Of Research & Tinkle Troubles

Beautiful Sybil Tinkle As A Teen In Texas

Thanks to Twitter and my friend Cliff Aliperti of Immortal Ephemera (and occasionally blogging with me at Inherited Values — nudge, nudge, Cliff lol), I was alerted to a fabulous post by author Michael G. Ankerich (I now want every single one of his books!). Ankerich’s post is right up my alley — right down to the word “tinkle” lol

Olive Borden: The Sybil Tinkle Connection includes everything I love…

Beautiful female silent film stars, the joy and anguish of impeccable obsessive research, a case of mistaken (or misleading) identity which is only partially solved… For now.

Ankerich may have proved that Olive Borden was not Sybil Tinkle (despite the perpetuation of the story long after it was corrected), but so many questions remain…

Why does mythinformation continue to spread? What is it about this legend that keeps it going? Why the mix-up in the first place?  Accident or on purpose?

And, most importantly, whatever happened to Sybil Tinkle?

I want to know because I’ve fallen in love with her.

Young Sybil was said to be the first girl in Timpson, Texas, to smoke and “often painted outdoors, clad only in lingerie.” After a disastrous marriage in the early 1920s, Sybil ran away to California where she attempted to break into the movies. “Once in Hollywood, she wrote notes and sent portraits but, after a while, the family lost touch with her–forever!” (I say, has anyone ever looked at her husband?!)

From there, the Tinkle trail runs dry. A tasteless pun, perhaps; but it also captures the essence of things for me… Researching through old newspapers and other ephemera is rather like CSI work: you can only work off of the evidence left behind and, as time passes, it’s much harder.

Kudos to you, Mr. Ankerich, for the work you’ve done, for the women you’ve introduced me to — and for leaving just enough of a mystery for me to become obsessed with.

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