Above is the first-ever picture of Carole Lombard that ran in "Carole & Co." It had followed a welcoming entry which stated, "This is 'Carole & Co.' (as in 'company'), a community focusing on Carole Lombard in particular and classic Hollywood in general. We'll look back at her life, her movies and the film industry of that era -- and we eagerly await your participation and input to get this community going."
Both of those things happened four years ago today.
At the time, I thought this would be a fun way to celebrate Carole, her life and times and people she knew and worked with. I had no idea whatsoever how much it would eventually consume me (not that I'm complaining, mind you). Here I am, four years later, and this is our 1,610th entry -- slightly more than one per day. (And the days without an entry are usually the result of health problems on my part; thankfully, we haven't skipped a day since early 2010.) We also have 295 members...and how I would love to pass 300, so tell your friends who like classic Hollywood about us.
This anniversary also brings to mind a statement by Jim Bouton, the former major league pitcher turned author, in which he said you spend your years gripping a baseball only to find it's the other way around. This community was initially a way to express my fondness for Lombard, and classic Hollywood. When it began, I thought I'd run a lot of photos, do brief stories on her movies, and so on. Little did I realize the depth of research I would be undertaking; thanks to this site, we've learned a lot about Lombard, clarifying information about her life.
Perhaps the prime example has been the revelation that in the mid-1920s, Lombard's initial professional first name was indeed "Carole." Most biographers have assumed the 1930 story that she had gone by "Carol" until a poster on the film "Fast And Loose" spelled it witn an "e"; however, it turns out that she only used "Carol" from 1928 to early '30. Here's an item from the Los Angeles Times of Feb. 4, 1925 that we ran earlier this year:
As we stated at the outset, we welcome your participation and input. What makes LiveJournal different than your traditional blog is that it accepts participation from its members, not simply its organizer -- and while many of you have contributed, more input is always appreciated. So don't feel shy. (I also wish to thank those who have assisted with the site, notably Carole Sampeck of The Lombard Archive and Tally Haugen.)
Many nice things have been said about "Carole & Co." since it began. John McElwee, who runs the wonderful site "Greenbriar Picture Shows" (http://greenbriarpictureshows.blogspot.com), invaluable for anyone interested in classic movie marketing, has called this "The best site I've seen dedicated to a single personality. Vincent Paterno's stories and images about Carole Lombard are second to none. Every visit here is a treat." That's a heady compliment, and over the next few years I will work to continue earning your trust.
To close, how about the four other Lombard pix I ran four years ago today?
This week's header features Carole at her most alluring, probably taken late in her tenure at Paramount. It was actually issued as a vertical 90 degrees to the right, with Lombard looking downward, and we ran it that way as part of an entry last month (http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/412127.html).