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Ludwig Van Beethoven. Interest in Beethoven’s love life has focused largely on a letter he wrote in the summer of 1812, to an unidentified woman.

Beethoven?s Love Letters

O, My Immortal Beloved!

?My heart overflows with a longing to tell you so many things??

Beethoven may never have married, but women had a huge influence and impact on his music and life.?German composer Ludwig van Beethoven is considered one of the most important figures in the history of music. He continued to compose even while losing his hearing and created some of his greatest works after becoming totally deaf.

Around 1812 Beethoven wrote a long letter (10 pages) to some woman who he was obviously quite taken with. Sadly we will never know for certain who it was. However the letter itself was discovered after Beethoven’s death in a secret drawer where he also kept the Heiligenstadt Testament, some savings and some pictures.

Dr. Franz Wegeler, one of Beethoven?s oldest friends in Bonn, wrote that Beethoven ?was always in love ? sometimes so successfully that many handsome young men might have envied him!? Another doctor who treated him over a period of 10 years, around the time he composed his middle-quartets, wrote that Beethoven had a preference for graceful and fragile women (which incidentally reflected the physical type of his mother) but he usually kept their identities a secret from his friends and quite possibly from the women themselves.

That may not be the typical image we have of Beethoven the Composer ? the titan with the unruly hair and a glower like he?d have lightening-bolts coming out of his eyes as if he were always under the power of inspiration, striding across the ages as one of the greatest creative artists known to man.

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Pages from the diary by 22-year-old Marine Cpl. Thomas "Cotton?" Jones, including a portrait of his high school sweetheart, Laura Mae Davis, at right. Before Jones died, he wrote what he called his "last life request" to anyone who might find his diary: "Please give it to Laura Mae Davis, the girl he loved."CREDIT: AP/National WWII Museum

Pages from the diary by 22-year-old Marine Cpl. Thomas “Cotton” Jones, including a portrait of his high school sweetheart, Laura Mae Davis, at right. Before Jones died, he wrote what he called his “last life request” to anyone who might find his diary: “Please give it to Laura Mae Davis, the girl he loved.”CREDIT: AP/National WWII Museum

Woman Finds Diary of Man She Loved In World War II Museum

Corporal Thomas ‘Cotton’ Jones had one ‘last life request’ before he was killed by a Japanese sniper on a South Pacific island in 1944: Please give my diary to Laura Mae Davis, the girl I love…

During 1944, the scale of the fighting in the Pacific ? and the length of the casualty lists ? grew markedly.

One of the costliest amphibious operations that year was the invasion of Peleliu, a small, but heavily-defended island in the southwestern Pacific. Nearly 10,000 Army troops and Marines were killed or wounded in the battle for Peleliu. Among the dead was Corporal Thomas Paul “Cotton” Jones.

Jones served with the 1st Marine Division. On September 15, 1944, American forces assaulted Peleliu. Jones’ unit came ashore on September 17. As he approached the beach carrying his machine gun, Thomas Jones was shot in the head and killed.

Corporal Thomas ?Cotton? Jones?served as a marine for the United States military during World War II. Before he was killed by a Japanese sniper in the Central Pacific, he wrote a ?last request? to whoever found his diary. He wanted it to be given to Laura Mae Davis, the girl he loved.

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Love needs laughs


Is there a Happy Ending? Hollywood versus Life

by Gavin

In the movies and many made for TV programmes, there is rapprochement between sons and their fathers, often on the deathbed. There is closure and acceptance, a final peace.

In real life this is not often the case. My father died last year after a 3 year battle with emphysema. He slowly withered over 3 years until his heart gave out. It was sudden and painless which was the best way for him to go.

About a month before he went, we drove down to see him. I was between contracts so had some time and had decided to walk the last mile with him and if he wanted, hold his hand at the end so he could have the love of his family with him as he went to wherever people go when they die.

But, this is where real life separates from idealised make-believe, as seen on TV. After a 4 hour drive to get there on a wet Friday afternoon we all sat down for a drink and a chat. He started to rip into me for not doing some things differently. I have burned into my brain his face turning purple as he gasped for air shaking his 84 year finger at me in rebuke and pouring out his venom. It would have been comical if it was not so real.

I was worried he was going to keel over on the spot he was getting so worked up. My wife was surprised at his venomous outburst and rather shocked. My mum attempting to sooth the waters said don?t worry dear he doesn?t mean it; it?s just the medication making him irritable.

Sometime later that evening in the quiet of our room I was talking with my wife and had a realisation. I had been there before. This is how he was 50 years ago when I was a child. He had always been this way. He had just removed the veneer of respectability as he got closer to death. This was the old man I knew and had grown up with.

We had never got along very well. My world was different from his and he never respected or understood mine and would often criticise or condemn my efforts without enough knowledge to hold a reasonable opinion. Read more »

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Angus and Evelyn Jane.

Angus and Evelyn Jane.

My Mother’s Lover

What Happens when Your Mother’s Dying Wish is to Rest in Peace with…Someone You’ve Never Heard of Before?

For years my mother wore a gold locket. When I was a boy, I liked to pull it up from inside her blouse on its chain, tugging it up from between her breasts so I could squeeze the curved button that ran along one edge and make the curlicue gold cover, heavily sprung, pop open to reveal a photograph of my mother?s grandparents.

On an elegant chair sat her grandmother and namesake, Ivy Evelyn Stone, a formidable-looking woman wearing a full skirt, a fuller blouse, and an immensely confident expression. Next to her chair stood her husband, Gene, a railroad engineer in their hometown of?Wichita Falls. Especially in Wichita Falls, a railroad town, this was a high-status position then, like that of an airline pilot 50 years later. He is dressed in suit and tie, hair slicked, with his hand on the back of the?chair.

I viewed this portrait as a fair representation of the distant world from which my mother came: a stable, solid existence full of aunts and uncles and her mother and father and grandparents all living toughly but carefully in the high bright sun struck towns of north Texas. The picture agreed with the steady, accomplished, morally sturdy person I and many others knew my mother to be. But it hid the fact that she came from a world that moved violently beneath her?feet.

The February after my mother died, my brother, Allen, left his New Mexico home and boarded a plane for Honolulu. He carried a backpack that carried a rosewood box that carried our mother’s ashes. The next day, on Maui, he bought six leis and rented a sea kayak. With the leis in a shopping bag and our mother’s ashes in his pack, he paddled into the Pacific.

That day nine years ago was the sort one hopes for in the tropics: warm and balmy, with a breeze that pushed cat’s paws over the water. Beyond the mouth of the bay he could see rising plumes, the spouts of humpback whales gathered to breed. He paddled toward them. When he was closer to the whales than to the shore, he shipped his oar and opened his pack. He pulled out the box and sat with it on his lap, letting the boat drift. He watched the distant spouts. Without any prelude, a whale suddenly but gently surfaced about 30 yards in the distance and released a gush of air. It bobbed, noisily breathed, and dove.

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Pamela Des Barres.

Pamela Des Barres.

I’m With The Band

?Confessions of a Groupie

David Bowie shouldn?t be shamed in death, Pamela Des Barres says: Groupies know what they?re doing. And she?former lover of Jimmy Page and Mick Jagger?should know. Pamela Des Barres?is one of the most famous groupies of the 1960s and 70s.

Having ruled Los Angeles?s groupie scene, Des Barres?scoffed at the?feminist outrage?over David Bowie?s tryst with another famous groupie, Lori Mattix, who was only 15 when Bowie allegedly deflowered her.

?It?s just ridiculous,? Des Barres, now 67?a super-groupie turned journalist and memoirist has said. ?Yes, she was a young girl. A lot of people think that?s wrong and let them, but this was a very specific time. Lori is 60 years old now and has no regrets or remorse. She?s told her story a million times before!?

Whenever someone famous and influential dies, particularly when that person is as influential as David Bowie, a schizophrenic cycle of mourning grips the Internet.? First come the shocked tweets and brief personal tributes. Then the thoughtful eulogies and remembrances by this famous person?s peers, mixed in with RIPs from people who didn?t know who he was before Facebook informed them that morning.

It?s often those in the latter category who then dig up dirt on the star, hell-bent on tearing down our cultural heroes the very day they pass away.

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