Herbert Woodward Martin


                                                                        for: George and Jan

My  mother was undeniably an amazing beauty herself,  given the  opportune  chance,  she might
have astounded herself on the celluloid screen with dreams and fantasies built all around her, but
she chose otherwise,  and in the wake,  left me a parcel with  photographs  and a signed letter to
later be  discovered  when she  passed  on to the  antique  appraiser of our lives.  She,  no doubt,
hoped he would have extraordinary news  about the considered  fortune that could come my way
unexpectedly.  In the course of his  evaluation  he  tells  me  I  will  not become  a  newly minted
millionaire,  but he assures me of a million memories.  The letter and photos are all signed by the
screen legend's  mother and that the  myth  of her dashing  blonde hair was all concocted by The
Movie  Studios to make her presence a vast  and  memorable one on the silver screen.  Her name
was  Jean  Harlow,  and  at  the  moment  the  letter was written,  she  was  also  dying from the
chemicals the  movie  scions  had fed her to make her and her hair a lasting vision of desire.  Her
mother had signed the letter and the photographs affectionately Jean Harlow, and although what
I possessed was clearly a forgery,  I still held in my hands sure memories of a time and presence
addressed to my mother who had an astounding beauty all her own.

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