28 November 2006

Discoveries in the Pancho Barnes Archive

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For the past few weeks, I've been going thru the "Pancho Barnes Archive". This is an amazing collection of Pancho Barnes' personal papers which are maintained by Dr. Lou D'Elia and Mike Salazar. Without the forethought of these two men, in fact, the Pancho documentary would not be possible. I'll write a bit more about this later. In short, Pancho's personal papers and photographs were kept in storage by her fourth husband, Mac McKendry. He intended to open a museum in Pancho's honor, but never did do it! After he passed away, it looked like Pancho's estate would be entirely liquidated through an auction. All of the materials in the archive would be dispersed, without anyone having an opportunity to really assess the contents. Fortunately, Lou and Mike stepped in, purchased Pancho's estate, and are now cataloging it. As part of our film effort, Amanda Pope and I have joined in. Each day we've been opening up boxes, sorting materials, and making amazing discoveries. Yesterday, it was an entire box filled with hundreds of newspaper clippings related to the Powder Puff Derby of 1929. Included in the articles were many photos we had never seen before. Most of these clippings had not been looked at by anyone in the seventy odd years that have elapsed since Pancho pasted them into her scrap book...