• U.S.

People: People, May 29, 1944

4 minute read


Errol Flynn, well-known Hollywood yachtsman, had a new idea about boats, considered converting a sloop into a floating aquarium.

The Duke of Windsor, who has been the quiet banter of some roaring rumors. was reported to be resigning as Governor of the Bahamas and seeking U.S. citizenship. London and Washington semi-omcials expressed grave doubts. Said he: “Fantastic!”‘

H. L. Mencken, happy over the soldier-sailor fan mail that followed pocket-size reprinting of his autobiographical Happy Days and Heathen Days, exuberated with an old-fashioned Mencken slambang: “That is the difference between a soldier and a civilian. The letters you get from civilians come from those who don’t like your books.”

Henry Ford, stuck with his March 19 prediction that the war would be over in two months, stuck to his story: “I had information at that time that led me to believe the war would or could be over within two months. I am sorry, as a lot of other people must be, that it is not over.”

Lew Ayres, onetime cinema glamor boy, now a gaunt and grizzled chaplain’s aide at Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea, decided that he had found what he had always wanted. The former “Dr. Kildare”* plans to enter a seminary after the Avar, eventually preach from a Congregational pulpit. Said he: “I want to continue this work, God willing.”

Maury Maverick, the Texas tornado, further denounced and denned Washington’s “gobbledygook” language (TIME. April 10). Said “blah”-maddened Maverick in the New York Times Magazine: “First, the word: it is long, sounds foreign, has four stories. You walk up without benefit of elevator. Second, its definition: talk or writing which is long, pompous, vague, involved. … It is also talk or writing . . . with repetition over & over again, all of which could have been said in a few words.”

Who’s Who

Betty Smith, author of the best-seller A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and her publishers, Harper & Brothers, had a quarter-million dollar libel suit grafted on them by Miss Smith’s cousin, Mrs. Sadie Grandner of Brooklyn. Perilously perched on the legal limb was a character in the novel, one Aunt Sissie, who once worked in a rubber factory, had eight stillborn children, called all three of her husbands John. “Public scandal, infamy, and disgrace,” claimed 60-year-old Cousin Sadie, who has been called Sissie for some 50 years, once worked in a rubber factory, had four shortlived children, two husbands named John.

Arthur Train, whose silk-hatted Lawyer Ephraim Tutt has long been a famous fiction, had some real lawyer trouble to worry about. His new book, Yankee Lawyer: The Autobiography of Ephraim Tutt, had caused considerable pain to the person of Lewis R. Linet. Said Philadelphia Lawyer Linet, suing for $3.50 worth of fraudulence: “I bought the book thinking it was nonfiction. [It] is a hoax upon the plaintiff and the reading public. . . .”


Leopold Stokowski, asked to do Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, figured he would give his Oaxaca, Mexico audience the works: real church bells, real rifle fire, dynamite blasts to simulate cannon. The local police chief, unaware of the concert’s esthetic goals, rounded up the sound-effects shooters and blasters, had them safely behind bars by the time Stokowski beat out the last bar.

Archibald MacLeish, poet laureate Librarian of Congress, had words for the nation (see U.S. AT WAR) and four words for four medal-getting word men: “Freedom, liberty, democracy, equality . . . are revolutionary words always. . . .” The American Academy of Arts and Letters’ four medal-getting revolutionaries:

S. S. McClure, pioneer muckraking publisher (TIME, May 1), now at work on a book, The Coming of Freedom;

Willa Gather, once nonconformist, now classical frontier novelist (Death Comes for the Archbishop, etc.), onetime managing editor for McClure;

Theodore Dreiser, author of the galumphing American Tragedy, who last week told Columnist Earl Wilson: “I hope [the servicemen] react by ballot or by revolution”;

Paul Robeson, great Negro actor-singer (Othello, etc.), who once sent his son to school in Russia.

Coming & Going

Eric A. Johnston, up-&-doing president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, author of America Unlimited, took off for Russia, where he will discuss U.S.-Russian postwar economics with Joseph Stalin.

Douglas G. (“Wrong-Way”) Corrigan, who flew across the Atlantic (when he was supposed to be flying from New York to Los Angeles) in 1938, was discovered by the Saturday Evening Post test-piloting A26 attack bombers in California, still maintaining that his famed flight was just a fluke, still laughing as he said it.

*For other news of the glamorous doctor, see PRESS.

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