Friday, February 13, 2015

Waste paper for Victory

"So," the unwary person asked, "How is Everything?"
Because he was a kind, gentle, thoughtful soul at heart, he didn't answer.

Thankfully, the period of the planet Mercury's being retrograde has ended. For now. Or so the theory goes. Both the washing machine and the dryer had broken while his clothes and bed linens were being cleaned. While typing that last sentence, he made a mistake and tried to delete the incorrect letter. It refused to budge. Then the whole page simply vanished. Being a stubborn male, he did not take the hint.

I wonder if anyone felt aggrieved by Mercury retrograde in 1944?  Certainly, there wasn't any mention of the concept in the local newspaper. It was a time of some tension. That February the war was being fought in the Pacific at the Marshall Islands, along the western coast of Italy at places named Anzio and Monte Cassino, bombs were falling on London and much of Germany. The buildup of soldiers for the panned invasion of Europe was underway. Everyone waited.

By February the 12th, the 4th War Loan was ending and a new push for waste paper and kitchen fats was starting. They were products needed for the war.


February 12th, 1944 was a Saturday. That night at 11:30pm would be the weekly broadcast of the Army Air Force Band of the Training Command, under the direction of Captain Glenn Miller. The show was known as "I Sustain the Wings". My radio show (which follows) closes with a program prepared that night called "Uncle Sam Presents". I've been unable to ascertain whether it was excerpted from the regular broadcast, a rehearsal, or prepared separately. Along the way there are excerpts from the 1st Esquire Jazz awards with Louis Armstrong, Mildred Bailey, Billie Holiday, and Jack Teagarden. There are excerpts from a Feb. 1944 Downbeat with Charlie Barnet and his Orchestra - with Lester Young sitting in. And there's Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, and Frank Sinatra among others. I hope anyone who listens enjoys the show.


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