Tuesday, February 12, 2008

CHARLES FERNLEY FAWCETT: Last of his Generation

Ecce Homo!

Charles Fernley Fawcett thirsted, hungered and lusted for Life. The Cosmic Forces gave much to CFF, but they wantonly took a great deal away throughout his long and fascinating life. He cried silently and laughed heartily at his fortunes and misfortunes. To his stoic nature, they both appeared as imposters.

The artist and painter Vincent van Gogh also lusted for life. But his passions burned quickly and consumed him in absinthe, opium and a persistent wish for Thanatos, finally ending in that greatest of violent acts committed against oneself- suicide.

Unlike van Gogh and countless other restless and self-destructive gifted individuals, Charlie held on to all the threads of life savoring every drop, breath, and sigh that came his way as if it were his last. He did all this with grace, never ending curiosity and everlasting joy.

There are very few men and women left in this world in which I can allow my sentiments and emotions to flow freely. Charlie was/is the last of his generation. I define this in reference to all those gallant men and women who risked their lives and limbs to help their fellow human beings. They had no thought for recompense, unlike the high priced mercenaries now supposedly “assisting” people in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, etc. Charlie and beings like him had ideals, hope, faith and charity. They had hearts and they used them. Death had stalked them for so long that they brought exhilaration into Life.

“Give me Life, we have seen too much death.“

No one was privy to more deep dark secrets than he was. Tycoons, Slave masters, War Masters, World Leaders, Courtesans, Warriors, Spymasters and spooks and crooks all confided in Charlie. They had to tell someone of their sinister deeds. Charlie would never, never tell. All the world’s secrets, including mine died with Charlie and will be entombed with him.

Hollywood? I speak of the state of mind more than the place. There was little or nothing he did not know behind the glitter of the glamorous litter, the horror of the wretched beginnings of some of the world’s greatest film makers, the miserable work houses they escaped from where all received numbered tattoos on their wrists as a means of identification. This pre-dated the German National Socialist camps by 15 to 20 years and was done in England, Poland and France. Some came from horrifying shetls in Poland, Byelorussia, Ukraine and Russia, where they faced not only the cruelty of the Christian inhabitants but also that of their own Talmudist Rabbis. Others had sold their beautiful bodies for a meal. Still others had cheated, stolen, and killed to survive. Never was there a peep from Charlie.

Why? I think it was because Charlie saw the good in the most vile and evil of individuals. Mind you, he did not imagine it; it was there because those people bared the bits of their solar nature only to Charlie. Over the years this is the most likely explanation I can think of.

“Darling I would like you to meet so and so… he/she is so nice and lovely.”

“But Charles, I read somewhere that they defrauded people of millions, dealt in armaments or are under investigation for the murder of…”

“Don’t close your mind and heart before you meet them. You don’t have to wed or bed them darling, just meet them.”

I never found the balls to tell Charlie that some of the people he defined as “nice” made the word monster or fiend seem insignificant.

This may explain why Charlie never published his memoirs. There was no way that Charlie was ever going to hurt anyone with his revelations. He was too pure and limpid for that. It must be said; there was no price a publisher could set which would have ever tempted him. He could and would not be bought. Full Stop. End of Story.

Charlie together with Varian Fry and other daring and eccentric Americans saved two thousand Judaic intellectuals in France. The Shoah was spared them. In 2006, he and five of his companions in those dangerous times were honored as Righteous Men at Yad Vashem.

He married seven women on paper so that they could immigrate to America. One of these women sought out his wealthy relatives and hit them up for money. Never a mean or nasty word from Charlie’s lips.

Don’t ever think for a minute that CFF was a fool. He was aware of everyone’s faults and weaknesses and vices, including his own. Again with age I must say that he followed the teachings of Jesus, the Buddha and Mohammed. I don’t know if he ever belonged to a particular church or denomination. I never asked. It did not matter. As with true Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians, Charlie practiced true Love and Tolerance.

One cannot talk about CFF without mentioning his extraordinary wife, April. Would he ever have married a bimbo? A simple and silly woman? One with an IQ in the nineties? Bloody hell No!

April was part owner of Models One, the well-known and successful modeling agency in Europe. She was the financial expert of the entire operation. April is every inch as fascinating as Charlie, perhaps with a great sense of the practical added into the equation. As a fellow Aries like me (indeed we share the same birth date) she is strong willed and brave.

I know she loved Charlie deeply and he reciprocated her feelings for him profoundly. I doubt Charlie would have lived to enjoy life till the age of ninety-two without April’s devotion and care. By that I don’t mean to imply that she wiped his nose. When one is committed to someone, care is automatic. She and Charlie both took their marriage vows seriously.

How did I meet this remarkable man? It was because of a relative who became one of Sukarno’s wives. I think my aunts and uncles had met Charlie during his peregrinations in the Far East, long before WWII broke out.

I was a bright and beautiful thirteen year old in my junior year in high school when my Auntie Amelia introduced me to Charlie in Beverly Hills. We had come during the summer break. He was larger than life. Tall, the bluest eyes, prematurely white locks, dimpled smiles and the softest, sexiest and mellifluous voice tinged with an upper class Virginia drawl. He was unaware of the Shakti he exuded. Perhaps he knew? He was an actor after all, but he was not self-conscious about it. I was mesmerized and made a mental note to look him up again when I was older. Karma and Dharma would see to it that our paths would cross again and often, almost to the end of his long days.

About Charlie in Afghanistan and Pakistan, I am going to write a separate essay. My readers may have encountered both Charlie and April in my blog on “Charlie Wilson’s War.”

The world is a much poorer place without Charles Fernley Fawcett. I thank God and the Cosmic Forces that my family and I were given an opportunity to return the friendship he gave us, no questions and no favors asked. The words Requiescat in Pacem - May you rest in peace are inadequate for one such as Charlie. His restless spirit lives on in the atmosphere and in the stratosphere. I don’t doubt that he is active in the music of the spheres, but a part of him will pine for his soul mate - April. Sorry about that Beloved Friend. We would all like to have April around for a long time, Inshaallah - God willing.

For a list of the movies he was in: http://imdb.com/name/nm0269485/

For more on who he saved in WWII: http://lipstadt.blogspot.com/2008/02/ask-not-for-whom-bell-tolls- death-of.html

For more photos of Charlie ... and a nice biography: http://www.varianfry.org/fawcett_en.htm

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for that beautiful and insightful remembrance of Charlie. One can see and hear him still, brought to life in your words. - Jeanne Rejaunier


Isabel Van Fechtmann

Create Your Badge