"AMBITION HAS BUT ONE REWARD FOR ALL:
A LITTLE FAME; A GRAVE TO REST IN
AND A FADING NAME!"
Walter Savage Lander
If there is one thing I am learning while researching my new book, is the type of information that is available and not available out there. I noticed a two word headline in a newspaper that I was looking at for another story when this headline caught my interest FORMER KANSAS GIRL BECOMES TURKISH PRINCESS. WOW! Now this is one that comes totally from right field! The more I read about her the more interesting the story becomes.
It is said that you 'can't keep em down on the farm', but a Turkish Princess? More and more as I dig into the story I find that this former Garden City farm girl made the society pages for years with her antics and exploits. Many papers ran full page illustrated articles on the adventures that she got herself into.
So far I find four different husbands and several near husbands including a Brazilian Count. And the story keeps getting better, or worse depending on your point of view. She ends up on the fringes of the Fatty Arbuckle murder case, one of the first major Hollywood scandals.
Her show business career seems to put her in the spotlight of many men and after her first marriage ended because he did not have enough money to keep her in the lifestyle she wanted, millionaires were on her greatest hits list.
Her marriage to the son of a multi millionaire sugar importer's son from San Francisco, put her into the lifestyle she desired and she had one daughter by this marriage. Just before divorcing this one he died in an automobile wreck and she got most of the estate. The daughter would later get a trust of over two million dollars which she would have slip through her fingers as she went on to be in Hollywood movies.
After divorcing the Turkish Prince she lived in Reno Nevada to get the residency requirement to divorce. As she was waiting it out US Army Air Corp pilots would fly over the ranch she stayed at and wiggle their wings. Catching her attention she married one of the younger pilots.
Now what is the point of this? After her fourth marriage there is no longer any mention of her in the newspapers. Apparently she ended up living in El Paso, Texas. Later on her daughter, married to a wealthy industrialist, and was living in Fort Worth. The only thing I find is the fact that this woman spent thirteen years in a hospital in Fort Worth and died there.
The time between the society page and her death is about forty years. For all her exploits and world travel. All her society celebrity and the talk of the nation, there is now nothing.
It strikes me odd. It is said that everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame. Sometimes those who get it are not famous but infamous. And in the end what they have achieved is an odd article in an old paper that someone like me will find. Yet I think it is appropriate for this time we live in.
For all the politics and power grabbing people, self serving for a bit of time, what is there to show for it?
I cannot help but have the passage come to mind, "what profits a man to gain the whole world and lose his immortal soul?" And as I go on another "they look and do not see, and listen and do not hear."