Tag Archives: legend

The po-boy: A messy history

History has it that the po-boy was invented by the Martin brothers, Benny and Clovis, to feed striking streetcar drivers in New Orleans in 1929.

According to an account on the website of the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival, Benny Martin once said: “We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended. Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say, ‘Here comes another poor boy.’”

It is true that the Martin brothers wrote a letter, addressed to the striking drivers and printed in at least one local newspaper, in which they promised to feed the men. “Our meal is free to any members of Division I94,” they wrote, omitting any description of what that meal might be.

But history is often not neat.

The explanation for how things came to be can change over time. What is accepted as gospel in one generation may bear little resemblance to what was previously believed. Sometimes what sticks is the best story. This is how legends are made.

The generally accepted and oft-repeated story of how the celebrated po-boy sandwich was invented first appeared in a New Orleans newspaper in 1969, 40 years after the streetcar strike. But before that the tale was different.

In 1933, The New Orleans States wrote about the Martin brothers as they marked their grand opening at a new location, a story that appeared alongside a large advertisement paid for by the shop. The States told how the Martins came to the city from Raceland and began selling “sandwiches of half a loaf of French bread generously filled with whatever one desired, from roast beef to oysters” near the old French Market. They later moved to the corner of Dumaine and Decatur before returning to the French Market, where they stayed until 1929. Based on this version of events, Benny and Clovis Martin were selling the sandwich years before the labor dispute sent streetcar drivers to the picket line.

The States then described how the sandwich got its unusual name, an account similar to those repeated throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

“From the hard-pressed truck farmers of St. Bernard, who gathered daily on the curb along North Peters Street with their produce, came the name of Poor Boy,” the paper wrote.

***

There are other mysteries about the official history of the po-boy. One involves New Orleans’ most famous son.

In his autobiography, jazz great Sidney Bechet writes of joining with a cornet player he had never heard play to promote a show at a local theater, presumably sometime in the 1910s.

“I hired Louis (Armstrong) to come with me on this advertising, and, you know, it was wonderful,” Bechet writes in Treat It Gentle, published in 1960.

“Anyway, I gave him 50 c., I gave the drummer, Little Mack, 50 c., and that meant I made a dollar; the leader always kept the double. That was the first time I ever heard Louis play the cornet. He played the cornet then, though he went to the trumpet later.

“We went out and bought some beer with the money and got those sandwiches, Poor Boys, they’re called — a half a loaf of bread split open and stuffed with ham. We really had good times.”

It is possible that Bechet learned of the po-boy later and embellished the story of his early gig with Armstrong. But it’s worth noting that Bechet’s exposure to New Orleans later in his life was limited. He was long gone from the city by the time of the 1929 streetcar strike during which the po-boy was supposedly invented. Bechet moved north in 1917, years before Benny and Clovis Martin had even arrived in the city. Armstrong left New Orleans, too, moving to Chicago in 1922.

According to John Chilton in his Sidney Bechet: The Wizard of Jazz, the clarinetist who wrote of eating po-boys as a young man became estranged from his family and rarely returned to his hometown. Bechet came back to New Orleans for 10 days in 1944, then played a one-night stand at Municipal Auditorium in 1945, a dark period when the po-boy seemed at risk of extinction. (On Nov. 11, 1946, the States wrote that “the ‘poor boy’ sandwich, a New Orleans invention whose notoriety ran ahead of its nutrient worth, is today little heard of in the land of its birth.”)

Other than that, it’s unclear whether Bechet ever set foot in Louisiana again.

***

The po-boy name first saw the light of day in the New Orleans press in late 1929, four months after the start of the streetcar strike, in a story about a high-profile murder trial in Pointe a la Hache. The scandalous case involved a man who had fallen off a steamship into the Mississippi River in what was first thought to be a suicide. After his body was recovered, though, it was discovered that he had been shot. A woman traveling with the dead man claimed she had become engaged to the ship’s second officer; he was charged with murder.

The legal drama attracted a circus of journalists and curious onlookers at the Plaquemines Parish Courthouse on Nov. 4, 1929. At 1 p.m. that day, wrote Meigs O. Frost of The New Orleans States, “human appetites began to assert themselves.”

“Lawyers and reporters went or sent to a nearby lunch stand,” Frost wrote.

“Presently the tree-shaded courthouse lawn was dotted with groups gnawing at the huge sandwiches New Orleans knows as the ‘po-boy sandwich’ — whole loaves of French bread split lengthwise and filled with a freight of ham, sausage or cheese — and drinking from bottles of pop.”

The ship officer was eventually exonerated. He and the woman, socialite Gloria Rouzer (the ex-wife of British film director Michael Powell), were both freed.

***

Lunch stands in New Orleans were serving sandwiches that bear a strong resemblance to modern po-boys long before the po-boy name became famous, some of them on the Uptown side of Canal Street. In 1917, for example, the Comus Soda Fountain on Common Street and St. Charles Avenue advertised an oyster sandwich for 10 cents.

“Four delicious fried oysters in a toasted, buttered French loaf with piece of pickle, wrapped in sanitary wax paper sealed bag, for 10 c.,” the ad says. “We keep them hot and ready to take with you.”

But even in 1917, the sandwich that would be king was not new to New Orleans. More than a half-century earlier, Sam’s Saloon on St. Charles Avenue began selling oysters in sandwiches, instead of the then-standard metal containers.

“A big loaf of bread is ‘dug out’ — reserving a crust end as a stop — any quantity of delicious fried or broiled oysters is piled in; the top is neatly put on; and a gentleman can carry home his loaf and his ‘dozen’ — all hot — or have them brought home, for a lunch or a relish to dinner, without putting himself out of ‘tin’ to pay for ‘tin,’” wrote The Daily Picayune on Dec. 7, 1851.

Sam’s Saloon was operated by John McClure, the founder of the New Orleans Crescent, which three years earlier had brought Walt Whitman to the city to write for the newspaper. (Whitman lasted only a few months in New Orleans.)

“The oysters are ‘Sam’s’ are not remarkable as fish, but as oysters they are ‘good,”” wrote the Picayune.

***

There are tantalizing fragments of history surrounding the po-boy name. On New Year’s Day in 1931, Andrew Battistella ran an advertisement in the New Orleans Item touting his sandwich shop in the French Market. “New Year’s greetings to all,” the small ad says. “French Market coffee and lunch stand. A. Battistella, Prop. Originator of the Poor Boy’s Sandwich.”

Battistella gives his telephone number in the ad: Main 1407. Years earlier, that phone number had been used by a prominent local real estate agent named Armstrong Donaldson. Donaldson ran his own advertisements in the local papers in the 1910s and 1920s. He signed them “A. Donaldson, poor man’s agent.”

In the mid-1920s, the Bienville Meat Market, which had several locations in the city, regularly advertised its prices “in our flyproof markets.” One fixture: the “poor boy’s special for hard times,” stew meat for 10 cents per pound. It was perhaps not a bad base for making a sandwich, though any connection to a restaurant is unclear.

***

While the origins of the po-boy and its name are murky, it is clear that the Martin brothers perfected the sandwich, helped make it famous and bequeathed it with many of the defining characteristics that we know today, the bread shape and consistency chief among them. There were some key differences, though, according to Nick Gagliano, a lawyer who lives in Metairie.

Gagliano, who was 3 years old the year of the streetcar strike, remembers going to the Martins’ sandwich shop as a child.

“There were several things that stood out for me,” he said in an email this year, “one being their house-made mayo that was like no other that I ever tasted. The lettuce was shredded, which was a first-time experience for me, and there was very little gravy, which allowed the crisp French bread to taste like bread (not like the sodden mess you get today from some shops).

“I do not recall them asking me if I wanted it dressed, nor do I recall whether they offered tomato,” he said. “I simply ordered a roast beef sandwich with mayo and lettuce.

“I can say it was what I would call a modest well-balanced sandwich, where the meat, gravy, bread and fixin’s did not overwhelm each other, and which you could easily eat with your hands, without fork or knife or a week’s supply of napkins.”

An AP member exchange feature.

A day with Prince at Paisley Park

In September 2014, Associated Press Global Entertainment Editor Nekesa Mumbi Moody spent a day with Prince at Paisley Park.

The following story was originally published on Sept. 29, 2014:

Nightfall is fast approaching at Paisley Park.

There are few lights on in the cavernous compound, and unseen doves (of course there would be doves) are cooing up a racket before twilight fades to darkness. But even their collective noise takes a back seat once Prince — sitting in the dimmest bit of light — goes to his Mac, cues up a track and hits play.

A melodious instrumental track floods the room, the lush orchestration compliments of the Minnesota Orchestra, whom Prince tapped to perform. Its inspiration has come from a little-heard Dionne Warwick song, “In Between the Heartaches,” which he also played moments earlier.

The track remains a work in progress; Prince has written no lyrics yet. But it’s music like this that keeps him going — to still, after all these years, take music to the next level.

“If you don’t try, how will you get another ‘Insatiable?’” he says, referencing his classic bedroom groove.

Over the next few moments at Prince’s computer, he goes to YouTube to play an array clips that get his musical heart thrumming, dipping from old James Brown clips to the relatively new U.K. singer FKA Twigs.

Prince isn’t always pleased about what he hears from today’s crop of entertainers — “The quality of the music, everyone would agree is not the gold standard,” he muses about today’s mainstream pop universe.

But when it comes to his world, what he’s hearing ranks among the best that he’s heard in ages. On Tuesday, he will release his first album in four years, “ART OFFICAL AGE,” along with music from his latest protege act, 3RDEYEGIRL, “PLECTRUMELECTRUM.”

“I’m completely surrounded by equal talent,” an energized Prince says. “To me it feels like heaven.”

***

It’s not just the music that’s taking his Royal Badness to new heights: For the first time, he is releasing his music with complete freedom. The man that once wrote “slave” on his face in protest of not being in control of his own music and famously battled and then departed his label, Warner Bros., is now back with the label — under his own terms.

“What’s happening now is the position that I’ve always wanted to be in,” says Prince. “I was just trying to get here.”

In the spring, Prince, 56, finally gained what he had sought for more than two decades — control of his musical masters, and, in a larger sense, his musical legacy. In the past, Warner Bros. held the rights to Prince’s music, even long after he left, as part of the contract he signed as a new artist.

But after savvy legal maneuvering, he owns the rights to all of his vast collections of hits, including archival music that Prince fans have been longing to hear for decades. Prince also gained control of the publishing rights to his compositions and has performance rights — which means he completely controls his own musical destiny.

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, who works closely with Prince on legal, business and financial matters, calls it his “fight for justice” and an enormous game-changer for the industry.

“It’s magnificent, and what’s important for him, he wants all musicians to have (this),” she said. “This is just something that he feels incredibly passionate about.”

Long a trailblazer for artists’ rights, and for coming up with innovative approaches to break away from the label-structure that he’s viewed as unfair to artists, he sees the way the industry has unfolded as the ultimate “I told you so”: disappearing labels, a streaming system that some music acts say nets them even less profit for the music they made, and increasing challenge to make money just off of making music.

He scoffs at the image of him that had long been defined by others; a technology-phobe who resisted what was to come in the industry, like that persistent notion that he once declared the Internet dead.

“We were saying it was dead to us — dead energy,” he explains.

***

For Prince, the old Tribe Called Quest rhyme still rings true: “Industry rule number four thousand and eighty, record company people are shady.” He speaks passionately of his disdain for traditional record contracts and publishing agreements that he believes give most of the power — and profit — to other entities, not the creator of the music.

He considers it not only bad business, but also against God: “The Bible says you’re not supposed to sign your inheritance away.”

The entry of Apple as the major player in music hasn’t helped, in his view. When asked about U2’s much analyzed venture with Apple _ in which the company paid them for their latest album, then released it in its customers’ iTunes libraries for free _ Prince simply says. “That’s a designer deal. … Of course they got paid. But what about the others?”

***

Prince is hoping to show artists that there is an alternative to the standard way of doing business. Paisley Park is not just a place for Prince, but also a creative sandbox for other artists.

Liv Warfield is one: The boisterous soul singer with the big band and dynamic stage act worked under Prince’s tutelage for her latest album, and has opened for Prince on tour; “The Voice” contestant Judith Hill has come through. At one point, he plays a track by a powerful female voice that turns out to be Rita Ora. Jennifer Hudson will be making a Paisley Park pilgrimage soon, he says.

“How we make music is in a collective,” he says, with the motto: “Best idea wins.”

This spring, he launched NPG Publishing; besides administering his own music, it will do so for other acts.

But he’s quick to note that he doesn’t have artists signed to him.

“We don’t do (record) deals,” says Prince. “I don’t want anything from anybody.”

Joshua Welton, a young producer who is married to drummer Hanna Ford Welton of 3RDEYEGIRL (Donna Grantis and Ida Nielsen round out the trio), is one of the fresh new talents that Prince marvels at; he refers to him as a “Steve Jobs” and marvels not only at his musical might, but also his spiritual strength.

His faith in Welton is so strong that he shares productions with him on the album, and says for the first time, there are tracks where Prince doesn’t even play an instrument, leaving it to Welton.

“Who would have predicted that I would let a 22-, 23-year-old produce me?” says Prince (though he’s actually 24). “He’s supertalented.”

***

For Prince, success today is about audience impact and, as always, taking success to the next level.

He’s not looking for a repeat of 1984: “I don’t need another gold record,” he says matter of factly (though for the record, that was the year of many platinum records).

Nor does he care about charting No. 1 songs or hits. When he explains why he isn’t, he takes it back to Africa and says that’s not the community’s way of thinking: “You don’t quantify success by numbers.”

He’s working on a rerelease of the epic “Purple Rain” album for its 30th anniversary, but when asked if he’s excited about it, he flatly says no.

“Same album, just state-of-the-art sound,” he says. “It’s nice that it sounds better for the fans but I live in the now. I don’t have to go backwards to celebrate.”

He had no hesitation about working with Warner Bros again (after entering what Lamkins-Ellis called an “amazing deal”): “I don’t deal in history nor should they,” he says. “It’s not the entity that’s the problem.”

Prince isn’t stopping with the two new albums and the “Purple Rain” rerelease: His song “Funknroll” is being used by NFL network, and he’s excited about new avenues for his music.

You’ll find his new music on iTunes, and Spotify, but he doesn’t see anything contradictory in that. “It’s about the deal. Anything I’m doing now it’s equitable. I’m happy.”

He adds: “I just thank God that I’m here now.”

Legendary rock star David Bowie dies at 69 after battle with cancer

Legendary British rock star David Bowie has died aged 69 after a secret battle with cancer.

A chameleon and a visionary, Bowie straddled the worlds of hedonistic rock, fashion and drama for five decades, pushing the boundaries of music and his own sanity to produce some of the most innovative songs of his generation.

“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer,” read a statement on Bowie’s Facebook page dated Sunday. Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, confirmed the death.

Mourners laid flowers and lit candles beside a memorial to Bowie in the Brixton area of south London where he was born, and tributes poured in from some of the biggest names in music, including the Rolling Stones, Madonna and rapper Kanye West.

“The Rolling Stones are shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the death of our dear friend David Bowie,” the Stones said. “He was an extraordinary artist, and a true original.”

Madonna said on Twitter: “Talented. Unique. Genius. Game Changer. The Man who Fell to Earth. Your Spirit Lives on Forever!”

British Prime Minister David Cameron said he had grown up with Bowie’s music and described his death as “a huge loss.”

In a music video accompanying Bowie’s new Blackstar album, which was released on his 69th birthday last Friday, the singer was shown in a hospital bed with bandages around his eyes.

Born David Jones in south London two years after the end of World War Two, he took up the saxophone at 13 before changing his name to David Bowie to avoid confusion with the Monkees’ Davy Jones, according to Rolling Stone.

He shot to fame in Britain in 1969 with “Space Oddity,” whose lyrics he said were inspired by watching Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey” while stoned.

Bowie’s hollow lyrics summed up the loneliness of the Cold War space race between the United States and the Soviet Union and coincided with the Apollo landing on the moon.

“Ground Control to Major Tom. Take your protein pills and put your helmet on … For here am I sitting in my tin can. Far above the world. Planet Earth is blue. And there’s nothing I can do.”

“SPACE ODDITY ZIGGY”

But it was Bowie’s 1972 portrayal of a doomed bisexual rock envoy from space, Ziggy Stardust, that propelled him to global stardom. Bowie and Ziggy, wearing outrageous costumes, makeup and bright orange hair, took the rock world by storm.

“Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with Weird and Gilly,” according to the lyrics which Bowie sang with a red lightning bolt across his face and flamboyant jumpsuits.

“Making love with his ego Ziggy sucked up into his mind. Like a leper messiah,” according the lyrics.

Bowie, ever the innovator ahead of public opinion, told the Melody Maker newspaper in 1972 that he was gay, a step that helped pioneer sexual openness in Britain, which had only decriminalized homosexuality in 1967. Bowie had married in 1970.

He told Playboy four years later he was bisexual, but in the 1980s he told Rolling Stone magazine that the declaration was “the biggest mistake I ever made” and that he was “always a closet heterosexual”.

This was a period which saw Bowie sporting an array of fantastic costumes, some reportedly based on the chilling Kubrick film “A Clockwork Orange”.

Now one of the top transatlantic rock stars, Bowie continued to innovate, helping to produce Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side,” delving into America’s R&B and working with John Lennon.

“He always did what he wanted to do. And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way,” said Tony Visconti, the U.S. producer who helped lift Bowie to stardom.

“He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry,” he said.

“LET’S DANCE”

Bowie reinvented himself again in the mid-seventies, adopting a soul and funk sound, and abandoning stack heels for designer suits and flat shoes.

He scored his first U.S. number one with “Fame” and created a new persona, the “Thin White Duke,” for his “Station to Station” album.

But the excesses were taking their toll. In a reference to his prodigious appetite for cocaine, he said: ““I blew my nose one day in California. “And half my brains came out. Something had to be done.”

Bowie moved from the United States to Switzerland and then to Cold War-era Berlin to recuperate, working with Brian Eno from Roxy Music to produce some of his least commercial and most ambitious music, including ““Low” and “”Heroes” in 1977.

In 1983 Bowie changed tack again, signing a multi-million-dollar five-album deal with EMI. The first, “”Let’s Dance,” returned him to chart success and almost paid off his advance.

“If you say run, I’ll run with you. If you say hide, we’ll hide. Because my love for you. Would break my heart in two,” he sang in Let’s Dance.

He starred on Broadway in “The Elephant Man” at the start of the decade and appeared in an array of films including “Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence,” “The Snowman,” “Absolute Beginners” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ”.

His love-life fascinated gossip columnists and his marriage to stunning Somali supermodel Iman in 1992 guaranteed headlines.

Bowie kept a low profile after undergoing emergency heart surgery in 2004. It was not widely known that he was fighting cancer.

“Look up here, I’m in heaven,” he sings from a hospital bed in the video accompanying his last album.

“I’ve got scars that can’t be seen. I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen. Everybody knows me now. Look up here, man, I’m in danger. I’ve got nothing left to lose.”

At 82, Joel Grey publicly comes out as gay

Joel Grey has publicly announced at age 82 that he is gay.

The Oscar- and Tony-winning actor tells People magazine, “I don’t like labels, but if you have to put a label on it, I’m a gay man.”

Grey was married to actress Jo Wilder for 24 years and they have two children together: actress Jennifer Grey and son James, a chef. He says, “It took time to embrace that other part of who I always was.”

Grey’s show-stopping performance as the devilish master of ceremonies in “Cabaret” won him an Academy Award and a Tony.

After “Cabaret,” Grey went on to star on Broadway in “George M!,” the title role in “Goodtime Charley,” Amos Hart in the revival of “Chicago,” and the Wonderful Wizard of Oz in “Wicked.”

Chopin’s heart exhumed in secret, like a relic

As Frederic Chopin gasped for air on his deathbed in Paris in 1849, he whispered a request that became the stuff of musical legend: Remove my heart after I die and entomb it in Poland. He wanted the symbol of his soul to rest in the native land he pined for from self-imposed exile in France.

Ever since, the composer’s body has rested in peace at the famed Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris — while his heart has endured a wild journey of intrigue and adulation.

First it was sealed in a jar of liquor believed to be cognac. Then it was smuggled into Warsaw past Russian border guards. Once in his hometown, Chopin’s heart passed through the hands of several relatives before being enshrined within a pillar in Holy Cross Church. During World War II, it briefly fell into the clutches of the Nazis. The organ has been exhumed several times, most recently in a secret operation to check whether the tissue remains well preserved.

Chopin’s heart inspires a deep fascination in Poland normally reserved for the relics of saints. For Poles, Chopin’s nostalgic compositions capture the national spirit — and the heart’s fate is seen as intertwined with Poland’s greatest agonies and triumphs over nearly two centuries of foreign occupation, warfare and liberation.

“This is a very emotional object for Poles,” said Michal Witt, a geneticist involved in the inspection. Chopin is “extremely special for the Polish soul.” 

Chopin experts have wanted to carry out genetic testing to establish whether the sickly genius died at 39 of tuberculosis, as is generally believed, or of some other illness. But they remain frustrated. The Polish church and government, the custodians of the heart, have for years refused requests for any invasive tests, partly because of the opposition of a distant living relative of the composer.

This year, however, they finally consented to a superficial inspection after a forensic scientist raised alarm that after so many years the alcohol could have evaporated, leaving the heart to dry up and darken.

Close to midnight on April 14, after the last worshippers had left the Holy Cross Church, 13 people sworn to secrecy gathered in the dark sanctuary.

They included the archbishop of Warsaw, the culture minister, two scientists and other officials. With a feeling of mystery hanging in the air, they worked in total concentration, mostly whispering, as they removed the heart from its resting place and carried out the inspection — taking more than 1,000 photos and adding hot wax to the jar’s seal to prevent evaporation. Warsaw’s archbishop recited prayers over the heart and it was returned to its rightful place. By morning, visitors to the church saw no trace of the exhumation.

“The spirit of this night was very sublime,” said Tadeusz Dobosz, the forensic scientist on the team.

Polish officials kept all details of the inspection secret for five months before going public about it in September, giving no reason for the delay. They are also not releasing photographs of the heart, mindful of ethical considerations surrounding the display of human remains, said Artur Szklener, director of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, a state body that helps preserve the composer’s legacy.

“We don’t want this to be a media sensation, with photos of the heart in the newspapers,” Szklener said. However, to prove that the heart is in good shape, he showed The Associated Press photographs of the organ, an enlarged white lump submerged in an amber-colored fluid in a crystal jar.

Some Chopin experts are critical of what they consider a lack of transparency.

Steven Lagerberg — the American author of “Chopin’s Heart: The Quest to Identify the Mysterious Illness of the World’s Most Beloved Composer” — believes international experts should have also been involved in the inspection. He said he wishes that the exhumation had involved genetic tests on a small sample of tissue to determine the cause of Chopin’s death.

Though Lagerberg and others believe that Chopin probably died of tuberculosis — the official cause of death — the matter isn’t fully settled. Some scientists suspect cystic fibrosis, a disease still unknown in Chopin’s time, or even some other illnesses.

“The mystery of this man’s illness lingers on — how he could survive for so long with such a chronic illness and how he could write pieces of such extraordinary beauty,” Lagerberg said. “It’s an intellectual puzzle, it’s a medical mystery and it’s an issue of great scientific curiosity.”

Chopin was born near Warsaw in 1810 to a Polish mother and French emigre father. He lived in Warsaw until 1830, when he made his way to Paris — where he chose a life of exile because of the brutal repressions imposed by Imperial Russia after a failed uprising.

Fulfilling Chopin’s deathbed wish, which was also inspired by the composer’s fear of being buried alive, his sister Ludwika smuggled the heart to Warsaw, probably beneath her skirts. After being kept in the family home for several years it was eventually buried in the Baroque Holy Cross Church, in central Warsaw.

It remained there until World War II, when the Nazi occupiers removed it for safekeeping during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. Even as they slaughtered Poles block-by-block, killing 200,000 people in retribution for the revolt, they took pains to preserve the relic of a composer that the Germans have sometimes claimed as their own, because of the influence great German composers had on him. After the fighting was over, they returned it to the Polish church in a ceremony meant to show their respect for culture.

Bogdan Zdrojewski, the culture minister who took part in the April inspection, defended his refusal to allow invasive testing of the heart.

“We in Poland often say that Chopin died longing for his homeland,” said Zdrojewski, who has since left the culture ministry to be a lawmaker at the European Parliament. “Additional information which could possibly be gained about his death would not be enough of a reason to disturb Chopin’s heart.”

Nonetheless officials have already announced plans for another inspection — 50 years from now.

Future of Frank Lloyd Wright School divides leaders

The future of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture has divided the institution named for the iconic designer. The quest to keep its accreditation status has some school board members concerned the degree program will end, while its foundation denied the school is in danger of closing.

The Scottsdale-based Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which operates the school, announced last week that it would not independently incorporate the school as a way to stay accredited. The Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission, which accredits degree-granting colleges and universities in 19 states, changed its bylaws two years ago to prohibit accreditation for schools that operate as divisions of a larger organization.

Without accreditation, the school would be unable to offer a Master of Architecture degree, which offers students the chance to learn from those who once worked with the legendary architect.

The foundation’s decision has shaken the school’s Board of Governors, who say the program may have to shut down when its accreditation expires in 2017.

“The school could continue but it would not train architects that could become licensed. I’m not sure what value it would bring to them or to the profession,” said Maura Grogan, board chairwoman.

Foundation President and CEO Sean Malone disagreed, saying the possibility of the school closing in the future was not “grounded in fact or reality.”

He said he understood the board’s desire to try separating the school from the foundation to meet the new accreditation criteria, but it wouldn’t have been feasible.

“It was determined that it just wasn’t appropriate to do that and simultaneously be committing long-term funding at well over $1 million a year,” Malone said of the foundation’s financial support.

Wright, who died in 1959, designed 1,141 architectural works. More than one-third of his buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places or are in a National Historic District. His Taliesin estate in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and one in Scottsdale, dubbed Taliesin West, became laboratories of sorts for student apprentices.

Approximately 20 students are enrolled at the Wright School, which was initiated in 1932. They divide their time between Scottsdale and Wisconsin. Besides education programs, the foundation also oversees preservation, restoration and tourism related to Wright-designed buildings.

Since 2012, Wright officials have considered other options to keep its accreditation, such as jointly partnering with another institution.

“It’s my understanding the foundation has looked into this in the past and has not found suitable partners,” Grogan said. “I’m unclear what has changed at this point.”

Malone said the school has already received “significant interest” from a number of institutions nationwide.

“I’ve heard suggestions that partnering with somebody else is in essence the definition of closing the school – which is completely inaccurate,” Malone said. “There are no plans, intentions or willingness whatsoever to close the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.”

Grogan said she is hopeful that the board and the foundation can come to a resolution. Now, the sides agree that the school provides a unique learning environment.

“To sit in a dining room and overhear conversations from four or five generations of people all debating, arguing, sharing and laughing – it’s a very, very special place,” Grogan said.

Comic book icon Archie to die saving gay friend

The comic book icon Archie Andrews dies saving the life of his gay friend in this week’s installment of “Life with Archie.”

The freckle-faced Archie will be shot when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on Kevin Keller, the series” first openly gay character. Andrews’ death, which was announced in April, will mark the conclusion of the series about the grown-ups who once attended Riverdale High.

Archie,” Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO told The Associated Press. “He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.”

Keller’s character joined Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle in the Archie Comics spin-off “Veronica” in 2010. He later appeared in his comic book. In the “Life with Archie” stories, Keller is a newly elected senator advocating gun control reforms after his husband is involved in a shooting.

“We wanted to do something that was impactful that would really resonate with the world and bring home just how important Archie is to everyone,” said Goldwater. “That’s how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin. He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.”

Andrews’ final moments will be detailed in “Life with Archie” No. 36, while issue No. 37 will jump forward a year and focus on the gang honoring the legacy of their red-headed pal, who first appeared in comics in 1941 and went on to become a colorful icon of wholesomeness. Other incarnations of Andrews will continue to live on in Archie Comics series.

The latest issue will be on newstands on July 16.

When he announced plans for issue No. 36 in April, Goldwater said, “We’ve been building up to this moment since we launched ‘Life with Archie’ five years ago, and knew that any book that was telling the story of Archie’s life as an adult had to also show his final moment.

“Archie has and always will represent the best in all of us — he’s a hero, good-hearted, humble and inherently honorable. This story is going to inspire a wide range of reactions because we all feel so close to Archie. Fans will laugh, cry, jump off the edge of their seats and hopefully understand why this comic will go down as one of the most important moments in Archie’s entire history. It’s the biggest story we’ve ever done, and we’re supremely proud of it.”

Photo may offer clue in Amelia Earhart mystery

The photo is, mostly, unremarkable. It shows an airplane looming darkly on a runway at Miami Municipal Airport in the spectral shadows just before dawn — probably a test as the photographer waited for the money shot moments later, when the aircraft would lift off with famed aviator Amelia Earhart at its controls, unknowingly headed to a mysterious appointment with fate.

Yet the picture — shot by a now-forgotten Miami Herald photographer just before Earhart departed the United States on her doomed flight around the world on June 1, 1937 — contains an odd detail visible on none of the other thousands of photos of her plane.

There on the fuselage, about two-thirds of the way from the plane’s nose to its tail, is a rectangular patch that shines a peculiar silver on the aircraft’s dusky skin. Could it be a clue — the clue — to what happened when Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan vanished somewhere over the trackless Pacific Ocean three months later?

Long-time Earhart investigator Ric Gillespie thinks so. He believes that the silvery patch reveals an unrecorded repair performed on Earhart’s plane during her stopover in Miami. And he hopes that modern computer enhancements of that part of the photo will link it to a piece of possible airplane wreckage discovered a quarter century ago on a tiny Pacific island in the area where Earhart disappeared.

“If we can match a rivet pattern from the repair in the photograph to a rivet pattern on the wreckage, I think it would be beyond dispute that Noonan and Earhart weren’t lost at sea, but made it to the island,” said Gillespie, the executive director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).

That would bring an indisputable forensic conclusion to one of the greatest and most contentious mysteries in aviation history. It would also mean, possibly, that the tale of Amelia Earhart had an even more tragic end than we have thought all these years — that she died not in a single terrifying instant as her plane crashed into the sea, but in a long torturous spiral of starvation, thirst and disease.

***

Earhart was one of the world’s most famous and admired women when she and Noonan set off from Oakland, California, to fly around the globe. She was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic and the first person to fly solo from Honolulu to Oakland. She competed successfully with men in the popular airplane races of the day. And she was a feminist before the word was invented, advocating tirelessly for women to be allowed to pursue careers in aviation or anything else they wanted.

Her aviation career, however, was not without its share of near-misses. On her transatlantic flight, she was trying to land in Paris but got lost and wound up in Ireland instead. Her first try at flying around the world (heading west rather than east) ended abruptly after the first leg when she crashed on takeoff in Hawaii.

Her second attempt, this time east-bound, also had problems right from the start. She landed at the wrong airport in Miami, in what was then known as the 36th Street Airport (now part of Miami International) rather than the bigger Miami Municipal Airport just south of Opa-locka (now a park named for Earhart). Her landing on May 24, 1937 was rough and she stayed in Miami for a week while the plane underwent repairs.

One of them, it appears, was the removal of a specially installed window in the rear of the airplane that navigator Noonan used to take sightings on the sun and stars, the method by which pilots found their way over unmapped oceans, jungles and desert in the days before radar and GPS. The window is clearly visible in photos of Earhart’s plane taken in California at the start of her trip, and even in some Herald photos shot after her arrival in Miami.

But in the photo shot just before her June 1, 1937, takeoff for Puerto Rico, the window is gone, replaced by that odd silvery plate.

“I think the window must have been broken or compromised by the hard landing in Miami,” Gillespie said. “It wasn’t standard equipment and they found out it would take a while to replace it, so they just took it out and patched the fuselage instead.”

From Puerto Rico, Earhart continued through South America, Africa and Asia. Her plane suffered occasional malfuctions, but the biggest problem was confusion over the tangle of different radio frequencies used by different civil and military aviation agencies around the world, which sometimes left Earhart out of touch. On July 2, 1937, as Earhart took off from Lae, New Guinea, and headed for Howland Island nearly 2,600 miles away, her communications suffered a blow. Photos and home movies of the takeoff show that as she taxied down the runway, a radio antenna on the bottom of her plane tore away.

That may be why Earhart was unable to hear Coast Guard crewmen who were trying to make contact with her as she neared Howland Island 19 hours later. “We are circling but cannot see island, cannot hear you,” she radioed as the crewmen listened helplessly. A series of increasingly distressed messages continued for another hour and a quarter before Earhart, in a distraught voice, gave her location: “We are on the line of position 157 dash 337. . We are now running north and south.”

The rest was silence.

***

Some Navy and Coast Guard ships began looking for Earhart right away, but the epicenter of the search, Howland Island, is in the middle of nowhere, 1,700 miles from Hawaii, so it took two weeks for the search to acquire much manpower. Search planes passed over a tiny, apostrophe-shaped patch of coral called Gardner Island, about 400 miles away, and spotted signs of recent habitation. But Navy records showed that tribes of Pacific Islanders had been living there, which seemed to explain that, and the planes moved on. The search continued several weeks, but turned up absolutely nothing.

In the 1960s, journalists began searching for Earhart — but their focus was 2,800 miles west of Howland Island, on Saipan, where U.S. Marines fought a vicious battle against Japanese occupational troops during World War II. In the aftermath of the fighting, it was said, American troops had made a grisly discovery that Washington had covered up: that the Japanese had captured Earhart and Noonan and, believing them spies, either executed them or mistreated them so badly they died in prison.

“There’s probably a dozen books and, who knows, hundreds of magazine and newspaper stories about this,” says Gillespie. “They have different casts of characters but they all follow the same template: Some American enlisted man on Saipan finds something associated with Earhart _ a briefcase, a flight log, a photo of her. Or a native shows him a grave and says, `White woman buried here.’

“Inevitably, he shows the evidence to an officer, who takes it and swears him to secrecy, and he hears nothing more about the case. Years later, he comes forward, but he handed over the evidence, and he has no receipt and doesn’t remember the officer’s name. And that’s where it ends.”

(The Japanese-capture-and-execution theory is actually a variant on a conspiracy theory that swept America during World War II. In that one, Earhart and Noonan were secret agents assigned by the U.S. government to fake their own disappearance, giving the U.S. Navy an excuse to search the Pacific gathering intelligence about Japanese military activity. There was even a Hollywood movie called Flight for Freedom starring Rosalind Russell as a thinly disguised version of a spy Earhart. Big problem with the theory: Earhart was a fervid pacifist who despised war after working in a military hospital during World War I.)

It wasn’t until the 1980s that modern technology — and perhaps even more importantly, modern fundraising techniques _ began making it feasible to mount private searches for Earhart in the area where she disappeared. Using sophisticated underwater radar and deep-sea diving vehicles, groups devoted to the case searched for her plane in the waters around Howland Island, by now deserted. But still no conclusive evidence emerged.

TIGHAR was not one of those groups. Though it was formed in 1985 by aviation fanatics interested in investigating old missing-plane cases and, if possible, recovering the aircraft, Gillespie steered TIGHAR clear of the Earhart mystery. Earhart had run out of gas somewhere on a very large ocean, he figured, and her plane could be anywhere in it, miles under the water.

But in 1988, two of his members came to him with a proposal. What if Earhart didn’t crash into the sea? What if she reached an uninhabited island?

“The key to it is her final message, where she says `line of position 157 dash 337,”’ Gillespie said. “That’s a line that Noonan calculated from the sunrise, running 337 degrees to the northwest and 157 degrees to the southeast. And if you follow it far enough, there are two deserted islands on it, McKeon Island and Gardner Island.”

It didn’t take long for TIGHAR investigators to find that somebody else had already mentioned the possibility of Earhart landing on Gardner Island. In 1960, a 68-year-old ex-Marine named Floyd Kilts gave an interview to a San Diego newspaper recounting his visit to Gardner Island in 1946, when he was sent there to dismantle a navigational device installed there during World War II.

Kilts said a Micronesian tribesman living on Gardner told him that when the Micronesians moved onto the island in 1938, they found a partial human skeleton, along with a woman’s shoe _ a sign that she was a foreigner, since the tribesmen all went barefoot. The remnants of a fire pit nearby contained burned bones of small birds and fish, which suggested the woman had lived there some time.

The bones had been given to a British colonial official, who thought they might be the remains of Earhart. The Micronesian didn’t know what happened after that, and neither did Kilts.

That story sounds straight from the captured-by-the-Japanese template — except in this case, British archives yielded a load of radio traffic about the discovery of the bones and detailed measurements by a British medical examiner. (The bones themselves had disappeared. The British doctor had concluded the bones belonged to a man of mixed Polynesian and European race, though forensic anthropologists who looked at the data in the 1990s thought it more likely they were those of a European woman.)

One other thing TIGHAR’s research turned up: The Navy’s belief that Micronesian tribesmen had recently been living on Gardner Island in 1937 when its pilots flew over it was wrong. The tribesmen arrived for the first time a year later. Those signs of habitation had been left by someone else.

***

Gillespie and his group made their first expedition to Gardner Island _ by now renamed Nikumaroro and part of the Republic of Kiribati _ in 1989. It was once again deserted; drought drove the population away in the mid-1960s. Some of their empty buildings, including a general store, survived. Otherwise, not much was found.

A second, better-funded expedition arrived in 1991. The past two years had been hard on the island; a major storm had knocked down what little remained of the Micronesian settlement. But as they poked through the rubble, investigators found a fascinating piece of junk: A scrap of aluminum, 19 inches wide by 23 inches long, with four precisely measured rows of rivet holes. It looked for all the world like the torn outer skin of an airplane.

Over the years, tests have shown that’s exactly what it was. The scrap is made from a substance Alcoa Aluminum called 24ST Alclad, which was used in the manufacture of nearly all American planes manufactured in the 1930s _ including Earhart’s Lockheed Electra.

But Gillespie got out well ahead of his forensic evidence in 1992 by holding a Washington, D.C., press conference where he declared that “every possibility has been checked, every alternative eliminated… There is only one possible conclusion: We found a piece of Amelia Earhart’s aircraft.”

In fact, as other Earhart-investigation groups (there are more of them than Justin Bieber fans clubs, and they can be just as temperamental) quickly pointed out, the rivet patterns on Gillespie’s scrap were very, very different than those on Lockheed’s Electra.

“It was soon apparent that the Earhart mystery was not solved,” Gillespie admitted ruefully.

For years, the metal scrap was like a thorn in TIGHAR’s paw. “We knew it was significant, we knew it was a piece of a plane, but we just couldn’t quite figure out where it fit,” Gillespie said. Three months ago, the group decided to come at the scrap from the opposite direction: If it wasn’t from a Lockheed Electra, then what plane was it from? Gillespie’s investigators spent a day with the reconstruction team in Dayton, Ohio, at the U.S. Air Force Museum, which rebuilds World War II-era planes for a living. The team scoured its vast store of blueprints and technical drawings. It didn’t fit anything.

“That’s when one of our investigators said, look, we know there’s one piece on that plane that wasn’t built or installed by Lockheed — the replacement for that missing window,” Gillespie recalled. “So maybe that’s the match.”

TIGHAR began reviewing its massive archive of photos of Earhart’s plane. But relatively few showed the right side of the aircraft, because photographers usually wanted to get Earhart herself in the shot, and her pilot’s seat was on the left side. Only one shot offered a really good view of the patch: that 1937 photo from the Miami Herald.

“The replacement of that window had to be done in Miami, at a Pan Am facility that was helping Earhart,” Gillespie said. “They may have used different materials than Lockheed … If we can match that rivet pattern in the photo, I don’t see how anybody can argue against this any more.”

In fact, it seems certain that they will argue. The Earhart bug, when it bites, takes hold like something akin to theology, and supporters of one theory delight in damning others. “I wouldn’t say we’re fighting about anything,” said Elgen Long, an 86-year-old veteran pilot and author of the 1999 book Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved, widely regarded as the Bible of what’s known as the “crashed-and-sank” theory, which goes pretty much the way it sounds. “Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. But everybody should have some facts to back up those opinions, and Mr. Gillespie, well, he doesn’t.”

Long says Gillespie’s metal scrap is obviously from a PBY seaplane (the “flying boat,” it was often called) like those flown by the U.S. Navy in the first half of the 20th century and is probably a remnant of some other crash that washed up on Gardner Island, unconnected to Earhart. (”Laughable!” retorts Gillespie.)

Equally scathing is Susan Butler, the Lake Wales writer who authored East To The Dawn, the definitive biography of Earhart and the basis for the 2009 Hillary Swank film Amelia. She regards Gillespie as a huckster, constantly devising new Earhart tall tales to raise money for his group.

“He’s very creative,” she said. “he’ll take it to the Nth degree. He can probably even prove it _ for six months, or a year.”

Gillespie, accustomed to the criticism (”this is a a field where people have definite views”) shrugs it off.

Gillespies’ theory is that Earhart landed her plane on a coral reef just off Gardner Island that becomes visible at low tide. For a time, she used the plane’s radio to send out distress signals, until rough weather washed the aircraft off the reef into a deep ocean trough below.

More than 100 shortwave radio listeners around the United States _ many of them with enhanced antennas intended to pick up distant signals _ reported hearing distress calls from a woman identifying herself as Earhart in the days after her disappearance. At the time, they were all dismissed as hoaxes or mistaken identities, but Gillespie believes some of them may have been genuine, the product of a signal leakage known as harmonics that was common on early radio transmitters.

***

Among the most haunting of the reports came from a St. Petersburg teenager named Betty Klenck, who died just last week at the age of 92. In 1937, she was a kid spending her summer afternoons trolling the shortwave radio her father had rigged with a 60-foot antenna, scribbling down in a notebook song lyrics and bits of news she heard.

Three days after the plane went down, Betty stumbled onto a call from someone who identified herself as Earhart. For three hours, the teenager listened, transfixed and jotting notes all the while, as the woman pleaded for help, comforted an apparently injured Fred Noonan, and sometimes cried. “Oh, if they could hear me,” she moaned in despair at one point.

Betty’s father came home from work about midway through the broadcast and joined her in listening to it. Later he showed her notebook to Coast Guard authorities, who weren’t interested, thinking it the fantasy of a bored teenager. Yet the notebook contains intriguing hints of things Betty couldn’t possibly have known, and which may support the idea that the woman on the radio was Earhart, calling from Gardner Island.

For instance: Earhart’s constant repetition of something that sounded like “New York City.” That wouldn’t have made much sense. But if the words were “Norwich City,” it’s another matter: The S.S. Norwich City was a freighter lost at sea in 1929 that washed up on the reef just off Gardner Island. Bits of the wreckage can still be seen there today. They say it looms darkly in the spectral shadows just before dawn.

‘Fastest Nun in the West’ on path for sainthood

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe announced Wednesday it is exploring sainthood for an Italian-born nun who challenged Billy the Kid, calmed angry mobs and helped open New Mexico territory hospitals and schools.

Archbishop Michael Sheehan said he has received permission from the Vatican to open the “Sainthood Cause” for Sister Blandina Segale, an educator and social worker who worked in Ohio, Colorado and New Mexico.

It’s the first time in New Mexico’s 400-year history with the Roman Catholic Church that a decree opening the cause of beatification and canonization has been declared, church officials said.

“There are other holy people who have worked here,” said Allen Sanchez, president and CEO for CHI St. Joseph’s Children in Albuquerque, a social service agency Segale founded. “But this would be a saint (who) started institutions in New Mexico that are still in operation.”

Segale, a nun with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, came to Trinidad, Colorado, in 1877 to teach poor children and was later transferred to Santa Fe, where she co-founded public and Catholic schools. During her time in New Mexico, she worked with the poor, the sick and immigrants. She also advocated on behalf of Hispanics and Native Americans who were losing their land to swindlers.

Her encounters with Old West outlaws later became the stuff of legend and were the subject of an episode of the CBS series “Death Valley Days.” The episode, called “The Fastest Nun in the West,” focused on her efforts to save a man from a lynch mob.

But her encounters with Billy the Kid remain among her most popular and well-known Western frontier adventures.

According to one story, she received a tip that The Kid was coming to her town to scalp the four doctors who had refused to treat his friend’s gunshot wound. Segale nursed the friend to health, and when Billy came to Trinidad, Colorado, to thank her, she asked him to abandon his violent plan. He agreed.

Another story says The Kid and his gang attempted to rob a covered wagon traveling on the frontier. But when the famous outlaw looked inside, he saw Segale.

“He just tipped his hat,” said Sheehan, the archbishop. “And left.”

Many of the tales she wrote in letters to her sister later became the book, “At the End of the Santa Fe Trail.”

“She was just amazing,” said Victoria Marie Forde of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. “It’s tough to live up to her example.”

Segale found St. Joseph’s Hospital in Albuquerque before returning to Cincinnati in 1897 to start Santa Maria Institute, which served recent immigrants.

Her work resonates today, with poverty, immigration and child care still high-profile issues, Sanchez said.

Officials say it could take years – possibly a century – before Segale becomes a saint. The Vatican has to investigate her work and monitor for any related “miracles.”

Those miracles could come in the form of healings, assistance to recent Central American immigrant children detained at the U.S. border or some other unexplained occurrences after devotees pray to her, Sanchez said.

“She’s going to have to keep working,” Sanchez said. “She’s not done.”

‘Citizen Kane’ camera, other Orson Welles’ items up for auction

The youngest daughter of director and writer Orson Welles is giving film buffs a chance to buy some of his personal possessions, including a camera, scripts and photos from the set of “Citizen Kane.”

Beatrice Welles discovered the relics last year in boxes and trunks and decided to put them up for auction. She said her father would have preferred making the memorabilia available to film buffs and fans as opposed to sending them to a museum.

“It’s about the last thing he would’ve wanted. He just did not believe in schooling, he did not believe in academic things,” Beatrice Welles said in a telephone interview from her Arizona home. “And museums kind of have that connotation and I thought ‘No, this is not right for him.’”

In all, she is handing more than 70 items over to Heritage Auctions, which will stage the auction on April 26.

Margaret Barrett, director of entertainment-related auctions, declined to speculate on any possible bidding amounts but said she expects all the lots to fetch decent bids.

“People are still talking about him decades after his death,” Barrett said. “One of the enduring signs of fame is when young people know who someone is — someone who might have passed away decades ago.”

Barrett said she thinks Welles’ old Bell & Howell movie camera will be one of the bigger sellers. According to his daughter, he used the camera for home movies. In fact, one of the photos in another lot shows Welles using the camera to record a bullfight in Spain.

Other items are reminders of Welles’ more painful Hollywood experiences. Two scripts for “The Magnificent Ambersons,” a 1942 film he wrote and directed, reveal two different endings Welles had in mind; neither ended up in the film. The movie, which centers on a spoiled heir’s attempt to keep his mother from marrying her first love, was famously re-edited by someone else.

“They kept on changing his pictures around and not letting him finish them. That hurt him,” Beatrice Welles said. “The only one he was allowed to do completely from start to end was ‘Citizen Kane.’”

Long considered Welles’ masterpiece for its innovations in editing and cinematography, the 1941 “Citizen Kane” follows the lonely life of wealthy publishing magnate Charles Foster Kane.

Not among the auction cache is any Rosebud-type childhood memento of Welles’. Rosebud was the name of the sled mourned by the titular character in “Kane” that burns at the end of the film. According to Beatrice Welles, director Steven Spielberg bought a version of the sled in 1982, also at auction, and was later teased by her father about its authenticity.

“My father and Steven were having lunch and my father said ‘I hate to tell you something, but there was only one sled in Citizen Kane. Do you remember the ending?’”

Nearly 30 years after Welles’ 1985 death, Beatrice Welles said she was finally emotionally strong enough to sift through boxes of her famous father’s possessions. Her mother, Italian actress Paola Mori, died less than year after Welles. The double loss was devastating.

“When they died … I just couldn’t even look at the stuff,” she said.

Celebrity interactions and globe-trotting made up Beatrice Welles’ unconventional upbringing, where her father’s “Moviola editing machine was like part of our luggage.”

By the age of 3, Beatrice Welles was getting an education any film student would have loved. She often sat on her father’s lap while he cut movies in the editing room. As she got older, she even pitched in.

“I’d get the two pieces of whatever celluloid film it is on the machine. … He would tell me where to cut and I would cut and do it for him,” Beatrice Welles said.

Her father wasn’t always comfortable with being revered as a film genius, she said.

“He would say, ‘There are only probably three geniuses ever that existed, one of them being Einstein. I don’t put myself in that category.’”