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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Waxing Nostalgic ... Reminiscing about writing my new Old Hollywood book "The Day the Stars Stood Still: A Memoir about Logan Fleming, Top Wax Artist for Movieland Wax Museum" (BearManor)

The author and her memoir. For more about Suzanne,
check out her blog Ferry Tales.
Guest column
By Suzanne 
Sumner Ferry
Author, Blogger, 
Old Hollywood expert

It was an amazing revelation to learn that Mae West really COULD undulate her bosom (the subject of my memoir, Movieland's premiere wax artist and creative director Mr. Logan Fleming, saw it in person in her own bedroom!), that the wax figures of the Clampett Clan (aka The Beverly Hillbillies) actually went jet-setting across the country and that Sammy Davis Jr. knew he could smile only so much before his glass eye squinted. 

The celebs of yesteryear knew themselves very well, practiced their most unique talents and carried themselves with the utmost class (well… I guess undulating one’s breasts is an exception). 

My journey writing The Day the Stars Stood Still: A Memoir about Logan Fleming, Top Wax Artist for Movieland Wax Museum (2012, BearManor Media) was luckily filled with hidden facts, secrets, stories and fantastic quips from many of Old Hollywood’s most beloved stars who became immortalized as wax likenesses by the talented hands of the late Logan Fleming. If I had to become similarly immortalized, I would want no one except Logan and his hands to do this. It’s also amazing that creating eternal wax likenesses helped create an entire new subculture of Hollywood entertainment. 



We love Old Hollywood. And with the current craze of countless reality television shows, recalling and celebrating Tinseltown's golden age is a refreshing diversion. Back in the day, actors were STARS and it was an honor to be asked by Movieland to have your figure created. There were set dedications where the stars themselves showed up to dedicate their own wax figure and set in the museum. There were crazy guests who frequented the museum, only to be caught doing something naughty to the wax figures (I will leave these nuggets for the book!), and once in a while a deceased star’s wax figure would become somewhat of a shrine where family and friends would go to mourn the loss of their loved one. 

At a wax, modern interpretation of The Crucifixion--accompanied by priceless art re-creation at the Stars Hall of Fame, adjacent to Movieland and under the same ownership--guests would kneel, pray and at times weep before the wax image of Christ. I’m not trying to get a tear out of your glass or real eyes; I’m trying to give you some insight into how fascinating this book is. Many never-before told stories and photographs grace its pages, so if you are a huge fan of pop culture and all things Old Hollywood, it will be worth the read. (Editor's note: This book is a retro TV-and-film treasure trove and a must-have!)

It was sad to hear that when Movieland closed, the wax figures--which were worth big bucks--were auctioned off and sold to many folks, domestic and overseas. I hear Tim Burton has the wax figure of Sammy Davis,Jr. in his London living room. There are some folks in the OC who collected the Star Trek crew and Enterprise bridge set, a piece that may be touring across the country soon. 

If Capt. Kirk and company do "hit the road," you bet you can find me at many of their events doing signings for this book! To find out more, contact me at suzanne.ferry@verizon.net or check out this amazingly entertaining blog: http://retroalitytv.blogspot.com/. (Editor' note: Suzanne also has her own supercool blog, "Ferry Tales": http://suzanneferry.blogspot.com/)


One day I needed to locate the wax likeness of Diana, Princess of Wales, so I went to Logan Fleming’s house and was directed to his garage. I found it, but one of the wax hands had gone missing; it was nowhere to be found. Well, at least we got a good shot of her sans hands!

The Day the Stars Stood Still is available online; check on Amazon.com, please give it a great review on Amazon, ask your local bookstore to carry it and order a copy to find all kinds of amazing facts and inside scoop on some of Old Hollywoodland’s most beloved stars, er, celebs.

Suzanne Sumner Ferry has written a juvenile fiction book titled Corinna the Christmas Elf. She is also lining up two more memoirs, both set in the Old Hollywood era. Her books can be purchased via amazon.com, tatepublishing.com, bearmanormedia.com, or contact her directly for a signed copy at suzanne.ferry@verizon.net

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