Here is the post that Rena Easton responded to.
I am a very spiritual and religious person. All my letters and writing are protected by a special copyright for ministers. To destroy my letters and words may constitute a hate crime.
Jon the Nazarite
“Rosamond recalls that Jack Cory and his sister Fanny Y. Cory, cartoonist, started him on his writing career.”
In looking for traces of my Muse, Rena Easton, in Montana, I found what can be described as the Rosamond Holy Grail in Helena Montana. My grandfather lived in Helena and says he was inspired to write by Jack Cory, a political cartoonist and equestrian artist, and his sister Fanny Y. Cory, a famous illustrator who lived in a secluded ranch in Montana.
There was an art show of four generations of this family. This is the vision I had for my family when I became a Pre-Raphaelite. Christine Rosamond Benton did several Fairy paintings, as did Drew, who is employed rendering avatars for fantasy games.
Alas we have a true genealogy that traces the Rosamond Family Muse from the Cory family, to my grandfather, to me, to my sister, and to her daughter Drew Benton whose father was the famous muralist, Garth Benton, the cousin of the artist, Thomas Hart Benton. This is the convergence of three creative families – that is unheard of! The Great Muses are at work here. Consider our DNA!
If I had not been following my Muse wherever she leads me, then I would not have made this profound discovery that cast out the outsider from Rosamond Creative Legacy, those parasites who dare title themselves “caretakers” of Rosamond’s art and life story. If my grandfather came back from the dead, he would take a bullwhip to these usurpers – of his history! Fanny was a very famous woman artist – before Christine was born!
Thank you my dear grandfather, whom I never met, for laying down the true stepping stones of our family history.
Royal wrote a short story about a bullfight in Montana where his sister lived. It appears their father adopted these sibling out to W.S. Spaulding after his wife died.
The top two images were done by Drew Benton. The boy with dragon was done by Drew’s mother, Christine Rosamond Benton. The connections I just made – with no ones help – increase the value of all my families creative efforts. This is what real Art Books look like!
I’ve considered doing illustrations for most of my books. C’mon Rena. Show yourself. Do it for Montana! You were Rosamond’s Muse. This is your State History. You got some major bragging rights! Put this in your resame. At least send me copies of photos of you that I can work from to illustrate
‘Capturing Beauty’. I want your side of the story! I will got to the Governor and have you declared Montana’s State Treasure who brought the history of Royal Rosamond and Fanny Cory, together!
I also found an article about a Royal Rosamund, who was said to be the son of W.S. Spaulding – I do not know if that was the same person as the Frank Rosamund who is the coach driver with the family in 1900, but the ages match.
INDEPENDENT RECORD NOVEMBER 26, 1950
Royal Rosamond, Helena native, is Planning Book About
Home City, Chamber Is Told
Royal Rosamond, widely known
author and Helena native, is planning
a book about the city according
to a letter received by the
Helena Chamber of Commerce
from the resident of Oklahoma
Rosamond said the book will
be based on recollections of his
childhood in the city. He asked
the chamber for assistance with
additional material about the city
and the surrounding area.
Rosamond said his parents followed
my grandfather, John L.
Reese, to Helena from Missouri
In the spring of 1884.” The family
lived in the Sixth ward for three
years before moving to the Sanford
and Evans building.
His father, W. S. Spaulding,
and Gary Cooper’s father were
Business partners with a shop on
the lot where the post office now
stands. When he was six years old,
Rosamond said, he was a playmate
of Tommy Cruse’s little boy,
about the time the elder Cruse
was financed with a grub stake by
a local grocer and struck it rich
at Marysville. .
Rosamond asked the name of
the grocer and wanted to know
the Cruse boy’s name. The letter
said Rosamond attended Hawthorne
school when he was six,
seven and eight years old. “There
was not a bob sled in town that
I had not ridden. . . . I was on
speaking terms .with every horse in
every barn in town. . . . I doted
on pigtailed Chinamen but failed
to win their friendship except for
one, a merchant up the gulch,” he
A frame residence built hy Rosamond’s
father at the head of Walnut
still stands. .The author
visited the city In 1945.
His mother died when he was
nine years old and he moved to
Missouri until he was 18 when he
returned to Helena. Rosamond recalls
that Jack Cory and his sister
Fanny Y. Cory, cartoonist, started
him on his writing career.
Rosamond asked for information
about the earthquake, early gold
operations, a map of the city and
other information which he expects
to include in his book.
One of his novels, “Bound in
Clay” is available at the Helena
public library. He has been called
“Oklahoma’s greatest living humorist,”
and is holder of the international
Mark Twain award for
his contribution to literature.
Hollywood and the “Dunites,” 1934
Meher Baba returned to Hollywood in 1934, avoiding publicity and instead working with a number of screenwriters and filmmakers on proposed film projects. During the earlier 1932 visit he had met a spiritual seeker named Sam Cohen, a Theosophist and resident of a loosely knit freethinkers’ community named “Moy Mell” nestled among the dunes on the beach at Oceano, California. The benefactor of this group of intellectuals, spiritual seekers, artists and social misfits was Chester Alan Arthur III, grandson of the 21st President, who went by the name of Gavin. For a time Gavin published a magazine called the Dune Forum, which included articles by such notables as Stuart Edward White (author of the spiritualist classic, The Unobstructed Universe), and photographic contributions by Ansel Adams and Edward Weston (whose dune photographs are well-known).
Gavin would frequently entertain the intellectual and artistic elite of America at his cabin in the dunes. Although accounts differ somewhat, it appears that Baba sent disciple Meredith Starr and his wife to Moy Mell in 1932, and that they stayed on for a period of time (this was approximately a year and a half before Meredith’s defection). When Baba returned to Hollywood in 1934, he agreed to visit the “Dunite” community. On the evening of Christmas day (accounts different as to the exact days), Baba arrived with eighteen of his followers, including Norina Matchabelli, wife of Georges Matchabelli, known for the popular perfume brand. Norina had previously arranged for a special cabin to be built for Baba, but he chose instead to stay in Gavin’s cabin. Gavin was not in Moy Mell at the time, and it was decided that he wouldn’t mind.
There was also a Theosophical center called the Temple of the People in nearby Halcyon, founded in 1904 with the intent of preparing for the arrival of the next incarnation of the Avatar, but there is no record of Baba visiting it.(21)
Three weeks ago I exchanged words with my niece, Drew Benton, for the first time in a cyber Land of Make Believe – that will go unnamed lest our worldly enemies track us down and snatch the secret key from us. Let us call this place ‘Moy Mell’ after a Faire Land far over the sea, where only………
The Dunites called their Bohemian community Moy Mell, a sanctuary for folks who had left the beaten path, could not cope, or, were just following their dream. It has been suggested that most people who can’t cope, become dreamers. But, it is a matter of what came first, the chicken or the egg. Whatever, we are not eggs or chickens. Usually wer are poets and artists, mystics, and hermits, who at an early age considered ourselves Foundlings.
I am a Foundling, after my grandfather, Royal Rosamond, who took his third born daughter Lillian down to the dunes in Ventura where there was another shanty town built by Bohemians and odd fellows.
“These are my people!” Royal proudly exclaimed as he he did an Irish Jigg to the music an old Scotsman played on his violin. My kindred had just had tea in a little shack in Ventura by the Sea.
When I interviewed Lillian for my autobiography, she told me her father took her to the top of hill overlooking Ventura where she and her three beautiful sisters had grown up. Royal had been away, and had come home……………just to say goodbye!
Mary Magdalene Rosamond had banished her husband from his home where dwelt the Faire Roses of the World. My grandfather was a very poor provider. Mary was making hats to support her children. However, there was a man lurking about, a dark man whose history did not survive for some reason. Perhaps it is because he sired no children. Uncle Conrad was Mary’s brother. He owned several home in the Ojai Valley, and the home the Rosamond’s lived in. He was a landlord.
With tears in her eyes, Lilian told me how her father imparted his dream to her, when he affixed her gaze out to sea, over the horizon, to the land of eternity, where the noblest attributes of humankind, dwell – a land where poets and artists are not punished for creating their beloved sanctuaries.
I met Drew Benton for the first time at her mother’s house, the day before Christine Rosamond Benton’s funeral in Carmel by the Sea. She had come over to play video games with her cousin, Shamus. Vicki Presco introduced us. Drew turned to look me in the eyes, did not speak, and went back to play in cyber world. When we met in Moy Mell, our Avatars, she approached this grey haired warrior and exclaimed with her computer keyboard;
“My long lost uncle!”
Fanny Y. Cory, Grandmother of Ann Cory on her mother’s side
Now I will go back in time. I will go back to one of the dearest people in my life, my grandma.
Today her art work is bought and sold today on e-bay and other sites and she is noted in books about illustrators of the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Her art name is Fanny Y. Cory, although sometimes she signed with FYC and other versions of her name. The one thing that never changed, though, was that she signed her art vertically and with carefully formed capital letters.
Fanny Y. Cory was someone who always drew from the time she was old enough to hold a pencil. One of her early memories was lying on the floor of her home drawing away with adults patiently stepping over her.
She drew so much and so well that not only could she draw anything she saw but anything she wanted to materialize out of her fertile imagination.
Fanny Y. Cory’s brother, Jack Cory, a well-known political cartoonist, paid her way to attend the Metropolitan School of Fine Arts in New York City.
She took part in the Artists Student Legue there but soon needed to earn money from her art to support her darling sister who had consumption.
Many times as I grew up I heard her tell the story about her beginning attempt to sell her illustrations. The first journey at 17 up the ”well-worn iron stairs” into the unknown world of “Scribners” was frightening.
“The young man at the desk flipped carelessly through my portfolio. Then he looked up and said to ‘Come back when you became known’ ”.
“I thanked him kindly and then walked across the hall to “Century” and they took my illustrations right away.”
Before long Fanny Y. Cory was known as the “Sweetheart of the Century Company,” and became one of the best known illustrators in the country.
She did covers and illustrations of St. Nicholas, Life, Scribner’s, Century, Harper’s Bazaar and The Saturday Evening Post.
She also illustrated many books during this time among them Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1902) by Lewis Carrol, and several books by Frank L. Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz.
Fanny Y. Cory married a Montana rancher whom she had gotten to know in earlier years via his sisters and moved to his ranch at Canyon Ferry, Montana.
They raised their children there and she continued her illustration work on a limited basis.
After Fanny Y. Cory’s children become older, it was apparent that they needed college training.
Fanny Y. Cory had always done her art for the good of others and to help her children have their dreams, she threw her talents into a new art field: two syndicated comic strips which she did for 25 and 30 years respectively.
One was “Little Miss Muffet,” a daily strip that King Features ran originally as their answer to the very popular “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip.