Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Who The Heck Is Beatrice Halstead?

So, it is the fall of 1938.  You wrote a letter to your idol (Bob, of course!) early that summer and never heard from him.  Sigh.  But, WAIT!  There's a letter in the mailbox for you and it's from Culver City, Calif.  Could it be? 

You flip it over, and there it is, Robert Montgomery's return address!  Wow!  It has actually happened.  You have finally received a response from your hero. Wow!  You rush to track down Mom's letter opener, not wanting to damage the envelope, because you know you will want to save it forever. 

You catch your breath, open the letter on the matching stationary and begin to read:  "Dear Mr. Mank: ..."

Who in the heck is Beatrice Halstead?  Bob is vacationing and you don't know when he will return?  How much vacation does he get, anyway?  Oh, well, a letter on his stationary ... can't wait to show the gang!

(For the record:  Bob finished filming Three Loves Has Nancy on August 4th and then vacationed in England, returning to L.A. on Sept. 16th.  Filming on his next movie, Fast and Loose, began Dec. 16th.  So, do you think Beatrice did not really know Bob's plans?  Hmmm....)

(For the record II:  Bob hired Beatrice Halstead to handle his fan mail at the beginning of his career and she continued as his secretary at least throughout the 1930s.)


marlene mazzuchi said...

Surprised Bob would have tolerated such poor punctuation both letter and address. My third graders would have known better!!!!!

Carrie said...

Great story!

Kathy said...

But, Marlene ... remember, Bob was on vacation. How would he know?? Besides, did you note Beatrice didn't actually type the letter, "h" did. She may not have even signed it. As in passing the buck to the lowest possible person on ye old totem pole. (...you're making me awfully self-conscious about my own punctuation. If I could just remember third grade!)

Thanks, Carrie. It was fun. Prior to my last computer crash, I had bookmarked a site set up by Beatrice's daughter. It had a brief history of Beatrice's time with Bob and advised she would in the future be selling some of the items Bob had given to her over the years, along with Montgomery family photographs. Needless to say, I checked that site quite often, but nothing was ever listed. Sigh. But, I do remember that name!