Frank’s Fax Facts And Reviews
Volume XVIII, No. 39
Sunday, December 16, 2012
I returned home earlier this afternoon, from Waynesboro, where I had been the guest of Sharon and Joe Grimley. Joe had driven here to fetch me back to their lovely (and sumptuously Christmas decorated) Saturday morning. George was transported down from Ellisville, and we all celebrated an early Noel together then and there. Dale Hudson brought my brother (they returned home, before dark) and we all had a wonderful visit together.
Sharon served our holiday feast, shortly after their arrival. This consisted of succulent shrimp, in sauce that made us keep coming back for more. There were thick and delicious ham slices, served with home made crescent rolls; black eyed peas; Asian Salad (sweet Ginger dressing; small wonder that I loved this particular part of the meal!) twice-baked potato casserole; cinnamon rolls and Lemon Ice Box Pie. It was a luscious, absolutely wonderful meal. The potatoes were especially noteworthy.
All this, and we all got presents, to boot.
Once again, as I allowed my eyes to take in the precision of the Christmas decorations, both on the walls and windows, as well as the large Christmas tree; I felt great admiration for our charming hostess. She is definitely a perfectionist in everything she cooks as well her artistic designs. I consider myself blessed to have been invited to this wonderful party!
Just as last year, I stayed with the Grimlies overnight, again in their twin guest-houses and this morning they took me to mass (after a breakfast of home-made biscuits and slices of ham), in the church that Joe’s father had built in 1957 (in Waynesboro), after which we drove to a seafood restaurant for lunch. I had fried catfish, they both had fried oysters. Then they brought me back home to Ginger, and then they had the long drive back to their home. I certainly do feel loved: they gave me lots of reasons to be glad I am still alive, and that I am blessed with such kind, generous and loving relatives!
The church is a perfect example of understatement and charm. The gorgeous
woodwork on the interior, is a masterpiece of natural beauty: it still looks brand new,
even though it was erected in 1956!
Ed Kohler went out of my life for a long part of my Mobile existence, and eventually began working under our mutual friend, Dale Hudson, at FSU’s Music Library. Then, taking more degrees (this time, in Library Science and computers), he had also done work making music manuscripts, as well as library work, in New York. He had a home built in Utah, and was prepared to live out his life there, in spite of the fact
that he loathed the Mormon Community. When his parents both became terminally ill, he came back to Pensacola, the home town that he had always loathed, and we renewed our friendship. Meanwhile, Dale and Franko moved from Tallahassee to Hattiesburg, so Ed worked out a schedule whereby he could work in monthly visits to my house and Dale and Franko’s, giving us both freely of his tonsorial talents. It was with these visits that I feel I got to know him better than I had ever done in the past.
And we all agreed: he gave us all the best haircuts we had ever gotten anywhere!
How did he do it? He was Mr. Wonderful!
(To be continued)
Draft Dodgers Anonymous
The day that our Basic Training program officially began, we were all thrilled beyond belief to see a fine looking Lieutenant named Martin Rellis, as our commanding officer. We really breathed a deep sigh of relief when the first thing he told us (after greeting us) was that we did not have to worry about Sgt. Moss (the horrible little gnome who had scared us almost to death with his threats of turning our backsides into something resembling a Saltine Cracker.) This nasty little man had been retired from his position as our First Sergeant! Lt. Rellis assured us that Sgt, Moss would bother us no further. Marcus and I jabbed each other in ribs, grinning like two Cheshire cats, remembering how he had finally let us get up from our “good, comfortable Lean and Rest position” of the previous night; not to mention our resemblance to a Sody-Cracker!” We were then introduced to our Secondary Commanding Officer, Lt. Sam Patrick, by Lt. Rellis; both of these officers (we were to learn) were college graduates.
Lt. Rellis gave us a good “Pep Talk” and asked for our cooperation. He did stress that he could be firm when he needed to be; and that there would be no insubordination allowed.
All in all, I felt that I could not have asked for a more favorable series of circumstances!
As time went by, Lt. Patrick seemed especially fond of me. I remember particularly after we had to walk for several miles (and Marcus and I brought up the traditional “Rear”, Lt. Patrick looked out over the company’s heads, as we were lined up back at our barracks, and called out, “Imbragulio, how you doing?” I sang out, “I’m fine, sir!” “That’s my boy!” he replied. I felt as if I would surely die I was so happy that he had not pointed out my shortcomings.
But that was pretty much how the entire Army experience went for me. I still can scarcely believe my good fortune (except for two or three unpleasant occurrences that were quite simply, more than I could physically cope with). I not only managed to “give it my best shot”, but also had a whale of a good time doing it!
I often thank God that He made me volunteer to go to Germany with my friend when he was given his orders for the assignment.
During our 8-week Basic Training period, I made two trips home to visit with my parents. The first time, I rode to Meridian with a fellow from our platoon at Ft. Jackson. Helen and Tom met me in Meridian and drove me to Ellisville. For the return trip, I had bought a plane ticket to Columbia, S. C. Helen and Tom were sweet enough to drive me the distance to Ellisville. Of course my parents were thrilled to death that I had cared enough about them to travel all that distance (which seemed much shorter, thanks to blessed plane service!) Naturally, I was so happy to be back where everything was so normal and the food was that which I had grown up with. George seemed especially proud to see that I had adjusted so well to the military life. He was particularly happy when he learned of Lavon’s helping me on so many occasions’ especially the locker story.
I remember very little of either of these trips, except that the round-trip place ride put me back in S.C. a little past midnight. That was the night just before our week of Bivouac was scheduled. I will never forget walking as quietly as possible, up the stairs and then to my bunk, in silent blackness, then quickly shedding my uniform to get into bed for a few hours of sleep. It seemed as if the lights were turned on and the usual racket began immediately, causing my nerves to jangle!
Of course I managed to wake up, take my shower and get into a fresh pair of Fatigues. Marcus was glad that I got back safe and sound, he told me. He also said he had missed me, as we walked to the mess hall for breakfast.
Lavon and his co-worker ( Orman Sanderson, whom all of his friends called “Sandy”) kept me more or less prepared in advance as to whether or not the following day’s training was easy or difficult, and both of them had said that they enjoyed the week of sleeping in a tent more fun that a barrel of monkeys! Therefore, like a fool, I was actually looking forward to it. That is, except for the matter of the final say, which consisted of something horribly terrifying, known as the Obstacle Course! Our eyes almost popped out of our heads as we were told of crawling on the dirt, making sure your rifle did not get full of dirt, and that at the end, you were supposed to run from the trenches firing those rifles, and screaming your lungs out, at the same time!
When they finished this preview of coming nightmares, I said I hope the work friendly Sgt. could get me out of that. They both laughed, and told me that was the one thing in all of Basic Training that nobody was allowed to miss. As a matter of fact, you literally could not be said to have completed your Basic Training until you had completed the Infiltration exercise!
But many things had happened between these two visits: For one thing, the so-called six-week Basic Program actually was a myth! I had only to watch the numbers on the flag staff each week to know that we had been lied to. Those weekly numbers (actually) rarely changed under two weeks!
Meanwhile, we were all trying to adjust to Fort Jackson’s awful climate. We had been told that it had the perfect weather for all of the worst places on the earth, where wars were likely to occur! And I could easily believe that.
One week we spent learning how to use the M1 rifle. And, Brother were we evermore threatened with death if we did not take loving care of that Baby! The first day we had to march with them, mine felt as if it weighed at least a hundred pounds!
To add insult to injury, we were made to walk from our barracks, all the way to what resembled the Sahara Desert, and felt at least three times as hot!
Shortly, after we had arrived at our destination, we were allowed to sit and have some water to ease our pain. It was while we were “Resting” that the Cadre informed us that if we were careless enough to get blisters from the hellish heat, we would be Court Marshaled! They went on to justify this by telling is our bodies were no longer our own, but that we now belonged to Uncle Sam!
Lynwood and I managed to get ourselves assigned to pulling down the targets (as each was fired into) on the Rifle Range. This was because Lavonne and Sandy had told us this was fun. It actually was a lot of fun, and we were having a ball! We were expected to find where on the target, the person firing the shot’s bullet had hit, then lifting a long pole with a place for the results of the shot to be exhibited. Of course, we loved it when we could put up “Maggie’s Drawers”- which red outline was almost as disgraceful as The Scarlet Letter of Hawthorne!
But I wasn’t laughing when he was our turn to do the shooting, and someone else kept giving me “Maggie’s Drawers”’ even though I knew I was shooting exactly as they had told us! I felt disgraced with my pitiful score after that first day! (To be Continued)
Movie Trivia Quiz #63
- A Walk in the Spring Rain had which Academy Award winner as its heroine?
- Butterflies are Free starred which romantic pair? (Goldie Hawn and Edward Albert,)
- Samson and Delilah had Hedy Lamar and what Samson? (Mature)
- Of Human Bondage had which Oscar(s) winner and Leslie Howard together again?
- What other film (also based on a best seller novel) was the same pair in?
- 20 Mule Team had what rough old Smoothie as its beloved star?
- Port of Seven Seas was later made into what musical?
- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas was written for what MGM Musical?
- Now, ask yourself the question, "For what movie was 'On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santé Fe' written?"
- Name the two romantic stars of The Clock. This refers to the WW2 love story of a couple who have only a few hours until he must leave from Grand Central Station.
Answers to Quiz No. 62
- Ronald Colman was Ginger Rogers’ Lucky Partner in RKOs Lucky Partners.
- Kay Francis was Ronald Colman’s wife in Cynara.
- It’s a Pleasure was one of International Picture’s bigger hits before they merged with Universal. Sonja Henie was its star who also produced it.
- Barbara Stanly said, “I love him because he don’t know how to kiss—the jerk!” about Gary Cooper in Sam Goldwyn’s Ball of Fire.
- I think I’ll even be sad for you in heaven, Jo.” As Beth said in Little Women.
6.David Niven was the very first James Bond (in Columbia’s Casino Royale.
7. Edna Mae Oliver was “Aunt March” in 1930’s Little Women She was also David Copperfield’s grandmother in that film.
8. Olivia DeHavilland was Maid Marian in Adventures of Robin Hood (Errol Flynn version?
9. Audrey Hepburn was blind, in the thriller Home Before Dark.
10.Dorothy MacGuire played a deaf mute in The Spiral Staircase.