Adventures in Wonderland is a story of a young girl falling through
a rabbit hole into a fantasy world. Today "Down the Rabbit
Hole" is a metaphor for an entry into the unknown, it can mean
entering a period of chaos or confusion. For many of us that rabbit
hole is the internet.
an Estate Sale you might wonder about the people who have passed
and make speculations about their lives based on the remaining
artifacts. Pictures on the wall, trophies on the shelf, and the
collections of things they deemed precious.
one Estate Sale there are 7 magazines of 35mm slides and a
projector. I picked up a magazine and popped out a slide. Holding
it to the light I saw it was a woman holding a pair of six-guns
while wearing not much more than a cowboy hat and boots. Seven
magazines at $1 each.
35mm slides represented important things in a man's life. The
Golden Gate Bridge, the autographed concrete in front of Grauman's
Chinese Theater, police and firemen working, his car, him in
uniform, even Mt. Rushmore under construction. The cars, clothing
and hairstyles of the time would have been interesting enough. On
top of that there were three more nudes. Who were, are, these
of the slides just said Kodak, but the nudes said "Finley's
Color Laboratory" with an index number on one side and
"Bernard of Hollywood" on the other. Based on the other
slides our guy lived in California for at least a little while.
Down the internet rabbit hole I went.
Finley developed film in his garage from 1946 to 1951 under the
name Holiday Films Color Lab. He finally talked his father into
selling his Golf Course to fund Finley's Color Laboratory which
operated in Hollywood from 1951 to 1963 when he went bankrupt. He
opened Finley-Holiday Films
in 1965 which has been providing U.S. National Park Service videos
four slides labeled Finley's Color Laboratory would have been
developed between 1951 and 1963.
Bernard was allegedly on a Nazi hit list and escaped Germany to
Brazil and then to California where he opened his studio Bernard of
Hollywood in 1940, In 1946 on his way to the dentist he was
approached by a Norma Jean Baker who asked if he thought she was
pretty enough to model.
Bernard became Bernard of Hollywood and Norma Jean Baker became
Marilyn Monroe. There are books written about their long term relationship.
Bruno Bernard's Pin-Up art got him tried on pornography charges at
the time, but now there are museum exhibits celebrating that very
Bernard moved back to Germany in the early 1960's. His daughter
Susan is still alive and is promoting his legacy writing books and
maintaining the Bernard of Hollywood
Bernard was in California shooting Pin-Ups while Finley's Color
Laboratory was in operation. At least from 1951 to 1960.
Finley-Holiday Films or Susan Bernard have chosen to respond to my
requests for information.
these girls still alive? Were they aspiring actresses and did they
make it into show business? Were they strippers paying the rent
shooting Pin-Ups? Were they painted on the nose of some WWII
bomber? Maybe they were Billy Finley's wife, or girlfriend. We
probably won't ever know.
this case the rabbit hole was an entry into the unknown that lead
to chaos and confusion, let's just call it the internet.
stripper, wife, or girlfriend, it's your guess, and that's Cocktail