A lot of you readers will be aware that the lady named above once lived in Carrollton and started a Collectors Club for Susan. She had a lot of readers and put out a newsletter a few times a year - all in Susan's honour.
I believe this was for over six years up until December 1991 or thereabouts. I do have copies of these and thought you would be interested in the following which M/s Thomas wrote :-
When West Georgia College had the 3-day Susan Hayward Film Festival in the Summer of 1989, I met a man who was a friend of Susan's and her Opthamologist here (he still had a practice in a town 25 miles from Carrollton in 1989). I had the opportunity to talk to him at that time and since I am extremely nearsighted, one of the first things I asked him was just how near-sighted Susan was. He said that she was extremely nearsighted and that nearsightedness to the degree she had and I have, is hereditary. Susan had prescription glasses and Dr. Jenkins said she also had contact lenses when she lived here (she had hard contacts because soft ones weren't out yet) -- but he said she couldn't wear her contacts very long at a time because of her degree of nearsightedness. Dr. Jenkins also said that Susan had contacts in different colors and would use them to change eye color in some of her movies. I've never been able to detect this from watching her movies on TV but it is certainly possible."
I thought you would all be interested to read this as so much has been made of whether or not Susan would acknowledge people or walk past them. I am also very shortsighted and had my first pair of contact lenses when living in Montana in 1959. I was fortunate enough to be able to wear them all day and evening and did so for the following forty years!! I believe what Dr. Jenkins said about hereditary with eyesight is true - it certainly was in my family but I was very fortunate my three children didn't follow my genes!
I don't believe the writing about changing eye color in her movies to be true
but maybe someone has noticed something?? I just wish I had known of that Club as I would certainly have joined - I think there were over 60 fans at that time but I never saw anything about it in print in the U.K. There were a couple of members from the U.K. - I think Scotland and London but don't know how they got to hear of it.
Thanks for this information, Trish...now I don't feel so bad about how "I thought"..she felt about me, when I met her and followed them to the limo, after the JOEY BISHOP SHOW. I thought she was giving me a 'dirty look' because of MY FOOLISH MOUTH comment. (duuaahhh...I still think of myself as being so 'stupid' to have said..."Miss Hayward, I'm so sorry about the 'bad reviews' on BACK STREET.) It was still a 'odd and stupid' thing to come out of my mouth.
I re-live this 'meeting'...a lot! And I think of ALL the wonderful things I could have said, but they were on their way to the limo and it just came out (the very first thing)..while she was signing the autograph.
She stood right next to me, in the hallway, for quite a few minutes..and all I could do was stare at her like a 'dope'. How do you start a conversation with someone you admire so much? I'm sure others would not have been as dumb as me and would have said something when I had the chance.
Instead...I was still thinking of how much 'I' had wanted to be that 'handsome guy' in the nice dress suit who had gotten to her first (right after the show was over as she was going into her dressing room)...and was invited in to the dressing room..by Susan..to chat! Instead...we (5 people) perched ourselves on the staircase, next to the dressing room and...stared in as Susan kicked off her shoes and started to chat with the young handsome guy. THEN..SUSAN saw us on the steps and asked the guy to..close the dressing room door. I COULD HAVE DIED!!
BUT...the when they were through talking...Susan came out into the hallway and stood...no more than 5 feet away from me...and was looking down the empty hallway, a big smile on her face. She was either 'recalling' something or just happy about the way the show had gone. There was NO ONE by us...until DON RICKLES came out of his dressing room. BUT..I still could not speak to her..just stared and felt awful about being on those steps.staring in at them in the dressing room.
WELL...it is all over and can never be changed...but I now don't feel she was 'glaring' at me as we followed (Me and my girlfriend)..to the limo. Then..as she got in the limo, I thought she was 'glaring' at me, for saying what I had said. As far as Susan and the couple who came to pick her up went, I think they thought we could have just been 'two personnel' working for ABC and was 'suppose' to make sure they got to the limo with no problems.
I could..FOLLOW HER...bur..I COULDN'T TALK TO HER...(dumb, dumb...Errol..)
Never mind Errol - at least you managed to see Our Legend and so close too!
I don't think anyone else who writes on this Board had ever seen her. You have such wonderful memories of her and of seeing MAME too of course. I do envy you.
What was that line? "I have enough memories to last me all the days of my life."
We could make it a quiz - anyone know the answer? From one of Susan's films of course.
Back to the subject matter - I know from long experience that when you are extremely shortsighted you rely on sound to know who people are but it is pretty difficult when you are yards from them. I always think of the story of Marsha Hunt seeing Susan in a hardware store and thinking she had been snubbed!! Probably not, who knows but at least people can see Susan in a different light when they know and understand she wasn't seeing them clearly.
Hope everything is going well with your stage work this summer and you are enjoying life.
I don't believe I ever knew about Dianne Thomas's Collectors Club for Susan Hayward!! What a nice thing to do---and sad that it's gone.
I loved reading the "Nearsighted" story (do you have any more issues that Dianne wrote?), and I could identify so well, when at 14, I discovered that despite perfect-sighted vision on both sides of our family--my twin and I were the only ones 'honored' enough to receive the "Mr. McGoo" award!
Not a candidate for hard OR soft lenses, I spent much of my life casually dangling a pair of specs from my hand. ("Oh, THESE things??? Naw, I just like to swing 'em around.....") (Does anyone know if Marsha Hunt is still with us? Maybe she'd like to start a club???)
Funnily enough, I once saw a photo of Susan, seated at a a fancy table setting....and there they were...half out of sight...her eye glasses--ready for any necessary emergencies!
Anyway, Trish, thanks so much for this article from Dianne's newsleter--it's always great to read new info. on Susan!! I knew she was nearsighted--but I never knew that her friend in Carrolton cared about Susan enough to share a newsletter with us!
You certainly do share my fate of reliving over and over the worst possible interpretation of what some person we care about must have been 'breathing-fire' over due to a (non-existent) 'slip-up' we're certain we made in a personal encounter!!
You know, Errol, you were so far down the hall from Susan, that the actual 'scowl' you saw her casting towards you, was no doubt more of an "Oh for heaven's sake, my glasses aren't in my hand!! Did I leave them near that handsome fellow standing near my office door??"
For people like us, who spend so much nervous time wanting to impress our favorite person with, in your case, say 'an air of savoir faire'.......or in my case, 'the wild, 'madcap' ditties of a droll Dorothy Parker' (!!)---land up SO tongue-tied---that we can be lucky to get out a HELLO!
Well, Errol, I know this is a difficult time for you, having lost your half--brother, and all I can say is that I hope that all the crazed excitement that always surrounds the theater will help dull the pain for you in all the activities that must get done--and that the joy of your performances will bring you some happiness, as you start to heal.
Take care of yourself and talk to you soon,
I am afraid you misunderstood my letter re Dianne Thomas. She was NOT a friend of Susan's, just a fan like us who started up a club for Susan and put out a newsletter every few months - members wrote and posted their ideas and feelings and knowledge of Susan. M/s Thomas moved to Carrollton many years after Susan passed away. The Club finished up when she moved to Florida and got married.
Thanks for the 'check-up' on my 'mix-up'! (The age-difference alone, between Dianne and Susan would have been quite a difference considering how long ago Susan left Carrollton!) It is interesting, though, that Dianne landed up in Carrollton---and then went on to Florida, to marry! Tho', of course, Susan didn't leave for Florida to marry.
I'll bet Dianne's 'Susan fans' were very sad to see the newsletter end. I don't suppose anyone besides Dianne could grant permission for our Board to see any further newsletters on Susan? She seemed to have been very well-liked during her years with Eaton in Carrollton. But knowing Susan, I cannot imagine her wishing ANY part of that personal newsletter made open to others (except for amusing tales like the eyeglasses!)
Trish, I remember Dianne Thomas and her newsletter. I don't remember how I came across the fact that she had a newsletter, probably in a fan magazine. I just have no idea. I always looked forward to receiving it. I even had a write-up in one of them. I don't remember what I wrote about or even how long it is, but I remember Dianne included it. Do you remember seeing my little article? That must have been about 25 years ago.
I don't remember when the newsletters stopped or maybe I didn't renew my subscription for some dumb reason. I don't have any of the newsletters anymore I don't think unless they are boxed away in some of my boxes marked Susan Hayward. I must go through them.
I had wondered what happened to Dianne. I did remember that she was moving to Carrollton which I thought was kind of odd unless she was planning writing a book or articles for her newsletter. I didn't know that she had gotten married and moved to Florida.
P.S. I don't think I was ever in the Collector's Club. If I was , I can't remember. Gosh, getting old is terrible.. ha
I was a member of the SH Collectors Club back in the day and,like Ginger,
have always wondered whatever happened to Dianne Thomas. I also found it rather odd that she would move to Carrollton-almost like carrying being a fan to an extreme. Nevertheless,in 1989,when that 3 day event took place
in Carrollton I really wanted to go.....never mind that I had four children
and a job! I always have regretted not going-missed opportunity.
By the way Trish, in a recent post you mentioned that you had visited the
house in which Susan died and also met up with her granddaughter Ally in
New York-how did these events come about? I've also wondered if Nadia,who
was quite young when Susan died,has any memory of her. Greg's son Chris
was,I think,a little older-does he? I read that Susan had always wanted
a daughter,so if that's true,she must have been happy when Nadia was born.
Regarding your queries on your letter, would you like to give me your e.mail address when I can answer in detail?
You said you couldn't remember being in the Collector's Club - this was just the name that Dianne gave the newsletter as she didn't want to use the word "fan club" - she thought it wasn't appropriate as Susan had passed away.
The members voted for this name. They all paid a yearly subscription. For anyone else interested in reading this (and who wasn't a member) the letter was just a couple of pages of typing, sometimes three pages (both sides) with different information and photographs of Susan and particularly addresses where people could buy videos of Susan (this was before dvd's) - some were pretty expensive - up to $50, and there were also photos for sale. Three authors on Susan were members: Gene Arceri, Doug McLelland and Kim Holsten oh and Eduardo Moreno who actually joined a group one weekend to meet up in Carrollton to celebrate Susan's birthday. There was a picture of about a dozen members taken by the grave.
The club finished abruptly, as far as I was told with no-one knowing what had happened to Dianne Thomas. I found the answer to the mystery when I visited Susan's grave many years later and the Secretary at the Church, Pat told me Dianne had got married and left Carrollton to live in Florida.
So sorry-thought the e-mail was on my post;it is now!
I just sent you(I hope) a long email in response to yours. As I was
about to close,my computer froze and after pushing several buttons
to no avail,I gave up and just sent it as it was. I also saved it-
I think. Please let me know if you received it..... I HATE COMPUTERS!!!!
Received safely - this has happened to me too!