From April 1935:
What would you do if you only had 24 hours to live?
Carole Lombard…wants to gather her friends around her for the last bow. Instead of just a few, she prefers a large gay cocktail gathering in her home.
“Because,” she said to me, “I think it would be great to go out with a ring of laughter and music in your ears, don’t you?”
“By cable, telephones, wires and radios I would get in direct communication with the few people I have hurt during my life. With death hovering near, I could explain and ask their forgiveness, a thing that seems too difficult to do in the midst of life and loving. I would make my peace with them, and then I would go to some out of the way church and make peace with God.”
“First, I hope I could arrange for those precious twenty-four hours to take place in New York City, and I’d like the day to be a Wednesday or a Saturday. I would want it this way so I could attend a matinee and another performance in the evening. You see, I would like to witness two whopping good plays on my last day on earth. And, somehow, I think I would like to find death in the same place where I first found life, in the theater.”
“I’d charter a plane and fly up to the family’s ranch in Wyoming. The trip should take five hours, leaving nineteen for a swim and some fishing in the waterfall pool near the ranch house, a short ride into the mountains and one campfire meal. I can’t think of anything else more satisfying for my final day.”
“I can forget every worry, fear and irritation in the High Sierras. I am sure I could even forget impending death there. I would want Ham, my husband with me, and, if possible, our two dogs. We have a special camping place in the northeastern corner of Kern County, California, that few people know about. I’d like to pitch camp there, catch one rainbow trout, cook it over an open fire, eat it, and then watch one of those impossibly beautiful mountain sunsets.”
For Clark Gable there would be no heroics or dramatics. He would dispense with farewells, last talks with friends and loved ones, and would live his one short day as it were just another casual date on his calendar. “I’d like to go to work at the studio as usual, see familiar faces, do familiar things, eat familiar foods, that’s all.” And then after a full minute’s hesitation he added: “Oh, yes, just one more thing, I’d like to see a sunrise.”