FRANK "RODEO ROY" NICHOLSON - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 10/04/1955 - HFSID 31831
Sale Price $324.00
FRANK "RODEO ROY" NICHOLSON
The 1940s radio jockey writes long letter to journalist Louis Sobol, telling him the story of his scandalous marriage to heiress Anne Cooper Hewitt, hoping he will wirte a book, and signing in blue ink
Typed letter signed: "Nick" in blue ink. 2 pages, 7x10½. Written on Hotel Ambassador letterhead. Monterrey, Mexico. October 4, 1955. Addressed to journalist Louis Sobol of the Journal American in New York City, New York. In full: "Sobol, Could be that you might remember me - I wrote a col. for you once - for the GRAFIC - a DOWN MEMORY LANE thing. You and Tom Davin were having some drinks with me while I was pecking it out on my three-key-board Carona typewriter. I was just after I had stuck with the Graf Zeppelin and after breakdowns and repairs, some months later, the body (mine) was deposited at Lakehurst, safe and sound, after having filed for INS UP at Columbia Broadcasting System. In my declining years I still believe I'm the only lug who ever filed for two competitive news services (INS UP) and a broadcasting chain - simultaneously. About the time I wrote the DOWN MEMORY LANE col. for you I was headed for Carlsbad Caverns. An exploration deal for the New York TIMES in cooperation with the Department of the Interior of the U.S....I should have taken with me only Tom Davin. Took too many people! Afterwards, however. I wrote a booklet on the history of the Caverns. It is sold only at one place - at the Caverns - and has passed the half-million-copies-sold-bracket. After the Carlsbad Caverns exploration I went into the radio on the West Coast. Did terrific, made a lot of money. Then married Ann Cooper Hewitt...Perhaps you'll remember the name: her Grandfather established the Peter Cooper Union, her father, Peter Cooper Hewitt, with his invention of "COOPER HEWITT LIGHTS" made it possible to make movies "indoors". Her Mother, who was born on the second floor of a grocery store in the Mission District of San Francisco married and "busted" five millionaires. One of the marriages made her a Dutchess [sic], I knew her long before I married Ann. She was the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. She died deeply in debt. On the West Coast I somehow got married to a lady who chose to be a gal on the make. After certain evidence was beyond doubt, I moved to different quarters. About that time I met Ann Cooper Hewitt again. We started strolling in the park. Presently my estranged wife discovered her current love was married. She committed suicide. I subsequently married Ann Cooper Hewitt. Because a County Clerk and a doctor were kind enough to issue marriage license after working hours we were accussed [sic] of CONSPIRING TO DEFEAT THE MARRIAGE LAWS OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA! Tried in the newspapers and tried in court. After almost a year we got find $2,000.00 and 6 months' parole. (Probation). Ann first hit print when her mother paid some doctors (three, all dead) in San Francisco to sterilize her, because of Peter Cooper's will. Later, a doctor, a Navy surgeon, in Seattle said he "Could undo what had been undone"...an operation was performed. It has taken some years for the operation to attain the standpoint of success. Among your many friends perhaps you know one writer who'd like to do the ANN COOPER HEWITT story. I'm supposed to know how to write, but this story is too godam close to me. And, it's dynamite! Unless done right. After the fiasco in California I said to hell with it, drew my money from the bank, cashed in some bods, (the parole was dropped in 6 months) and we came to Mexico. We live on a ranch, 15 minute drive south of Monterrey. Orange groves. Do all right. And happy. Anyhow, I am a subscriber to the J-A, and an ardent reader of the right-hand column on page 31. Missed you while you were in "Rhome" doing what the "Rhaomans" do...If you remember me, a note would be most appreciated. I f you know a boy or a gal who can write the story, swell! And if you've really forgotten me, you're OLD! Cordially". FRANK "RODEO ROY" NICHOLSON was a California disc jockey, best known for his infamous marriage to heiress Ann Cooper Hewitt, daughter of inventor Peter Cooper Hewitt, who created the first mercury vapor lamp, the first vacuum tube amplifier and many other devices. The marriage, which Nicholson describes in this letter, took place one day after the death of his first wife, and with the quick "honeymoon" to Florida, authorities were suspicious of the dubious circumstances. New York journalist LOUIS SOBOL (1896-1986) wrote a gossip-oriented entertainment column for 40 years, initially focused on the Broadway stage but also covering film and TV personalities for the New York Journal American. His books include The Longest Street, a Broadway memoir and Along the Broadway Beat. He retired in 1967. In 1947, Sobol, Earl Wilson of the New York Post and Abel Green, the editor of Variety, appeared in Copacabana, Groucho Marx's first solo film without his brothers. Sobol had again appeared as a reporter with Wilson and with Walter Winchell in College Confidential (1960). Normal mailing folds. Light surface creases. Corners rounded and creased. Staple punctures in top margin. Fragile. Otherwise, fine condition.
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