Oh, To Be Rich And At Sea

photos by Jean Howard

Art Director Mitchell Leisen is holding the plates, but he’s also the host of this July 4th, 1952 Catalina Island outing. He invited friends Cesar Romero, Mona Freeman, Rory Calhoun, and Robert Wagner aboard his boat, Escapade.

Perhaps, like me, you cannot help but think about Robert Wagner and his suspect boat activities, but this was decades prior.

Out on the water, with Mitch at the wheel, he is joined by (among others) Susan Zanuck in the hat, Cesar Romero, and Lita Baron (Mrs. Rory Calhoun).

When Lita later divorced Rory, gossip mags said she accused him of adultery with 78 women, including Betty Grable. In his 1999 obituary, he was quoted as retorting to her charge with, “Heck, she didn’t even include half of them.”

I’m not saying he did it, but I will say he stole a revolver at 13, was sent to jail, and subsequently escaped from said jail. From there, he hot-wired cars, took them for joy rides, and robbed jewelry stores for kicks. For this, he spent three years in prison.

What about you? Have you ever spent the 4th of July on a boat?

Have you ever worn long sleeves on the 4th? I can’t imagine.

Have you ever committed adultery with 78 different partners?

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10 comments

  1. My you ask a lot of questions. The closest I have to being aboard a ship in the ocean is an oil rig off the coast of California. Why do some men feel compelled to wear a Captains hat when they are on a boat? Only the actual Captain has a hat in the bottom photo. Do you think he ordered them to take them off?

    Liked by 2 people

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