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Lindbergh's Secret Life
August 2, 2003 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Lone Eagle? According to this news story (from Reuters), famed aviator Charles "Lucky" Lindbergh got lucky in Germany in the 1950s--fathering three children with a woman he met there and keeping this double life a complete secret from his other, American, family. If true, this would certainly require a reassessment of Lindbergh's personal life.
posted by Man-Thing (19 comments total)

 
Yeah, well, he's also been smeared as a Nazi, but neither that charge nor I would imagine this relatively mundane domestic issue can really tarnish his achievement. I just hope I live long enough to see the pedulum swing back and for the Vast Unwashed to once again return to understanding that the private lives of public individuals are, in fact, none of their f%$#ing business...
posted by JollyWanker at 11:59 AM on August 2, 2003


According to this news story (from a completely unreliable source), famed Mefite Miguel "Lucky" Cardoso got lucky in Connecticut in the 1960s--fathering one child with a woman he met there and keeping this double life a complete secret from his other, Portuguese, family. If true, this would certainly require a reassessment of Miguel's personal life.

Right, Dad?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:01 PM on August 2, 2003


A second hand account of some people who claim, apparently without producing any evidence at all, that they are a long-dead celebrity's children? What in the world has has happened to Reuters?

Even if the story is true, however, I've only just completed my annual reassessment of Lindbergh's personal life, and won't be able to update it again until June of next year.
posted by coelecanth at 12:28 PM on August 2, 2003


News like this could threaten traditional heterosexual marriage. We should ban it.
posted by troybob at 12:38 PM on August 2, 2003


According to the New York Times, the German reporter who broke this story has seen the letters.

Also, from the Babelfish translation of the newspaper story:
They loved this man, who not knew their language and her nevertheless understood, which everything knew, but the children had themselves to let early for a pact with the nut/mother, a pact in to their loads and not freely from threat. ...

When the aging flier and the young Putzmacherin passed the Odeonsplatz, past to the lion before, stopped the quiet American field-gentleman-resounded and said: "why don't the lions roar?" After a break it added, someone had it told, if one is in love, heard one it roar - "and I felt into love with you". They understood themselves equal, the famous one and the woman from the people.
How could you not be convinced?
posted by rcade at 12:47 PM on August 2, 2003


TheLone Eagle was an isolationist, did not want America to get involved in the affairs of Euorpe--this before Pearl Harbor. During the war and not even a regular air force pilot, he flew 50 combat mission in the South Pacific. He was a busy guy and did travel a good deal but most of his travels seemed to have been not to Europe but rather to the Pacific region. See http://www.charleslindbergh.com/history/index.asp for his biography. He doesn't seem to have the time to be a good daddy with his "children" and so I would not accept this sstory as plausible till there is more evidence than a mere claim.
posted by Postroad at 12:55 PM on August 2, 2003


Let's kidnap his babies!
posted by Frank Grimes at 12:55 PM on August 2, 2003


In Ordnung, lasse ich es zu! Ich bin ein Lindbergh baby! Wah-wah! Goo-goo! Ich vermisse mein fly fly da-da!
posted by keswick at 1:04 PM on August 2, 2003


He was a nazi, but he's not anymore
He's dead, dead, dead.

(With apologies to MDC)
posted by Outlawyr at 5:53 PM on August 2, 2003


If true, this would certainly require a reassessment of Lindbergh's personal life.

I hope I'm not alone in saying that would require me to assess his personal life first.
posted by yerfatma at 6:14 PM on August 2, 2003


A. Scott Berg won the Pulitzer Prize for his biography of Lindbergh. Unfortunately, he kept putting details of his subject's personal life into the book, which would have been much shorter if Berg had merely stuck to the technical specs for the Spirit of St. Louis. Had Berg known about this aspect of Lindbergh's life, I have no doubt that dirty varmint would have written about that, too.

In fact, biographers should just avoid writing about personal lives, because they're none of our business. That kind of thing just muddies the waters for the rest of us who prefer our historical figures uncomplicated.
posted by Man-Thing at 6:38 PM on August 2, 2003


That kind of thing just muddies the waters for the rest of us who prefer our historical figures uncomplicated.

Personally, it's not that I want my historical figures uncomplicated...goodness knows, I adore a good complicated character...but the FPP implies a value judgement, suggesting that because this person may or may not have performed an action which doesn't fit comfortably into our western ethics, that we should then reevaluate or reassess Lindbergh. As though his personal life is a barometer by which his technical success should be measured.

I suggest that a personal life is just that. For instance...who freaking cares if JFK was boning interns? Did that have any impact on the Cuban missile crisis, or the decision to send advisors to VietNam, or the nose to nose standoff with Kruschev? I put it to you that it didn't. While those sorts of details are titillating and salacious...they're a long way from important.

Where Mr. Lindbergh took off his pants, and by whom his nakedness was viewed, seems hardly relevant to his particular place in history.
posted by dejah420 at 8:29 PM on August 2, 2003


Heck, it makes me reconsider The Rules of the Game.
posted by dhartung at 10:39 PM on August 2, 2003


Well, man-thing, it's like this...

Oh. Never mind.

Thanks, Dejah420.
posted by JollyWanker at 7:51 AM on August 3, 2003


contemporary Johnny Appleseed
posted by shadow45 at 7:56 AM on August 3, 2003


For instance...who freaking cares if JFK was boning interns? Did that have any impact on the Cuban missile crisis, or the decision to send advisors to VietNam, or the nose to nose standoff with Kruschev? I put it to you that it didn't.

Maybe it did and maybe it didn't. The fact that JFK had been boning Sam Giancana's mistress quite possibly did have an impact on his actions as president . . . and the fact that he was the kind of president who would bone interns says something about his overall character and casts some light on why he was willing to share a mistress with Giancana.

So where do you start to say, well, that's irrelevant to his character, but that certainly isn't? The reason Lindbergh was able to make his famous flight had much to do with who and what he was, and this latest revelation (if, as I said earlier, it is true) will certainly add a piece or two to the jigsaw puzzle that historians and biographers put together to find out who, exactly, Charles Lindbergh was. This wasn't some one-night stand in a hotel room--it appears to have been a large part of his life. Discussing this does not necessarily imply a value judgment (although Lindbergh did write a book called An Autobiography of Values) but it's a surprising situation that should provide clues to what kind of a person Lindbergh was. To anyone who doesn't have much interest in aviation and its figures, sure, it may seem like a private matter, but Lindbergh is important to 20th century history. As Emerson (who, as far as I know, did not have a secret life in Germany) said, "There is properly no history, only biography."

Now I must get back to learning more about J.Lo and Ben. What are those two lovable kooks up to now?
posted by Man-Thing at 7:57 AM on August 3, 2003


dejah420: "While those sorts of details are titillating and salacious...they're a long way from important."

I'm not sold on this. I think the personal details of someones life goes directly to character and ones character is certainly a factor in any decision making process.

When I read a biography it is exactly this information I want. It's the dirt and salacious details that provide insight into a person. I can read ten paragraphs in an encyclopedia for the facts, but I want to know why he/she made a particular decision.
posted by cedar at 8:15 AM on August 3, 2003


It's the dirt and salacious details that provide insight into a person.

I get what you are saying, but most of us, privy to the details of our own lives, can't figure out what the hell we're doing and why we make the decisions we make. I don't think we can get insight by doing armchair psychology on a necessarily limited set of third-person observations about someone's dirty laundry. The media do it all the time, and 99.99% of the time they are wrong.

It's our tendency to recast events/eras/lives up into neat little packages of cause and effect, but it is a lens that distorts more than clarifies.
posted by troybob at 9:15 AM on August 3, 2003


troybob:"I don't think we can get insight by doing armchair psychology on a necessarily limited set of third-person observations about someone's dirty laundry."

This clearly depends on the quality of the research. The best biographical work is often heavily dependent on letters, other published material and direct quotes. This is quite different from hearsay or 'third-person observations'.

Put enough of this material together and you can get a fairly accurate picture of anothers life. It's not so much guessing or trying to figure out why someone made a given decision, but allowing their words to speak for themselves. IMO the best biographies do little more than provide context.
posted by cedar at 10:11 AM on August 3, 2003


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