Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Temple Tuesday: The Lost Princess

It's been dubbed "The Costume Caper" and "Shirleygate" and even sounds like the plot of a Shirley Temple movie! Picture this: a sweet young lass lends her treasured belongings to a museum so that the public can share in her joy. Then an evil corporation steals those treasures, sells them to someone else, and the young lass must charm, struggle, and persist to regain her property. Can she do it?

True story: long-time Shirley Temple fan Tonya Bervaldi purchased some of the most treasured Shirley Temple film costumes in the Theriault's auction that I covered here over two years ago. Tonya graciously loaned and shipped five of these treasures to be publicly exhibited at the R. John Wright Hollywood Convention in Vermont. 1 box made it; the rest did not. UPS gave Tonya more frustration than help; besides worrying about what happened to these irreplaceable costumes, she found herself drowning in a sea of red tape, being passed from department to department and ending up empty handed. Guess what happened to the costumes? It is "alleged" that UPS deemed these boxes "unclaimed merchandise" and then had them auctioned off. Tonya did not find this out through UPS; instead, it was an army of Shirley Temple fans who have been diligently assisting and uncovered the dirt. What did you say UPS? You know nothing of this? Please hit "play" to hear what Shirley might have said to UPS:

The most iconic costume was the Princess gown from Shirley's 1939 Technicolor classic, "The Little Princess," and unfortunately, that is the one of the five that has not found its way back to Tonya.

Hmmmmm...who do I start writing letters to first?

The good news: the cape actually made it to its destination and is safe. The bad news: the rest of the gown is still missing. If you happen to hear anything about this extremely well-preserved piece of film history, please let me know! This Shirley Temple tale MUST have a happy ending!

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1 comment:

Fifthrider said...

Un,... Real...

I know a similar story about a screen used proton pack from Ghostbusters, used by Harold Ramis, that was "lost" in the baggage handling of a Romanian airport, never to be seen again.

How do these things HAPPEN? Is it intentional or just really terrible accountability from a business?