Wednesday, February 24, 1943

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 24, 1943


Site Ed. Note: "The Master said, 'He who does not anticipate attempts to deceive him, nor think beforehand of his not being believed, and yet apprehends these things readily (when they occur);-- is he not a man of superior worth?'"--from Confucian Analects

To the hills of the east we went,
And long had we there to remain.
When the word of recall was sent,
Thick and fast came the drizzling rain.
When told our return we should take,
Our hearts in the West were and sore;
But there did they clothes for us make:--
They knew our hard service was o'er.
On the mulberry grounds in our sight
The large caterpillars were creeping;
Lonely and still we passed the night,
All under our carriages sleeping.

To the hills of the East we went,
And long had we there to remain.
When the word of recall was sent,
Thick and fast came the drizzling rain.
The heavenly gourds rise to the eye,
With their fruit hanging under the eave.
In our chambers the sow-bug we spy;
Their webs on our doors spiders weave.
Our paddocks seem crowded with deer,
With the glow-worm's light all about.
Such thoughts, while they filled us with fear,
We tried, but in vain, to keep out.

To the hills of the East we went,
And long had we there to remain.
When the word of recall was sent,
Thick and fast came the drizzling rain.

On ant-hills screamed cranes with delight;
In their rooms were our wives sighing sore.
Our homes they had swept and made tight:--
All at once we arrived at the door.
The bitter gourds hanging are seen,
From branches of chestnut-trees high.
Three years of toil away we had been,
Since such a sight greeted the eye.

To the hills of the East we went,
And long had we there to remain.
When the word of recall was sent,
Thick and fast came the drizzling rain.
With its wings now here, and now there,
Is the oriole sporting in flight.
Those brides to their husbands repair,
Their steeds red and bay, flecked with white.
Each mother has fitted each sash;
Their equipments are full and complete;
But fresh unions, whatever their dash,
Can ne'er with reunions compete.

--from "The Odes of Pin: The Duke of Chow Tells of His Soldiers" in The Shi-King, Part I, "Lessons from the States"


Careful he sets his rabbit-nets all round;
"Chang-chang" his blows upon the pegs resound.
Stalwart the man and bold! his bearing all
Shows he might be his prince's shield and wall.

Careful he is his rabbit-nets to place
Where many paths of rabbits' feet bear trace.
Stalwart the man and bold! 'tis plain to see
He to his prince companion good would be.

Careful he is his rabbit-nets to spread,
Where in the forest's depth the trees give shade.
Stalwart the man and bold! fit his the part
Guide to his prince to be, and faithful heart.

--"Praise of a Rabbit-Catcher" in The Shi-King, Part I, "Lessons from the States"

The front page reports that 1st Lieutenant Gilder Stansbury Horne, Jr., of Charlotte, had been listed as missing in North Africa since January 31, having been stationed there as a tank commander since the Operation Torch landings of November 8. His parents expressed the hope that he was merely captured by the enemy.

Unfortunately, Lieutenant Horne never returned home after the war and the precise manner of his loss was never determined. His story would be sadly repeated many times during this cruel war, nonetheless diminishing his individual sacrifice and heroics in helping to win it.

Rommel was reported fleeing his advanced positions in Algeria back through the Kasserine Pass, being chased by American and British infantry and armored units, pressing him back toward Feriana in central Tunisia. Simultaneously, General Montgomery pushed forward in southern Tunisia toward the Mareth Line, to within twenty miles of Gabes, in an area southeast of Chott El Djarib. It remained unclear, however, how distant Rommel's Nazis were retarded, having advanced to within three miles of Thala, the key point 25 miles northwest of Kasserine Gap, itself five miles long.

A monocled Tommy lamented the spoliation of Jerry's plan to cut the supply line between the Allied forces in the south and north of Tunisia.

In response to a speech February 19 by Herr Doktor Goebbels that the Nazis would resort to radical warfare not thought imaginable--probably in reference to their efforts to develop the V-1 for deployment, eventually with nuclear warheads attached--was interpreted by Labor Leader Clement Atlee in Commons to be a threat to use gas on the Russian front. Mr. Atlee cautioned that any such use would result in retaliation in kind against Germany.

The potential use of gas had been foreseen since railroad cars full of poison gas were reported transported to the Russian front during the fall. The gas, instead, was likely bound for the concentration camps, as suggested by a story of March 28, 1942.

Tass reported from Russia that the end of the Caucasus campaign was within sight and that the offensive in the Donets Basin was "gradually coming to a head".

A proclamation by Hitler, stating his apologies for lack of presence for his still being "in the east", was read, in absentia, to the herrenvolk via Berlin radio, as already delivered to Party old guard at the Munich Hofbrauhaus, in celebration of the twenty-third anniversary of the founding of the Nazi Party.

Hitler still remained out of sight, strangely, the whereabouts of his invisible highness being unknown now for nearly four weeks, as his Invisible Empire crumbled slowly to dust.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Churchill's acute catarrh had, reportedly, worsened at 10 Downing, to become pneumonia.

The Cold War was not far from being born.

On the editorial page, "Coming, Joe" seeks to read between the lines of an exchange in Parliament between Lord Beaverbrook, advocating an immediate assault on Europe to take advantage of the crippling effect on the Wehrmacht consequent of Russia's winter offensive, and Sir John Simon, ejaculating in retort that such a call was ill-timed. Burke Davis views the remark of the Right Honorable Mr. Simon as indicative of the probable planning of an immediate attack. He, of course, was to be disappointed in the accuracy of that inference--yet, not for long. First things first: North Africa must be won. Mr. Simon's remark only carried conventional store of meaning implying that eventuality.

"New Role" discusses Senator Harry Byrd's gadfly buzzing round the New Deal and its propagation after the war, suggesting that the country would be looking by that time to Senator Byrdís Marneresque role for guidance in a more frugal direction of Treasury spending on social programs.

Raymond Clapper compares the Ford Willow Run plant located in the rolling countryside outside Detroit, manufacturing tanks and planes, with that of Grumman, building planes on Long Island, primarily bound for the Pacific theater. The former plant was so centralized and large that it required long commutes by the workers, resulting in less efficiency than the more decentralized smaller buildings of Grumman, spread out over Long Island, allowing short commutes for employees. The question he poses then is whether it was better to have large, mechanized, assembly-line operations or smaller but efficient plants stressing craftsmanship.

Louis Graves has a piece on the page from The Chapel Hill Weekly concerning strange cuisine, muskrats, worms, freshly hatched chicks, shark, gulls, squirrels, rats, and rattlesnakes. He details how he and Botany Professor W. C. Coker, whose name would later adorn the Universityís arboretum established in 1903, had sat down to a meal with their hostess, Mrs. Kluttz--the lady whose oak treeís demise on Franklin Street, New Year's Day, proved the object of his inditement printed in The News February 15--only to be charmed by the delicacy du jour, a nice, tasty, chickenesque dish of rattlesnake, canned in Florida.

--Mmm-mmm. Our taste buds are just watering so much that we have to pause and find us some of that canned rattlesnake. How many points does that take up, Mildred?

From the Rockingham County Journal, perhaps again Mr. Jimison's piece, comes the notion that all the people cannot be fooled all the time, suggesting that sometimes a mountebank might be elected to office, flourishing as a green bay tree, but would soon wither "in the breath of public scorn and contumely".

Whether in 1963 someone got the notion from that piece that the green bay tree had been planted in the 1960 Wisconsin primary and thus must be cut down by the publicís contumely in the form of John Bircher-sponsored wanted posters placed on poles in Dallas, making a fit dinner of rattlesnake canned in Florida, maybe in Jacksonville, to be sampled and consumed by crocodiles and alligators, we don't know.

The Paynes of Newport News were visiting with the Lambs of Marshall, according to the "Visitin' Round".

The Baltimore Sun favors more heroes among the wrasslin' set, bearing such heroic names as "The Clean Cut Kid", "The Wholesome Walloper" and "The Boy Scout", fewer "Golden Terrors" qua Boris Karloff and Eric von Stroheim.

The current occupant of the good guy role was "The Angel", billed nevertheless as the ugliest man in the business, permitted latitude to work ugly things upon "The Golden Turr", for the role in which the latter was cast. "St. George didn't subdue the dragon by acts of gentle piety," it concludes.

All definition lay, as far as the ringside wranglers were concerned, in the mask being worn in the ring alternately by their most despised bogey or favorite avenging angel of the masques.

From The New York Times came the report of Tuffy, the four-year old Russian brown bear cub who escaped the Georges, Rumanian Gypsies who owned him and his parents, Bill and Rosie, when the George children, charged by grandfather Gus with feeding Tuffy, a strict vegetarian fruit-eater, inadvertently allowed him to escape at 2:00 p.m. via the open cage door into the streets of Queens, headed from 231st Street across Brookville Park. The younger generation Georges and their neighbors, alerted of the escape, followed in two cars and were able to bump Tuffy into the garage at 240-14 Mayda Road, the residence of Henry MacDonald.

The Georges quickly alighted and closed the garage door on Tuffy. The police were summoned from the Queens Village Precinct by Mrs. MacDonald and arrived together with the Ozone Park emergency crew to subdue or kill Tuffy, the police having shotguns and drawn pistols at the ready.

At 2:45 p.m., Gus arrived and started petting Tuffy, feeding him an apple through the garage door window's emptied pane which Tuffy had previously stamped out, trying futilely to fit his bulk through it. Gus, after coddling the bear to regain its trust, slipped a ring around its nose and led it to safety and a court date with Brooklyn-Queens Night Court Magistrate Horn.

Magistrate Horn ordered that Tuffy be removed from Queens, probably to the Brooklyn Zoo, to which Gus made protest for the fact of the zoo's meat diet which would inevitably, he said, make Tuffy wild, neutralizing his carefully trained state as a vegetarian fruit-eater--properly acculturated, thusly urbane and fit for Queens.

Whether the sergeant who led the Ozone emergency crew possessed a pistol or a spray can to cock at Tuffy, was not provided.

Also not reported was the not inconsequential fact that Muldoon and Toody, though summoned to the scene by Sergeant Stackhouse of the Queens Village Precinct station, were on a coffee break in Jackson Heights and missed the excitement for being entranced by their consumption of gourmet bear claws from the Walken Bakery in Astoria.

As they say, it's all happening at the zoo, with the Right Honorable Mr. Simon and his running Tuffy playing accompaniment.

We recall vividly, incidentally, from circa 1954, a tv portrayal by Dan Duryea sitting by the woods around the campfire in his series, "The New Adventures of China Smith", Mr. Duryea playing the lead character, to whom, for unknown reasons, we used to refer, perhaps monstrously, as "Two-Bolt" Smith. In that episode, the boys chowing down by the fire were sharing mutually their fondness for the delightful cuisine, finally asking plaintively what the good grub was of which they were partaking so enjoyably. "Two-Bolt", the preparer of the delight, then responded succinctly, in monotone, without changing expression, "It's rattlesnake." At which point, the boys went off into the woods.

That's right. If you partook, it done well already bit ye on the inside, boys.

And, in spring, 1973, we heard John Simon give a talk in Greenlaw Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina re film crimicism.

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