Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Artist's Inspiration. April 15, 2010
I made contact with Kenny Frost's Big Brother, Hal, and made a trip to his house in La Canada. There I met him along with 82nd Fighter Group Historian, Steve Blake. Together we brought out a collection of photos, letters, patches, medals, and Kenny Frost's Flying Jacket, which was in great condition.
There was one photo of Kenny with my mom, Betty Lee Tucker. Kenny was an Air Officer, dressed handsomely in his "Pinks and Greens", in front of his home in L.A. He and my mom were getting ready to go out on the town. It was the night before Kenny was to ship out for the Mediterranean to combat the Nazi Scum.
The date was April 1944. Only two months before this photo was taken, Betty had lost both her brother Bill, (Killed in a Naval flying accident) and fiance Bob (Also Killed in a flying accident). Both men were inseparable best friends, and were killed within 20 days of each other.
In this photo, Betty was 19 years old. Though she looked pretty, she was NOT a happy camper. Kenny was hoping to earn her love and that she would wait for him to return from the war. This was too much to ask of a 19 year old beauty, (esp after only dating her a couple of times).
But Kenny kept her close in his thoughts. Chose her as his subject, his must, his inspiration, to paint on his P-38 Lightening. I found the letter he sent home to his parents with the rough draft of the 'Nose Art'. This gave me an idea...