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reprint from Modern Screen; June 1946 issue


THE MARINE LIEUTENANT on the ship which was being towed, into dock at Portland, Oregon, was a very glum chum, indeed. He had let his wife know on what boat he was returning from the South Pacific, and he had assured her - as he had been assured - that the vessel would put to port in San Francisco.

But now, in accordance with military custom the world over, the plans had been changed. The lieutenant was landing a thousand miles north of San Francisco, and he thought gloomily of the little woman standing on the wharf within the Golden Gate and being viewed by the hungry eyes of thousands of other returning servicemen - not one of whom was her eager husband.

Story swapping at the Stork: Civilians Romero and Power both have long service in the Marianas to their credit. Both are now movie making: Cesar in "Three Girls in Blue", Ty in "The Razor's Edge."

Mrs. P. used to visit Ty (here with an officer friend) at the El Centro Marine Corps Air Station, kept his interest in acting so bright he invested, along with Helen Hayes, in the American Repertory Theater.

Tyrone Power was leaning over the rail and taking a generally dim view of the homecoming he had so long anticipated, when his eye was caught by the sight of a gleaming head far below. In addition to her shining hair, this slender number had ample assets to inspire the wolf calls that began to ascend like midnight on the Yukon trail.

"Annabella!" he yelled.

"Oh, Tyrone . . . Tyrone," she called back. She pronounces his name (Tear (as in dew from the eyes, which she had in quantities) and Own (as in Mine, all mine). Tear-own, Tear-own."

LIEUTENANT POWER SCANNED THE DOCK and found a clear spot toward which he might leap. The he looked at the yawning gap of tideland water below. Then he jumped.

Some character on the boat yelled "Geronimo!", which is the paratrooper's cry.

If Ty had been a baseball and Annabella a right fielder, she would have caught him just before the fence. As it was, she was in his arms before he had quite caught his balance, which was unimportant, as her kiss sent him spinning anyway.

A mighty roar of approval went up from the men on the ship. "Kiss her for me, Ty," somebody shouted. "Best scene you've ever played," someone else kidded.

As soon as Ty could get through the red tape, he and Annabella rushed to the airport where the soon-to-be Mr. Power made his first postwar purchase: A pair of airline tickets for Los Angeles.

During the war, while Annabella had appeared in New York in "Jacobowsky and the Colonel," then had gone to France to appear in U.S.O. shows for troops, and while Ty had been working for Uncle Sugar in the Marine Corps, Ty's sister, Anne Hardenberg, had occupied the Powers' Brentwood house with her small daughter, Neeltje. (Don't try to pronounce it; just call her Pixie, as the family does.)

overseas yens ...

Pixie was three-and-one-half-years old and garrulous for her age. Said Mrs. Hardenberg to her daughter, "This is your Uncle Ty and your Aunt Annabella."

Pixie fixed a long look on her Uncle Tyrone. Having never heard the old saw about the pot calling the kettle black, she observed, "That name's too hard for me."

ALSO WAITING AT THE HOUSE in addition to Mrs. Hardenberg and Pixie, was Ty's mother. "Darling!" she said, taking her son into her arms and bursting into the tears that mothers must shed in gladness. After a few moments she backed away and studied the hard-sinewed, tanned man with the steady dark eyes. Almost accusingly she said, "But you look wonderful!"

This sort of thing went on for several days. Ty was interested in very little food other than milk and green salads. If Pixie had been a little older she could have earned her college money simple by following her Uncle Ty around and returning his empty milk bottles.

"If atabrine turned you yellow, it seems to me that the amount of lettuce you've been eating is going to turn you green," observed Annabella. "Isn't there something else you'd like to eat?"

Ty's answer was prompt. "Caviar," he said, rolling his eyes.

It took Annabella several days to find a small cache of prewar, cold water, small-size caviar. Then she and Ty sat before their bar, perched on high stools, ate crackers spread with the precious stuff . . . and drank milk. That is, Tyrone did. Annabella shuddered, sipping her red wine.

Eyes twinkling, voice soft, Annabella said after a bit, "Aside from certain peculiar eating habits, you are a very nice husband, but I must say that at times you present a problem."

"Only one?" asked the head of the house.

"At the moment - one. The property next door has been sold."

"Oh. To anyone we know?" asked Ty.

"To the operators of a girls' school," said Annabella.

TY CLUTCHED THE BAR to prevent himself from falling off the stool. "No!" he yelled.

Annabella only nodded, spread another cracker with caviar and handed it to her husband to placate him.

All of which will explain Mr. Power's next activity: He and the gardener spent days reinforcing the hedge around the Power property, and planting thick new bushes in any portions of the greenery which might have worn thin.

In addition to his horticulture, Ty had other business to attend to: there was the accumulation of income tax to be paid, there was insurance to be brought up to date, and there was work to be done on the script of "The Razor's Edge".

One afternoon he asked Annabella to look up some receipts for him, and when he returned to the library, he found her glancing through a stack of yellow envelopes. Smiling up at him, she said, "These are all the cables you sent when you were away. I'm going to keep them always."

operation complete

Vividly, for a moment, he remembered Guam. When the telegraph office had been opened there, he had flown up once a week - on routine flight, of course - and had cabled Annabella, wherever she was. Through the heat, the soggy weather, the homesickness, he had planned his brief communications, making every word count.

Remembering the circumstances surrounding the sending of the cables - these many months and thousands of miles later - Ty rested his hand on his wife's shoulder and smiled into her eyes. The Powers are not prodigal conversationalists; an exchanged glance, a smile, a phrase, suffice to convey their thoughts. Annabella said softly, "They were nice messages."

And Ty said, "To a nice girl."

After Christmas Ty and Annabella went to New York where they were wined and dines and gala-ed.

After having seen dozens of plays and having checked up on the brightest New York spots, Ty and Annabella scooted off to Mont Tremblant for some skiing. Annabella had never been in eastern Canada before, and she was overpowered by the scenery, the charm of the Inn, and the fun of a snow outing.

Ty had learned the proper stance, had grown accustomed enough to alpenstocks to keep from knitting the nearby shrubbery with them, and had learned a fairly decent "Stem Christy". However, he was still several winters away from a slalom race. On a distant slope he caught occasional glimpses of Annabella unscrambling herself; he always managed - on his own slope - to get the snow brushed off his back before she straightened to see how he was getting along.

On the third night Annabella said dismally, "I don't think I am ever going to learn to ski. I have no balance; I have no assurance; I have no grace. Ten percent of the time I spend in picking myself up. Now you . . . you are good."

Ty grinned at her. "My percentage is better," he admitted. "I'm now about fifty-fifty."

When they were in Montréal the telephone rang in their hotel suite one night and a jovial voice said, "Hi, Ty - read in the paper that you and Annabella were in town. This is Marion McKeen!"

You could have heard Ty's jubilant shout all the way to Klondike. Mr. McKeen had taught Ty to fly in the bygone days when Mac was running a flying school at Clover Field, near Los Angeles. A fast resume revealed the fact that Mr. McKeen and his wife now owned and operated Ski Hills Inn, near Montreal.

"Come on up and spend as much time with us as you can," he urged.

That was all the Powers needed. They moved to Ski Hills Inn for a few additional days of skiing, and they spent the rest of their time reminiscing about Ty's early flight experiences.

Remember that guy who used to take off like a harpooned goose?" Mac asked. "Well, he spent two years flying The Hump. Gosh, I NEVER thought that character was going to learn to fly. I used to say to him, "Watch Power take off . . . see how much of the runway he uses. You never see him hang a plane on its props.

Afterward, Annabella said, "Mac really thinks a lot of you, Tyrone."

And Tyrone answered, "That makes it mutual. There is one of the swellest guys in the world.

Back in Los Angeles, Ty reported to the studio. His secretary, Bill Gallagher, was out of service, newly-married, and eager to get back to work. Said Bill, "I'm sure glad to see you back, Ty. Gosh - how my stamp collection has languished! Now that your fan mail is coming in from everywhere in the world again, I'll be able to fill volumes with rare specimens."

Ty had planned to buy a car, but when he investigated the used car market, his sales resistance became stratospheric. The prices were immense. And the delay in getting a new car would be great unless he wanted to pay a premium; having just come from service, where black market operations were looked upon askance, Ty simply decided to continue to use his sister's car until 1947 or 1948, if necessary. His sister had joined her husband in Honolulu, so she wrote that she would appreciate Ty's taking care of the bus.

Someone at the studio asked, "What about your motorcycle? Wouldn't that do?"

Answered Ty, "I've now been through the motorcycling phase of my career. After getting back from the Pacific in one piece, I don't want to make one of those oddity notices in a newspaper by entwining a civilian telephone pole."

Ty returned to the house late one afternoon, grinning. "Where have you been?" his wife wanted to know.

"Down to the city pound. They don't have a dog there who is strictly my type, but I'll go down again in a week or so."
20th century sport

This hound, when he is added to the Power household, will have to wait a bit before he is taught tricks, because Ty is deeply engrossed in another hobby at present. Better sit down for this one, because it will jar you: The motion picture colony - at least the 20th Century-Fox division - has taken up croquet.

The game is not, however, the mild-mannered tourney played by children at garden parties. This game is played with an English set, imported by Mr. Zanuck, including striped and peaked caps which the players wear. The English wickets are tall and narrow - allowing barely enough room for the ball to pass through - so the players have to be accurate shots.

At Palm Springs one Sunday, Tyrone, Mr. Zanuck, Clifton Webb, Gene Markey, and Henry Hathaway played for seven hours, taking time out only for luncheon. So far Ty and Mr. Zanuck, playing as a team, have licked all contenders. In describing the games to Annabella, Ty produced a nice pun: "In our games, every stroke is made with mallet aforethought," he said.

Answered Annabella, "No wonder you win. You've got all the Power on your side.

No matter on whose side Power is, it is apparent that everyone from Mr. Zanuck to the only picture fan in Tremling Leaf , Maine, is on the side of Power - and is glad to have him back in the picture business.

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