Monday, May 31, 2010
Rondo K. Hatton was the only child born to Stewart Price and Emily Zarring Hatton (both of which were born in Missouri and were Teachers) on April 22, 1894 in Hagerstown, Maryland. The family moved several times during Rondo's youth, to Hickory, North Carolina, and to Charles Town, West Virginia, and at last relocated to Tampa, Florida where he spent his high school years. The Family moved to Florida to work in a family owned business. Rondo was a popular student and a good athlete, especially in football. Following his father's death, Hatton, his mother, and his younger brother Stewart moved in with his maternal grandmother in Tampa. There he obtained work as a sportswriter for the local newspaper. He would join the Florida National Guard and fought in the Mexican Border War and in France in World War I. Rondo was exposed to Mustard Gas while serving in France and was hospitalized with lung injury which eventually led to a medical discharge and a consigned to a pension. After he was discharged he returned to Florida and became a reporter for the Tampa Tribune. On April 15, 1926 Rondo Married Elizabeth Immell James. Somewhere along this point Rondo developed an ailment known a s acromegaly, it was thought to be due to the Mustard Gas Exposer. Rondo and Elizabeth were divorced on April 15, 1926, it is thought to be due to his acromegaly. Rondo had been reported to be voted the handsomest boy in his High School, eventually became severely disfigured by the disease.
In 1930 while still in Tampa, Rondo was covering the filming of 'Hell Harbor' for his paper and was noticed by director Henry King. King offered Rondo a part in the film 'Hell Harbor'. On September 29, 1934 Rondo married Mabel Housh. In 1936, Rondo and Mabel headed for Hollywood, with the acromegaly (enlarged hands, feet, facial features and internal and external soft tissues), he landed small parts as 'The Leper' in 'The Moon and Sixpence', the 'Hunchback' in 'Sleepy Lagoon' and 'a contestant in an ugly-man contest' in 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'. In 1944, Rondo got the role as 'Hoston 'The' Creeper' in the Sherlock Holmes film 'The Pearl of Death'. This role came after almost a decade in Hollywood. With the role as 'The Creeper', Universal saw potential as a horror film star. Rondo's career only last two more years and he starred in 'House of Horror and The Brute Man.
Around Christmas 1945 Rondo had a mild heart attack (heart weekness along with diabetes and blindness are common to acromegaly) and seemed to recover, but one month later Rondo suffered a fatal one. Rondo died February 2, 1946 in Beverly Hills, CA of a sever Heart Attack due to his acromegaly at the age of 51. Rondo's body was sent back to Tampa to be buried.
Filmmaker Fred Olen Ray was so interested in Haton's Life that he wrote a very nice article "Rondo Hatton: Monster Man". Also touched by Rondo was Rick Baker (Master Make-up Man). In 1991 while working on 'The Rocketeer" He made actor Tiny Ron have a Hattonesque likensess as homage to 'The Creeper'.
I have always thought that there was so many good films that Rondo could have helped with and probably many that we have never imagined.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The Pawtucket Falls
Pawtucket Falls is the name of a waterfall on the Merrimack River at Lowell, Massachusetts. The waterfall and rapids below it drop a total of 32 feet in a little under a mile,and was an important fishing ground for the Pennacook Indians in pre-colonial times.
This location was used as a benchmark for delineating the Northern boundary of Massachusetts, which was frequently disputed between the Province of Massachusetts Bay and the Province of New Hampshire. The issue was finally resolved in 1740, when it was decreed that the boundary run along a curved line three miles from the river between the ocean and a point three miles north of Pawtucket Falls, where the river begins to turn north. From there a line was to be drawn due west.
The existence of these falls as a barrier to travel along the river necessitated the construction of the Pawtucket Canal in the last decade of the 18th century. In the 1820s, the falls, the canal, and the hydropower they provided lead to the choosing of this site as America's first planned factory town, Lowell. Over the next 30 years, hydropower from the falls exclusively ran Lowell's numerous textile factories via the city's canal system.
To maximize the head the canals provided, increase volume, and regulate flow, a dam was begun at the top of the falls in the 1820s and was enlarged into the 1840s. The final structure, which exists in the same form today, is a stone dam topped with wooden flashings, capable during much of the year of channeling the entire Merrimack into the canal system. The effect being the Pawtucket Falls are dry. When heavy flow tops the dam, the waterfall created, which is a fraction of the total loss in elevation of 32 feet, is referred to as the Pawtucket Falls.
The City of Lowell is the fourth largest city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its strategic location at the intersections of Routes 495, 93 and 3, provides excellent access to all points of interest in Massachusetts as well as New Hampshire and Maine. Commuter rail also provides an easy 40-minute ride to Boston's North Station.
Lowell's National Park is known as one of the greatest tributes to the Industrial Revolution and the textile industry that boomed in New England in the nineteenth century. The rehabilitated mill buildings are further complemented by 2 1/2 miles of trolley