Posted by vp19 on 2015.04.11 at 19:24
Current mood: pleased
We’ve known for some time that “Fireball,” Robert Matzen’s thorough account of Carole Lombard’s ill-fated Flight 3 on Jan. 16, 1942, was a winner. Now we have genuine proof.
“Fireball” won the gold award for biography at the Benjamin Franklin Awards, given by the Independent Book Publishers Association on Friday, in Austin, Texas:
Accepting the awards in absentia for Matzen was Carole Sampeck of The Carole Lombard Archive, who made the trip from Dallas on his behalf. For good luck, she wore a necklace that once belonged to Lombard:
It paid off:
Sampeck notes that while she couldn’t be prouder of the book if she had written it herself, credit should go to Matzen, “the one that did all the work! I got a little bit of the adulation and a little bit of the reward, but all I did was help, and the author did everything.” She also praises “the incredible research skills of Marina Gray. She found the last survivor of the few people that were bumped off the flight in Albuquerque. I don’t know of anybody who could’ve done that other than Marina.”
The setting was upscale — the occasion even warranted a harpist:
And we’re proud to note that in Austin, the self-proclaimed “live music capital of the world,” the book “Fireball” made some beautiful music as well.