The Charlotte News
Saturday, January 2, 1943
Site Ed. Note: Blackbeard singin' in the dead of night, had eight wives but couldn't fight; some still say, looking at his ancient plate, that he really was nothin' but a robbin' wight.
Oh, so sorry. We didn't see you standing there. You caught us humming a little song we heard. It came to us this morning, from a bird on a wire.
The fifth in the series by Dorothy Knox, titled "Our Forgotten Children", the first three of which we have not yet provided, is here. She further advocates increased funding for the Caswell Training School, citing from both a 1934 and 1938 report by the superintendent of the school that more funding per student was needed and, moreover, in the latter report, that another like school be established in the western part of the state. A 1940 report from the State Department of Corrections had recommended greater funding for the white students at Caswell and a separate facility for the black children, still being housed at the mental facility in Goldsboro. Increased facilities had likewise been advocated in three other separate reports, one in 1940 and two others in 1942.
We are still busy, however, trying to figure out what the author of yesterday’s note meant when, whoever it was who wrote it, said that more funding was needed for "educational facilities of these children". Shouldn’t it be "for", or, simply, "education of these children"?
But, on second thought, it actually probably makes more sense, in context, as "of". (Notice that we did not end that latter sentence with a preposition, so as to start the whole thing over again, but rather, in context, as a noun of a sort, the quotation marks turning it into an object.) Thus, we determined not to monkey around with that which is, ostensibly, slightly not up to dick, for, in this case, we know that there is sometimes method in the apparent madness of that particular writer. We therefore leave it as it was, without any red penciling, despite our editorial department's vast disagreement on the usage, something which nearly led to a fisticuffian melee in the after-hours discussion of its semantic propriety, down at the Little Pep.
Ditto for the "than" in place of the preferable "from", even if, here, the "than" might not be, strictly speaking, used conjunctively. Regardless, at that point, we simply gave up the fight.
The front page is here. The editorial page is here.
Also, as promised, here are those bowl scores from yesterday. We are a bit put off by the fact that the Phants lost their conference opener in basket weaving to the Terps, who proved a little faster in their weaving.
We have not yet read them, the front and editorial pages, that is, per the Government's announcement advocating a curtailment in print. Lest you fall behind though in your studies, we shall resume our cliff notes on Monday. Besides, our regular note editor is off this Saturday. Something about reeling and rocking until the break of dawn, at which point home rest was needed.
We, ourselves, are still puzzling over that story two days ago regarding the intra-Axis fight between the confused Italians who captured a passel of Germans who straggled behind the lines. Was it merely a mistake or foreshadowing things to come, as Rommel had left stranded, without provision, thousands of Italian stragglers, to be captured by the Allies during the fast retreat across the desert from El Alamein, which began October 23?
We conclude that there was more to the picture, for the immediate horizon, than met the eye.
And, from the same date's front page, that story about the great escape artist, Henri Giraud, replacement commander of the French forces in West and North Africa, replacing the assassinated Admiral Jean Darlan, ordering the arrest of all the usual dirty dozen suspects, equally has us puzzling. We thought that his assassin had been determined subsequently to be part of the French Resistance, at least relying on some contemporary sources, even if the contemporaneous account had reported initially that he was an Axis sympathizer, upset with the collaboration of Darlan with the Allies and his support of the scuttling of the French Fleet at Toulon, in advance of the imminent Nazi occupation of the port.
We shall have to keep our eye on General Giraud, to insure his entire sincerity of loyalty to the Allied cause, in the face of considerably aroused suspicion of same.
Was he, in fact, still loyal only to his former superior, Marshal Petain, hero of Verdun in World War I, turned Nazi puppet at the occupation of France and the "armistice" constructed to swallow the country whole, signed in the railroad car at Compiegne, June 22, 1940? Did he possess, along with many of his fellows of the time, some traditional French Anglophobia, such that his mission in Africa was murky? Did his divided loyalties contribute in any manner to the delay in the Allies' ability to secure Tunis and Bizerte in Tunisia and thereby finally drive the Nazis from North Africa? Indeed, was his escape from Nazi custody, described in particularly bizarre fashion, fashioning a rope from collected threads and using it to climb down a high cliff, precisely as was done in the 1937 French film, "La Grande Illusion", actually effected? Or, was this story merely concocted, either in cooperation with the Nazis, or as a cover story to protect against reprisal someone within the Nazi ranks who may have simply let him escape, to delude the Nazis, who surely had not been privy to this film, as Hitler banned from Germany all anti-war propaganda, and certainly anything French, years before?
Again, we only ask the questions. We do not mean to imply at this point any certain answer to the inquiry.
For now, we take General Giraud on face value, even if he had been suspected of mixed loyalty by some of the Fighting French. He was more acceptable certainly to all involved than was Admiral Darlan.
The editorial of yesterday by Samuel Grafton explores some of the complexities of the issue and wonders aloud why it took an assassination of Admiral Darlan to place someone in command of the French forces generally passable to the great body of the French.
We have, incidentally, taken votes recently on the best picture to have appeared in The News during the course of 1942, and the winner is presented below, from September 5, its Halloweenesque implications notwithstanding.
We have our alternative caption for it, for those of you who enjoy painting your own pictures out of reality. It is, after the non-plussed subject turns around to face the camera: "Oh my, he isn't who I think he is, is he?"
In any event, it is off now to watch on the radio "Abie's Irish Rose" and "True or Consequences", the while listening attentively in the latter presentation for Beulah's honking horn, to tell us whether there is Truly truth. Then, we may catch the 11:00 p.m. "Basketball Game", which only lasts for 15 minutes, and then it's "Mr. Smith Goes to Town" at 11:30. A night's entertainment is on the board.
And from C. A. Paul, we learn that the town drunk, Old Bill Parker, was not really so bad a bloke at all, just goin' up the country, rollin' and tumblin', having to get away. Well, we can all empathize, probably.
He also tells of the "grass widow" who was considered persona non grata by the community per the ratting intercourse, sub silentio, of implied, but unexplained reasons, and suggests that even former Mayor Ben Douglas would not deem the city "friendly" in her case. Well, perhaps, we shall find out what the glass widow did by listening to "Sergeant Gene Autry" tomorrow on WBT at 6:30, shortly after "Edward R. Murrow" tells us some totally irrelevant information and opinions, or on the always informative "Ave Maria Hour", on Monday afternoon at 2:00. We never miss it. You shouldn't either. We understand that it originates, not from Rome, but from 34th and Vine.
By the way, we enjoyed all the music, "Caucasus Melodies", (even if those were in faux bootlegged package), and especially Cab Calloway's "Happy Feet", "Flat Foot Floogie", "Zah, Zuh, Zaz", and, best of all, his accompaniment of Louis Armstrong on "St. James Infirmary". "Hillbilly Hilarities", however, left something to be desired. But they were just acting naturally.
Mr. Calloway also did one in early 1964 you ought hear sometime. We have it, in an original copy. We'll try to dig it up for you one of these days.
We also have to question whether, as reported New Year's Eve, the British didn't go a little too far in first rescuing that ostensible Dutch asylum seeker and then, when he was found to be actually a Nazi intriguant, executing him once the gig was up. It seems, somehow, unjust, even bad luck.
But, they won the war, even if, sometimes, no doubt, with a little ultra-violence of their own.
We'll see you on the regular city beat, Monday.
Good night and good luck.
Joyous Ninth Day of Christmas to you: Nine cherubs cheering. Oh yes...
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