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Author Topic: "Putnam quite the scamp"...  (Read 3956 times)

Matt Revington

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"Putnam quite the scamp"...
« on: July 12, 2022, 09:35:14 AM »

An article from the local paper in Blackwell OK.  Just another anecdote from the life of a celebrity

"The hotel no doubt was an iconic piece of Blackwell history, and anybody who’s anybody will tell you about it’s most famous guest: doomed aviator Amelia Earhat.

Amelia Earhart did, in-fact, stay at the Larkin in January 1937.

On her last flight across the nation on her way to California before beginning her headline-grabbing flight around the world, Earhart landed in Blackwell to fix her airplane. She was staying at the Larkin, which had opened in the 1920’s and was now the central hub of Blackwell.

Earhart had rented a car, and was soon stopped for speeding, a prank set up by her husband George Putnam with Blackwell Police Officer Hiram Ragan.

Putnam was quite the scamp, and the two had an open marriage as to not “restrict work or play” for one another, but that’s neither here nor there.

Earhart was arrested for going over 30 miles over the speed limit, and the judge was called in who proceeded to make Earhart pay a whopping $3.50 in fees and fines. The judge, unlike Officer Ragan, was not in on the joke nor on her identity.

When the Blackwell Mayor arrived, he was mortified to find out Earhart had been treated so harshly, and her money was returned to her. To make amends, a banquet was held that night at the Larkin where Earhart was granted the Key to the City. According to the photo, the key back in the 1930’s was substantially larger than the small golden bottle-opened the City of Blackwell gives out today.

Some 3,000 estimated fans showed up to greet Earhart, who signed autographs for several hours before retiring to her room for the night. She promised them that if they left their books and articles to be signed, she would do it before she left at 5 a.m. the next day.

Six months later, when her plane vanished over the Pacific Ocean, the Blackwell Morning Tribune and Blackwell Daily Journal would chronicle the search for the missing aviator with bold headlines streaking across the front page until the search would soon diminish into a blurb or column here or there."
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