MICHAEL DUKAKIS, ROBERT REDFORD…AND ME

Yeah, that’s right. Michael Dukakis, Robert Redford and me. I know it sounds strange but we all kind of hung out together once. Seriously. Okay, it’s a bit of a stretch so allow me to explain. It was the Fall of 1988, a presidential election year, and I was a student at New Jersey’s Mercer County Community College, long before I even thought about writing Lee Marvin Point Blank. I had made friends with the guy who ran the school paper, although I wasn’t on staff. When I told him about a rally for Dukakis that was scheduled on the campus of nearby Rutgers University, he asked me if I would cover it. I said I would and even took some pictures. He also said I could write it up any way I wanted so I did it as a sort of first person essay. Oh, and the presence of Robert Redford to a lowly New Jersey rally was a pleasant and welcomed surprise.
I tried to be as impartial as possible but I was an obvious supporter of Michael Dukakis. In fact, I canvassed for him door-to-door during the election in my neighborhood of East Windsor. Yeah, Bush, Sr. won the election and even took New Jersey, too. However, out of curiosity, I checked the precinct numbers after the election and in our little hamlet of East Windsor, where I canvassed, Dukakis won. Moral of the that little anecdote is not about bragging. Just wanted to point out there’s more that anyone can do in a democracy than merely vote. Just saying…
Anyway, below is my write-up of the Michael Dukakis rally where he and Redford and I all hung out one day. Well, kinda. I recently rediscovered the article and in reading it, numerous typos aside, I think it’s actually not too bad. Judge for yourself, of course. As for Mike and Bob, I still don’t know why they haven’t answered my call for a reunion in the last 30 years…..
– Dwayne Epstein

Share

RARE IMAGES OF LEE IN POSTWAR WOODSTOCK, NEW YORK

POSTWAR WOODSTOCK (and more!)
Lee Marvin would be the first to say he never had a hometown, having grown up and gone to school all over the Eastern seaboard, from New York and New Jersey, to New Hampshire and Florida.  He would also admit that if he had any roots at all, it would be in the upstate region of Woodstock, New York. His parents gave him and his brother, Robert  memorable summers when they were children. After the war, following short horrific stints in both Manhattan and Chicago (Lee Marvin: Point Blank), the family settled in Woodstock where they took up residence for the rest of their lives. In fact, Lee’s mother Courtenay, father Monte, and brother Robert all lived in the Bearsville home until their deaths.
It was in Woodstock, while working as a plumber’s apprentice for Adolph Heckeroth, that Lee discovered his true calling. What he did until that time can be seen below….

chicago-1In Chicago after the war and still sporting the mustache he grew in the Pacific, Lee enjoys a night with one of the many local women he dated through the years.

fishing-1

For most of his life, Marvin enjoyed two past times since childhood. One was fishing, that grew to include deep sea fishing off the coasts of Mexico and Australia when he got older, to another manly pursuit….

deerhunt-1He loved to go hunting as shown above, which once resulted in a a comical run-in with his boss, Adolph Heckeroth (Lee Marvin Point Blank, p. 59)

Share

ADMIRAL FARRAGUT NAVAL ACADEMY, TOMS RIVER, NJ

Admiral Farragut Naval Academy
Lee Marvin
often bragged that he was kicked out of dozens of schools when he was growing up. The number is probably an exaggeration but it was an impressive amount, nevertheless. Below is an extremely rare photo of the very young Lee Marvin (most likely a gangly 14 or 15 year-old at the time) during his short stint at the Admiral Farragut Naval Academy in Toms River, New Jersey. Marvin’s feelings about the school can be seen as writ large on his face, even though the blown up image is somewhat blurred. The picture was taken in the brutal New Jersey winter by a fellow classmate for which Lee would then return the favor so both boys would have a picture to send home to their parents. Most likely the camera was a present to do just that.

The institution still exists and chances are the current administration may not even be aware of the future WWII-era Marine and Oscar-winner having been in their midst. There’s also a good reason why as explained in Lee Marvin: Point Blank. He did keep the uniform, though….

Admiral Farragut Naval Academy

A reluctant Lee Marvin in uniform in military school in New Jersey.

Share