So, how DO you go from the exhumation of the outlaw, Jesse Woodson James to the now-impending Resurrection of the Flesh* of Salvador Dali in five simple steps? Game on, people.
. . . LIFE was cut short in the middle for Jesse Woodson James. In 1882 he was shot in the back of the head (by the coward, Robert Ford), while removing the dust from a painting. As I’ve said many times, the danger of housework is never to be underestimated. But his body was exhumed in 1995, from his grave in a Missouri cemetery. Why? Because A 100-year-old man (who’d originally come forward in 1948) still laid claim he was the famous outlaw. The result? DNA tests confirmed it was definitely Jesse of the wild wild WEST . . .
. . . WEST Neely Street was the home of Lee Harvey Oswald. An author, Michael Eddowes – who’d long held the theory that the man arrested for killing President John F. Kennedy was actually a Soviet spy – demanded that Oswald’s body be exhumed in 1981. Dental records confirmed that Oswald was, in fact, the infamous Oswald, late of Presidential events at the Texas THEATRE . . .
. . . THEATRE performances were where Sammy Davis Jr. first made his name, paying vaudeville with his father in the Will Maston trio. Not long after burying her beloved husband, however, Altovise Davis discovered that found out that Mister Show Business had been made bankrupt, just before he died. Sammy’s body was exhumed so that Altovise could recover the $70,000 worth of jewelry that had been buried with him in Forest Lawn Memorial PARK . . .
. . . PARKS and playing fields were the outdoor locations for most of Alfred Hawthorne Hill’s famous ‘running away from scantily-clad girls’ scenes. Not the cemetery in Rockbrook, County Dublin – the location shown here. Benny, as he was better known, suffered at the hands of grave-robbers who were also trying to recover gold jewellery that had supposedly been buried with him. Benny was famous not only for his thrift in life, but – tenuous link, this one – also for using rhyming slang in many of his comedy sketches, all of his life, right up until he died. Died, dead. Brown BREAD . . .
. . . BREAD is what you’ll find in The Basket of Bread (subtitled, ‘Rather Death than Shame’), a painting by the marvellous Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marqués de Dalí de Púbol, or Salvador Dali. The painting was first said by Dalí to have been painted the week that atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, and then finished one day before the end of the war. There are mild skirmishes today in Spain, as a Spanish woman is claiming that her mother – a maid – had an affair with the painter in 1955, and has put in a request for Dali’s body to be exhumed. Point of order: when he was five, Dalí was taken to his brother’s grave and told by his parents that he was his brother’s reincarnation. Hard to believe, but possibly a factor in Dali’s quite surreal outlook on paintings and LIFE . . .
And there you have it, the exhumations of Jesse James to Salvador Dali and back again in five (only slightly tenuous) steps.
(*By the way, ‘Resurrection of the Flesh’ is the name of a great, but dark, Dali painting ~ so it’s worth five extra points.)