25 march mmxi
Sterling Hayden, “The Beautiful Blond Viking God”
Spring is here, and summer, soon to follow. I’m excited because that means sun-drenched adventures are not too far out of reach.
This past winter, while visiting our favorite top secret Upstate bookshop, Doris and I came across an interesting article in an old issue of Life Magazine from 1959. It told the tale of actor Sterling Hayden (the Brad Pitt of his day—described as “The Beautiful Blond Viking God”) and his children taking to the sea for a 10-month adventure on their schooner, Wanderer. Mr. Hayden, recently divorced, was awarded custody of his children but a court order forbade him from taking this journey with his kids—he went anyway.
They took with them a doctor, a teacher, and three more children (the first mate’s), and spent the next ten months sailing around the South Pacific. The top photo and its original caption say it all: “With the ‘Wanderer’ secured to a coconut tree in the lee of lovely Moorea Island, Hayden swims with his children and crew in the warm waters.”
words Mark Ho-Kane
image Photos, LIFE magazine 1959