MEMORIAL DAY: THE LAST TIME LEE MARVIN WAS IN UNIFORM

Memorial Day is obviously more than just big sales and backyard barbecues, especially in reference to Lee Marvin. In wracking my brain trying to come up with an appropriate post for this important holiday, it dawned on me that in spite of all that I have already posted here, I can still comb my research files in search of an all encompassing image and possibly discover SOMETHING new.
Indeed I did. When I made my first trip to Lee’s postwar home near Woodstock, New York, while researching Lee Marvin: Point Blank, I pored over old copies of the local paper, The Daily Freeman (still very much in print, by the way). In doing so, I came across the photo below. I Xeroxed it immediately and kept it prominently in my files. When the book was going to press many years later, I sought out the rights to the photo and discovered it belonged to the same newspaper. My publisher and I inquired as to the rights, expecting to pay an exhorbitant fee for publication. Much to our delight, they merely required proper identification: “Photo courtesy of The Daily Freeman, Kingston, NY.” God bless small town newspapers!
The reproduction from the original that’s in the book is much clearer but I thought it appropriate for Memorial Day to post the first version of the image as I saw it years ago. The look of pride and determination on Marvin’s face still comes through. Keep in mind, not ony is this the last time he probably he wore his Class A Marine Corp. uniform, it’s also less than a year after the war had ended in Sept, 1945. Marvin was only one of seven of the men in his outfit to survive. For Memorial Day, I do beleive you can see it on his face. Click the image to enlarge and read the caption…

Memorial Day, 1946 image from The Daily Freeman reprinted in 1971.

Memorial Day, 1946 image from The Daily Freeman reprinted in 1971.

Lee Marvin in close-up from image above.

Lee Marvin in close-up from image above.

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LEE MARVIN’S WOODSTOCK -PART I

In doing research for Lee Marvin Point Blank, I was extremely lucky to eventually win over the confidence of Lee’s older brother Robert, who still lived in the Marvin family home in Woodstock when I met up with him in 1995. Several visits to the Marvin family homestead in upstate New York’s Hudson River Valley yielded some of the best and most exclusive research information of my entire project. It also allowed me a better sense of what Lee Marvin’s life was like as a youngster and after the war. Luckily, I brought my Nikon with me and took some pictures as it really hadn’t changed all that much in the ensuing years, in spite of the famous rock concert….
HUDSONAbove is the legendary Hudson River on the drive up to the Marvin homestead. Below, is the cementary called The Artist’s Colony which is the final resting place of Lee’s mother, Courtenay, who passed suddenly in 1962 of a brain hemmorage…

COURTENAYMARKERAlmost ten years later, Lee’s father, Monte also passed due to complications involving alcoholism and was laid to rest next to Courtenay….

MONTEMARKERIn the small village of Woodstock, the Maverick Theater, where Lee made his profesional acting debut, is long gone but the Village Green, which played an inauspicous role in in his fledgling acting career (Lee Marvin Point Blank, pp. 60-61), is still very much in existence as it was in his day. It would not be hard to imagine him here as he was described in the book….

VILLAGEGREENOn the outskirts of Woodstock, nestled in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, in a small burg called Bearsville, lies the Marvin home….

WDSTK-D1Standing near the front porch of the family home with Robert Marvin shortly after our first in-person meeting. Note the Caskills in the background…..

WDSTK-D2

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