TYRONE POWER'S OWN STORY OF HIS SOUTH AMERICAN TRIP
[For photos which he took himself]
(With revealing notes and comments by RUTH WATERBURY)
By Dorothy Spensley
This whole story came about very innocently. Last summer when Tyrone Power told me, as a great secret, that he was planning to take a vacation in South America, I asked him if he would keep a diary of his trip and give it to me for Photoplay.
Tyrone kept faith, on both scores-that is, he did keep a diary and he did give it to me for Photoplay. He would do just that, because he is a swell guy who always lives up to his word. (A fairly unique combination in Hollywood, incidentally.)
However-and, diddies, what bid, romantic "however" that one turns out to be-between the time that Ty made that promise and his return to the United States, reports on his South American journey became, for movie enthusiasts, more interesting than any other movie story of the late winter, and hotter than a stove. The reason for this is very chic, very trimlegged and her name is-Annabella.
It seems that Annabella turned up in South America (divorced the while from her former husband, Jean Murat), just at the time Tyrone did.
Whether or not her being in Brazil when Ty was prearranged cannot be told. Or more exactly, if you think that the only person who could tell (that is, our Mr. Power) has any intention of telling, then you might just as well go back to playing with your dolls, on account of your are too young and innocent to be reading Photoplay, anyhow. However, the Power diary given to you here is a record of those days and some of those dates, and there is such a thing as reading between the lines.
For instance, below, in plain type, you will find Tyrone?s diary just as he wrote it. In between those lines, you will find some notes I have put in. My reason for interpreting Mr. Power to you is because I am quite sure you will agree with me that he has left out most of the things his tremendous public wants to know. Which, as a matter of fact, is both the sensitive and correct thing for him to do. Item one, he is too well-bred a young man to go bandying about a young lady's name in public, no matter how many questions he may be asked concerning her. Item two, he is too decent and modest a fellow to tell, for himself, how the South American throngs mobbed him at every airport; how girls in absolute clusters tagged him through hot, sunny streets so that eventually all the police had to be called to rescue him. He feels with some justice, that if her were to set down these things, particularly for publication, that he would sound too much like a conceited prig. On the other hand, he regards crowds of autograph seekers neither a nuisances nor as something his due, but rather as pleasant people whom he wants to be nice to in return for their liking him.
Take, for instance, the very first entry in Ty?s diary. He writes:
We took off from Burbank Airport prepared for a seven-week vacation trip to South and Central American. Bill is gong with me and he reports that our passports, tickets, luggage and cameras (we are taking three) are all safe in the plane. We've both been looking forward to this trip for so many years that I'm out of the world with excitement over our really starting.
5 A.M.: We're down in Mexicali. Bill and I step out of the plane for a cigarette and to stretch our legs. We get a shock form the cold. The airport thermometer registers 34 degrees. What an amazing country. When we were last at this airport six months back, it was 120 degrees in the shade, if you could find any shade.
9:30 A.M.: We?re down to refuel at Hermosillo, Mexico. Some of the children who greeted us here last time reappear. They happened to hear over the radio that we were on this plane, so they came down again to whish me luck on my trip, also to to see if my Spanish had improved, I suspect.
1:30 P.M.: We arrive at our first planned stop, Mazatlan. Stopped here because I was fortunate enough to secure a lease on an island a few miles off the mainland and wanted to take the opportunity to arrange for the construction of a shack, also to investigate or explore the island for a suitable building site.
Now, what Ty doesn?t tell you is that Bill is Bill Gallagher, a tall, lanky chap who is his best friend, his most loyal companion and officially his secretary. He tags Ty around more faithfully than his shadow and a lot more busily. Anything that you might want to know about Monsieur Power, Bill knows-and doesn't tell.
As for that island business, Ty definitely has a yen for islands. He undoubtedly will build a house on this particular island, since he has long been dreaming about just such a residence where he can get away from telephones, radios, and people and just lie in the sun and read.
As he illustrates, by his second diary entry, that?s his idea of a really fine day.
Spent a glorious day fishing, swimming and climbing over every part of the island. So tired that after sundown we didn?t do a thing but take a shower and go to bed.
Got a contractor and a carpenter out to the island and discussed the type of shack I want built. The contractor unearthed an old well near by which solves the fresh water problem. Back to Mazatlan at noon where we had lunch and boarded the plane for Mexico City.
Down at Guadalejara, Mexico, got our first taste of the type of reception that people were to greet us with wherever we stopped. We could not imagine so many people would be on hand to greet us.
5:30 P.M.: Arrived Mexico City. Mr. Pierce, in charge of the Mexican Tourist Bureau, met us at the airport and, because of the crow, arranged a police escort to get us to our hotel.
That last entry is a prize bit of understatement and get that ?us? business. There were nearly a thousand fans at each of those airports, of which 992 in each crowd were of the female sex and, if Bill got any looks, they were undoubtedly dirty ones. Not that Bill isn?t a darling, and possessed of a way wit the women, too, but anyone who goes anywhere with a move star soon discovers himself becoming either invisible or hated. Maybe that?s why he could give me such a graphic picture of what happened at that airport. Ty's technique at airports is to try to escape notice by walking around the tail of the ship. This didn?t deceive the senoritas, however. They yelled at Ty in Spanish and in English, loud and lovingly. They begged for his autograph, his kisses, his necktie and his handkerchief. After a moment or two, he capitulated and walked over to the fence that separates actual flying fields from the outside world and, grinning at the throng, gave his autograph-and nothing else. At Mexico City, if Mr. Pierce hadn't got the police, Ty probably wouldn't have got away whole. Ad it was, he lost several buttons and the handkerchief. Not that it threw him off pace. Look at the scholarly reaction he went in for the next day.
Spent the morning at Museo Nacional with archaeological, natural history, anthropological and Mexican historical sections occupying our time. Most interesting. (Editor?s note: wow!)
Took off for Guatemala City at 1:30. After fling above the clouds for three hours we swooped down on a little town called Tapachula, at the Guatemalan border. This town gave us our first real sample of tropical weather. Stepping out of the plane was like walking into a steam bath. Grounded for an hour because of the fog.
It finally lifted and let us go on to Guatemala City. Mr. DesPortes, the American Ambassador, met us and took us to the Legation where we met the other members of his family and staff. After dinner they took us for a tour of the city.
It may be told now that Ty's trip which he had planned purely for pleasure actually worked itself out into being a bit of a good-will mission, not alone for his studio, but for the entire motion-picture business. Before he left Hollywood, Twentieth Century-Fox had arranged for him to visit the American Legations in each of the South and Central American countries he toured.
For Hollywood, as much as our own Government in Washington, has the wish to bring all the Americas closer together.
Can you fancy a better good-will ambassador to the Americas than this handsome boy with his excellent manners, his keen intelligence and his genuine love of Hollywood and all its works?
Out of Guatemala City on a three-day tour of the surrounding country. Weird and wonderful experience.
The roads were crowded with Indians-men, women, children-all carrying tremendous burdens on their backs and heads. Our guide said the Mayan Indians often carry a load as heavy as 125 pounds on their backs for distances of as much as a hundred miles. Nice work and I hope I can't get it.
Stopped for lunch in Antigua, the former capital.
An earthquake destroyed the city in 1775, creating ruins that are terrific and beautiful.
The town is in glorious setting anyhow, about five thousand feet above sea level, with three great volcanoes jutting up against the sky. After lunch we visited a coffee plantation. It certainly is a complicated process getting that coffee off the bush and into the breakfast nook. Thrilling drive back, over two mountains a mere 13,000 feet high, to a little village called Chichicastenango.
Sunday and market day in Chichi. (Nobody bothers to call this place by its full name.) I purchased a Mayan coat that I'm going to use as a smoking jacket when I get home.
We visited one of the churches, too. The Indians have adapted their own gods to their adopted faith and it isn?t unusual to see a statue of the Blessed Virgin dressed up in Indian garments and sometimes carrying a mirror in her hands.Visited the old Mayan ruins in the afternoon and were fortunate enough to see an Indian tribal dance. Grand stuff.
Ty discovered in Chichi that Indians aren't movie fans. Not one of them recognized him, so he went around unmolested. He wont? admit what a great relief this was-but bill admits it-and soulfully.
Started back to Guatemala City, driving over a road that had been cut through solid rock to a town called Solola on the shores on Lake Amatitlan. After lunch we continued to Guatemala City where I made an appearance at the local Fox theatre. Spent the evening as a guest of the American Legation. Tonight ends the first week of my vacation, the most exciting I've ever spent.
Left at 8:30 A.M. for Crostobal, coming down at San Salvador, Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Managua, Nicaragua en route. Because of bad weather missed the scheduled stop at San Jose, Costa Rica, and had to make an emergency landing at David, Panama.
Pouring rain. Into Crostobal finally, met the local press and had diner at the Strangers Club.
After dinner drove over to the Canal and saw the locks.
Left at 9:00 A.M. for Guayaquil, Ecuador. Met Count Theo Rossi n the same plane. He's the Italian speedboat king and a grand fellow. He's headed for Rio, too, which is god news. Came down at Cali, Columbia, just before crossing the equator and the citizens turned up at the airport with huge bunches of flowers. It's their charming custom to bid visitors a successful crossing in this manner. We couldn?t get out of the plane. The actual place where we crossed the line was called Quito, but we landed at Guayaquil at six. After a quick dinner, made a personal appearance at the local Fox Theater and then to bed.
The Count Theo Rossi whom Ty mentions is one of the world's most eligible bachelors and the heir to the famous vermouth millions of the famous Martini & Rossi firm. So can you imagine what it must have done to the babes of Ecuador to have two such bachelors pile out of one plane-to say nothing of Bill, who is a bachelor, too, and most eligible, though wary.
At the airport at five-thirty A.M. to take off for Arica, Chile. This early-to-bed, early-to-rise stuff is just like being on a picture shooting schedule. It's worth it, though, if for no other reason that seeing the sunrise from the air. That's always a thriller. Our first stop, at Talara, Peru, very surprising on two scores. The place looks just like any other oil town, only here it is completely surrounded by desert. Then three girls turned up who proved to be from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Only came down at Lima long enough to refuel, but the city looked so beautiful from the air I wish we had arranged to stop here for a few days. We flew over some Inca ruins this afternoon and climbed up 16,000 feet to land at a city named Arequipa. It is situated at the base of Mt. Chachani, which is 20,000 feet high, with two other mountains of almost equal height towering alongside. Pushed on to Arica, getting there at six, so dog tired we didn?t even stop to eat. Just registered at the hotel and made a dive for the hay.
The first dull day of the whole trip, all the fault of stormy weather. Out at seven this morning headed for Santiago, but held out dodging thunder storms and barely got in time to be met by Mr. Ruscica, the 20th Century-Fox representative down here, and to go with him to a dinner given by the representatives of the major motion-picture companies. Bowling after dinner at the Union Club; got back to the hotel at two A.M.
Not going up in a plane this morning. Down to earth for three whole days, which is a relief for a change, and the city looks charming. Took a drive to Valparaiso and Vina del Mar. (Wonder if the "Bad Girl" author got her name from this town.) Lunched with members of the local press in the Castillo, a very modern restaurant overlooking the harbour of Valparaiso. In the afternoon, after a sight-seeing trip around the city, I had the pleasure of meeting the mayor of Vina del Mar, who invited Bill and me to be his guests at a dinner at the Casino. Did we feel sappy when we arrived in or old slacks, open-neck shirts and sports coats and everybody else formal.
Didn't stir till lunch which I had with Darryl Zanuck?s mother, Mrs. Norton, who happens to be visiting here, to. We went on to the races and in the evening were guests of the American Ambassador for Cocktails and then for dinner at a local golf club.
Two weeks out of Hollywood. It seems like two years, not restful ones, certainly, but better, exciting ones. Could have stayed on in Santiago for another month, but we're scheduled to plane out today for Buenos Aires. Up over the Andes we had to sniff oxygen as were flying at an altitude of 19,000 feet. From the plane it looked as though you could reach out and touch the sides of the mountains, but the steward said we weren't within a mile of the nearest peak. It adds up to one of the most thrilling and beautiful plane trips it is possible to take.
Before I even stepped out of the plane, they came on board with a microphone and asked me to say how I liked the city. And I'd only seen it from the air! Later, though, prowling around it I discovered how beautiful it was. Grand surprise here. Met two old pals of mine who are living down here and they insisted Bill and I be their guests during our stay here, which will be for five days. Delighted to accept.
I asked Ty if the press was just as horrible wherever you hit it. He said in that voice of his that could mean anything, "Why I love the press." Bill it was who explained that reporters are tough enough when you all speak the same language, but when a star has to speak through an interpreter, then the going gets really rough. Bill said, though, that Hollywood reporters might add some of the extreme Spanish-speaking politeness to their repertoire to which Mr. Power simply murmured, "Tsk, tsk," still very mockingly.
Sorry couldn?t keep up with a diary. Hardly could keep up with myself. We?ve been all over Buenos Aires, shopped for shoes, shirts and some badly needed fresh lines; have seen the polo matches, the races, the opening of midget auto race track; visited two movie studios; drove out to a estancia to watch the gauchos give a demonstration of their superb horsemanship. Talk about going to town and what a town this is to go to!
When Tyrone went to make a personal appearance at Buenos Aires Fox Theater, the house manager cautioned him, just before his going on stage, "not to fall in the hole." This puzzled the star of the evening no end, as the theater was a very grand, new one. But, when he stepped out, he discovered the whole front row of seats and part of the stage had been removed and a stout iron railing put in back of this "hole" to keep the fans where they couldn't clutch him personally. What happened, however, was that the entire audience rushed for the rail and stood there en masse, gazing adoringly up at him This close proximity to his audience upset even the Power poise.
Our third week ended. We're leaving for Rio de Janeiro. When we land there, we'll be down for another complete week, too. That means half my vacation is over. I can't believe it's gone or that I've seen half what I?ve seen. It's beyond words, all of it. Porto Algere our only stop between Buenos Aires and Rio but the most enthusiastic reception yet there. Landed at Rio in the early afternoon, saw the press, and then, with Darke de Mattos to be his guest for a day on his island of Paqueta. It?s about fifteen miles off the mainland, a lovely spot.
Now right here, children, is where Ty begins not telling the half of it. He doesn't tell you that in Buenos Aires 400 women, braving a heavy rain, broke a police cordon at the Moron Airport (we did not make that name up; that?s really what it's called). Windows in the airport administration building were broken as the lovelorn ladies tried to make a grab at out here. A couple fainted; several got hysterical; Ty escaped through a back door and into a waiting taxi. He wasn?t feeling too elegant, anyhow, what with an arm that had been nearly pulled off by the frantic mob in Porto Algere.
But that omission is as nothing against his not reporting that Annabella was in Rio de Janeiro and that she, too, went out to the island of Mr. De Mattos for the day. In fact, she had lunched at the Santos Dumont airport apparently awaiting his arrival, but when she saw the crush of other women who were likewise waiting there-and for the very same purpose-she left and returned to the Copocabana Hotel where her suite was two floors above the one reserved for Ty. However, before he arrived there, she had checked out, only to meet him later in the day in Mr. De Mattos? launch.
He doesn't mention, and no one would expect him to, that when Annabella was interviewed in Paris in lat October after she got her divorce and was asked if she were going to marry again, she said: "I will marry Tyrone Power" But that is silly. He is a nice boy, but that is all. Hollywood is the reason for our (she meant herself and M. Murat's) divorce. Our work separates us for so long that it is impossible for us to remain married."
At that time, the papers said that she planned to sail for America about the middle of November. All of which seems to have been true, except that she didn't say which America, and it turned out to be South, not North.
TUESDAY and MONDAY
Back to Rio de Janeiro for another crowded week. I guess I?m a genuine tourist, for I always want to see all the local sights and I never fail to get a kick out of them. I got something more than that here, though, for I shall never forget the sight of that statue of Christ of Corcovado, which dominates the entire city and the harbor. The bird's-eye view of the city and its beaches from there is of breath-taking loveliness. We went up to see this statue by daylight and then stayed on so that we could see it when the sun was down and the lights were on it. It was the great moment of the trip and I shall always remember the beauty of it. We did lots of other sight-seeing, too. Went with Annabella to a charity dinner given by the wife of the President for the newsboys of Rio. We visited a night club where we heard the native carnival music, the Samba, of which I bought all the recordings I could find. We toured to every spot anyone recommended and they were all marvelous.
Here all I can remark is that "we" is a wonderful word. "I" can only mean one person, but "we" can mean anywhere from three to three-hundred or, more important, it can mean just two. Certainly Tyrone and Annabella dined and danced and went sight-seeing together for that week in the romantic South American capital and most certainly there is no reason why they shouldn't have particularly if they are in love, and nothing would surprise me less. For I have seen them together and I?ve heard the special note that comes into Ty's voice when he speaks of Annabella and if it isn?t love it is, at least, a major interest that might ripen into almost anything.
Fame makes it hard, however, to capture the moments of "we two together and the world shut out" which all romantically interested people crave. Still if all the world loves a lover, even when the lover is just Joe Smith who works in the Stevens garage and the girl is Mary Brown who lives on Main Street, Averageville, what can anyone expect when, as in this case, the boy is one of the handsomest and most regular young men ever to come to fame, the girl is a honey-haired charmer form Paris with laughing eyes and a seductive voice, and the setting of their possible courtship is lighted with a tropical moon, and shot through at long distance with the glitter and glamour that Hollywood sheds so lavishly over its favored children? Naturally, the public is interested. Both these stars understand that interest. Just the same, it got too difficult for them, what with reporters and photographers dogging their very footsteps. Thus the next diary entry reads:
Saw Annabella off on a plane to Buenos Aires in the morning. In the afternoon returned to the airport to meet Count Rossi.
Bill and I have decided to finish our journey by boat. Within two hours (plenty rushed, however) we had arranged passage, cancelled our plane reservations and packed. We boarded the boat from a launch just before sailing time and stood at the rail of the ship till Rio, that beautiful city, disappeared from view.
There was one very amusing incident that Ty forgot to record in those last three days in Rio. One night he and Bill were invited to a formal evening party. While they were dressing, they discovered that somewhere in their travels they had lost a dress tie. It left them with just one black tie between the, since, naturally, traveling by plane they were traveling as light as possible. They checked all the neighborhood shops, but found them all closed. So, since two men can't go out for a formal evening with one black tie between them, the tossed for it to see who'd get the date, and Bill won. Just as the Power was sitting there, wondering what he?d do with the empty evening an wishing he had brought along some money with heads on both sides, a waiter came n to inquire what they'd like done about their breakfast. The boys took one look and then tried to explain, in their limping Spanish, that they had no interest in breakfast but that they were fascinated by his tie-in fact, they wished to borrow it. The waiter finally understood what they wanted, but not why, and I'll wager if he told his wife about the incident when he went home he's never seen that particular tie (which was returned to him the next morning) again. Madame Waiter will undoubtedly have tucked it away to show to her grandchildren some day.
Spent the day exploring the ship. When dinner was announced I made a sudden dash for the dining room. The sea air had really given me an appetite. Halfway down the stairs to the dining room I paused and decided I didn't need any food at all the night. In fact, I nearly gave up what I had. Mal de mer had caught up with me.
Our first sight of land in over a week. We have put in at Trinidad. Had five hours on shore stretching our legs and looking over the town. Sailed at midnight. The last leg of our journey. I'll be glad to get back but, in another way, I hate to give all this up.
We land in New York tomorrow. We are in the Gulf Stream and heading into a heavy storm and the first cold weather we have experience (expect that one moment in Mexico) since leaving Los Angeles. We wish now we hadn't been so hasty in leaving that swell weather in Rio.
Ty and Bill did come into New York the next day, and went up to the Pierre Hotel where Annabella was staying. All three of them took a plane our from Newark for Hollywood at five that afternoon. And there we leave them-and Mr. Power's journey and diary-with a deep bow for his courtesy in giving it all to PHOTOPLAY and with a bless you, my children, which is very much from the heart, too.
[ back ]