How It Was—1945

By Ted Sares on December 29, 2013
How It Was—1945
This was a spontaneous celebration the likes of which we may never again witness.

Victory over Europe Day, the day on which the surrender of Germany was announced, officially ended the European phase of World War II on May 7, 1945…

There are many ways I can set the stage for the period immediately leading up to and following 1945. I can write about practicing mock air-raid drills in grade school, listening to the air-raid sirens at night, and turning off all lights off. But I’d much prefer to write about the carefree and happy days that followed 1945.

Or, if you were a boxing fan, names like Joe Louis, Lee Oma, Lou Nova, Joe Baksi, Tami Mauriello, Gus Lesnevich, Jersey Joe Walcott, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jake LaMotta, Fritzie Zivic and others might resonate. Indeed, the first professional fight I ever witnessed live was one between Art McWhorter and Bob Satterfield in 1945 in which Bob won by first round KO at the Marigold Gardens. Art went down three times. First from a left hook, then from a typical Satterfield savage flurry, and then from another left hook which finished him. Boxing during the 1940s was a great way for many people to relieve the stress of the times.

Now the other day, I glanced at an obituary in a local paper and noticed that an eighty-nine-year-old town person had passed away and read that he was a recipient of the Bronze and Silver Star, having served in World War II. This resonated with me, for my brother, also a World War II vet, had recently passed and it got me to thinking how things were back then.

Back on a steamy mid-August evening in 1945 (having just celebrated my eighth year birthday), I was in the McVickers Movie Theater in Chicago’s Loop with my two older sisters watching a double feature when all of a sudden we heard some noise coming from outside the theater, a low rumble building to a loud roar. The movie screen went blank and the ushers told us to go outside. Something big was going on. The American people had been anxiously waiting for this moment. There had been rumors and speculations for several days. How much longer could it take? The time had to be near; maybe this was it.

Victory over Europe Day, the day on which the surrender of Germany was announced, officially ended the European phase of World War II on May 7, 1945. But the Pacific phase was still going on and the thing Americans dreaded most was that our troops likely would need to attack Japan in a land invasion to force surrender, but at a likely great loss of life.

Thankfully, Japanese resistance on Okinawa ended on June 22 and this created a surge of hope for an end to the war. Then, on August 6, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by the Enola Gay. Three days later, another superfortess dropped “Fat Boy” on Nagasaki. Four hundred thousand human beings perished in just these two attacks. But incredibly, these horrific bombings (the necessity for which will be debated for eternity) did not bring an immediate surrender and there was a growing and aching frustration for the war’s end. There were more and more reports of possible capitulation. West Coast ham radio operators claimed they had intercepted a Japanese radio broadcast stating that Japan was ready to surrender. Radio listeners, inured to false rumors, moaned and tried to put this prospect out of their minds.

My parents went about their workdays keeping a firm lid on hope, though I remember my mother going to church each day and praying for peace and the safe return of my brother who was poised to go to Japan with the invading troops. Newspapers dwelled on what seemed to be a maddening hesitation on the part of Japanese leaders. Angst was not a common word in those days but if it had been, there was plenty of it in our household. Like everyone else, we were just plain scared to death!

The News

Then the news crackled over a radio headquarters, from 221 Group Royal Air Force, to a primitive U.S. Airstrip at Kinmagon, near Pagan, in Burma. The Japanese had surrendered. At 7:00 PM, Eastern Time, President Harry Truman officially announced around the world the following: “I have received this afternoon a message from the Japanese Government …I deem this…a full acceptance of [the terms of] the unconditional surrender of Japan…arrangements are now being made for the formal signing of surrender terms at the earliest possible moment.” He went on to say, “This is the day we have been waiting for since Pearl Harbor.” From John Woolley and Gerhard Peters: “The President’s News Conference of August 14, 1945,” The American Presidency Project.

Cities, towns, hamlets, homes, workplaces and streets throughout the United States erupted into pandemonium. It was over, and the news soon trickled down to Chicago’s downtown area and to every other place in America and the world. Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) was on August 15, 1945, the day when fighting with Japan ended, although the surrender was formally signed was on September 2. The day is technically commemorated on August 14 in the United States since the news of the surrender broke on that date in our time zones.

Back to the McVickers Theater

Well, when my sisters and I got outside the theater, there were thousands of people dancing in the streets as far as the eyes of an eight-year-old boy could see. While still very young, I had some minimal grasp of what all this meant. So did my sisters, both of whom were soon dancing with strangers and screaming at the top of their lungs. So did everyone else. This was a spontaneous celebration the likes of which we may never again witness. People all across America took to the streets to indulge in total and uninhibited silliness. Responsible and “sober” citizens turned fire hoses on each other and engaged in conga lines, wriggling, kicking, and screaming. We did the Bunny Hop before anyone knew there was such a dance. There was confetti, signs, soda pop, beer, kisses, hugs, music and dancing. It was wild. It was joyous.

But what did all this mean to me? Well, for one thing, I knew I would no longer have to help my mother tend to our victory gardens which, albeit symbolically, provided us with food in place of those items which were rationed by the government, but more importantly, which helped cultivate morale by demonstrating civilian support for the war effort. I also sensed that just maybe, I might now be able to get my hands on some Fleers Double Bubble gum made with real sugar, a scarce and much-wanted commodity during the war years. But most of all, we knew that my brother, Arturo, would not have to go to Japan. We knew that unlike so many of the young men on our city block in Chicago, men like Billy Gephardt and Bobby Hubert, he would soon be coming home and that was indeed cause for great celebration. We could finally remove the star from our window. Too many others were not so fortunate and that was cause for profound sadness.

So now, whenever I happen to hear some old Chicago blues or a tune by Bob Eberly, Glenn Miller, Harry James or the Andrews Sisters, or when I hear George Shearing and Mel Torme do “Mel and George Do World War II,” I think about those members of the “Greatest Generation” who fought so valiantly. Whenever I read an obituary about someone who served during that time, I think about how I wish I somehow could have acknowledged their sacrifices in a better way and I think about my brother and how I wish he could have been with us at the Satterfield-McWhorter fight.

But most of all and with moist eyes, I think about all those real champions, the real heroes, gallant fellows like Billy Gephardt and Bobby Hubert down at the end of our block who left at such a young age in 1942 and never returned.

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

HD Stock Footage WWII V-E Day Germany Surrenders



VJ DAY B&W



The Andrews Sisters - Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company B



Discuss this in our forums

Related Articles

Comments

This is a place to express and/or debate your boxing views. It is not a place to offend anyone. If we feel comments are offensive, the post will be deleted and continuing offenders will be blocked from the site. Please keep it clean and civil! We want to have fun. We want some salty language and good-natured exchanges. But let's keep our punches above the belt...
  1. Ted 04:22pm, 01/03/2014

    Second Tuesday

  2. The Pinoy Pikey 03:24pm, 01/03/2014

    Yes Sir: a small world indeed.  I still live in Quincy.  The ring 4 event at the Florian Hall—is that still on the first Tuesday of the month?

  3. Ted 04:34pm, 01/02/2014

    PP, He was Army-

    He mustered out at Fort Sheridan in Highwood, Illinois where I was married at the officers clubl

    Small world indeed. You still in the Boston area? If so, come to one of Ring 4 lunches in the Dot

  4. The Pinoy Pikey 03:50pm, 01/02/2014

    I always read the great articles and check in, I just don’t say much—I’ll be sure to change that.  Was your older brother a Marine or Sailor?
    I also served in the USN for 7y-10m, and another 7 as a civil servant.  The best years of my life.

  5. Ted 03:39pm, 01/02/2014

    PP, How nice to see you drop by. Yes, I recall your telling me that

  6. The Pinoy Pikey 03:33pm, 01/02/2014

    Ted.  You really know how to stir up emotions—a good thing.  V-J Day is an inspiring/emotional time for my family.  As you might know, my Uncle Teddy (father’s oldest brother) is a Bataan Death March survivor (I think I shared that with you a few years ago).  He was only 17 when he escaped from a Japanese occupied Manila, and did not allow my father 14 years of age to go with him: my father had been ordered to take take of my TB afflicted grandfather (who died during the war due to no access to medicine or medical treatment).  After WWII, my father and all my uncles (and so many other of their cousins) all joined the USN in Cavite—I believe Sangley Pt.  They are all here and all still alive, but are in the late 80’s and close to the calling—I think about the same thing with regard to the greatness of character of the men of this era/generation.  Oh, they all boxed—every one of them.  My grandfather was as dignified, respectful man, but understood the finer points of reality…LOL.  Ted, great piece and thanks!

  7. Ted 05:08am, 01/02/2014

    Hmm. The scarf fits—pun intended.

  8. Clarence George 05:00am, 01/02/2014

    It’s been niggling at me, but I finally got it.  The guy in the center, with the cap on, looks like a young George Sanders.  Couldn’t be, though, as Sanders was already around 40 at war’s end.

    With the possible exception of Ronald Colman, nobody had a better voice than Sanders—like a cat with a mouthful of honey.

  9. Ted 09:07am, 01/01/2014

    Thanks mate

  10. bob 08:40am, 01/01/2014

    This is a great read: “Helluva Town: The Story of New York City During World War” by Richard Goldstein.

  11. Ted 08:31am, 01/01/2014

    Thank you very much Bob

  12. Bob Mladinich 08:12am, 01/01/2014

    What a great read, Ted. My mother emigrated to New York from Switzerland and Italy at age 10 in 1933. Nine years later she joined the U.S. Navy and was given nursing training. Although not an RN, she performed hundreds of limb amputations in the San Diego naval hospital. She then had to stack the limbs in her arms and walk them past the POW cells to the incinerator.  You have to pry this information out of her, although she is now 91 and in relatively good health. She drives a car and does tai chi twice a week. She said this was the least she could do for the country that gave her family so much, but here’s the clincher. She is hard of hearing, but stubbornly refuses to get a free hearing aid from the Veterans Administration, even though they urge her to do do. Why? Because she says she has enough money to buy one, and she’d rather see hers go to a veteran who doesn’t have the financial means to buy their own.  Still reflective at her age, she talks about all of the soldiers she assisted, how they mentioned areas like Okinawa, Siapon, Iwo Jima and other places in their fever dreams and nightmares. All of the names meant nothing to her at the time because she was so busy with work, but as the years go by, she thinks of those places often and realizes they were indelibly ingrained in her mind, and can only imagine how much more horrifically they must be ingrained in the minds of those who served there. What makes her remarkable is the fact that she has no idea how proud her family is of her, she just looked at her military experience as a duty to a country that had given her so much. They really were the Greatest Generation, doing things at age 20 that full grown adults couldn’t imagine doing now. Thanks for your tribute to an era that too many people today take for granted. Thanks to Billy Gephardt, Bobby Hubert and so many others, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

  13. kid vegas 12:16pm, 12/31/2013

    Well, I should have said what was your most enjoyable memory aside from family stuff?

  14. BIKERMIKE 11:32am, 12/31/2013

    ...AFTER WWII….....when they brought the Candadian lads back home…...they had to declare a local emergency….as about two thousand and some men and women ......at a time….depending on which ship was disembarking…....went to doing the ‘pole dance’ in the park ...on the train….on the bus…or just standing up and being ...IN THE MOOD

    I’m proud to say ........Canada did it’s part !!!!


    Following that…..Boxing was the favourite sport….for the next ten years….

    ,,,and lots of pole dancing there too…..our family had five children…..and I can do the math…..in those years….families stayed together….

  15. biker 11:22am, 12/31/2013

    Whenever ....THE BULL puts in the dangling dong of destiny…..........Boxing fans get rewarded…....

    Ted Sares has an encyplopedic knowledge about PRO BOXING…...he didn’t just memorize the Champions in several Weight Divisions….....he has true knowledge about the commers….and the fighters who have so much invested….that they are protected…

    You folks wanna learn about BOXING….talk to Ted


    HOWEVER….I HAVE ALWAYS DISAGREED WITH TED ABOUT THAT HAGLER leonard THING….......HAGLAR GOT SCREWED…from behind…

    Hagler went fifty fights before he got a shot at the TITLE…....Hagler ...and guys like him kept Boxing alive for those years…....and get his UNCONTESTED…*UNDISPUTED…UNIFIED MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP ...STOLEN BY THE JUDGES…..

    was a bad thing…and BOXING VIEWERSHIP HAS NEVER BEEN THE SAME

  16. Ted 08:19am, 12/31/2013

    Logan Square in the late 40’s and early 50’s was a very dangerous place. Knute Rockne lived there when he came to the US. There was a semi-pro football team by the name of the Northwest Wildcats and they were really good.

    Later Jim. I love these trips back.

  17. Jim Crue 08:12am, 12/31/2013

    YIKES
    I grew up at Jarvis and the lake, one block from your sister. Small world.
    I was back to the neighborhood in Sept. East rogers Park is very dangerous after dark in spite of the community’s best efforts. Lots of gang activity.
    Logan Sq. had it’s down time but has come back very strong much better than Rogers Park.
    Great site Ted

  18. Ted 08:08am, 12/31/2013

    Jim, I went to North Park Academy on Foster and Kedzie. We played Sullivan in basketball. We played our football games at Larne Tech Stadium. My brother graduated from Carl Shurz. My dad was a steelworker in Gary and then a motorman in Chicago. My sister lived in Rogers Park on Sherwin by the Lake.

    I hear that Rogers Park has become yuppified and very expensive—and the park in Portage Park is quite a Chicago showplace.

    Small world, mate.

  19. Jim Crue 08:00am, 12/31/2013

    Hi Ted, I grew up on the far north side, Rogers Park. After the war my mom wanted to live near the lake, a dream she had since the great depression. Right before I was born just after war they moved from Portage Park east to Rogers Park. My dad went to Lane Tech my mom to Carl Schurz and I went o Sullivan.
    My dad was a plumber who helped build many of the high rise buildings in downtown Chicago.
    The great bantam weight champion Johnny Coulon lived in Logan Sq. neighborhood.

  20. tED 07:53am, 12/31/2013

    Jim Crue, what part of Portage Park? I went to Portage Parke Grammar school divided my youth between Portage Park and Logan Square. Where did you go to HS?

  21. Ted 07:23am, 12/31/2013

    Thanks Dan and Mike, Makes the efforts worthwhile

  22. Mike Casey 07:16am, 12/31/2013

    Nice to come back from my Christmas break to a cracking article like this. Excellent, Ted!

  23. Ted 05:46pm, 12/30/2013

    You are welcome Tex

  24. Ted 05:45pm, 12/30/2013

    Kid, 9/11 second plane going in. Hands down

  25. Ted 05:44pm, 12/30/2013

    GTC, That writer has since been committed to Bellevue

  26. kid vegas 05:32pm, 12/30/2013

    What was your most vivid or stark memory?

  27. Tex Hassler 05:18pm, 12/30/2013

    I was born at the end of WWII. It was a different and in my opinion a better world then, at least it was in the late 1940’s and 1950’s.
    Thanks for the history Mr. Sares. It was valuable.

  28. George Thomas Clark 03:03pm, 12/30/2013

    Nice remembrance, Ted.  By the way, last week I ordered your book from Amazon and it’ll probably arrive in a week or so.  I think it was in a recent Boxing.com post that a boxing writer compared your work to that of A.J. Liebliing. 

  29. John 10:02am, 12/30/2013

    Thanks, Ted, for the trip down Memory Lane. A touching and informative piece.A nice way to end 2013.

  30. Dan Cuoco 09:52am, 12/30/2013

    Terrific article about one of the great years in history. Thanks Ted!

  31. Ted 09:37am, 12/30/2013

    Thanks for all the nice comments, gents, Much appreciated.

  32. from tom colotsti 08:32am, 12/30/2013

      “During the 3-1/2 years of World War 2 that started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and ended with the Surrender of Germany and Japan in 1945, the U.S. produced; 22 aircraft carriers, 8 battleships, 48 cruisers, 349 destroyers, 420 destroyer escorts, 203 submarines, 34 million tons of merchant ships, 100,000 fighter aircraft, 98,000 bombers, 24,000 transport aircraft, 58,000 training aircraft, 93,000 tanks, 257,000 artillery pieces, 105,000 mortars, 3,000,000 machine guns, and 2,500,000 military trucks.

          We put 16.1 million men in uniform in the various armed services, invaded Africa, invaded Sicily and Italy, won the battle for the Atlantic, planned and executed D-Day, marched across the Pacific and Europe, developed the atomic bomb and ultimately conquered Japan and Germany.

          It’s worth noting, that during almost the same amount of time, the Obama administration couldn’t build a functioning web site.”

  33. Jim Crue 07:31am, 12/30/2013

    Great story Ted. It brought back memories of my childhood in Chicago. I used to go to the Mc Vicker all the time.
    My parents were in the Chicago theater in the loop watching a stage show when it was announced that Pearl Harbor was bombed. Dad enlisted in the Marine Corps the next day and with the horrific battles he was in I’m fortunate to be here.
    I think you told me you were from Logan Square. My folks were from the Portage Park neighborhood in Chicago.
    I was not yet born in 1945 but did spend the 50’s watching TV fights with my grandfather on the north side of Chicago. My grandfather loved Bob Satterfield.
    thanks for great writing.

  34. Pete The Sneak 07:05am, 12/30/2013

    Irish Frankie, yes indeed..Never thought of looking at it quite in that manner. Interesting…While I was never in the armed forces, I can tell you that I earned some serious Veteran status when it came to summer school…Peace.

  35. dollarbond 06:58am, 12/30/2013

    Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 06:46am, 12/30/2013

    Pete the Sneak-Summer school?....you too?....be proud….. we were the pioneers of year round schooling!

  37. Pete The Sneak 06:16am, 12/30/2013

    Carajo!!...Beautifully written Toro…If the NYC Public school systems would have taught history in this manner, I would not have spent all those July’s and August in summer school trying to pass it…And yes, in a time today where the word Hero is pretty much used for anything from a halfway decent jock scoring a game winning touchdown to a millionaire baseball player hitting a walk off homer, these were truly the individuals for whom the word was invented for….I remember a couiple of years ago being in a mall in Jersey, and as I was leaving the car parked next to me in the mall parking lot had a huge bumper sticker in the rear reading ‘Proud WW II Veteran.”  I asked my wife for a pen and piece of paper, which she reluctantly produced from her hand bag. As she watched (never asking questions anymore, I guess she’s given up) as I scribbled on the paper “Proud WW II Vet, THANK YOU!” and slipped it beneath his windsheild wiper. My wife said “you know, he’s going to think he got a parking ticket.”...I said yeah, he probably will…Toro, I hope you did indeed end up getting that real sugar filled Fleer Double Bubble Gum…Peace.

  38. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 05:42am, 12/30/2013

    I have read and re-read this moving tribute ( through the eyes of an eight year boy) to the greatness that was America in 1945 (actually the greatness of the people that made up America at that time in history) and one question literally sears my soul….did Billy Gephardt and Bobby Hubert die in vain? If anyone has a quick and pat answer to that question….well…they’re just not paying attention….are they?

  39. Mohummad Humza Elahi 04:41am, 12/30/2013

    Brilliant article, I agree that back then, boxing was set in the context of its time, much like Baer vs Schmeling.  What a different world it was.

  40. Clarence George 03:19pm, 12/29/2013

    Excellent article, Ted.  Thank you.

  41. Ted 03:06pm, 12/29/2013

    CG Another aspect of Oma is the fact that he was involved in a fight with Enrico Bertola and Bertola died from injuries sustained.

    See: http://www.boxing.com/the_memory_bank_part_seven.html
    COURTESY OF Larry Link

  42. Ted 02:55pm, 12/29/2013

    Thanks Mike. I appreciate your remarks.

    Walter, that last paragraph actually got to me when I wrote it. That sometimes happens and when it does, you know, as a writer, that you just nailed it. I got some emails back that actually made me tear up. I wish the senders would post them here. Each one describes a story about the War.

    Kid, the only kind of history I am capable of writing with any degree of skillfulness is history that I have actually lived and being 76, that includes this very interesting period as well as some others like JFK’s assassination, the Invasion of South Korea, MacArthur’s forced resignation, the Atom bombs, the Hydrogen bomb,  etc. Other, more localized stuff, from Chicago as well. I cover a lot of this in my book, “Shattered.” Thanks for your comment. It makes my effort worthwhile because my aim is to provide reading enjoyment and some degree of education.

  43. Mike Silver 02:13pm, 12/29/2013

    Great writing and memories. I almost felt as if I was there with you Ted. The greatest generation in so many ways. Your story reads like one of those wonderful black and white movies of the 1940s.

  44. Clarence George 01:59pm, 12/29/2013

    I like that thumbnail sketch of Oma.  I may write about him one day, but there’s not an abundance of info.  Also, I need a hook, a gimmick…something.

    Ha!  That name, Czjewski.  I think he was Catholic, but if kids pronounced it “Jewski”...well, small wonder he became a boxer.

    Somebody mentioned Tiger Lowry.  A terrific guy.  And an impressive fighter, despite his record.  He, and only he, went the distance in two 10-rounders with the great Rocky Marciano.

  45. Big Walter 01:09pm, 12/29/2013

    My God, that last paragraph really got to me. That was powerful writing. I too remember some guys who didn’t make it back and I remember the stars we put in our windows. Those guys were what being a hero was all about.

  46. kid vegas 12:58pm, 12/29/2013

    This is an extremely well done walk back into the past. You can capture history like few others, maybe because you lived it. Whatever the reason, this one packed an emotional wallop that had me reeling. Thank you for doing this.

  47. Your Name 12:07pm, 12/29/2013

    During the period after the war and up to 1950, there were a number of rock solid heavyweights, especially out of upstate NY. Guys like the Muscato brothers, Nick Barone, Oma.

    Ted Lowry was doing his thing as well along with Marciano and LaStarza and Joey Maxim.

  48. Ted the Historian 11:58am, 12/29/2013

    Oma was of the variety you liked. Four months before fighting Ezzard Charles for the title Lee Oma was involved in a double DQ with Bill Weinberg for “Clowning Around.”
    Born: Frank Czjewski, Mar 1916, Chicago, IL
    Died: December 10, 1976, Massapequa, NY
    Height: 5-11;

    Career Record: 63-27-3 (28 KO’s) 1 NC

    Oma began his career by giving half-hearted performances, in getting knocked out 10 times in his first 20 bouts. He rebuilt his career and became a contender during the mid 1940’s, and again during the early 1950’s. Throughout his career he was a frustration for many, who felt that Oma could have achieved more than he did. Oma problems arose from womanizing and drinking, as well as the fact that he usually clowned around in the ring, instead of using his good boxing skills.

  49. Clarence George 11:44am, 12/29/2013

    I like dirty fighters, but not of the Andrew Golota type.  I expect a degree of panache, which one got from Tony Galento, Sandy Saddler, and, of course, Fritzie Zivic.

  50. Ted 11:39am, 12/29/2013

    Oma was one of the dirtiest fighters of his day. His KO loss to Satterfield is an all-time classic.

  51. Clarence George 11:37am, 12/29/2013

    Another outstanding reminiscence, Beaujack.  Yes, Oma would have been much more impressive if he’d have taken it more seriously.  And I remember him (as well as Tami Mauriello, Abe Simon, and Tony Galento) in “On the Waterfront.”

    I enjoyed your recollection as well, Irish.  Wasn’t familiar with that, um, version of the Disney classic.

  52. beaujack 11:29am, 12/29/2013

    Clarence, I saw the “playboy” Lee Oma several times at MSG against Tami Mauriello, and Joe Baksi in the1940s. Oma had a style similar to Jersey Joe Walcott in which his hands would be at his waist, while he strolled sideways until he lashed out with flurries of punches…It was said he worked out by strolling from one end of a bar to the other end. He was a handsome guy who can be seen as [what else?] a bartender in the movie On The Waterfront…

  53. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:25am, 12/29/2013

    Ted Sares-One word comes to mind….Homeric! My memories from a small coal mining town in Western Pennsylvania were different yet the same. When the V-J announcement was made,” Hail hail the gang’s all here, what the hell do we care, what the hell do we care”, was the tune of the hour! No fleers? How about those Lightning Jim “ice cream bars” that were made with something or other, but it sure as hell wasn’t cream. My favorite tune from those years wasn’t anything from the Andrews Sisters…it was….“Whistle while you work, Hitler is a jerk, Mussolini sucks his weenie all the way to work!”

  54. Clarence George 11:22am, 12/29/2013

    By the way, not too many bareheaded men in that photo.  Lots of hats, mainly fedoras…as it was meant to be.

  55. Clarence George 11:17am, 12/29/2013

    I was reminded of my father, who loved the Andrews Sisters, especially “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.”  One of his favorites was Vera Lynn’s “White Cliffs of Dover,” which he was listening to when he died.  I used to play it over and over again…afterwards.

    That Andrews Sisters clip is from “Buck Privates,” the movie that made Abbott and Costello huge stars.  Two of the sisters, by the way, weren’t on speaking terms.  Sort of like Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine, who died a couple of weeks ago.

    I’m glad you mentioned some of my favorites, including Oma and Mauriello.  I didn’t know of McWhorter until I came across his name in one of your previous articles.  I wonder what happened to him…

    Anyway, nicely done, Ted.

  56. beaujack 10:19am, 12/29/2013

    Ted, your column brought up so many emotional memory’s of those days..,My whole crew of boyhood friends a few years older than me were in the Navy, so I also joined the Navy…Though so many decades ago, I recall the utter joy when the Japanese and the Germans surrendered and the streets were filled with happy Americans….WOW. Also Ted you mention my favorite male big band singer Bob Eberle who along with the beautiful Helen O’Connell brought us such wonderful hits as Green Eyes, Amapola, Yours, Maria Elena, Tangerine etc…After the war I would visit Stillman’s Gym weekly, and see the greatest fighters in the world train…
    I was in heaven those days, going to the NY fight clubs and MSG every Friday with my dad who incidentally saw Harry Greb eviscerate Gene Tunney at the old MSG in 1922…What great fighters fought in the 1940s
    at MSG…

Leave a comment