Jeanne’s grandparents (Otto Rudolph Martin and Agnes Franzenbach) on her father’s side (Val Martin) had a beach house in Long Beach, Washington. Jeanne’s “Big Cousin” Bette (daughter of Val’s sister, Frances) spent most of her childhood summers at that beach house. Not sure how often Jeanne went to visit, but the summer of 38 is the only one I’ve found documented so far, at least to this extent.
Notes from the diary of Helen Hussey. Photos from Jeanne’s scrapbook.
Monday July 18, 1939. “Check came by Special Delivery for Jeanne to go to Portland, Oregon.”
Tuesday July 19, 1938 “To the bank and cashed Jeanne’s check. Bought her ticket. She got her permanent – end curl – pageboy.”
Wednesday July 20, 1938 “Got a Special Delivery Air Mail from Tony. She and Junior will see Jeanne in San Francisco.”
Thursday July 21, 1938 “Jeanne left today at 3:23. Hated to see her go. Special Delivery Airmail from Carola begging me to go. Wish I could.”
Friday July 22, 1938 “Tony phoned from San Francisco to tell me Jeanne stopped over until tonight.”
Sunday July 24, 1938 “Jeanne arrived safely in Portland, Oregon.”
Monday July 25, 1938. “Got two cards from Jeanne.”
Tuesday July 27, 1938 “Card from Jeanne.”
Wednesday July 28, 1938 “Letter from Jeanne. Weather doesn’t sound too pleasant up there.”
Jeanne with her “end curl – pageboy” haircut. “Mom” was Jeanne’s grandmother, also known as “Mutti.” Grandfather was known as “Dad.”
“Getting the Town Car started.”
“Stan the ladies man and the Town Car.”
Monday August 1, 1938 “Got two letters from Jeanne Today.”
Tuesday August 2, 1938 “Jerry over in the morning asking about Jeanne. Letter from Jeanne.”
“Friday August 5, 1938 “Letter from Carola. Jeanne staying longer.”
Sunday August 8, 1838 “Two letters from Jeanne.”
“Mary and Dorothy in front of the Long Beach Motel”
Monday August 11, 1938 “Irene and I took a bus to Santa Monica and saw Rudolph Valentino in Son Of The Sheik. Jeanne very prominent in 2 scenes.” After Val and Helen Martin moved from Santa Rosa and Northern California to Southern California, they landed jobs in Hollywood in the film industry. (Jeanne was born September 22, 1923 in Long Beach, California). The 1928 phone directory lists Val as “director, actor.” Apparently however his livelihood was mostly related to set dressing and perhaps Extra work. Born Rudolph Otto Martin, his childhood name was Otto. As an adult he went by Val, according to Helen, because he liked and emulated Rudolph Valentino. Helen worked in Make Up. Helen and Jeanne were extras in Rudolph Valentino’s Son of the Sheik. As Helen noted, Jeanne caught a couple of prominent camera angles in that film.
“Big Cousin Bette” was Val’s niece, and daughter of Frances Martin who was sister of Val Martin, Carola Martin, and Bob Martin. Val Martin died in tragic circumstances in 1936 which this blog will cover in more detail later on. So this trip to Long Beach was still very much in the wake of what was the most tragic event in Jeanne’s young life.
Friday August 12, 1938 “Received two letters from Jeanne.”
Monday August 15, 1938 “Letter from Jeanne.”
Wednesday August 17, 1938 “Letter from Jeanne, staying two more weeks.”
“Letter(s) from Jeanne” Friday the 19, and Wednesday the 24, 1938.
“Uncle Bob” Robert Lewis Martin, brother of Val, Carola, and Frances.
Lanes Redwood Flat “The Beauty Spot” on the Redwood HIghway, California, Route U.S. 101, Piercy, Mendocino County, CA.
Monday August 29, 1938 “Jeanne home at 2 PM. Surprised us – I didn’t expect her until the end of the week. She looks very tired and had been sick on the bus.”
Mom and “Big Cousin Bette” remained in contact over the years. Bette moved with her husband, Robert Clarno, and their four children to San Diego in 1952. I remember going with Mom to visit Bette’s home. My recollection was of a very nice two story house in the vicinity of the Mount Soledad and Torrey Pines road region of La Jolla. I recall lots of kid’s activity options at that house.