In his so-called biography, "From a Moth to a
Flame," published last summer, Michael Streissguth contends
that Jim was violently-tempered toward Mary and literally had
her "cowering" in corners. He bases this inflammatory
accusation on one uncorroborated story from songwriter Alex Zanetis.
What Streissguth either didn't know -- or chose not to tell his
readers -- is that Jim had a falling out with Zanetis and vowed
never to even listen to any of his submissions in the future,
let alone record any more of his songs. So obviously Zanetis had
an axe to grind. As the photo above from a 1958 fair date shows,
Jim and Mary were sweethearts -- and remained so until the day
he died. Scores of similar photos show them being affectionate
with each other. Mary, for her part, once wrote an article saying
that, as a husband, Jim was "perfection personified."
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