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Ever since Tyrone Power and Linda Christian met last year in Rome, there's been intense curiosity about their plans. Up until now, however, those plans have remained a secret. Here, for the first time, a family friend gets Linda to tell all -- and part of what Linda says is marriage! Whether or not events work out the way Linda expects, Modern Screen prints this document as a matter of great public interest.
The night we said goodbye, in Rome, Tyrone and I want toward Fontana di Trevi, the most beautiful fountain in the city.
We seemed to be a long way from the rest of the world. The water of the fountain was bathed in silvery moonlight. Ty pointed at the many lira coins in the water:
"Sign of luck?" he asked. "Just like good old Chinatown, back home?"
I shook my head.
"Fontana di Trevi has a history, Ty. People throw coins into it if they want to come back here. They say their wishes always come true." For a few minutes we stood in silence.
Ty searched his trouser pockets for two lira coins. He gave me one, looked at me for a second, then threw the other into the glittering fountain.
My heart was beating fast as I watched my coin follow his. I closed my eyes and made a wish.
And now, seven months later, my wish is about to come true. In a few days, Ty and I will be leaving on the maiden flight of a TWA Constellation from Chicago to Lisbon, and from Lisbon, we'll drive on to Rome. We have planned this trip to the smallest detail.
We started to make preparations as soon as Ty found out that he was going to star in Prince of Foxes. It began with Spanish lessons. I was the instructor. While living in Mexico, I had learned to speak the language like a native. Ty was a wonderful pupil.
I shall never forget one afternoon at my house when I tried to explain the word "to break" Usually I have a very easy time acting out the different words, and their meanings. Just like playing charades. But that day I was lost. I broke a pencil into two pieces, right in front of Ty's eyes. The blank expression on his face was discouraging. I broke a second pencil. Ty's face contorted. Two pencils later, his eyes lit up: "To fracture," he burst out proudly.
I shook my head.
"To shatter," after the fifth pencil.
He looked tired now, and a little disheartened. "I know it couldn't be 'to break,'" he said. "That's too simple."
I couldn't keep a straight face any longer, and soon we were both hysterical.
Teaching Ty Spanish was only part of our preparation> To take along the right kind of clothes presented another serious problem. We had only limited space on board the Constellation, and also in the car that was to take us to Rome. Ty decided to take just three suits, and his flying jacket.
I shall take just slacks, blouses, a couple of cotton dresses which can easily be washed and ironed on the trip, one evening dress, and one bathing suit. Which reminds me of another ludicrous story.
Ty informed me that our regular bathing suits would never do in Portugal. "Men have to wear suits with attached tops," he said. "And women aren't allowed on the beaches unless they wear one-piece bathing suits with short skirts."
I was horrified. Where could I get a one-piece bathing suit with an attached skirt? Surely, no one had such a monstrosity in stock anymore. No need to have worried, though. One telegram to mother in Mexico, and by return mail, a black woollen suit with lace trimmings and hip-pockets arrived. Paris fashion 1924. Strictly Clara Bow type.
Our next and rather unpleasant preparation consisted of getting a series of shots and vaccinations. Typhus. Tetanus. Smallpox. But it's all over now.
Ty, Jim Denton (Ty's friend and 20th Century-Fox publicist) and I will leave Chicago, make two stops (in Newfoundland and the Azores), and then land in Lisbon. Mother will fly to Lisbon from Mexico City and meet us at the airport. So will Ariadna, my sister, who is coming from Switzerland. My brothers, Gerry and Eddie, also wanted to join us, but Gerry will have to attend to his import-export business in Mexico, and Eddie, who's only 16, can't stay away from school long enough.
We'll all drive to a small hotel about 20 kilometres outside Lisbon. In 1939 Ty was there. He described it so well, I feel I already know the place. We'll stay two days. Ty and Jim, who always accompanies Ty on his trips, will drive to Madrid in Ty's new convertible which has already been shipped to Portugal.
Mother, Ariadna and I will fly directly to Tangiers, where my sister is going to be married to Ellio Rikki, the well-known engineer and yachtsman. Ellio, who is half Spanish and half Italian, and Ariadna will make their home in Rome, although Ellio's family is living in Tangiers.
date in Madrid . . .
A week later, mother, Ellio, Ariadna and I will fly to Madrid to meet Ty and Jim, and continue our journey together.
Our next stop will be Valencia. There we'll put the car on board ship and take a cruise to Ivetza, a small island on the west coast of Spain. Next, on to Majorca where, Ty says, the bull fights, music and aroma of orange blossoms are equalled nowhere in the world. After spending three or four days on the island, we'll take a ship to Barcelona.
Throughout Spain, Ty will be the guide, since Spain is one of the few European countries I've never seen, but always dreamed about and wanted to visit. I speak the language and have studied their customs. But you don't really know any country until you've lived in it.
As soon as we cross the border into France, Ty and I will change places, and I'll be guide.
Our first French stop will be St. Paul, a picturesque little town not far from the Mediterranean. I have a very special reason for wanting to show it to Ty.
Ariadna and I went there last year. I remember the sunny day when we took a walk through the town. Narrow, cobblestone streets. Iron gates. Small, ancient-looking balconies. Overhanging roofs. Flower-boxes on the windows. An atmosphere of leisure and content.
We came to an old house, with rusty iron gates, and painted shutters. Crouched low to the ground, it was huddled against the mountain skirts. There was something strange and mysterious about it.
"I've got to go inside, Ariadna," I said, as we stopped in front of the wooden door hung on two rusty hinges.
"Oh, no," she gulped, "you can't do that, Linda." But while she waited outside, frightened and protesting, I slowly opened the door, then closed it again quietly, for ear of attracting attention. I don't really know what had come over me, breaking into a strange house, but I couldn't resist.
It was almost dark in the hallway. But through the window on the far side, the garden glowed and the trees were afire with sunshine in the sleepy, vine-covered patio. I could hear the splashing of a fountain.
Tiptoeing past the door on my right, I ascended the winding stone stairway. On the second floor was another door -- partly open. Still on my toes, I pushed the door open all the way.
Suddenly, my heart stopped beating.
Facing the door, in a grandfather's chair, sat a lean, dry woman with ancient eyes, looking as though she'd lived there for a hundred years. Her expression was grave, almost to a point of sorrow. She couldn't have weighed more than 60 pounds.
I don't really have an explanation for my strange behaviour, but when she opened her lips to say something, I screamed and ran downstairs. I don't know what she wanted to tell me, but her lips moved as though she meant "wait" in French.
Once outside the house, I grasped Ariadna's arm, and we headed back to our hotel as fast as we could.
"You'll be all right tomorrow, Linda," Ariadna said. But the next morning she wouldn't go back to the old house with me, and I didn't dare to go alone and to find out who the woman was and what she was doing in that lonesome house all by herself.
I've told Ty about it. I've spoken to him about the mixture of curiosity and fear that drew me back to the house. He has promised to take me.
After St. Paul, we will go to Portofino, a small Italian fishing village on the tip of the peninsula between Genoa and Rapallo. It's a beautiful spot, quiet and restful. The hotels, there are only two, are built in the same style as the buildings the fishermen live in. Two or three stories high. Painted in pastels. In Portofino, automobiles, tourists and running water are practically unheard of.
Eventually my father will meet us in Rome. Henry King, the director of Prince of Foxes will also be there to discuss with Ty the final preparations for the picture.
But Rome will be only the beginning for Ty and me. Once more we will pack our suitcases for the most important journey of our life. The exact date of the departure depends on the shooting schedule of the picture. If it starts immediately after we get to Rome, we'll have to wait three or four months. If we have an extra two weeks, we'll leave immediately.
Our destination -- Florence.
Our purpose -- marriage!
We hope to have the ceremony held in the chapel of my old school, Paggio Imperiali, a little church on top of a hill overlooking the city. From the square in front of the church entrance, you can look down on Florence and the beautiful river, Arno.
I always knew that if I'd ever get married, this would be the place I'd choose.
Both Ty and I are Catholic. According to California law, his divorce from Annabella won't be final until January. But according to the law of the Catholic Church, Ty has never been legally married, because Annabella was divorced previously. The Catholic Church doesn't recognize divorces. This being the case, we hope we'll be allowed to go ahead with our plans. (If something goes wrong, we will, of course, have to wait until Ty's divorce from Annabella becomes final, and we'll most likely be married in the States, in February.)
*We want our marriage very quiet. No expensive trousseau. No champagne. No crowds. Our only guests will be my parents, my sister Ariadna and her husband, and Jim Denton.
I shall wear a simple white dress, the mantilla my mother wore at her wedding, and my grandmother and great-grandmother wore to theirs. My only jewelry will be a golden brooch, the Lady of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico. Last Christmas I gave Ty a little medal of the Lady of Guadalupe also. He has worn this on a chain around his neck ever since.
We are hoping to honeymoon in Switzerland. When we do get back to California, we want a home. And a family, of course. I shall give up my career as an actress, and stick to painting and sculpturing -- and trying to make Ty happy. We feel our private lives have been in the spotlight too long already.
All we want to be from then on is just Mr. and Mrs. Tyrone Power of Beverly Hills, California.
* Webmaster's note: The plans for a "quiet wedding" did not materialize. For more on the wedding,
visit Ty and Linda Get Married; and Ty and Linda Wedding
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