Errol Flynn was born in Tasmania and became a naturalized citizen in 1942. For the younger folks who are likely unfamiliar with the name, Flynn was a well-known Hollywood movie star thus considered important by various people and groups. The media and entertainment industries and their loyal lackey politician buddies especially like those folks that make them so much wealth. And a portion of the public especially susceptible to propaganda and indoctrination and/or especially needy for outside entertainment in their lives latch on to those stars and take notice of them… even after death.
The Find-a-Grave site allows users to place “flowers” and a comment, if desired, at the on-line graves. A rough estimate of a person’s fame can be attained by the number of “flowers’ left at a grave site. Fame can be positive or negative. For the Hollywood stars, popular musicians, etc. lots of flowers likely indicates popularity. For the folks not part of the entertainment industry fame can be based upon other things.
Let’s experiment. A non-star yet well-known person. Not somebody well-covered by the media such as John F Kennedy, the assassinated president. Let’s try Mayor Daley of Chicago.
Daley has received 237 “flowers. ” A lot more than the typical person receives. Affecting “flower” placement is the recent creation of Find-a-Grave. Continuing the experiment I will grab a famous person who died recently and who would likely be popular with the younger cohort who have grown up with the Web.
Amy Jade Winehouse “Singer, Entertainer. One of the more successful and artistically influential vocalists of her generation.” Amy has received over 2,000 “flowers.”
Skye McCole Bartusiak American Film and Television Actress. Only 21 when she died she has amassed 247 “flowers.”
Now we look at a fellow few of you, maybe none of you, have ever heard of: William G. Sebold. He died in 1970 not far from where I was living. I was a teen riding my bike around town and building dams in the creek and roller skating at the rink in the Alameda County fairground and grooving on the rock & roll from KFRC and KYA radio stations. I was unaware of William Sebold until recently while doing some research.
I recommend reading Sebold’s Wiki entry linked-to above. His actions of long ago resulted in:
As a result of the massive investigation, when America entered the war the FBI was confident that there was no major German espionage network hidden in U.S. society. According to the Daily Mail: “The timely arrests served to deprive Adolf Hitler of the help of spies at the time he would need it the most, the convictions coming down on December 12, 1941, one day after war had been formally declared against Germany and Italy by the United States.
When the trial ended, Sebold disappeared. He entered a government witness protection program and moved to California under another assumed identity. He had countless jobs, even trying to be a chicken farmer, but could never hold down a job and was constantly plagued by bad health. Additionally, letters from his family back in Germany explained that the Nazis still wanted to exact their revenge, leaving him in a constant state of fear. Sebold was diagnosed with manic depression and committed to Napa State Hospital in 1965. Five years later he suffered a heart attack and died.
Sebold chose to protect his adopted USA. He was risking his kinfolk back in Germany along with himself and those he loved here in the USA. I never read of his actions in any history book despite my being an avid reader of history.
Here is Sebold’s Find-a-Grave monument:
Two “flowers.” At least some nice fellow left this comment:
Just read of your amazing service as a naturalized citizen of the United States. Many thanks for your unselfish devotion to your oath of allegiance. It took a lot of faith and honor.
I am unable to leave a comment due to the Find-a-Grave moderator(s) deciding a few years back to ban me from leaving flowers/commenting. Why? No idea. Their loss. I have other ways to give deserved tribute to those deserving it.
Rest in peace, Mr. Sebold. Thank you for your service to America. You should be the one with hundreds or thousands of “flowers” bestowed upon your memorial but the ones you do receive surely have sincere appreciation behind them.