Clan Clave 1994
CLAN CLAVE ‘94 GONE
BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
MEMORIES LINGER LONG
From the first day of the week, JMIFC Club members from all over the world arrived in Hollywood, to pay tribute to Jeanette MacDonald. For all the many years when members have gathered for the annual Clan Claves, we have spoken of the meeting of old friends making new ones; all the sight—seeing; the viewing of Jeanette’s feature films. TV shows, short subjects; and all the socializing which ends with the glorious banquet, but we have failed to add to all of this that the number one reason for the past 32 years of the "Gathering of the Clan" was/is and always will be:
The ‘94 meeting ran along as it usually does—with the Open House, which brings most of the group together in a crowded two rooms at the Best Western Hollywood Motel. The one new situation was the showing of rare shorts and films which were on video and shown simultaneously in two rooms on two TVs. Of course, the group gathered at Jeanette’s crypt in the Freedom Mausoleum at Forest Lawn on Sunday. John Hadley was the spokesman for the group at the crypt and David Hollowell placed the bouquet of roses. These roses represented all of the roses which were presented by Club members to Jeanette after each concert and other appearances.
The President’s Reception went off on schedule, as usual, with a coming and going of members—and all enjoying the tea table hosted by Jan Mood, Judy Dean and their team.
During the week, the group viewed many of the films of Jeanette -- many with Nelson Eddy and Gene Raymond. The really big highlight of the week was the time spent at the Director’s Guild of America. Viewing two films: SWEETHEARTS and SMILIN’ THROUGH there is especially wonderful because the presentation is outstanding with comfortable seats, beautiful decor in their lovely newer building and the films shown on the huge screen.
Thursday found the group standing in the hot sun outside a television studio waiting to attend a taping of the "Mike and Maty" TV show. The show featured Sheri Lewis and Lamb Chop and John Hadley! Yes, our John was victim of the joking of the warm—up fellow. John was a good sport and the whole incident proved just about as funny and entertaining as the regular show. This was quite an experience and the good part was that we learned we wouldn’t want this to be a yearly part of the Clan Clave! Of course, everyone was primed to see the show when it was shown on ABC TV—surprise. surprise! It was never shown as that particular segment was pre-empted. Ah, well, one can say JMIFC members are great sports and it was good to see how a TV show is really filmed.
The week really whizzes by because it seems the day of the banquet always comes before anyone realizes the week is over. We are very fortunate to have the Petite Trianon for the reception and the Grand Trianon at the Regent Beverly Wilshire for the luncheon. This is always a lovely experience with all of the celebrity guests intermingling with the JMIFC members. They are all so gracious to pose for pictures and give autographs. Among the guests were: Mr. and Mrs. Edward Ashley, Mr. and Mrs. William Tuttle, Sybil Jason and her husband Tony Drake, Elinor Donahue and her new husband Lou, Anne Jeffreys and Marvin Paige. And of course—our guest of honor—Gene Raymond.
Receiving his wonderful and most deserved standing ovation—Gene finally succumbed to the years of requests and spoke a little about his own career as well as his life with Jeanette. With his charismatic delivery and sincere warmth, there was not a dry eye in the place.
The whole program was very emotional, and beautiful, beginning with Tessa Williams, accompanied by Libby Kenney, singing Gene s songs and ending with "When I Have Sung My Songs".
Before everyone said good—bye to old friends and new, the grand prize was drawn and Judy Dean was the winner. Can you imagine—Judy won the portrait in 1993! So, Judy is the caretaker and will bring it back to Clan Clave ‘95 to be drawn for again!
Until 1995, everyone waits expectantly to see what will make that Clan Clave special and different. Perhaps it will be special because you are there!!
* * * * * * *
Thank Clara and Tessa for sharing this magical moment with us. Gia and Gio.
Reprint from JMIFC La Petite Comet—Fall 1993—Vol. 57, No. 3.
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