Archive for January, 2018

Alekoki

We often forget that Hawaii, prior to its abduction by the McKinley Administration, was a Royal Kingdom.

Seriously, it was.

There had been kings in the island paradise prior to 1873, but Lunalilo, who was born on January 31, 1835, was the first elected king of Hawaii, and was called “The People’s King.” His real name was William Charles Lunalilo, and he was named for King William IV of the United Kingdom.  Apparently the British monarch was a “great friend” of the Hawaiian Royal Family.

There’s a lot to his story, but since February begins tomorrow, and Thursday is a six sentence story day, and I’m not sure it’s going to turn into a love story, I thought I’d talk about Lunalilo’s sad tale of love.

As the heir to the throne, marriage plans for Lunalilo were less love and more affair of state.  Gotta keep the blood royal, gotta make the right alliance, you know, all that stuff.

He was bethroded to Victoria Kamamalu, is cousin, and a popular choice with the masses.

All Hawaii was happy, well, all but her brothers.  Seems her marriage to the king would cause her family’s standing to drop as her children would outrank her brothers’ children, and well, we just couldn’t have that now could we?

Lunalilo didn’t cave at first, and two attempts were made to get the nuptials done.

But, alas, it wasn’t to be.

The young prince moved on – to another relative, Lili’uokaliani, who would eventually become the last queen of Hawaii, but she broke off the engagement on the advice of her uncle, King Kamehameha IV, and married and American, John Owen Dominis.

Still on the hunt for a royal bride, Lunalilo, now king, proposed to cousin, Miriam, who said, “No,” and married a German.

Yet, he persisted.

He proposed to the widow of the late king, Queen Emma, but she declined due to her “devotion” to her late husband.

Finally, the boy gave UP and took a mistress; one Eliza Meek, a “hapa-haole” daughter of Captain Meek, the harbor pilot of Honolulu.

Victoria Kamamalu died unmarried and childless at the age of 27.

The King wrote Aleaoki, a song of unrequited love, in his grief.

Take a listen, it may explain why the boy remained single.

Lunalilo, king for 1 year and 25 days, made other bad choices in his life.

An alcoholic, he caught a cold which turned into into-pulmonary tuberculosis and killed him at the age of 39.

He too, was alone and childless.

Fatal Attraction…

As February approaches, I thought I’d sneak in a repeat today. (this ran about seven years ago.)

After all, the event related in this post did occur on January 30, 1889.

Secret love can be dangerous.

The love affair of Crown Prince Rudolf, heir to the Austrian throne and his mistress, Baroness Mary (some say Marie) Vetsera ended tragically on a cold, snowy, January day in 1889.

The 19th Century was so uptight.

Rudy was married.  Shocker!  His wife Princess Stephanie of Belgium had born him a daughter, but he was bored with her, never loved her, and it was a forced marriage.  Rumor has it that Stephanie, fed UP with Rudy’s philandering, said “what’s good for the goose is good for the princess”, and found a boy-toy of her own.

Crown Prince Rudolf of AustriaThe 30 year old Prince met 17 year old Marie/Mary at a horse race sometime in 1888.   They flirted, made eyes at each other, and soon it was off to nik-nikville.  Translation:  affair.  From the start, Mary adored him, and was ready to do anything for him.  Rudolf did have feelings for her, and was scaredshitless  touched by her limitless, almost fanatical, love for him.  Stalker.The Baroness

The sexual exploits and hypocrisy of the ruling familes of Europe were no surprise, they just weren’t dinner topics.  Most of the kings, princes, counts, dukes, margraves, and emperors had mistresses, some had many.  Most of the wives could have cared less.  It was expected, and it was accepted.

This one, well, it got out of hand.

Rudolph’s body was found, along with Mary’s at his Vienna Wood hunting lodge, Mayerling, on January 30, 1889.  The first report was that Rudy had died of heart failure.  But no one was buying that.  He was healthy, robust, a nature lover who took walks in the woods and had a physical fitness routine that would have made Jack LaLane happy.

No one in Austria bought it.

Since everyone at court knew that he and Mary/Marie were having an affair, a new story was posed.  It was a murder-suicide pact.  The Emperor, Franz Joseph demanded that they break it off – it was just getting too public.  They were just too in love to give each other UP, and they were too in love to go on the way they were; he couldn’t divorce (darn that Catholic Church), he was a father, and if had children with her, they wouldn’t inherit.  Bastards and all.

So, it was reported that Rudy shot Mary/Marie in the head and then after several hours of remorse and grief, turned the gun on himself.

After the event, what ever it was, most of the evidence was removed, and only one bullet casing is mentioned, so the theory has holes.

The official story:  Murder Suicide.  That was embarrassing enough.  Then other rumors/theories started.

Most historians buy the murder suicide thing.  Others, not so much.

Empress Zita, the widow of Emperor Karl who got the throne only because Rudy killed himself, and Franz Ferdinand (not the band) was assassinated, in a rare interview said the Crown Prince was murdered, and the crime was covered UP.  EZ says it was all a political plot. Foreign agents, probably Austrian security agents suspected the Prince of pro-Hungarian sympathies did it.  Their intent was to off Rudy, and Mary just happened to be there, so (author pushes nose to side) “no witnesses”.  That’s how we roll.

EZ also says that it may have been the French.  Well, who knew?  The French, lead by Clemenceau wanted Rudy to depose his father and assume the throne.  Daddy was pro-German, France didn’t like the pro-German thing, and wanted Austria as their ally.  The Germans had been bullying the French for centuries, and aside from, drinking, fornicating, designing clothes, and making perfume, bitching about the Germans was the number one past-time.

Empress Zita wasn’t born when it happened, but growing UP in the Austrian court, marrying the man who would become Emperor, Crown Prince Karl, she is surely to have heard stories.

Another theory is that her brothers killed Mary/Marie and the Prince – no one can say why, but one account has three men entering the suite of Rudolph “muffled UP to their eyes in great coats”.  Marie supposedly recognized them and uttered “dire threats and warnings”.   This theory was reported to the German Kaiser, which makes it official in Germany.

As for me, in the month of love:  I’m not going with the murder-suicide thing, I think it was a suicide pact.  A fatal attraction.  After all, what could be more romantic?

The love story has been made into a movie, several times, a ballet, an animated film, and several books.  My favorite stars Omar Sharif and Catherine Deneuve.  There’s one out there with Charles Boyer for the true movie purists!

Mayerling

Mayerling is now a penitential convent for Carmelite Nuns where prayers for Rudolf’s soul are said daily.

Let’s hear it for the love!

Today is Tom Selleck’s 73rd birthday, which reminds me of a funny story.

Well, it’s funny to me.

We’ll get to that in a minute, but first…

Selleck, star of stage and screen is best known for his work as a detective in Hawaii in the series Magnum, P.I.

and most recently his near decade long run as the Police Commissioner in Bluebloods.

I’m a big fan; of course I was quite upset about Linda’s departure, but at least there was no crock-pot involved.

Selleck was born in Michigan, his mom was a stay at home mom, and his dad was an executive and real estate investor.  His family roots go back to the earliest European settlers in America.

Somewhere along the way, mom and dad decided to move to California; Tom played basketball at the University of Southern California, and was a frat boy.

A drama coach at USC saw him and advised him to try acting, which he did, and we’re grateful for that.

He served our country in the Vietnam Era in the California National Guard.

His first appearance on TV came when he was a college senior and was a contestant on The Dating Game.

Shortly thereafter, he was “discovered,” did a Pepsi commercial, and a few others, Magnum came along, and the rest is superstardom history.

I know, I know, everyone knows about Tom Selleck, but what’s with the funny story, right?

Well, if you’ve read the About page on this here blog, you know I spent a major portion of my life with “the phone company.”

I moved from job to job and state to state as I crawled my way to the lower portion of the middle.

In the early 1980s, I found myself in Orlando on 500 South Orange Avenue working for Southern Bell Telephone as a business office rep.

I had just transferred there from Melbourne, Florida, and was a relative unknown to the other service reps – of which there were plenty – in the building.

Back then, we answered with our last name, you know, “This is Mr. Brads, how can I help you?”  Well, Mr. Brads was always returned as Mr. Graham or Mr. Brown or some other error, so I started going by Mr. Davis.  No one ever got that wrong.

The phone rang, I answered on the first ring as we had to do then, and said, “This is Mr. Davis, how may I help you?” only to get the reply, “Who are you?”

Now, I thought that was obvious, and said my fake name one more time.  The response was “When did you get here?” and still not sure if this was internal or external, I politely answered that I’d just transferred from Melbourne, Florida that week, and was indeed new to the office.

The reply was, “Oh, this is Carolyn in Unit 3, and I didn’t know we had any new people.”

There was more chatter, pleasantry, and after answering the business question she had, I was about to say goodbye when she said, “What Unit are you in, I’ll come introduce myself.”

I said, Unit 2, and I’ll be easy to spot, because I look exactly like Tom Selleck.

This just in: I did not.

Within minutes, I noticed the door to the office open and a woman standing arms akimbo scanning the office.

I waved, and said, “Are you looking for Mr. Davis?”

To which she replied, “Well, you don’t look a thing like Tom Selleck!”

Her disappointment was epic.

But, to this day, she calls me Tom.

So, happy birthday, Tom, and if you ever need a stand-in…

Giving The Best

Anita Baker turns 60 today!

Here’s one of her best to celebrate the day.

Happy Birthday!