You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.


The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 7/11/2015 Liz Smith
DEFAULT © Provided by The Huffington Post DEFAULT

"IF YOU reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees," said Kahlil Gibran.
•BACK in 2004, Maureen O'Hara was publicizing her memoir, Tis Herself. The book was good, although O'Hara did seem intent on settling some old scores, especially with the director John Ford, with whom she had worked several times.
In the book, Maureen recounted a tale of walking into Ford's office unannounced to find him in what could only be described as romantic embrace with a younger male actor. She did not name the actor.
Many people assumed the object of Ford's affection was the director's favorite star, John Wayne. When O' Hara appeared at a meet-and-greet book signing in NYC, the fearless scribe Gregory Speck piped up: "Wasn't the actor you found kissing John Ford actually (dramatic pause) John Wayne?"
The crowd let out a little gasp and every head shot forward. Would the famously fiery O'Hara descend from the podium and knock Mr. Speck on the head? Would she verbally lash him? After all, Duke Wayne was her dear friend and frequent co-star.
Instead, O'Hara actually blushed and said, "You know, I wish I'd never put that story in the book. BUT, I can tell you it was definitely not John Wayne!"
Later, Speck gingerly presented his copy of Maureen's book to be signed -- still a bit apprehensive, would she use it as a weapon? The beautiful actress sweetly scrawled her autograph and then said, in a whisper: "To your question, actually it was (dramatic pause) Tyrone Power! He was the most beautiful man in Hollywood."
Interesting! Power was rumored to be bi-sexual. Then, again, what male star then and now isn't supposed to be sexually ambidextrous? But I must say, I'd never heard a whisper about Ford, until Maureen O'Hara's revelation. Maybe I just wasn't talking to the right people. I thought a little less of Maureen for including that story, especially the anonymity of the other participant, which led to rampant speculation. Tyrone Power, after all, had died in 1959 and Ford in '73. Maureen was in no danger of a lawsuit.
And it reminded me of Esther Williams extremely colorful autobiography, in which among other things, she "outed" her one-time lover Jeff Chandler as a cross-dresser. Nobody, but nobody who ever knew Chandler had the slightest inkling of this, and Esther came in for a good deal of criticism. Many of her other stories, though less scandalous, had the patina of embellishment.

Esther did love to chat so! I recall an afternoon spent with her, while she was promoting "That's Entertainment III." It was at her home in Hollywood, and even though one reporter had passed me by, looking exhausted and said, "Be prepared!" I really wasn't. She was tremendous fun, and a great looking woman (she still swam every day.) But ask a question, get a pageant! Each tale became bigger, bolder, more MGM, as the afternoon waned and twilight fell.

She also didn't mind a drink or two. Or three. And loose lips might have sunk ships if I'd reported everything she said. However, the eventually infamous Jeff Chandler story was not included that day. It was a raucous four or five hours (yes!) and after it was over, I felt like I'd watched every movie ever made at MGM. Certainly all of hers!
I still have my doubts about Jeff Chandler in a polka dot sun dress or Tyrone Power in the arms of John Ford. But those were the stories Maureen and Esther told, and they stuck to them.
•Astounding! Hope you didn't miss the George Melloan article in the Wall Street Journal this very week (Nov. 4th on page A17) comparing Donald Trump to Herbert Hoover, in that the aspiring presidential hopeful is described as follows: "He is one of the most ardent opponents of free trade ever to seek high office in the U.S."
This would, I would think, have added to Hoover's presiding over the worst U.S. Depression in history.
Melloan says Trump's cited tariffs levied, like Hoover's, would cause world trade to shut down. That once caused world money supply to tighten, aggravating deflationary tendencies everywhere. Hoover ignored advice from1000 U.S. economists. The declining global trade set the U.S. to suffering a decade of hard times. "No Republican would man the Oval Office for another 20 years."

Melloan writes:

the well-being of the American people is predicated on the smooth flow of global trade and capital. Almost every product Americans buy, including homes, is a composite of parts made in many places in the U.S. and abroad....Apparently the only prominent American who doesn't understand that is Donald Trump. He seems to think, as did many people 85 years ago to their sorrow, that the mutually beneficial exchange of goods and services across borders is a zero-sum game, indeed a form of warfare. Some of us have assumed that the hotel and casino tycoon's populist demagoguery will ultimately blow itself out. But what if it doesn't?

Author Melloan is writing a book on the Great Depression to be published by Simon & Schuster. Lets hope he doesn't have to write a P.S.
•I WAS just astonished at another thing in the WSJ -- a book review of Matt Ridley's The Evolution of Everything, coming from Harper. This tells how Darwin's theory is self-emergent all around us. Change happens from the bottom-up in nature... it occurs in everything from genes, morality, culture, the economy, technology, the mind, personality, education, leadership, religion, money and the Internet."
The writer says, "Far more than we like to admit, the world is to a remarkable extent a self-organized, self-changing place. " He points to the fact that geese arrange themselves to form a V in the sky... termites build cathedrals without architects... bees make hexagonal
honeycombs without instruction, etc."
I've got to get this book. Whether you call it God, a spiritual being, or just "nature" -- this is a remarkable work.

More from Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon