Frank’s Fax Facts and Reviews

Vol. XVIII, No. 42

 Sunday, January 6, 2013         

My New Year’s Day began quietly and dull, but not to worry: things started happening around two that afternoon that more  than made up for the monotony of the earlier hours. I put some laundry in the washer, then went into the study to call Dale Hudson. We chatted for a while, and when I went back into the kitchen, I was in for a shock: the sink drain had clogged up and bilge water was all over the floor!

Having just had an overflow in my bathroom, when I left the water running in the lavatory till it got hot. I had already used lots of clean towels to soak up that mess! Then those two sweet ladies who seem always to visit me when I need help the most (Elizabeth French and Peggy Raines) came and took over drying the mess up.

Finally, I was able to get the same man who had gotten my guest bathroom in working order two weeks earlier. I hope I am free of plumbing bills for a while!


“Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments, but I never heard of one who suffered from insomnia.”

                                                                          Joseph Wood Crutch

Draft Dodgers Anonymous

       It was the second day that I was spending back in our barracks. I had thought the officer the job of Barracks Orderly had given me was for one day only; after which I would be returned to our Bivouac area, with all of its unpleasant little surprises. Now I offered a quick prayer, thanking God for my good fortune, as I walked towards the main PX. I had eaten my lunch there the day before, and it was simply sheer heaven eating Southern Fried Chicken and potato salad! I passed up the scrambled eggs, even though I knew that these were real eggs and not those awful powdered eggs of K-ration Fame. Instead, I opted for bacon and French Toast, with a Coca Cola substituting for Coffee. I enjoyed each mouthful (of which there were many) and then I sensed, rather than saw or heard someone standing next to my table. I glanced quickly, and almost fainted when I saw that it was none other than Lynwood!

       “What on earth are you doing here?” I asked, afraid that he would tell me that he had come to take over my Barracks Orderly job.

       “I took advantage of my cold to get permission to come in on ‘sick call.’” He laughed as he told me this. “But they said they’d come back for me around noon.”

       “Wonder if they’ll tell me to go back then, too?”

       “I have no idea; but I sure have missed you!”

       “Well-likewise, I’m sure.”

       “Don’t eat too fast now, cause I want some breakfast too.”

       “I’ll wait.”

       I watched as he walked towards the servers. He walked like a majorette; with a sort of swagger. When he returned (with the tray stacked high with fried chicken. Two Cokes and hominy grits) I chuckled.

       “What’s funny?” he asked.   

       “Oh, nothing. I guess I’m just glad to see you.”

       He took a mammoth bite of white meat, and said, “Same here!”

       From the first time we met, till the day he died, I had never had any friend who was dearer to me. “Don’t talk with your mouth full!”

       “Yes, Mother!”

       We both concentrated on our breakfast. Then he shoved his chair back and took out a cigarette and lit it. Between him and Marcus, I grew rather tired of giving my old “You should quit that disgusting habit!” speech. So I said it again.

       “Oh, I know it. But, what can I tell you: I’m hooked.”

       “Well. At least you’re not as bad as Marcus.” He grinned.

       “Nobody is!” he stated flatly.

       “Plus the fact that he is all too ready to share his daily carton with any of these moochers who have the habit, but seldom have the cigarettes.”

       “Amen to that. At  least I buy my own poison.”

       “Let’s get back before they come and steal us away from here,” I said drearily.

“So, what have you been doing to pass the time since you’ve had the place all to yourself?” He asked as we walked towards Service Company.

“I had several naps, and caught up on my letter writing.”

“Yo Mama goanna love dat!”

“I sincerely hope so. I wrote to George and Josephine, too.”

“I wish I could enjoy writing letters, but I just don’t. I can never think of anything interesting.”

“Oh, you must know that just letting people know you care enough about them to write a letter is enough to send most folks into outer space. But never, under any circumstances, let them know that you have even the slightest cold—or anything else that everybody gets!”

We were at the Company Clerk’s office, and heard him typing away at something. “Let’s see what Miz West is up to.” Ever since Lynwood heard that the guy’s name was Sgt.West, he had dubbed him “Mae” (but only behind his back)

I walked in behind Lyn. “Well, if it ain’t the best dang typist in the who army!” West seemed delighted to see Lynwood. And by this time, I knew that my friend’s virtuosity at the typewriter was rather like a young Horowitz at the piano!

“How you doin’, Sgt. West?”

“It’s been nice and quiet with everybody gone but Umbriago, here,” and he jabbed me playfully in the ribs.

“Do you know if we both have to go back today?” My heart was literally in my mouth as I asked this burning question.

“They never tell me anything!” he seemed genuinely upset; but I well remembered his telling a group of us, one night in the latrine that we were wasting entirely too much toilet paper: and that we needed only one sheet and a finger!

We left him and walked back to our bunks, where we sat on mine because it was a lower berth. Noon came and went, but thankfully no jeep bothered with us. So, we decided to wait until about five o’clock before returning to the PX for some sort of supper. “I have some Vienna sausages and crackers that Mama sent last week, and we’ll get Mae to let us in the officer’s lounge where we can get Cokes. I was always interested in when and from whence my next meal was coming.

Our mutual good luck continued to spoil us, and we were not made to return to the rest of our squadron (or was it a platoon? I was never very knowledgeable about logistics) until Thursday afternoon, late.

All we could think about on the ride back, was the forthcoming Infiltration Course, which we were required to run (without the “benefit” of two rehearsals) This amounts to crawling around a patch of dirt carefully designed to approximate an area of combat, with live ammunition whizzing all around and  above us! Not exactly what I was eager to go through!


       And to add insult to injury, we had to sleep in our tents afterwards! O, goody! I’d just bet that my tent-mate (who had half of our tent to be responsible for, while I had the other half) had missed my being there. Not!

       There was one positive, however, though at the time, it afforded me not a lot of compensation for those tons of negatives: Another of Mama’s huge CARE packages had come in much earlier in the week, and they had not opened it (mercifully). So, if (and that was very iffy) I managed to survive the onslaught, there would at least be that for which to be thankful!

       Almost the second we got out of the jeep, Marcus and the strange little fellow from the state of Washington, were there to welcome us back; tell us how much they had missed us; and then proceeded to make me almost throw up with their lurid descriptions of their earlier-that-day’s two trial runs! George (I cannot remember the boy’s other name, but he had no friends at all, except for myself and Marcus). His un-popularity was caused by his aversion to water. He would turn the shower on, then run as fast as he could run through its mist, one time. Of course he had no time to use soap. Threats of our entire squadron’s giving him a GI Shower were voiced repeatedly. Then, one night, when Marcus and I had gone to a movie, and came in after most of the place was asleep, we heard the following sad tale: George had tried to get away with his usual “Shower”, and suddenly was attacked by several of the bigger and more gung-ho trainees of the place. They held him down and he was forced to endure his entire body’s being brutally scrubbed with stiff new brushes! After they finally released him, he ran out on the little balcony at the end of the floor, and attempted to hang himself with a rope!

       The little fellow had received a sort of CARE package of his own--that same week, he told me. He said he was not sharing it with anyone but Marcus and me. Those were the most wonderful apples I had ever tasted! I kid you not.

       But I’m getting ahead of myself: We still had the I. C. to be gotten through.

       “Marcus,” Lynwood was literally begging for some words of comfort. “How bad was it?”

       “Oooooh! Y’all-------------it was HORRIBLE! I’ve never been through anything like it! And the second time it was even WORSE!”

       I looked over at George, who was nonchalantly munching an apple. “Was it really that bad?” I asked.

Among other things that George never seemed to mince, were words like, “Yes!”

(To be Continued)

Movie Trivia Quiz #67

  1. The Cockeyed Miracle was an MGM oddity from 1946 that I had never seen nor heard of.  It was hysterically funny, with a good cast headed by the man who was the title character of The Wizard of Oz. Do you remember his name?
  2. Finnian’s Rainbow has a haunting musical score, which includes “How are Things in Glockomora?” “Look for the Rainbow”: “That Old Devil Moon”, “The Girl that I Marry”, etc. The director was the man who did such films as The Godfather, and its many sequels. What is his name?
  3. Fred Astaire was the actor who played Finnian. His daughter was a popular British pop singer. Who was she? (She told another of her leading men, “Good-bye!” with its title)
  4. A Guy Named Joe was a melancholy story that starred Spencer Tracy and the star of Showboat. What was her name?
  5. Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing all appeared in what huge hit of 1967?
  6. Henry Fonda appeared in only one film of Alfred Hitchcock: Can you name it?  
  7. Samuel Goldwyn made such hits as Wuthering Heights, The Best Years of Our Lives, Pride of the Yankees, The Bishop’s Wife and Guys and Dolls, but won only one Oscar. For which of these films? Best Years of Our Lives
  8. RKO’s They Knew What They Wanted became what big musical hit on Broadway? The Most Happy Fellow
  9. Who was Becky Sharp in RKO’s first Technicolor film? Miriam Hopkins
  10. Bitter Rice introduced what Italian star to USA screens? Silvana Mangano


Answers to Quiz #66

1. Johnny Depp was Sweeny Todd, the owner of a Chocolate Factory, and is often in the Caribbean Sea.

2. Loretta Young was David Niven’s wife in The Bishop’s Wife.

3.     Dudley, (Cary Grant) was the angel who played the harp in this wonderful Sam Goldwyn movie.

4.     Peggy Cass was Auntie Mame’s secretary in the film Aunty Mame, for which she won an Oscar.

5.      Lucille Ball played the role of Mame in the filmed musical version.

6.     Angela Lansbury made those famous “Meat Pies” in Broadway’s original Sweeny Todd.

7.     Johnny Come Lately was played by James Cagney.

8.     Henry Fonda was in such diverse films as Young Abe Lincoln, The Lady Eve, Jezebel, Jesse James, and On Golden Pond. He won only one Oscar, for his last film (On Golden Pond)’

9.     Tyrone Power was the other top Fox star was with the above actor as Jessie James,

10.    Jane Russell was so provocative in The Outlaw, that Howard Hughes almost never got it released in 1943! What did he call it? Duh: Would you believe The Outlaw?



1.    In Love Crazy, William Powell poses as an insane man, to try to save his marriage to frequent costar, Myrna Loy.

  1. Goldie Hawn is a in the army as Private Benjamin.

3. The all star cast of There’s No Business Like Show Business included Johnny Ray, as  Ethel Merman’s son. who leaves the stage to become a priest?

4. Marilyn Monroe sang, “We’re Having a Heat Wave”, in the above film?

5. Irving Berlin wrote all of the music for this Fox musical.

6. Undercurrent starred Katherine Hepburn and Robert Taylor and  had Robert Mitcham, as Taylor’s brother.

7. Carmen Miranda’s screen debut was in one of Fox’s best musicals, Down  Argentina Way.

8. The big stars of this musical were Betty Grable and Tyrone Power.

9. Edward Scissorhands was played by Johnny Depp.

10. The gorgeous female was played by brunette, Wynona Ryder, who was blond in this unusual (to say the least) screenplay.







Sunday, January 6, 2013