The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 28, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George A. McArthur, that U.S. Marines had withdrawn from the summit of the "Vegas" outpost in Korea on Saturday night in the face of Chinese Communist attacks, allowing allied artillery to begin hitting it with constant explosions. It had been the third time since the prior Thursday that the Communists had forced the Marines to yield the outpost in the "Bunker Hill" area, guarding the invasion route to Seoul. Vegas was 25 miles southwest of "Old Baldy", seized earlier by the Communists in the spring drive which they had begun the prior Monday. Associated Press correspondent Forrest Edwards had said shortly after midnight that it was not clear whether the Chinese were on the crest of Vegas. Some of the Chinese troops had gotten between Vegas and the main Marine line, but had all been killed with the exception of a few stragglers. The Marines had been on and off Vegas on Friday in savage hand-grenade fights, before getting to the top early on Saturday afternoon, at which point the Chinese struck back just after dark. Vegas had fallen to the Communists on Thursday night. The Communists still held Old Baldy, being hit hard by allied artillery and bombs.

In the air war, enemy MIG-15 jets flew south and clashed with U.S. Sabre jets in a number of dog fights, but no claims of destruction had been made. Other U.S. warplanes swept over Vegas, sending rockets and bombs into the Chinese troop areas, at which Marine tanks and artillery guns also fired steadily.

At the U.N. in New York, chief U.S. delegate Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., and other top-ranking U.N. diplomats this date described as encouraging the agreement by Communist China to exchange sick and wounded prisoners of war in Korea. The message increased speculation in the U.N., including among Russia representatives, that the Communist Chinese and North Koreans were about to come up with a new formula for settling the war. The Chinese had accepted a proposal by General Mark Clark, supreme commander of the U.N. forces, set forth on February 22, to exchange the sick and wounded prisoners. The Communists had also proposed at the same time to resume the suspended armistice negotiations and that such an exchange of the sick and wounded prisoners could lead to "smooth settlement" of the entire prisoner of war question, the only remaining issue preventing an armistice. General Clark said that he would favor resumption of the talks if the Communists were sincere in their acceptance, and that the allies would study the issue carefully. There was no immediate indication of the number of Americans eligible for the exchange, but the sick and wounded were a small number of the 123,000 prisoners held by the Communists, of whom, the Communists claimed the previous December, 3,198 were Americans. The announcement communicating the acceptance, signed by North Korean Premier Kim Il Sung and commander of the Chinese forces in Korea, Peng Teh-Huai, had been mild and conciliatory in its tone, contrary to recent statements made by the Communists.

Also at the U.N., the U.S. endorsed Secretary-General Trygve Lie's campaign to drive American Communists out of the Secretariat, with Ambassador Lodge stating before the General Assembly that the U.S. would continue to investigate American citizens who were on the U.N. payroll and give the Secretary-General information on which he could act to fire suspected subversives. Ambassador Lodge defended the right of the Secretary-General to fire any American employee who refused to answer whether he was or ever had been a member of the Communist Party.

In the vicinity of Nairobi, Kenya, a gang of about 100 Mao Mao terrorists, armed with pistols and rifles, killed at least 12 pro-British native home guards in a night attack on an African village near Nyeri, 60 miles south of the capital. The killings occurred 24 hours after the massacre near Nairobi of at least 150 natives loyal to the British colonial government.

C. W. Roberts, the new RNC chairman who had been investigated by the Kansas Legislature for having sold to the State of Kansas a hospital property which the State already owned, collecting in the process a 10 percent commission on the $110,000 sale, abruptly resigned his post the previous night, within hours after the committee doing the investigation reported that Mr. Roberts had violated at least the spirit of the State lobbying law. Mr. Roberts, in communicating his resignation, said that his conscience was clear and that he had been victimized by a political plot, that he held no political or governmental post at the time he accepted the commission for the sale of the property, and that he had not been engaged in lobbying at that time. One member of the national executive committee of the RNC indicated his opinion that the National Committee ought refuse the resignation. The President said that Mr. Roberts had made "a wise decision".

In Conneaut, O., a New York Central train was involved in a three-way wreck the previous night, hitting two trains which had already crashed, killing at least 18 persons, with three more believed dead. More than 60 other passengers on the two express passenger trains carrying 400 had been hospitalized, but only one was described as seriously injured. The third train had been a freight which had derailed after a 35-foot long, 18-inch diameter pipe weighing about a ton had rolled from a freight train onto the tracks, after which the Buffalo-to-Chicago passenger train hit the freight traveling 80 mph, and a minute later, the second passenger train, en route from St. Louis to New York, rammed the wreckage, tearing up more than 1,000 feet of rail in the process. After communication lines were torn down, a railroad man had to run three miles through woods to report the wreck, and one passenger said that it was nearly an hour before rescue workers arrived on the scene and nearly eight hours before they had finished their task of sorting through the wreckage and caring for the injured. Several anecdotal accounts of passengers are included in a story on the page.

In Maine, flood waters had forced 1,500 persons in 13 communities from their homes, in the worst flooding in Maine in 17 years. About 1,000 persons were homeless in Mexico, Me., where the Swift and Androscoggin Rivers met. The Black River in New York was rising again after it had started to recede the previous day, with its flood waters covering 15,000 acres of farmland. Flood waters blocked highways in parts of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire and central New York.

In Raleigh, State House Speaker Eugene Bost said, during a radio program on WPTF the previous night, that the reason the General Assembly had approved secret sessions for the committee making the state's budget was that the press in certain instances had relaxed its policy. He said that the legislature had always engaged in executive sessions, but that in prior years reporters had attended them and agreed not to report on matter considered off the record, and in 1951 had begun leaving the sessions when off-the-record matter was discussed, obtaining the matter from legislators who had been present, and that there was nothing wrong with that procedure. But in the current session, reporters had apparently changed their practice, pointing out that a 1925 law required budget sessions to be public and so refusing during the week to agree to holding executive sessions by a Joint Appropriations subcommittee, leading to the amendment of the law to permit executive sessions. Mr. Bost said that in reviewing a large State budget, legislators had to say things which were better not broadcast, that some newspapers had taken statements out of context and used them in sensational headlines, giving unfair treatment to budgetary deliberations. He said that the subcommittee was meeting presently in executive sessions to consider controversial items preparatory to making its recommendations to the main committee, which would then be public information. Pete McKnight, editor of the News, and Larry Dale of the United Press appeared on the program with Mr. Bost. J. P. Huskins of Statesville, president of the Midwestern North Carolina Press Association and editor and publisher of the Statesville Record, issued a statement protesting the amendment to the legislation. Many other newspapers across the state, including the News, had editorialized against the change.

In Washington, Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith had emerged from a top-level meeting bareheaded, complaining that some son-of-a-bitch statesman had stolen his hat, after which he was sent no fewer than seven hats, finding then that his hat had not been stolen after all, that he had left it at home. He suggested that he might next report his shoes as missing, that he wore a size 9-C.

Number 9 shoes? We ain't got no number 9 shoes. We don't need no number 9 shoes. We don't need to give you no stinking number 9 shoes.

On the editorial page, "New Anti-Klan Bill an Improvement" indicates that the substitute bill to outlaw the Klan in the state was not nearly so objectionable as the original measure, as exceptions had been provided for parades and initiations by social fraternities, such that closed meetings of labor unions, for instance, would not be outlawed and that such organizations as the Masons would be exempt, the legislation limiting itself to secret organizations with the aim of circumvention of the state's laws. The substitute bill was explained by Solicitor Clifton Moore, who had prosecuted the Klan successfully in 1951-52, and had advocated for stronger statutes which would have made the job easier.

It suggests that there was no reason for the General Assembly now not to approve the legislation, that the people of the state had endured more than enough of the Klan and that any law which strengthened the state's hand in dealing with the threat had merit. But it also had to be remembered that the Klan had survived not so much from inadequate laws as from poor enforcement of those laws, as on many occasions, law enforcement had looked the other way and sympathetic juries had too often engaged in nullification to release Klansmen from culpability in specific cases. It suggests that the final answer to the Klan was rooting out the hatreds and prejudices which spawned it, through education, religion, and "militant citizenship". It concludes that the most lasting weapon against the nefarious organization was public opinion.

"The Nation Needs Its President's Voice" indicates that President Eisenhower, totally unfamiliar with many aspects of the presidency when he entered the office, had oriented himself quickly and performed his task "with a diligence that has tired his colleagues, with a degree of goodwill that has aroused the admiration of many of his pre-election opponents." He had made no public appearances since the State of the Union message on February 2, probably because of his devotion to pressing duties and his desire to acquaint himself with many issues. It concurs with the suggestion of Marquis Childs in a recent column, that it was probably time for the President to make a report to the people on his stewardship thus far, as his figure as a leader had dimmed in the public eye. The nation needed "the simple and steadying counsel of its chief executive" and it ventures that it was time for the President to fulfill this further task of office.

It also needs a chief executive who does not routinely lie, backfill when shown to be completely wrong or callously indifferent to known facts, and issue statements almost daily contradicting his own staff and Cabinet officers, as one currently occupying the White House does so often that chronicling it only requires close daily attention on any given day for the past three years, with facts, not "alternative facts", in hand for comparison, most troubling and consequential in lives lost for early inaction during the current health crisis faced by the nation with the coronavirus.

This person, who wishes to blame everyone and everything before himself, spotless and virtuous in his own eyes, is simply not up to the task, is too full of personal vanity and distrust of anyone who dares criticize him, to be a leader, always and only concerned about his own image with his moronic and politically naive, scientifically challenged base of moral and ethical midgets, not the substantive issue at hand, requiring objective review and governance accordingly, with political consequences damned.

He cares nothing for the "general welfare" of the people, only for the Trump image, hallmark of a billionaire businessman who made his money as the supreme salesperson born with a silver spoon, never having to fend for himself as he grew up, born of lies, raised in lies, nourished by the lies of wealth.

We have to forget about trying to educate his loyal minions, as they will say, even as they die, that he is their lord, master and chieftain, as they are hopelessly brainwashed by Fox News and its functional equivalent elsewhere, refuse to see the light because they close their eyes, feign blindness, whenever the light shines on his manifold corruption and routine incompetence.

He simply has no ability as a chief executive of a governmental entity of any sort, as he never had any prior experience before entering the White House. Thus, whenever that rare occasion arises where he does not completely bungle the situation, his followers anoint him as the supremely competent leader.

And, of course, he manages deftly, with loyal sycophants at his side, to lay the groundwork now for an heroic outcome of miraculous interdiction in the current crisis, by saying that 100,000 to 200,000 dead would be doing very well, which would make it the worst pandemic since the flu pandemic of 1918—when there were no radio, television, internet and the rest to educate and inform people in the moment and when education generally was relatively at a minimum. At that upper level, it would be about half of the estimated 390,000 soldiers who died of disease on both sides during the four years of the Civil War, when medicine and sanitary conditions in battlefield hospitals and prisoner-of-war camps were primitive and barbaric. But if this occupant of the White House had not made light of the crisis until less than three weeks ago, if he had made sober decisions and placed the nation on alert in late January when Democratic leaders, including former Vice-President Biden, were imploring him to do so, we would not be facing the kind of death and pervasive infection which we are today, as witness South Korea and its limited death toll.

But this Administration leads with its economic nose to the ground, without any overriding concern for the general welfare of the people it is supposed to be charged with protecting. It has tried and miserably failed to run the Government as a business.

Now, it is time for this failed bunch to depart. It would be best for the country and its future, immediate and long-range, for both Trump and Pence, who were never legitimately "elected" in the first place, certainly not by the majority or even a plurality of the country, simultaneously to view the handwriting on the wall for next fall's election and to resign their offices to allow Speaker of the House Pelosi to finish out this god-forsaken term of office, which will go down in U.S. history as its worst and most tragic.

But, of course, we would not expect that level of self-examination, humility and repentance from such a callous, thoughtless and incompetent bunch—as even President Nixon finally had the decency to admit to his loyal minions in resigning his office in 1974, facing the certainty of removal by the Senate, including many from his own party. We have declined as a nation, however, since those times, bad as they were at times. We have lost the sense collectively to understand when things have gone awry and to try to salvage that which is left without overcoming that sense with senseless pride in the face of certain defeat in a given course of policy, which proved the ruination, for instance, of Germany in the Thirties and Forties. We have, as a whole people, lost national humility, overcome and subservient now to individual vanity, the lost ability to understand that we are the United States, not some silly slogan cheered at football games or Trump rallies freighted with nationalist political messages, and not fifty individual states bickering among ourselves, blaming each other for the fault at hand. Rather we are the United States, united by the common bond of our allegiance to the Constitution, all of it acting at once, not just those portions which one finds convenient to recite out of the context of the whole fabric.

The absence of leadership from the top at present has been highlighted by this health crisis, which, unfortunately, was destined to occur, as it always will occur when cocksure people try to take over governance of the majority with minority will. It really started in February, 2016 with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the unprecedented refusal of Mitch McConnell thereafter even to hold hearings on President Obama's appointed replacement, Judge Merrick Garland. This anti-democratic trash and minority rule will end, however, with a certainty, on election day next.

We remind that national leadership on reaction to the pandemic came only on March 12, 2020, after the NBA announced that it was suspending its season because a player had tested positive, leading then quickly to leading conferences and the NCAA cancelling the college basketball tournaments, followed by all other spring sports, and then cancellations routinely of classes in public schools and institutions of higher learning, at least at those who have been responsible. Leadership on the issue, realization that vanity had to be set aside in favor of individual and collective responsibility to avoid exposing others to the virus which the individual might not even realize he or she carried, was started with basketball, not Trump, the supreme comment on the idiocy of the past four years, which, in turn, for his "election" by the electoral college as the least politically experienced person in history to govern this country, is a supreme comment on the idiocy of our times. We need proven, experienced leaders, not salesmen, not reality tv stars, to lead us.

"Dr. Robert Lardner Gibbon" laments the death in his mid-eighties of the local surgeon who, it says, also had a mind for business and was an ardent golfer who got in 18 holes nearly every day except Sundays, and also was equipped with an inexhaustible and unfailing supply of good humor, having been a refreshing person to know.

"One-Way Streets Are Safer Too" indicates that Charlotte's traffic engineer, Herman Hoose, had found that traffic had increased markedly since the one-way streets had been put in place downtown, providing some statistics on certain streets. It finds that it showed what a one-way system could do to expedite traffic on narrow streets and also improve safety thereon. Portland, Oregon, had in place for about three years a one-way grid system comprising 280 blocks on more than 21 miles of downtown streets, with the result, according to Public Safety magazine, that accidents had been cut nearly in half during the first year of operation. It indicates that all motorists would prefer wide boulevards, making ample room for two-way traffic, and that new roads should be planned accordingly. But the one-way street advantage was "not always realized by the motorist as he backs out of one he's entered from the wrong direction."

"'Kentucky Windage'" tells of Captain Harold Fischer of Kentucky, an ace pilot in Korea who had shot down eight enemy MIG-15s, having confessed that he had not used the Air Force sights in doing so but rather had done it as he would shoot ducks, via "Kentucky windage", leading the enemy aircraft as he would a duck and then firing short bursts of tracers so that he could see what he was doing, before letting them have it.

The piece indicates that it was comforting to know that a true and simple tenet of American marksmanship still had a practical application in the days of radio-controlled missiles, radar interception, and other gadgetry of modern warfare. It hopes that Captain Fischer would have the opportunity to share his system with other pilots, as older airmen in other wars had used it, but, in light of the newer, modern gadgetry, it was possible that the Air Force had overlooked the old method.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Statesman's Voice", indicates that in light of the Alsops' revelation of American air deficiencies, the fact of representative Charles Jonas, North Carolina's lone Republican in Congress, having made a recent plea for bipartisan foreign policy and more unity between the parties took on deeper significance. Before a group of Republicans in Asheville, Mr. Jonas had indicated that such unity could not be achieved through denouncing past Presidents and Administrations and calling them names, urging to think in terms of how to save the country and not placing blame.

It indicates that his responsible voice was a welcome addition to the Eisenhower forces in the Congress where Senators Joseph McCarthy, William Jenner and Styles Bridges, and HUAC chairman Harold Velde harassed the new President and his lieutenants, turning their eyes toward the past and not the future, with the goal of political expediency and self aggrandizement rather than statesmanship. It indicates that only those who were moderate and cooperative, such as Congressman Jonas, could see through the crisis, which might demand more sacrifice, requiring that the people hear a lot more from such persons and a lot less from Senator McCarthy.

Drew Pearson indicates that the visit of French Premier René Mayer had gotten off to a somewhat bad start when the President sent Vice-President Nixon to the airport to meet him, as the French had been somewhat put off by the fact, given that four top Cabinet officials plus an important 32-man delegation had accompanied Mr. Mayer, their belief being that the President ought to have met him, himself. They compared it to the hearty welcome which the President had given to Prime Minister Churchill recently and the fact that Mr. Mayer had promised, on assuming office, that he would come to the U.S. to confer personally with the President. Mr. Pearson indicates that he did not go to the airport out of strict protocol because Mr. Mayer was only a Prime Minister and not the head of state in France, and that the President should only personally meet heads of state upon their arrival. President Truman, however, had not stood on this protocol and had therefore spoiled visiting dignitaries.

The talks with the French were pretty well set in advance, except on the important issue of the Saar. The U.S. had already been ready to send greater aid to Indo-China, and the French already had a plan in place to train 54 new Vietnamese battalions, the arming and equipping of which they were seeking from the U.S., with Secretary of State Dulles believing that Indo-China, despite its aid handicapping the nation's own rearmament program, was more important than Korea. The French were also willing to push for ratification of the United European Army during the spring. The most important concession they wanted was an understanding from the U.S. regarding the Saar, the chief bone of contention between France and Germany, which, thus far, Secretary Dulles had not been willing to provide because it was too complicated and would cut the ground from under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany just before the latter would visit the U.S.

Recently, Republican Senator Hugh Butler of Nebraska had given members of his Insular Affairs Committee one last opportunity for a free trip to Hawaii before it would become a state, warning his colleagues privately that it was important to convince the public that it was a business trip, that after it would become a state, members of his Committee would no longer have valid business there and might therefore have to pay their own expenses for a Waikiki Beach vacation. He was having trouble getting the members to go on the trip jointly, as the public might become suspicious if they went separately, and had sent them a warning letter to that effect, which Mr. Pearson reprints. Senator Butler had gone to Hawaii the previous fall but was not going this spring. He notes that Senator George Malone of Nevada, "another champion government traveler", had complicated the arrangements by suggesting behind closed doors that the Senators take along their wives.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop comment on the confirmation dispute regarding Charles Bohlen as the new Ambassador to Russia, indicating that Senator McCarthy, who had opposed the nomination, had stated at the last moment that he had never opposed confirmation on the basis of security, while only days earlier having indicated that it was putting the case "too weak" to say that he was challenging Mr. Bohlen as a security risk. The Senator had hinted that he obtained the information from Mr. Bohlen's security file from his friend at the State Department, the new security officer, R. W. Scott McLeod, the Alsops adding that, while everything the Senator said had to be doubted, in this case it appeared that Mr. McLeod had actually leaked the story.

Senator Taft had said that one of the few items unfavorable to Mr. Bohlen in the file had been a letter from a State Department stenographer who had stated that she had felt her "sixth sense" sending out alarm signals on one brief occasion when she had taken dictation for Mr. Bohlen. The Alsops indicate that such a "poison pen letter" should have caused a security investigation of its author rather than being inserted in Mr. Bohlen's file.

The Alsops disclose that their brother, John de Koven Alsop, whom they believed to be as good a security risk as one could hope for, having been an OSS parachutist during the war, jumping behind enemy lines in both France and China and having led an anti-Communist and anti-Japanese guerrilla group in China, with a resulting bounty placed on his head by both enemy groups, and in peacetime, having been a Connecticut Republican who had served as vice-chairman of the Connecticut Eisenhower movement before the Republican convention, had, nevertheless, after some years earlier having applied for temporary reserve civilian status in intelligence work, been refused for the service on security grounds, based on reports of two government security agents. One of those agents based his rejection on their brother supposedly being one "John de Koven", probably a brother or close relative, he said, of a de Koven who was a member of former Vice-President Henry Wallace's Progressive Party, and the other of whom having stated that Mr. Alsop was probably the brother or close relative of Joseph and Stewart Alsop, who, he had said, were listed in HUAC files as the authors of a Saturday Evening Post article, "Will the C.I.O. Kick the Commies Out?"—which, the second person omitted, had been an anti-Communist article being used by HUAC as a helpful source regarding the Communist danger in the labor movement.

Joseph Alsop had been questioned and narrowly missed detention when checked for security on his return from a Japanese prison camp after being accused of having joined the British Army, despite his protests that he had been a member of General Claire Chennault's "Flying Tigers", a non-British organization. He had actually joined a British infantry regiment, they note, after being rejected by all the American services on medical grounds, but that fact had not filtered through to the Japanese prison camp. It took the intervention of a highly-placed friend finally to clear him.

They find that two such incidents in the same family suggested that the existing security system was not foolproof, and that the stenographer's "sixth sense" about Mr. Bohlen suggested that in some respects, it was "plain foolish". They indicate that the FBI could not properly be blamed, as it had no part in their brother's case and was generally overburdened as a result of "security-mania". But it was not in order, they conclude, to hand over raw security files to people like Senator McCarthy or anyone else who might leak to him.

Edward R. Murrow, in a transcript of a CBS broadcast, reads from a piece written for the Antioch Review by S. Grover Rich, assistant professor of political science at the University of Utah, offering that the country was being asked to do what few in history had before, prepare for war and then sue for peace, that a nation's capacity for compromise decreased as rearmament increased, until the climate of opinion would no longer support compromising negotiations, that it was useless to produce tanks and ships if the people were not prepared to fight. But in creating the will to fight, the professor asked, did it not destroy the ability of the country to negotiate.

Mr. Murrow indicates that the country was reaching a point where negotiation was considered to be appeasement in the public mind, and that it would take a very brave Secretary of State to advocate compromise, let alone to conduct a compromise settlement with Russia. Yet, the only alternative to diplomatic negotiation and compromise was eventual war. He stresses that there was a decided difference between negotiation and dictation, that an attempt to dictate to the Russians could lead to only one conclusion, war.

He suggests that Russia also might reach a point where it was unable to negotiate and might have reached that point already, that its leaders might be the coolly calculating schemers they were usually pictured to be, but, on the other hand, might be desperate men with their backs to the wall, willing to take any step to avoid destruction.

Professor Rich had contended that big wars were often started by small countries, that some belligerent Turkish diplomat or Hungarian Army officer, goaded by either Russia or the U.S., might begin a chain of events which could lead to World War III, if, he notes parenthetically, the attack on South Korea had not already done so. The professor believed that refusal to meet the challenge would be national suicide and lead inexorably not only to war, but defeat. He believes that the country was entering a psychological no-man's-land, where, at best, the country faced a 20-year war of nerves, in armed stalemate, which was the only foreseeable alternative to armed war. It was unique to Americans, and past experience failed to prepare for the problems lying ahead.

"Our national habit of assuming that there is a quick and easy answer, our characteristic impatience, our traditional ideas about what we continue to miscall war and peace are perhaps as dangerous to us as communism itself. This is assuredly no time for cold feet, but cool heads will help considerably." He concludes that he had quoted at length from the article by Professor Rich because he agreed with him and he had set forth the case better than Mr. Murrow could have.

Mr. Murrow, incidentally, would become head of the U.S. Information Agency, which oversaw the Voice of America, at the beginning of President Kennedy's term in 1961, remaining until shortly after the assassination, resigning in early 1964 for health reasons, despite being asked to remain in the position by President Johnson. A constant smoker, he died of cancer in April, 1965.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that one of the first things he had done after returning from his safari in Kenya was to see "Porgy and Bess", to see what the years had done to it and to Cab Calloway, currently starring in the musical as the character "Sportin' Life". He had found that the years had not done very much to it. He had seen three versions and would go to see a fourth if it were made.

He indicates that after hearing "Summertime" for the first time, he had quit a government job in Washington to join the Merchant Marine, and that the next time he had heard it, had gone to war in the Navy for three years. The result had been that every time he heard the song, he got a "hot flush of memory" of his first palm trees, his first ship, his first Europe, his first adventure, "and very possibly", his first "serious dame".

He indicates that Mr. Calloway appeared and sounded as he had some 20 years earlier, that it was difficult to believe it had been so long since he had heard him sing "hi-de-ho" on the radio. He made a very agile "Sportin' Life" and his rendition of "Taint Necessarily So" had been the "wickedest" of the lot. His leer was "as evil as his throaty wheedle or occasional screech".

He believed he liked best about the musical play that it did not pose any sociological question or carry a veiled message or propaganda designed either to praise all black people or condemn all whites. It was merely a sad love story surrounded by some of the finest tunes which George and Ira Gershwin ever wrote. He finds it a relief during a time when slapstick revue was loaded with social significance and a "cornball musical carries a burning brand of somebody's ideology". He loved "Sportin' Life" because he was "a real bad man, with his happy dust and his bootleg booze, and he never reforms." He was "badder at the end than he was at the beginning", and the same was true of Crown, the villain. He had always been sorry that Porgy had to kill the latter, as he was too important to kill off, was "not afraid of nobody, not even the Lord."

He says that the version he had just seen "juiced it up too much and a lot of its leisurely charm disappeared", but there was nothing anyone could do really to hurt it and Leontyne Price had been the best Bess he had heard in 15 years.

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