Sunday, January 12, 2014

A third confirmation on what became of Bill Finger in death

After I was interviewed on All Things Considered on NPR, I heard from Dean Badolato, a friend of Bill’s first wife, Portia. 

So, of course, I interviewed him.

Dean was kind to attend my 5/15/13 talk at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, during which I showed the page from Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman that reveals what happened to Bill after he died. I’d learned this not from a published source but rather from two unconnected people who knew Bill’s son Fred.

Dean is now the third person (after Fred
’s cousin and his good friend) to confirm this poignant incident, which we almost lost to time. I’m so fortunate that my orbit crossed the orbits of the few people who knew what Fred did with Bill’s ashes.

Here is what Dean recounted:

…at one of my many “Dinners with Portia,” Bill had probably just died and she informed me. I must have inquired where he would be buried and she said Freddie (she called him Freddie most of the time) had made the trip out to the west coast with Bill’s ashes and that he had formed the shape of the Batman logo with his ashes and then watched the waves slowly wash them into the ocean.

Portia had a sly—or snide, perhaps—chuckle when she found something humorous or perhaps in this case, ironic…or symbolic even…who knows. I remember her chuckling over this. Also she almost always had a Virginia Slims cigarette in her hand and often in hot weather a ladies’ hand fan in the other. She had a gorgeous collection of fancy fans.

If she shed even a single tear over Bill’s passing, it would have been in private because she sure did not think highly of him.
Again, I know she would have approved of your work, Marc, because she believed highly in justice. And if Fred and Portia and Bill could be aware of your influencing Athena to gain the royalty privileges, I know they would be extremely grateful to you.

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