Saturday, May 14, 2022

They Told the Story

It has been an interesting insight into Rudolph Valentino for me, to know the children and grandchildren of people he chose, admired, trusted and those he affected. I am now convinced you can know someone by knowing their children.

George Ullman's two children were serious, impeccably well-mannered and gracious hosts always. I did change their lives in a way because when I came along they did not really know the details of their father's executorship. Bob Ullman was determined I find the records so they could know the truth. As the truth rolled out, they learned a real truth about the injustice done to their father. They told their father's story with curiosity.  

Frank Mennillo's family were Italian hosts of the highest order; gregarious, very upbeat and fun. They invited me out to eat, entertained me once with a BBQ and bottomless drinks. They put on the dog and I could see that Frank's generosity with Valentino was a family tradition of generosity. They told Frank's story with love and gusto. 

Norma Niblock's children were extremely intelligent in the process. Both were ready with new things to tell me and many times they fine-tuned or expanded on things they told me previously. They really tracked everything well and the book excels for their great desire to tell this story. Sally an engineer, a designer and Roger a military mind certainly made the book magic. They told their mother's story with precision. 

But it speaks well of Rudolph Valentino I think, that all of these families were great people to work with. He was very savvy about character. 

14 comments:

  1. What's astonishing is not one Valentino biographer ever thought of finding the families of people who associated or were connected with Valentino until Mrs. Floris came along to actually perform genuine research. We are very fortunate she was able to share all the important information about Valentino from these families before it was too late.

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    1. Marshall ThurgoodMay 14, 2022 at 4:02 PM

      Could not agree more with the above comment. Zumaya’s work should be treasured for many reasons, and this one in particular.

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    2. Imagine how thrilling it became for me as these epic interviews unfolded. I was blown away by all of the stories and for the most part because I knew they had yet to be told. I am happy it is being welcomed into the true Valentino World. 馃拹 Each family's accounts had "gasp" moments. The Ullman's moment was when Bob asked me if I knew their father "wrote a book" just before he died. The Mennillo's when they said Frank met Valentino at the docks and Norma's moment was the portrait of Valentino being blown up in the bootleg gin explosion.

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  2. To 3:33 You could not have written it better. Indeed Valentino's story has been interesting.

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    1. And I am sure 4:34 that it will continue to be. !

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  3. Este 13 de Mayo de 2022, se cumplieron 100 a帽os de la boda de Rodolfo Valentino y Natacha Rambova aqui, en la ciudad de Mexicali; poniendo y dando a conocer a nivel mundial, el nombre de esta ciudad.
    Que gran privilegio y que gran honor tuvimos; la ciudad que inspir贸 la melodia de "Mexicali Rose", fu茅 tambien la ciudad donde el gran Rodolfo Valentino se cas贸 con el amor de su vida, la bella e inteligente Natacha Rambova.
    Hace 100 a帽os ese 13 de Mayo, la ciudad junto con su alcalde Otto Moller, quien por cierto fu茅 testigo de la boda y fu茅 en su casa donde esta se realiz贸; se volc贸 en recibir y agasajar a la famosa pareja con m煤sica y comida.
    Natacha Rambova escribir铆a en sus memorias: "Amare siempre a los mexicanos, por lo felices que nos hicieron aquel d铆a , todo les parec铆a poco".
    Por cierto para Paul Ivano, era tambien un d铆a especial, pues ese d铆a era su cumplea帽os.
    Saludos con mucho cari帽o desde Mexicali, Baja California, M茅xico, para usted sra. Evelyn y para el sr. Renato.
    Gracias por el gran trabajo que han hecho en dar a conocer al verdadero Rodolfo Valentino.

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    1. Can someone translate the comment at 6:22? 馃憜 It looks interesting.

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    2. Translation of post made at 6:22: ""This May 13, 2022, it will be 100 years since the wedding of Rodolfo Valentino and Natacha Rambova here in the city of Mexicali; making the name of this city known worldwide.
      What a great privilege and what a great honor for us; the city which inspired the melody of "Mexicali Rose", to also be the city where the great Rudolph Valentino married the love of his life, the beautiful and intelligent Natacha Rambova.
      100 years ago that May 13, the city, together with its mayor Otto Moller, who by the way was a witness to the wedding and it was in his house where the marriage took place; he stepped forward to receive and entertain the illustrious couple with music and food.
      Natacha Rambova would write in her memoirs: "I will always love Mexicans, because of how happy they made us that day, everything they did looked not enough to them."
      For Paul Ivano, it was also a special day, because that day was his birthday.
      Greetings with affection from Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, for you Ms. Evelyn and for Mr. Renato.
      Thank you for the great job you have done in making the real Rudolph Valentino known."

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    3. Quiero agradecer al An贸nimo Mexicali por la hermosa publicaci贸n. Para m铆 colaborar contigo es una experiencia importante tambi茅n porque tanto t煤 como yo estamos siempre sinceramente en la b煤squeda de la verdad comprobada y documentada. Gracias Mexicali, tu reconocimiento me halaga y me empuja a hacer m谩s y mejor.

      I want to thank the Anonymous Mexicali for the beautiful post. For me, collaborating with you is an important experience also because both you and I are always sincerely in search of the proven and documented truth. Thanks Mexicali, your appreciation flatters me and pushes me to do more and better.

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    4. De nada Se帽or Renato, gracias por sus amables palabras.
      Su servidor se llama Carlos Ernesto Esquivel Vejar y como ya lo dije anteriormente, vivo en la ciudad de Mexicali, mi casa, que esta ubicada dentro de la primera secci贸n de esta ciudad, la secci贸n mas antigua, est谩 en Calle M茅xico y Ave. Lerdo # 293, aqui tienen su casa y para mi fortuna a tan solo una cuadra de distancia y cruzando un boulevard, se encuentra la propiedad donde se ubicaba la casa que perteneci贸 al alcalde Otto Moller y su direcci贸n era Ave. Lerdo #544; desgraciadamente y tristemente esa casa ya no existe, como muchas construcciones de su epoca; esta fu茅 derribada hace muchos a帽os y se construy贸 en ese lugar, un edificio de un solo piso, que fu茅 primero una muebleria y hoy es un bar.
      Hay dos o tres fotografias que se tomaron de Valentino y Natacha junto con el alcalde Otto Moller, la doctora Floretta White (vestida con falda y casco de cazador), Douglas Gerrard, el juez que los cas贸 Faustino Sandoval y otros mas que no reconozco, ni se quienes son, todos ellos posando frente a la casa del alcalde Moller (solo se ve el "porche" de la casa), todas esas fotos, de ese d铆a en que se realiz贸 esa boda por el civil; desgraciadamente en ninguna de ellas aparece la actriz Alla Nazinova, que tambien los acompa帽贸 ese dia; sin embargo no he visto por el momento ninguna de esas fotos en esta pagina, tal vez se deba a que tengo poco tiempo que ingres茅.
      Tuve la suerte de conocer al encargado del Registro Civil y el me proporcion贸 una copia de el acta de matrimonio de Valentino con Natacha, el cual la tengo dentro de un marco y en copia fotografica (dentro de una memoria) y vienen en ella, las firmas como testigos de la boda, el alcalde Otto Moller por parte de Valentino y Douglas Gerrard, por parte de Natacha.
      Si no cuentan con una copia con gusto les hare llegar (con ayuda de alguien, ya que la tecnolog铆a no es lo mio) a la sra. Evelyn Zumaya y a usted, sr. Renato.
      Esta foto de esa acta (tres paginas) fueron tomadas del Registro Civil de esta ciudad y estuvo perdida durante muchos a帽os, afortunadamente la encontraron nuevamente por accidente y hoy esta mejor cuidada.
      Por cierto Valentino firm贸 como Rodolfo V. Guglielmi y Natacha firma como Winifred de Wolfe.
      Saludos nuevamente sra. Evelyn y sr. Renato y como dicen ustedes "Chao".

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  4. Are any of the Ullman children or Mennillo children still alive?

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    1. At least the true story has been told. Evelyn interviews them before they passed on.

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