It is also known
that Lilian was the daughter of Karl Gustav Wahamaki, at one time Finland's
consul to China, and that the name Dresden comes from her marriage to Elliott
Dresden in Fort Worth on Sept. 7, 1948, just six weeks after she first entered
the U.S. through Honolulu.
Elliott now lives
near San Diego, where he holds the business license for Executive Sweet, a
service offering escorts, off-the-premises massages and "nude
entertainment." Dresden says he met Lilian early in World War II, when he
was stationed in Australia with the Army Air Corps. Until recently he knew
nothing about his former wife's relationship with Brundage or that her sons
bear his name. "The only thing I got out of this marriage," he says,
"was the greatest beef stroganoff recipe ever."
Brundage's closest associate, recalls having seen Mrs. Dresden in person only
once, probably in 1952, soon after she moved into the first Redwood City house.
"I sat in the car and he went to the house and talked to her," says
Ruegsegger. "She was a tall, blonde woman, a high-class-looking person. He
didn't tell me who she was at that time."
Most of the
additional information concerning Lilian has been culled largely from official
court and naturalization proceedings. For example, when she first entered the
U.S. in 1948, her last name was Paulin, and she carried with her an 8-month-old
son, Karl Gustav Howard Mark Paulin, whose father's identity is unknown. Soon
thereafter, she married Elliott, but they separated after only 10 days. Elliott
now suspects that she married him only to obtain an American husband, which as
an alien she needed to stay in the U.S. Except for the fact that she first met
Brundage in Chicago in November of '48, her whereabouts are unknown, until the
birth of Avery Gregory Dresden in August 1951 in San Mateo. Some time later,
when she moved into the house deeded to Frances Blakely and held in trust for
Brundage, she was pregnant with their second child. Gary was born Aug. 19,
1952, and a month later, on Sept. 16, she obtained a decree annulling her
marriage to Elliott.
Because of the
annulment, Lilian and the Paulin boy probably faced deportation as aliens. This
wasn't the case for the other two boys, because they had been born in the U.S.
In an attempt to head off deportation proceedings, Brundage apparently
solicited the help of Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen. On Jan. 26, 1953
Dirksen introduced a private bill seeking to grant Lilian and the boy permanent
residence. However, the bill was never passed, which is probably why Lilian and
her sons left the country on May 24 and began an extended trip to Mexico City
and Europe. She returned to the U.S. on Dec. 3, 1954 as "a visitor for
pleasure." Almost four months later, on March 30, 1955, she signed an
agreement for a trust fund that Brundage had set up for Avery and Gary in the
amount of $500,000. (She had received the Redwood City house earlier.) In
return, she signed away for herself and the boys "all claims, causes of
action, damages and demands, whatsoever, which she or they now have or ever had
Dresden left the
country again sometime after that, but when she returned, on April 18, 1956,
she was able to become a permanent resident because she was the sister of an
American citizen, her brother Leo Wahamaki having already been naturalized.
Only a handful of
Brundage's closest confidants knew of his elaborate dealings with his secret
family and probably none of them approved. Ruegsegger says sadly, "In most
things, A.B. was a thoroughly honest and honorable man. But during those years
in the 1950s, he was terrified that the truth might come out, that he'd then be
forced out of his IOC position. I think that he worried less and less as the
years went by. Power feeds on itself, and soon you believe you can't do
anything wrong, that you have no weaknesses. That happened to A.B. But I was
always quite shocked by his attitude toward his sons. I came to the United
States from Switzerland in 1948. It was unthinkable in Europe then to do what
he did. Even kings acknowledged their children born out of wedlock. But A.B.
was too afraid the boys would cost him the IOC. At the time he felt no guilt at
continued to visit the boys through the late 1950s, but then reduced his
contact with them to a series of telephone calls in the 1960s. As far as
Ruegsegger knows, Brundage had no contact with them for several years, perhaps
even a decade, before he died. However, Dresden periodically sent him
photographs, including a packet of 20 or so in 1974. Ruegsegger says, "His
eyes were so bad that he couldn't make out the photographs. I explained what
they looked like then. He was going to die very soon and he was in pitiful
shape. Here was this man, lonely and sick, and he had two sons and he'd spent
his whole life closing himself away from them. He'd never been generous with
them. He said to me, 'They're able to take care of themselves now. They're
successful men on their own.' But he was deeply troubled at the end about what
he had done."
benefited relatively little from their father's vast wealth. In addition to
reaching the estate settlement of $62,500 each, Avery got $105,601.63 and Gary
$119,142.25 when the trust fund terminated upon Gary's 25th birthday in 1977.
But because of their silence, it is impossible to say how they really feel
about their father's treatment of them. A clue comes from Ruegsegger, who met
the sons for the first time in Honolulu in early 1979. "Perhaps we were all
a little frightened of meeting each other after all those years," he says,
"but when they came to my hotel room I found them to be delightful,
openhearted people. I expected a pair of bitter individuals, but they had a
better attitude toward A.B. than I did. We talked for a long time about him,
and they were happy to know what A.B. was like."
It would have
taken a great deal of telling to relate what he was really like. He was
enigmatic in the extreme, almost entirely unpredictable—even unknowable—in both
his private life and his work.