Sunday, August 14, 2022

To Be Blessed

I am blessed to have a beautiful home and the love of a close family, an oasis of love and comfort in a rather dystopian city.

I am blessed to have my love Renato, making a mess in the kitchen while happily cooking a roast. 

I am blessed to have my fur babies well and fed and all napping at the moment.

I do not live in a hateful environment, I do not need to be hateful at all. It is one of the most mystifying call to arms in the war v. Evelyn... to call me hateful. Nope, not. I am chill, perhaps too chill. 

Comments have been pouring in from the Satanic side of the Valentino world. I do not call it that lightly. 

I will advise them that you do not have to use a person's first and surname to be guilty of criminal identity theft. A great deal of legal consideration is made as to the context and intent of the use. I was shocked frankly to see the comment come in under the name of "Renato". Because how idiotic is that? Delivered on a silver platter. 

Thank you to all of our supporters, thank you for your understanding and for sharing your thoughts. 

A thought from Renato:

"This is what guides us: intellectual honesty, the choice and verification of sources, the care of the story, but first of all the respect of the reader who must not be deceived with misleading stories."

Saturday, August 13, 2022

How Much of a High Roller

How much of a gambler was Rudolph Valentino? We know he gambled with his luck but my question relates to money; did he enjoy gambling with cash?

Robert Florey writes how Rudy did not like to gamble and relates the anecdote of Valentino losing money to Fatty Arbuckle; fifteen dollars rolling dice. Florey relates how Valentino was furious and could not stop regretting and fretting over the money lost.

We know the myth Valentino gambled on his first sail to America and lost all the money his mother sent with him is false. This because the money was awaiting him in a bank in New York City.

We also know the myth Valentino gambled as a teenager to be false because he was too young to be allowed entrance to the casino mentioned in that anecdote.

I think the most compelling insight into this subject would be George Ullman's story told in his 1975 memoir; the night Ullman, Bee Ullman, Natacha and Rudy drove to Tijuana where Rudy gambled and lost. From The S. George Ullman Memoir, p. 48 – 49.

“One afternoon, on a whim, Rudy decided that he would like to visit the Coronado Beach Hotel. He couldn’t be dissuaded and Natacha and my wife and I piled into his Voisin Roadster and in about three hours we were there. After dinner his real objective came to light. He wanted to go to Tia Juana, then a wide open gambling town in Mexico, but only about an hour’s drive from the Coronado.

That’s where we went again in Rudy’s automobile. But by this time Rudy was a bit high on the few drinks we had had at the hotel and was a little belligerent and loud. A few more drinks and a few losses in the casino and we had all we could do to make him quiet down.

I warned him several times to keep his voice low because I noticed a Mexican policeman close by watching, and I told that to Rudy. He said something to the effect of, “To hell with the police.” And the officer moved in and said, “What did you say?” I had a tight hold on Rudy now and whispered in his ear to shout, “Viva Mexican police!” which he did.

The policeman moved away and Rudy again became abusive so there was nothing I could do but to hit him in the jaw, not too hard but enough to partially sober him up. Natacha got some coffee and made him drink it. Then after a while, he agreed to let me drive back to the hotel. He was angry at me then but the following morning he sheepishly apologized and all was well again.”

**What do you think? I think Valentino liked to gamble but hated to lose like anyone else. Renato thinks it is a myth he liked to gamble and goes with Florey on this one.


 "2016" is online @    

I began this website (above) because I began to think many people do not realize how very long this has all gone on. And I think many people can not imagine how overwhelming it all has grown on every level. This is the history in as brief a narrative as possible, year by year illustrated by screenshots excerpted from thousands. 

This is a work in progress and I will be updating soon. 


Wednesday, August 10, 2022

"A More Stirring Life"

This little mention (see below) is worth sharing I think; a revelation that Valentino said he was a Fascist and supporter of Mussolini. Renato pointed out that Valentino would have said this because in 1925 for an Italian to oppose Mussolini, well this would have been a sure professional suicide.

It is obviously something Valentino changed his position on and Mussolini's treatment of him is well known. But isn't it more interesting Valentino mentioned he, “wishes he could lead a more stirring life on the real stage of war or politics.”

Imagine that. Rudy as a battlefield general or a barnstorming candidate for governor. There is something awful about life that in November of 1925 he made this statement so full of great ambition yet he would face death within nine short months.

Since I began writing on Rudolph Valentino, I have always dreaded this time of year... the “August” event = death. It is so awfully grim to think of him dying with that "stirring" life ahead of him. I can not dive into that particular and morbid memory of Valentino with enthusiasm. It just feeds the nightmare, contributing to that tiresome stigma attached to Valentino...the one which he is so well known for... his death.

From The Dundee Courier, November 30, 1925:


Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Whereabouts of That Tape

When I interviewed Rudolph Valentino memorabilia collector Bill Self in 2003, he mentioned that he interviewed Bee Ullman, the wife of Valentino's closest friend and trusted business manager S. George Ullman. Bill Self told me he recorded Bee's interview and I asked him many times if he could let me listen to the interview.

He stalled and said he would look for the tape. He told me one thing from the interview; that Bee commented how Valentino always had a beautiful woman on his arm. Well I never did get to hear the tape as the Valentino family spokeswoman told Self not to speak with me any more. As much as my detractors like to say Self slammed the door on me, etc. he did no such thing. He was sad to tell me the family told him he could not speak with me any more and visibly so. We enjoyed our "Rudy" conversations which were always lively and rewarding.

But where is that tape of Bee Ullman being interviewed by Bill Self. I am sure it is still in existence but its not being shared is rather telling I think. I have little doubt Bee Ullman had plenty to say about the legal persecution of her husband by Alberto Valentino as this was something her children told me she felt strongly about. And no doubt her narrative did not support the theory that Valentino was a closeted homosexual. Why else would this very valuable tape not be shared openly and eagerly?

Bee's family knew about the tape but had never heard it themselves. And as proof of its existence I share the following letter. (see below) The letter is written by William McGuire.

Mr. McGuire was then writing a book on Natacha Rambova and according to this letter, at one point he awaited a “transcription” of the tape. According to Michael Morris, McGuire knew and interviewed Bill Self and I venture to say that McGuire never got that transcription. If he had, Michael Morris would have had access to the contents which he did not. I know this for the following reason.

When Bill McGuire learned Michael Morris was also writing a book on Natacha, he came to Berkeley to visit Michael and gave him all of his notes and materials. The transcription of the taped interview of Bee Ullman is not in the archive and Michael did not have access to Bee Ullman's interview on tape as we talked about it being missing many times. 

McGuire's book on Rambova never happened. I think this is a shame because he would have focused almost entirely on her time with the Bollingen Foundation of which McGuire was very much a part of (see below).

How very valuable the tape of Bee Ullman would be and what a great contribution to the Valentino history. I think she probably talked about Alberto's litigation and this is why Self kept it hidden. And perhaps now the issue is more about her speaking of Valentino and his women which is keeping it buried.

William McGuire wrote me a letter before he passed away which I will find in my files and share. Michael Morris told him about my Valentino work and Affairs Valentino and he wrote me a short but supportive note. The book McGuire authored on the Bollingen scholars is brilliant and I highly recommend reading it. It can be found here:

I also found this little bio blurb:

William McGuire was born in Florida in 1917. He began his work with the Bollingen Foundation as a freelance editor in 1948. Later he became the managing editor of all of the Bollingen Series and Executive Editor of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung. He served as the editor of The Freud/Jung Letters, and of several volumes of Jung’s seminars as well.”

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Smart Lady

When I mentioned in a previous comment that I was "required" to study and understand Natacha Rambova's Egyptological work, I did not mean by anyone else but myself. Of course Renato and I have all the artistic license in the world in creating our books. But we set our standards as high as we can and our motto is pretty much how we work: "Rem Tene, Verba Sequentur". Basically meaning if you know your stuff.... the words will come. 

In the case of Rambova's Egyptological material, I needed to be knowledgeable enough to talk about the work with the contacts Michael made who were Egyptologists. This for two reasons: one because Michael was negotiating their contributions when he passed away and two, because I had to choose 100 pages of Rambova's master work. Michael set up the permission to reproduce it, but the entire work is 12 volumes long. Hence my choosing a selection of 100 pages. There were three Egyptologists I spoke with on several occasions about Rambova's field work. 

I will not claim I understand much but I find it a science with many intriguing scenarios in regards to Rambova. I imagine her with her team inching along in the pyramid's darkened passageways, meticulously recording the heiroglyphs. 

Below the page three from the letter I shared in the previous post. Below that, some serious notes as a report back to the Bollingen home offices. 


Friday, August 5, 2022

Her "Impression of the Place"

When I began to finish Michael Morris' posthumous book, I did not know much about Natacha Rambova's Egyptian years. In completing Michael's negotiations to publish some of Natacha's life thesis, I was required to read and understand her work.  I found her Egyptological field studies to be challenging but most definitely a fascinating time in her life. 

Because her work in Egypt was sponsored by the Bollingen Foundation, her communications with them, as detailed reports about her field work, survived. She wrote long, long letters which are at times only decipherable to an Egyptologist but at other times they are beautifully written descriptions of her life there in the late 1940's and early 1950's.

I share one page of a letter written in February of 1947, on the advent of her first expedition into the Valley of the Kings. The letter is written from Luxor to Jack Barrett of the Bollingen Foundation. The letter is seven pages long and here Natacha describes the many changes in Cairo because of the World War. She then begins her detailed report of the impending trek into the desert.


Thursday, August 4, 2022

Looking for Valentino!

On this day twenty-one years ago, Leonard De Fonte passed away. He left behind a loving family and his personal memoir. Today I celebrate his life and send all love to his family and friends. His was a life guided by Rudolph Valentino and a man who attended the Valentino Memorial Service every year. Cheers to you Leonard! Rest in Peace. Thank you to his beautiful grand daughter, Teresa (pictured) for her guardianship and love. 

He Was Not Without

Michael Morris was always convinced that June Mathis was in love with Valentino. It was one of his favorite topics to ponder. I was never so convinced but I do think the positioning of Mathis as a major influence, a  'mother figure" to Valentino is based in misogyny.  

Mathis is historically cast as the "matronly type" because she was not tall, thin or glamorous. For this she has typically been the woman in Valentino's life relegated to the status of a,  "motherly figure". I allege that is solely based on her physical appearance and had nothing whatsoever to do with her mothering Valentino. 

The notion Valentino was even looking for a "mother figure" is problematic for me because he had a mother throughout all of his childhood. He had a mother until he was into his twenties, a mother he loved. He was not without.

He should have been, by circumstance looking for a father figure. Who would that be in the cast of his life's characters? 

Was Michael Morris right? Did June Mathis fall in love with Valentino and at some point realize she did not stand a chance? Did she hope to be more than a friend and patron? If she looked like a gorgeous movie star, would she still be referred to as his "matronly, mother figure"? 

Of course not. She was just objectified. 

Rudolph with June and Rex Ingram:

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

A Note From Sant'Ilario

An excerpt from, Revelations on the Beautiful Valentino as a Boarder at Sant'IlarioPublished in Nuova Stampa Sera, Turin, December 8th and 9th, 1950. An insight from Valentino's old friend, Luigino and a gesture of Valentino's memorable generosity. (From The Rudolph Valentino Case Files):

"Nostalgia for S. Ilario

At the end of October 1912, after two years of affectionate friendship, Rodolfo and Luigi parted ways. The following year Guglielmi was preparing to leave for America where after some misery during his early years, he was also employed himself as a gardener showing his diploma as a 'rural agent' obtained at this Agricultural School.

'Goodbye, Luigino!' he shouted from afar the day he left the Institute, 'I will not forget you.'

And in fact, on a splendid sunny morning in 1922, (It was 1923) when his very name was sending shivers of emotion all over the world, Rodolfo Valentino stopped with an enormous American car just a few steps from Luigi Marsano's house. He was traveling with his girlfriend Natacha Rambova. (She was his wife by then) He had visited Paris where the welcome was triumphant and now he was going to visit his family before leaving for New York. But his heart longed for the scent of the gardens of S. Ilario and the smile of his dear friend Luigi Marsano.

'I told you I wouldn't forget,' he said hugging Luigi. And Rodolfo turned his almond eyes around to focus on the sea, which was as sweet and calm as a lake. Rodolfo was emotional as he spoke about so many past things with his old teacher. Then he rose saying Natacha was waiting for him.

'Let's go have a coffee, Luigino. The Director no longer has anything to say!'

But Luigino was dressed in rags befitting the countryside and did not feel like going with the splendid young gentleman to the places where people would have flocked to see him. He replied how you respond to a friend you meet at the market or on the train,

'Thanks, maybe another time.'

Then Rodolfo slipped a five-hundred bill into Luigi's pocket.

'You'll drink it yourself ', he said and left.

Four years later, Valentino died suddenly and, according to some, mysteriously. Luigi was amazed and even today he laments,

'If he had lived,' he sighs, 'he was so good …'

Until 1932, Marsano kept the black woolen collegiate cape which Rodolfo gave him as a souvenir when he left the Agricultural School. Luigi defended the cape from all the assaults of collectors. Even a lady who came from America with the intention of buying it. But in the end, an Italian, who almost every day climbed up to see Luigi and who had also offered him a kiss, won the game.

'I couldn't take it anymore,' says Luigino with irritation, “and she managed to snatch it from me in 1932 for five hundred liras. Well, it was in bad shape anyway! I still have his memory inside me and around me, in these gardens where I still seem to see him.”

(below a few memories from the school...)