June 13th, 2019

carole lombard 04
  • vp19

Doin' a dozen! Today, we turn 12

Welcome to another milestone! It was 12 years ago today that Carole & Co. came to be, promoting Carole Lombard's life and times to a blogosphere substantially different than the one we know today.

This entry is the 3,882nd, all but a handful composed by me. The host site, LiveJournal, gives each entry in its system a number. Here's what that initial entry looked like:

As you can see at the top, the number assigned that particular entry was "287." A few weeks ago, the number went to seven digits; yesterday's entry was "1006492."

Like its author -- heck, like all of us -- this site has had its ups and downs. When it began in June 2007, I was a copy editor for a daily in Virginia, a job I held for nearly six years as I extensively wrote about Lombard and classic Hollywood. In 2014, I moved to Los Angeles, both to further research film history and to live in a city whose energy I enjoyed (anyone who still believes the "laid-back LA" myth doesn't know the place well).

As is the case for many newcomers to town, diminished finances soon spelled trouble. I lost my apartment at the start of 2016, relocated to Florida for three weeks before discovering it wasn't for me, and returned to spend nearly 1 1/2 years in shelters, mostly on Skid Row.

Such struggles limited my work at Carole & Co.; a site that had been a nearly daily exercise soon dwindled in frequency. In fact, during February, March, April and September 2016, I wrote but one entry each month. In retrospect, I wonder what Godfrey would have done with a laptop some 80 years later.

But like William Powell's character, I never gave up hope nor felt sorry for myself, and in July 2017 I found a wacky Park Avenue family...oops, wrong story. My benefactors ran transitional housing in south Los Angeles, a stable house where I lived for nearly 14 months before moving to a nearby group home, my residence since last September. Money remains tight and work is difficult to find when you're 63, but things nevertheless are looking up.

As my confidence and stability rose, so did my number of entries. My most recent day without an entry was March 31, 2018. In addition to the usual alerts for Lombardiana on eBay, I follow news items about classic Hollywood and other tidbits.

My other interest, screenwriting, also has kept me sane. It's difficult at times to promote romantic comedies such as "Fugitive Sweetheart" and "Stand Tall!" when your bank account is low, but I keep persevering, honing my craft and looking for that big break or future project.

And after all these years, Carole continues to be an inspiration. It's weird, but the more I learn about Lombard and the life she led, the more I learn about myself. We all need someone to provide emotional support, and one of those people for me is a lady who left this earth more than 13 1/2 years before I arrived.

I intend to continue Carole & Co. for as long as I can, adding to research on classic Hollywood. I've never made a cent from this site -- it's a labor of love -- but I've made many friends along the way and I thank all for your continued support. To another dozen years (at least)!

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