time, his direct connection to DB seems
                                like a precious source for information. I'm just curious if anyone
                                stayed in touch with him subsequently, or managed to nail down some of
                                his memories in a written format? --Michael
                              • canoeist35
                                No replies to this must mean no, I take it. I emailed Bob Haven Putnam at the SN he had been using back then, haven t heard anything. Couldn t find him via
                                Message 15 of 17 , Dec 16, 2007
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                                  No replies to this must mean no, I take it. I emailed Bob Haven Putnam
                                  at the SN he had been using back then, haven't heard anything.
                                  Couldn't find him via google. Still seems a precious link to direct-
                                  contact knowledge of Don. --Michael

                                  --- In aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com, "canoeist35" <canoeist35@...>
                                  wrote:
                                  >two very interesting posts there from Haven Putnam, who talks of his
                                  memories
                                  >of Don and also of researching for a possible book. Did he ever
                                  return to
                                  > this board? Did he ever share more of his own knowledge of DB and
                                  > Dorothy? Given the passage of time, his direct connection to DB
                                  seems
                                  > like a precious source for information. I'm just curious if anyone
                                  > stayed in touch with him subsequently, or managed to nail down some
                                  of
                                  > his memories in a written format? --Michael
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